TITLE: Daydreamers Issue #1
YEAR: August 1997
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Plot by J.M. DeMatteis
Script by Todd Dezago
Pencils by Martin Egeland
Inks by Howard M. Shum
Lettering by Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors by Kevin Somers
Editor: Mark Bernardo
Howard the Duck is Created by Steve Gerber
Back in 1997, the Marvel Universe was rocked by the corporeal psychic entity known as Onslaught. The X-Men, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four fought valiantly but Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman lost their lives in this battle and their son, Franklin Richards became an orphan.
Nathaniel Richards, the grandfather of Franklin, brought the young boy to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters and Franklin would befriend other mutant children such as Artie Maddicks and the former Morlock known as Leech.
As the three became friends, they would also interact with the school’s student body known as Generation X.
Around this same time, an alien named Tana Nile from the planet Rigel-3 crashed landed on planet Earth and she was discovered by Franklin, Artie and Leech.
Meanwhile, Howard the Duck had given mutants Chamber and Skin a ride back to the school.
Black Tom attacked the school and Franklin inadvertently summons Man-thing who opens the Nexus of All Realities and to escape Black Tom, Howard the Duck along with Franklin, Artie, Leech and Tana Nile along with Man-Thing escape and find themselves in a place known as Nevernever-Narniozbia.
Stuck in the middle of nowhere, Howard the Duck is not so happy of being stuck in the middle of nowhere with the four and starts to whine about it.
Tana gets upset and throws Howard the Duck off the patch of land that the five are on and he falls through the door.
Afraid of what may happen to Howard the Duck, Franklin tells the others they must go after him. But where is Howard the Duck?
Needless to say, the comic features a fantasy adventure with an unlikely group.
There is no doubt that the Marvel Universe is trying to bring up Franklin Richards, touted to be the most powerful being but as a child, needs to learn how to control his powers. As for Man-Thing and Howard th Duck, these two characters from the ’70s and ’80s, haven’t been utilized all that much, so I suppose why not bring them together as the more adult characters to be with young Franklin and the others.
For the most part, the issue was lighthearted and fun, but the comic book series would only last three issues. If anything, “Daydreamers” was used as a vehicle for young Franklin to deal with the devastating realization that his parents are dead. But of course, Marvel Universe will never kill off flagship heroes and it was revealed that Franklin Richards actually saved the Avengers and Fantastic Four by putting them in a pocket universe, the characters had to be reborn and start their lives over and would be able to return back home.
But in the process, if anything came out after this series and exploration of Franklin Richards mysterious power is that by bringing everyone back, Franklin also brought back the sister that he never had. The stillborn child in Susan’s womb ended up being born and Franklin and Sue Richards had a new member to the family, their daughter Valeria Richards.
But really, the best part of “Daydreamers” was for those who grew up reading “Howard the Duck” and “Man-Thing” to see these two characters back in a comic book once again!