Sunday, December 7, 2008

Daydreamers #1-3

I really hate it when I don't know how to categorize something. I'm having that problem with the Marvel limited series Daydreamers. I can't decide if it goes in the "What were they thinking?" box or with the "rehashed plot device" books. Ugh, what am I to do? Well I'll make an argument for both and let you decide.

Marvel's Generation X was a very popular X-Men spin off series in the 90's featuring a new, trendy team of teenage mutants studying at Xavier's School for Gifted Mutants. Through the course of the series, the book featured a lot of characters from across the Marvel Universe coming to visit the school, some even living there for a while. These visitors included Franklin Richards (thought to be orphaned during the Onslaught mega super tie-in crossover event of the 90's that every reader still tries to forget ever happened), Leech, Artie Maddicks, Tana Nile, and last but definitely not least Howard the Duck. Now of course, whenever a motley crew like this comes together, they have to be spun off into their own series, right? Oh geez, I'm sorry. I forgot that you have to add yet another character that no one cares about like the mute swamp creature, Man-Thing. How silly of me. I am being serious people. That is the team for this book. The story goes that they find themselves hopping for universe to universe trying to find their way home after being sucked into the Nexus of All Realities. (Don't even get me started on how dumb that idea is. The central point of every dimension is in Florida? Yeah, that's safe. They can't even punch holes through ballots correctly, and you think they aren't going to mess with a hole in reality?) Honestly, it astounds me that this got through the editorial process. Who did they think this book was for? The art and comedy could be for younger readers, but some of the ideas and jokes will go right over their heads. As for the older readers, I doubt the covers will jump out to anyone and say "read me!" except for the hardcore Howard the Duck fans. Plus, the part that truly boggles my mind is that the series was written by J.M. DeMatteis, who co-wrote one of my favorite comics of all time, Justice League International. What a weird project for him to work on. His comedy is in there, but it is so watered down that it makes me think editorial did make the judgment to make the series for the kids after the fact. What it boils down is that all of the these characters could have interesting stories to tell, but when bunched together and watered down, it just does not work out.

Normally, I don't like handing out spoilers but I think I can save you all 75 cents (that is how much I paid for all three issues) when I tell you that the group was never trapped in the Nexus at all. They were inside Franklin's mind the whole time as he was trying to hide from the reality of his family's death. This is where the "rehashed plot device" comes in. How many times does this kid need to be saved from his own brain? The Fantastic Four had to do it. It happened more than once in the pages of Power Pack. Franklin's melon is a WMD just waiting to go off. And the idea of being trapped in a world you made to get away from real life....that was Star Trek: Generations! It was even called "The Nexus" in the movie as well. Do you really want another version of that movie? I did not think so. I have seen this story a few to many times for my taste and that is yet another reason why this series is in the quarter box. Oh and by the way, don't worry. The Fantastic Four were not dead. Just trapped in yet another dimension and would return a few months later unharmed and Franklin again would use his reality changing powers to preserve the universe his parents were trapped in. Like a said before though, I don't know anyone who wants to remember anything about any of that period in Marvel history.

Oh and one last thing. There is a love story between the Rigellian alien, Tana Nile, and our own Howard the Duck. Yeah, I'll let you ponder on that for a while.


gfanrick said...

I'm not sure of there is a winning formula for using Man-Thing, but I don't think it's been discovered yet. I can't remember if the Nexus of Realities is the place Man-Thing draws his powers from or if it's that place Dr. Strange sent Hulk to back from issues #301-three thirty something. Either way, meh. Is this Rigelian the same character who is now a member of the Nova Corps in the most recent Nova issue? Franklin Richards is a great character in "Son of a Genius", but I agree with your assessment. However, I believe that I may be the only person who looks back at Onslaught and Heroes Reborn with fondness. I must have a tumor or something.

Mike said...

Man-Thing can be great in a horror title. I would love to see what a writer like Steve Niles could do for Man-Thing.