Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Dreamwalker

Written by Bill Mumy and Miguel Ferrer
Art by Gray Morrow

I really don't know who at Marvel would have greenlit a project like this, which could not exist today, but any opportunity to get a full book of Gray Morrow artwork is not something to turn down, when discovered in a group of low-priced graphic novels.

The Dreamwalker tells the story of Joshua McGann, an American secret agent who went rogue after the death of his girlfriend.  He continued to work his own missions, but this put him in the crosshairs of the Chairman of the organization he worked for.  They attempt to kill him, but it goes awry.  After this, he blackmails the Chairman into leaving him alone.

Reconnecting with his family, McGann finds his father very ill.  His stepmother, a prominent DA, is working to take down a mobster, when a hitman executes her in her own home.  The shock kills his father.

Later, McGann discovers that his father was once the masked adventurer known as the Dreamwalker.  He adopts this guise to ensure that the mobster faces justice, but quickly learns that there are even more complications in the case.  He continues to seek justice, putting his spy training to good use.

The book ends with a very strange connection between the mobster and McGann's family, which is pretty hard to believe, and leaves the door open to followup stories, which I don't believe ever happened.

The book is very straightforward in its approach and deliver, doing nothing new with a character like this (even though McGann's background could have been mined in more interesting ways).  There's really nothing to set this character apart from many 40s masked adventurers like the Crimson Avenger or Phantom Reporter, making me wonder why the writers didn't just use a character like that for this story.

Morrow's work is excellent, if a bit stiff in places.  This feels like a real throw-back of a comic today, but I doubt that it would have felt less so in 1989 when it was published.

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