SUPERHEROES!By Eric Lee Gardner
As far back as I can remember I have been a big fan of superheroes.
As a young boy in New Hampshire, we lived in a semi-split level home with two steps between the bedrooms and the living areas.
Often I would find a red or blue towel and have my Mom safety pin it to my t-shirt, so I could be Superman. I would run around and jump from the two steps, hoping to fly every time.
Every Saturday morning I would watch Super Friends on TV. I watched the entire DC team of superheroes be super and hang out at the Hall of Justice.
I thought Wonder Woman’s invisible jet and superpowers were both spectacular. Superman always impressed me week in and week out.
I learned about Green Lantern and he shot to the top five of my all-time favorite superheroes. I tried to run like the Flash every time I got new sneakers for school.
Like somehow with these new kicks I could be as fast as Barry Allen.
But it was Batman who blew my mind. He did not have superpowers like Superman or Wonder Woman, but he used his intelligence, his amazing gadgets, and his incredible Batmobile to always get the job done.
From that point on, I was a huge fan of all of the DC superheroes.
In 1978 Superman came out in the movie theater. This was only a year after Star Wars and I was already insanely into EVERYTHING Star Wars and I still am.
But when I saw Christopher Reeve save Lois, act like dorky Clark Kent (he was SO good), and finally fly around the Earth to reverse time to save her, my mind was blown, again.
I was there for the sequel too. My grandfather had a VHS copy of it a couple of years later and I must have watched Superman II a hundred times at my grandparent’s house.
You’ve probably noticed I’ve only mentioned DC superheroes, don’t worry Marvel fans, it’s coming.
In the mid-nineties, with the release of Jurassic Park, ILM and Steven Spielberg changed movies forever! The modern age of visual effects was born with Jurassic Park in 1993.
I worked at the local movie theater on Cape Cod during those years, partly for the free movies and mostly because I NEEDED to be near ANYTHING related to film and media.
I have never seen lines for movie tickets and never will see them again like I did the summer that Jurassic Park came out.
The lines that went out the doors and wrapped around the building were a sight to behold. Every show sold out, matinee to midnight, rain or shine, it was insane.
Modern computing power was increasing, Avid video editing was coming into its own, custom software that allowed photo quality full-screen visual effects and brilliant artists at ILM and other companies all gave birth to a revolution in visual storytelling.
After Jurassic Park and then Terminator 2, for example, anything you could write in your screenplay could be put in the movie theater!
Fast forward to sometime before 2008.
More brilliant minds came up with another revolutionary idea, a shared cohesive universe of storytelling. This idea was from the minds behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With the release of Ironman in 2008, everything changed again. Serious storytelling by real filmmakers, with great actors giving stellar performances, was something sorely needed in the superhero genre, which had been floundering for a long time.
Add in the know-how and experience of 15 years of visual effects since Jurassic Park and it was a whole new movie revolution.
During the past ten years, my kids and I have become huge Marvel fans.
We’ve seen every Marvel movie, most of them in IMAX or Large screen format, and own most of them on Blu-Ray.
We discuss the characters and their powers often and I’m happy that I’ve been given this second chance in life to become a fan of some great superheroes in the Marvel Universe.
All the while, I’ve always loved Batman and was first in line back in 1989 for Tim Burton’s Batman. I was there on opening day for Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and the same for The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
I was shocked and am still amazed by Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker. After Jack Nicholson, I never thought his performance could be beaten, but sorry Jack, it was.
Someday I will also write a discussion on Jared Leto’s performance as the joker. Suffice to say now, I believe that people have misunderstood his portrayal and what he attempted to show the world about the criminal mastermind and evil SOB that The joker will always be.
There’s still a long way to go with DC movies. I wish I could help set them straight and guide them into better storytelling.
Not that all of the DC movies have been utter disappointments, nor am I suggesting that all Marvel movies are cinematic masterpieces, but a balance must be maintained.
Marvel has done a good job throughout, maintaining balance overall. Everyone has ups and downs, everyone can learn from their mistakes.
I want more DC, I love Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern, et al. I hope that they keep making DC movies and I hope they get better, for my sake. I’m just a guy who has loved and dreamed of being a superhero for most of his life.
There’s something elemental in wanting to be MORE than you are.
We ARE more than we are, but most of us get bogged down with the minutiae of our daily lives, of self-doubt, of our failures, our sins, that we can think of ourselves as MORE!
We are more, we were made to be more and when we read comics and watch superhero TV shows and movies, we get to live vicariously through these champions of good, protectors of the weak, saviors of the people.
This is why we like superheroes, this is probably why I had the following dream about being a superhero. I hope you enjoy it.
Dream Journal Entry: 54 of 733“Superheroes”
Date of Dream: 07.07.2017
In this dream I lived in a world where I was a celebrity superhero, similar to the Flash, Superman, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, you know what I mean. I’m not sure what specific powers I had, unfortunately, my powers were not used within this dream.
But in the context of this dream, I was a superhero. I was a member of a team of superheroes and all of us worked in an ultra-stylized, modern hideout.
Our base of operations was similar to something out of a Marvel Universe movie, such as Stark Tower, later Avengers Tower in New York City. Our headquarters looked like it was built with Tony Stark’s money and his eye for design.
Our superhero base was a large cool building. The kind of place you always expect and want your favorite superheroes to live and work in.
It’s kind of funny how the Netflix Defenders TV shows, what they call “street-level heroes”, go out of their way to have DareDevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and The Punisher all live in squalor. Daredevil is my favorite show and these days, my favorite superhero.
But come on! Let the guy enjoy a little success, or at least have something nice in his life, save for his amazing red suit!
In this dream, I was a younger, “cooler” version of myself.
Not the 40-year-old, Dad version of today’s reality. Like Neo inside the Matrix, where he looked like his ideal self, his “digital self” image; in this dream, I felt like the dream version of my ideal self, my dream self, if you will. I had great-looking superhero hair and I was young and strong and cool to hang.
Of course part of my dream self, this alternate version of me, included my superpowers, which completed the ideal package. Within dreams, I can escape the grip of time, and reality, and be the guy I’ve always wanted to be, a superhero!
I woke at 7 AM when my then 3-year-old son Nathan whispered, asking for my phone again, so he could watch YouTube Kids. Soon I was up to let our devil dog out, but by some miracle, Nate went back to sleep and I did too. For this, I am extremely grateful. Not until later, would I know what awaited me in dreamland.
Before the great part of the dream began, something strange happened. It like a surreal prologue that doesn’t fit the rest of the story.
The following occurred earlier in the dream.
Being a superhero has always had its perks and drawbacks. With great power comes great celebrity.
In this first part of the dream, I was hanging out with other celebrities and famous actors. I was invited solely for my status as a popular superhero and requisite celebrity.
All of us were gathered in a sunken living room in the middle of a massive industrial warehouse-type setting.
The “living room” and the furniture, the entire set was completely out of place within the confines of an otherwise unwelcoming setting.
The living space was set in a lower, two steps down square-shaped area, everything was painted white, including the four white leather couches, which faced out from the edges of the square.
I sat down next to Mila Kunis on one couch, meanwhile, other celebrities were sitting and talking on the other couches.
Although my famous superhero self was accepted as one of these types of people, I never really felt like I fit in among these other celebrities.
This was especially evident when I noticed that I was not good enough to sit next to Ms. Kunis. She moved as far away from me to the other end of the white couch as possible.
Suddenly the massive sliding doors of the warehouse opened and a form of “entertainment” came in and set up for their gig on the upper edge of the living room area.
The “entertainment” was three identical men banging away at some sort of drum, could have been a kettle drum. At first, we thought these men were three identical Kevin Bacons, all performing some rhythmic piece on their shared drum.
When we were able to look closer, the act was three Steve Buscemi’s! A letdown? Not necessarily.
After the performance was over we noticed that the Steves had enlisted the help of some old ladies wearing wigs.
The Steves donned the wigs and continued to play a strange tribal rhythm. I’m not sure what this has to do with the rest of the dream, the coming much cooler part that is less driven by vapid celebrities and drumming Buscemi’s, but this came first.
Perhaps it happened to set up the fact that as a superhero, I’m also a celebrity? Or it is just my wacky mind at work again…
I was ripped out of my dream again by our devil dog at 9:45 AM. She was scratching and banging and yelping at our door AGAIN. The remaining dream took place between 9:50 and 11:06 AM.
In case you’re wondering, yes, I have been able to pause and resume dreaming many times in my life. Where I wake up fall back asleep and continue the same dream with the same continuity.Eric
From here on out, my dream course-corrected into much better storytelling.
I dreamt of an alternate team of superheroes, who live in another separate and alternate or parallel world, different than ours.
This alternate team of superheroes were our counterparts on the other side, like bizarro Superman, the other team was the same, but different.
However, unlike bizarro Superman, the other team of superheroes was not evil.
Communication and travel between our two worlds were extremely rare and difficult to achieve.
But we knew that this other team of superheroes existed and my team kept tabs on their side of the multiverse.
When travel between our two worlds did occur, it was by way of a portal, which establishes a direct connection between our sweet hideout and theirs.
Their headquarters occupies the same space, the same street address, on their world as it does ours.
Getting from one place to another is nearly impossible, as it requires creating and maintaining a stable wormhole between our two dimensions.
Even given the difficulty of traveling between both worlds, our two superhero teams can have semi-regular communication via telepathy powers possessed by team members on each side. This telepathy has allowed us to update each other with the current events and needs of our two worlds.
Our team just learned that the bizarro team’s world was collapsing. I didn’t get any details about this collapse, but I do know that it meant certain death for everyone.
Given the very short time frame before this catastrophe, both teams had to work together to enact a rescue mission so we could go over and save them, and bring them back to our side of the vale.
Both superhero teams put their best minds to work so that we could find a workable solution to the wormhole issue. A solution is found and just in time to establish a link between worlds, just as their world is collapsing.
My team and I make the dangerous trip through the wormhole, to the other side, so that we can rescue the other team. Once I arrive I find and gather the other world’s team and we all begin to make our way back to the portal for a final escape before certain calamity envelopes their reality.
As we run toward the portal room, where the wormhole remains stable and open for the time being, it feels as if their entire world is shaking and collapsing, falling in around us. Walls crumble, marble columns fall, ceilings collapse behind us as we run toward our evacuation.
Debris flies at us from all sides and outside I can see a bright light in the sky, brighter than the sun, but I know it’s NOT the sun! Sure we’re all superheroes, but when a massive structure is collapsing in utter chaos, the danger is everywhere, death can come from anyplace!
Just as the majority of us reach the portal and we begin our escape through the wormhole, I turn around and see someone at the far end of the hallway we just ran through. It’s a person that I have not seen in a very long time. This person doesn’t live or doesn’t exist in my world, only in this one. I’m happy and surprised to see that he’s been instrumental in making the calculations to form and maintain the wormhole for the other team’s escape.
He’s been their best mind, the most accomplished scientist on their side, even though he’s not officially part of the superheroes of this alternate world.
I see my friend Joel in the distance. I’m able to race to him faster than any mortal could and then I help him as we race to the portal.
The entrance to the wormhole looks like a big black moving circle, a kind of blob-like thing of moving energy, like a three-dimensional oil slick suspended in midair over the middle of a circular stone pit.
Joel and I are the last to go through the wormhole. The trip through takes a fraction of a second and we safely arrive in my world. We embrace, I hadn’t seen Joel in a very long time, not since our college days. I learn that he’s was made an honorary member of the other world’s team, given his lifesaving contributions to the cause on their side.
It’s possible, within the context of my dream, that this type of interdimensional travel required the possession of a superpower, something more than human to sustain the integrity of the human body. Something special, or “super” that would allow one to travel through such a gateway between worlds.
Luckily for Joel, he made it through to our world, safe and sound. After many years Joel and I were reunited and happy to see each other. Before being ripped away from my dream, both hero teams lived in our prime world, after their world was lost.
Woke Up at 11:06 AM to an alarm. I ran to my tablet and spent the next 45 minutes typing these notes before I forgot this dream.
Real-Life Dream Influence
As for a real-life influence that inspired this dream, that’s easy, please read the introduction again.
NOTE: Every Dream in the Theater of Dreams© – A Dreamer’s Journal contains the original notes, typed moments after waking from each dream. Every dream in The Theater of Dreams is original, contains zero embellishments, and is only based on what could be remembered upon awakening. All Dreams, stories, and concepts are solely owned by Eric L Gardner (Gardner) Copyright © 2021 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED