The other night I had a rather strange dream.
I have strange dreams often, as I’ve mentioned here before — you can see all of my dream posts if you’re intrigued by what follows — but the strange thing about this one was how of-the-moment it was. Upon waking it would be the 4th of July and my blogging buddy Teebore’s next installment of his issue-by-issue X-Men analysis would be published; both figured into the dream. Sometimes I’m more surprised by dreams that relate to my actual everyday existence than those in which I’m playing for the Phillies or meeting Queen Elizabeth or hanging out with the Avengers.
When this dream began I was drawing, an activity in which I rarely engage anymore
in waking life as it’s a lot harder physically than it used to be, yet one that I occasionally find myself pursuing in dreams — perhaps to keep those creative muscles limber, if
only inside my head. That drawing, centered on Superman, was getting to be rather intricate, too, I realized as I was inking it (n.b., “inking” = the stage of applying black ink by pen, marker, or brush to finish line artwork for reproduction once it's been drawn in pencil).
Superman was engaged in battle with armed goons in the service of both HIVE, a
cabal of criminal scientific geniuses seen in the pages of DC Comics, and The Hellfire Club, a society for the decadently upper-crust whose Inner Circle is made up of power-hungry mutants over at Marvel Comics. HIVE was created by Marv Wolfman & George Pérez in 1980, mostly appearing in the duo’s New Teen Titans and Wolfman-penned Superman tales. The Hellfire Club was created for X-Men in 1979 by Chris Claremont & John Byrne — an iteration of it was seen on-screen in last year’s X-Men: First Class.
While not exactly analogues of one another, my brain was clearly working a story out
in pitting Superman and, I think, other heroes against foot soldiers from both entities, likely alongside other villains too lest the goons be hopelessly outmatched. It was a big canvas and even in my dream I recall not really grasping the whole picture despite being the one drawing it. A joint HIVE / Hellfire Club operation could’ve made a neat adversary had there been a sequel to the 1982 New Teen Titans / Uncanny X-Men intercompany crossover, that’s for sure.
The fact that I was drawing Superman with the long hair that he sported upon his return from supposed death in 1993 bothered me — so much so that it started pulling me out of the dream. Then I realized that the scene was probably supposed to be taking place during the 1996 DC vs. Marvel miniseries. Yet I remember thinking in the part of my (sub)consciousness watching the dream play out rather than participating in it that there must have been a reason for me to be drawing such a vista. And that shoe dropped when the scene shifted from me drawing to me heading out for a 4th of July celebration thrown by one Austin Gorton, alias the aforementioned Teebore.
I showed the drawing to Teebore but, to the confusion of the me who was watching
the action via dream, the me who was acting it out initially represented the piece as a legendary missing part of DC vs. Marvel that in the dream was clearly familiar to both Teebore and me. No sooner did Teebore buy into the ruse with excitement than I ’fessed up about having done it myself, which strikes me as a more obnoxious punking than I would actually perpetrate. The magnanimous Teebore wasn’t peeved, however; while I apologized, he turned us away from the coat check where we’d been talking, stepped in front of the large crowd assembled in this location he’d apparently rented out for his Independence Day bash, and said, “How can I be mad when we have an awesome taco bar?”
Related: New Dream Titans • Head Space • Dream a Little Dream of Meep