Quote1 Mortal fools! I am the Master of the Subconscious, the Midnight Leviathan -- proof positive that the most precious of dreams too often fall prey to...Nightmare! Quote2
-- Nightmare src


Nightmare controlled one of the Splinter Realms known as the Nightmare Realm and the Dream Dimension. Nightmare was fiercely protective of his realm, having warded off attacks from his daughter and other demons seeking to depose him.[4]. Nightmare acted as a servant of Shuma-Gorath.[5]


Approximately 800 years ago, Nightmare raped the demoness Zilla Char, producing a daughter, Dreamqueen. Then, 350 years ago, Nightmare meddled with the Dreamqueen's schemes involving Native Americans.[6]

Peter Parker

When a young Peter Parker was fishing with his Uncle Ben, they were attacked by monsters. This was revealed to have been a nightmare. Later, as Peter had just begun to fall asleep again Nightmare appeared and decided to feast on the young boy's dreams... until Stan Lee knocked him out with a tennis racket to the head.[7]

Doctor Strange

In the modern age of heroes one of his first conflicts was with Doctor Strange. They battled when Nightmare haunted the dreams of a corrupt businessman. When Dr. Strange entered his dreams, Nightmare attempted to trap him there, leaving his physical body undefended while the man, afraid that the secret of his crimes had been found out, would try to kill Strange. Strange managed to escape Nightmare's dimension with the help of the Ancient One.[8]

Seeking to conquer our dimension, he began trapping people in their dreams in hope of gaining information on how to defeat Dr. Strange and his master, the Ancient One. His plan was foiled by Strange, who freed the captives and escaped Nightmare's dimension.[9]


He captured Eternity leading to the destruction of Earth, which was remade by Eternity.[10]


Following the joint funeral of Biotron, Queen Esmera and Prince Shaitan, the Microns travel into the brain of Arcturus Rann to battle Nightmare.[11]


Doctor Doom kidnapped Dazzler and sent her on a mission to recover one of the Merlin stones. It was in the dream realm where she encountered Nightmare. He refused to hand over the Merlin stone and Dazzler was once again pressed into action. After she turned on her dazzling array of power, Nightmare suddenly decided that the Merlin stone was a gaudy bauble and not worth all this effort to keep in his possession.[12]

Morgana Blessing

When Strange was searching the many mystical realms trying to find Clea and Morgana Blessing, he confronted Nightmare. It was revealed that Morgana's trip into the past caused this chain of events and that if her soul were to regress back to her earliest incarnation it would destroy all of humanity and -- as a result Nightmare himself. Not wishing to meet his end so that he may continue to rule the Nightmare Realm, Nightmare begrudgingly offers his aid to Dr. Strange, helping him pinpoint the exact eras that Morgana has traveled into.[13] Dr. Strange, with the aid of Nightmare, is sent to Ancient Egypt.[14]


Nightmare returned to attack Peter causing him to have a nightmare where he was forced to fight the Hulk.[15]

Cloak and Dagger

He attempted to corrupt the teen heroes Cloak and Dagger. [16]

Betty Ross

Betty, overwhelmed by the loss of Bruce, suffers a miscarriage. Unfortunately, D'Spayre and Nightmare tap into Betty's nightmares and compete to win her soul. The Hulk was drawn into the battle over Betty's soul and he battled through all they could muster to reach Betty and give her a renewed sense of hope.[17]

Dan Ketch

Ghost Rider and Daniel Ketch were both separated and taken to Nightmare's Realm, there Nightmare tried to renew his partnership with Zarathos, but neither of them knew what he was talking about. Zodiak tried to get to Ghost Rider the same way Ghost Rider got to him, through Stig. Ghost Rider and Dan merged completely and escaped Nightmare's Realm.[18]

Fear Lords

Fear Lords (Earth-616) from Fear Itself Fellowship of Fear Vol 1 1 001

Fear Lords

Nightmare became a member of the Fear Lords. The Dweller-in-Darkness summoned the others to join him in causing 'The Great Fear' to take over Earth. The Straw Man warned them that he considered the Earth his home. He alerted Doctor Strange to their plot, asking Strange to appear on his "Horror TV" station. Strange consulted the Book of the Vishanti and began preparing with Clea and Rintrah for their attack.[19] The Lurking Unknown attacked the Straw Man, setting him on fire. But he, Kkallakku, and Nox were defeated by Strange, Clea, and Rintrah. D;Spayre then challenged the Dweller-in-Darkness and Nightmare to try and out do one another, offering to assist the victor. In actuality, their combined torment caused human despair which empowered D'Spayre.[20] Nightmare and Dweller-in-Darkness fled. A 'man without fear' was needed, so Daredevil was summoned by the Straw Man (who had formed another body) to help the others. They managed to defeat D'Spayre.[21]


Nightmare was considered one of the deadliest enemies of the Sleepwalkers the dream police. He was unable to influence them not due to them not needing to sleep. In a plan to change this he entered the mind one of Sleepwalker's human host Rick Sheridan. He used his mind to send Sleepwalker mad, finally allowing him access to his people's minds. He sacrificed his way home to prevent the Nightmare from harming his people.[22]

Wolverine & Venom

Wolverine and Venom reluctantly team up to battle Nightmare.[23]

Morbius, the Living Vampire

Nightmare took control of Morbius, the Living Vampire as a trap for Dr. Strange, and when Doc came looking for Morbius, the trap worked and Nightmare took over Doc's physical body.[24] Nightmare physically entered the real world by taking control of Doc's body. Morbius was freed and he and Nightmare in Doc's body fought.[25][26]

Club Fear

Nightmare (Earth-616) from Marvel Fanfare 34 001

Nightmare expressed that he had grown bored and run out of ideas to torment dreamers with. He visited the realms of mortals to seek 'motivation.' He took control of a nightclub, renaming it 'Club Fear.'[27] Patrons were briefly exposed to their nightmares. There he posed as owner Edvard Haberdash, becoming romantically involved with a horror movie actress.[4] [28]

Lords of the Splinter Realms

The threat of the Archenemy led the rulers splinter realms including Nightmare to briefly unite their realms and pool their power into Amanda Sefton. It was reportedly only the second time they had gathered in 47000 years.[4]

Captain America & S.H.I.E.L.D.

Later, Nightmare was able to access human minds through the concept of the 'American dream'. Many people who were deeply patriotic or had achieved a degree of success through hard work were going on violent rampages. Nightmare was soon stopped by the combined forces of Captain America, Sharon Carter, and S.H.I.E.L.D..


It was revealed that Nightmare had been plaguing the Hulk with hallucinations and nightmares for years. He also grew stronger by gaining strength from the fear and panic after the 9/11 terrorist attack. Along the way he also found his renegade daughter, Daydream. Nightmare claimed that this daughter was conceived by forcibly entering the mind of the Hulk's late wife, Betty, raping her in her sleep, and was temporarily killed by the Hulk in retaliation.[29]


Nightmare once attacked Magik (Jimaine Szardos) and Nightcrawler, while under Hive's control, attempting to claim the Soulsword[30]

Doc Samson

Doc Samson tried some experimental therapy on the Hulk but leads them both to the nightmare realm where they battle Nightmare and his creations.[12]

Secret Invasion

During the Skrull; Secret Invasion he battled Hercules and the God Squad when they by passed through his realm to reach the realm of the Skrull Pantheon.[1]

Fairy Tales

He attempted to conquer the fictional realm of Fairy Tales but was defeated by the Fantastic Four.[31]


Nightmare (Earth-616) from Avengers The Initiative Vol 1 30 0001

Nightmare had a son with a mortal woman named Terrance Ward. He joined the Initiative and trained at Camp Hammond under the codenamed "Trauma". He could shape-shift into a person's worst fear.[32] Nightmare unleashed horrors upon the camp, inflicting everyone with their worst fears. He forced Penance to remember everything he had forgotten, the pain and guilt incapacitating him.[33] However, Tigra helped him recover, and he forced Nightmare to release Trauma. Trauma and Penance were invited to join the Avengers Resistance, but decline.[18]


Nightmare teamed up with Arcade to kill the Merc with the mouth Deadpool.[34]

Hercules: Fall of an Avenger

Amadeus Cho battled Nightmare after Hercules fell in battle. [35]

Chaos War

Nightmare was the first to fall in the Chaos King's onslaught against the forces of Earth, his powers claimed to destroy the minds of the rallied mortal heroes and eliminating many of the planet's prime defenders, leaving only certain gods and some shielded humans to attempt to counter his chaos and darkness.[36][37]


After the Serpent War, the fear energies of the Asgardian god of Fear washed across the world and infected numerous people, including Kid Loki.[38] Nightmare began collecting the fear energies of these infected sleepers in order to create a crown from which he could channel the power into him. After harvesting the fear energies from a Polish girl, Nightmare found an enormous amount of it in Loki, but couldn't take it because Loki soon woke up.[39] Loki and his allies, Hellstrom and Leah, began racing Nightmare from infected sleeper to infected sleeper in order to eliminate the fear energies before Nightmare could harvest them. However, the task proved exhausting, and Loki offered to give Nightmare his large amount of fear energies, which was enough to make the crown, so no innocent would be put at risk any more.[40] Back in the dream dimension, Nightmare created the Fear Crown, the key to ultimate power. However, Loki had alerted the other Fear Lords about Nightmare's plans, and they fought Nightmare in a neverending cycle of attempts to take the crown one Fear Lord from another.[41] Alerted by the spirit of the old Loki, Mephisto entered the cycle and took the crown from the Fear Lords. Kid Loki sacrificed himself in order to stop the crown from existing anymore, by allowing his old-self take over his body.[42]

Silver Surfer

When the Silver Surfer returned Dawn Greenwood to Earth, She fell under Nightmare's influence, due to an unusual universal lunar alignment. With the help of Doctor Strange and the Hulk, Dawn and Norrin managed to free the Earth.[43]

Power Grid [48]
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills
* Teleporter


Nightmare is a Class Three Demon[2][44] who is able to capture a sleeping person's astral form and bring it to his realm. There they are tormented in various ways as he chooses.

Nightmare can summon a number of lower beings in his realm such as succubi to do his bidding.

Nightmare can summon his mount, Dreamstalker when needed.

Under normal conditions, Nightmare cannot affect an individual who is awake. However, his images and other creations can continue to haunt a person in their waking hours.

Nightmare has been shown capable of simultaneously subduing two Earth demigods, an Eternal, an Elder God, and a genius-level human teenager with ease through magic while assessing their worst fears from the darkest crevices of their minds, though is actually capable of sustaining reasonable physical harm with one strike from Hercules. His existence and vast knowledge is known to the Council of Godheads.[45]

As long as there are beings that dream, Nightmare will exist. While he has been defeated, he can never truly be destroyed.


Nightmare is much weaker when outside of his realm, and can be overcome while in it by a being who has completely conquered their fear.




Mystic Prod: Nightmare's wand is capable of generating a maze which is nearly impossible to escape

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 Incredible Hercules #118
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #10; Nightmare's entry
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fear Itself: Fellowship of Fear #1; Fear Lords' entry
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Nightmare #1-4
  5. Marvel Premiere #3
  6. Alpha Flight #67
  7. Sensational Spider-Man #-1
  8. Strange Tales #110
  9. Strange Tales #116
  10. Doctor Strange Vol 2 #13
  11. Micronauts #29
  12. 12.0 12.1 Dazzler #4-5
  13. Doctor Strange Vol 2 #52
  14. Doctor Strange Vol 2 #53
  15. Web of Spider-Man #7
  16. Strange Tales Vol 2 #3-7
  17. Incredible Hulk #360
  18. 18.0 18.1 Ghost Rider Vol 3 #11-30
  19. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #31-33
  20. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #38
  21. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #39-40
  22. Sleepwalker #12
  23. Marvel Comics Presents #118-122
  24. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #52
  25. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #53
  26. Morbius: The Living Vampire #9
  27. Nightmare #1-2
  28. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #79
  29. Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #81
  30. Nightcrawler Vol 3 #9-11
  31. Fantastic Four: True Story #2-3
  32. Avengers: The Initiative Special #1
  33. Avengers: The Initiative #25
  34. Deadpool Team-Up #899
  35. Hercules: Fall of An Avenger #2
  36. Chaos War #1
  37. Chaos War: Ares #1
  38. Journey into Mystery #627
  39. Journey into Mystery #634
  40. Journey into Mystery #635
  41. Journey into Mystery #635-636
  42. Journey into Mystery #645
  43. Silver Surfer Vol 7 #5
  44. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #18; Appendix
  45. Incredible Hercules #117-118
  46. Marvel Swimsuit Special #4
  47. Strange Tales Vol 2 #7
  48. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 8

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