Marvel has introduced the new mutant in Somnus, who has a secret history with Wolverine’s son Daken. This is a big opportunity to have a fresh start.
Warning: contains major spoilers for Marvel Voices: Pride #1!
Marvel has just debuted a new mutant who has a special connection with Wolverine. Marvel Voices: Pride #1 is a Pride Month special that tells stories involving some of Marvel’s most popular – and in many cases most underrated – LGBTQIA+ characters. While some fan favorite and long-lost characters have returned, this issue also takes the time to introduce a brand new hero: Somnus.
Somnus was previously introduced in a Marvel announcement as a future X-Men member with a lengthy history, one who hadn’t been around in a while. This led fans to believe that his life would be over before it even began – a fate many LGBTQIA characters have suffered in the past. Since Somnus has never been in a Marvel Comic and had no established past yet, it seemed like he could simply have a quick story in this anthology and then disappear. However, this isn’t actually the case. Marvel Voices: Pride #1 reveals that Somnus did have a former life in an older time, but it appears as though his story as a mutant is really just beginning in a lot of ways with his arrival to Krakoa.
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“Man of His Dreams” – created by Steve Orlando, Claudia Aguirre, and Luciano Vecchio – is the story that introduces Somnus. It explains how Somnus came to be in Krakoa and it reveals who is responsible for his new life: Daken. Wolverine’s son – and a bearer of the Wolverine mantle himself – Daken actually had a brief relationship with Somnus back in 1967. However, Somnus’ powers influenced Daken’s perception of reality, effectively scaring him off and causing the two to be separated for a lifetime. Now, Daken is ready to give Somnus a new life, one with mutants like them, where they can be a little selfish.
Somnus is an oneiromancer, meaning he can affect people’s dreams. He was a selfless person in his first life, giving others their dreams without giving dreams to himself. He lived a full life with his family, but Daken believes that his friend deserves another chance to do things differently. Instead of living and continually giving to others, Wolverine thinks it’s finally time for Somnus – formerly Carl Valentino – to try a new way of living. Krakoa has been lauded as a fresh start for mutantkind, and in Somnus’ case, this can really mean a new beginning.
When Carl and Daken first met, they hooked up. This caused the clawed mutant to envision an entire lifetime spent together thanks to Carl’s abilities. At the time, as might be expected of him, Daken wasn’t ready to settle down. Now, things are different and Daken doesn’t think either of them should have to be alone anymore, living only partial truths when it comes to their identities as both mutants and people.
This is a much sweeter and more positive introduction than many fans may have been expecting. Even though Somnus existed for the duration of a lifetime, he wasn’t as influential a mutant as previously believed when he was announced. Fans thought he might shift some paradigms of reality or that he witnessed some events in the Marvel universe that caused him to lose his life, that would be revealed in this debut appearance. His story is actually far more simple since he lived a quiet life that didn’t involve hero work, though he definitely has a lot of potential to be a hero going forward. There aren’t very many mutants that can affect dreams the way Somnus can and his power has only lightly been explored in this story. There will definitely be a lot more to see later on when Marvel begins to introduce Somnus into future stories – likely with Wolverine helping him adjust since he single-handedly brought Somnus to Krakoa.
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