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. Both the 4th of July and my blogging buddy Teebore's next installment of his weekly issue-by-issue X-Men analysis would greet me when I woke up, and 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 attending a Survivor cast reunion.
When the dream began I was drawing, an activity in which I rarely engage anymore in waking life as it's a lot harder 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. The drawing, centered on Superman, was getting to be rather intricate, too, I realized as I was inking it ("inking" being the stage of applying black ink by pen, marker, or brush to finish the line artwork after "penciling" a drawing in the comics / cartooning world).
Superman was engaged in battle with armed goons in the service of both HIVE, a cabal of criminal scientific geniuses seen in past DC Comics continuity, 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 The New Teen Titans and Wolfman-penned Superman stories. The Hellfire Club was created for X-Men in 1979 by Chris Claremont & John Byrne — an iteration of it was even seen in the 2011 film 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 at the time, in the dream, I recall not being able to really grasp the whole picture even though I was the one drawing it. A joint HIVE / Hellfire Club operation could've made a neat adversary had there been a second 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 since his return from supposed death in 1993 bothered me — so much so that it started pulling me out of the dream — and then I realized that the scene was probably supposed to be taking place during the 1996 DC vs. Marvel miniseries. Yet there must have been some reason for me to be drawing such a vista, I remember thinking in that part of my (sub)consciousness that was watching the dream play out rather than participating in it. And that shoe dropped when the scene shifted, as happens in dreams, from me drawing to me heading out for a 4th of July celebration thrown by one Austin Gorton, alias the aforementioned Teebore, gentleman of leisure and blogger over at Gentlemen of Leisure.
I showed the drawing to Teebore, but, to the confusion of the me who was watching the action, the me who was acting it out initially represented the piece as some 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. Teebore wasn't peeved, though; 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, I guess, the location he'd rented out for his Independence Day bash, and said, "How can I be mad when we have an awesome taco bar?"
Dreams are weird.