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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
by yo go re


The Sleepwalker is the guardian of the Mindscape, apprehending beings that invade the sleeping minds of humans.

There was a rumor going around in the '90s that someone at Marvel had described the concept of Sleepwalker as "Sandman, done right," which is just ridiculous enough to feel plausible. Jim Shooter, in his heyday as editor-in-chief, had a habit of describing things as "[blank] done right," and that continued as a running joke at his expense for years after he left - so if such a thing really was ever uttered, it was most likely meant to elicit laughs from people in the know, not to be a serious comparison between one of the acclaimed literary masterpieces of the decade and the pseudo-horror superhero book that didn't even last three years. Probably.

Sleepwalker was born of a question Jim Shooter once asked: if someone in the real world had Superman's powers, would they be accepted or feared? So here's a being with vast paranormal abilities, but he looks like an alien - green skin, huge red eyes, no nose - so people tend to assume he's a monster when they first see him, meaning many of the stories are about him winning the public's trust as he fights crime.

The Sleepwalker (who does have a real name, it's just unpronouncable by humans) is just one member of an entire race of similar beings who police the Mindscape, a dimension that borders the minds of all living things (akin to The Dreaming, Morpheus' domain). They all dress pretty similarly, wearing blue and purple rags over their mint green bodies. This figure uses a standard mold, and while Hasbro has already made some limbs with cloth wraps that match this size, these are new. He's got thick cloth wound around his forearms and shins, plus a matching belt and a sculpted strip circling his right thigh. His cape is the same Demogoblin wore, which suits the character. The hood is attached to the head

Sleepwalker is not a character who uses weapons. After becoming accidentally bonded with human college student Rick Sheridan, Sleepwalker found he could enter the human world while Rick was asleep. He still had all the powers he had in his native Mindscape, ones that are perfectly normal in dreams: he could fly (or at least float), he had seemingly limitless strength, he couldn't be hurt, and he could reshape physical objects using his "warp vision," which was usually depicted as large red beams coming from his eyes. Since none of that is something a toy can hold, all we get here are alternate open hands. The articulation is the usual, but the plastic used to make him feels too soft, too gummy.

As part of the Doctor Strange 2 line (Sleepwalker lives in dreams, he fights Nightmare, Nightmare is a Dr. Strange enemy, therefore Sleepwalker is at least Dr-Strange-adjacent), the figure includes the left leg of Rintrah.

Introduced in 1991, Sleepwalker was part of that wave of young new Marvel heroes that also included Darkhawk and Ghost Rider. The comic had a lightness to it that wasn't exactly in vogue at the time, but the character obviously struck a chord with some future creators, because he's been irregularly popping up in books ever since. And now he's got a Marvel Legend! One that's not even a custom! Up next on the wishlist: Terror, Inc., with his weird little catfish whiskers and metal hand.

-- 04/26/22

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