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Quote1.png 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.png



Like each of the Fear Lords, Nightmare was a mystery, and very few knew of his origin (or even his very existence).[9][10] He was both a conceptual entity, part of all existence like Eternity, and a deity.[11]

Nightmare was born in the Everinnye dimension, just like the Dweller-in-Darkness. The Dweller turned his back on his fellow residents by following the Way of the Shamblu, disembodying his head and existing in physical form. He considered Nightmare his cousin. Nightmare rejected that designation[12], aware of the Dweller's full origins,[13] stating that he had no cousin, especially not the Dweller, for he had chosen the way of the Shamblu. Nightmare, according to the Dweller, degraded himself by adopting his shape and by living in exile among the Lower Universes.[14]

The Dweller's creation D'Spayre was also considered his "cousin."[10]

Early Years

Nightmare controlled one of the Splinter Realms,[15] known as the Nightmare Realm, within the Dream Dimension.[2] Nightmare was fiercely protective of his realm, having warded off attacks from his daughter and other demons seeking to depose him.[16] He was considered to be one of the most powerful beings in the Splinter Realms.[17]

His legions included Doggerel, Succubus, the Hanon Tramps (who smothered sleeping people),[18] Groot the Toad,[19] and the Silurian Guard (who included Gleeg, a captain) who watched over the gates of Nightmare's fortress.[17]

Gnit was a part of Nightmare's nightmare. Gnit was created when Nightmare was afraid of being destroyed when humanity ceased to exist. A representational creature, Gnit was part of Nightmare and could not be destroyed by him. Any attempt just created two Gnits in place of one. Gnit kept Nightmare apprised of Doctor Strange's efforts to preserve humanity and mercifully was destroyed by Nightmare once the crisis had passed.[20] His natural enemies included the residents of the adjacent Realm of Madness[citation needed] and Gulgol, a monster from the Netherworld who never sleeps. For ages, Nightmare used magic barriers and defenses to keep out the Gulgol from his realm.[21]

Nightmare allied with Shuma Gorath to further his own ends.[11]

Lords of the Splinter Realms

The Lords of the Splinter Realms gathered only twice in the 47,000 years before the Modern Age.[22] It is unknown if Nightmare attended either of those two gatherings or if he was even part of that parliament.

Fathering Dreamqueen

Approximately 800 years ago, Nightmare raped the demoness Zilla Char, producing a daughter: Dreamqueen.

Across the Ages

Later, 350 years ago, Nightmare meddled with the Dreamqueen's schemes involving Native Americans.[23] Throughout the subsequent centuries, Nightmare would continue to taunt his daughter repeatedly.[2] On June 18, 1792, at the Conciergerie, Nightmare gave Marie Antoinette a nightmare while imprisoned awaiting trial. She relieved the siege on Versaille over and over. Nightmare would regularly visit the nightmare for entertainment.[24] In the 19th century, he gave President Abraham Lincoln nightmares for seven months, taking him to the graves of the men he sent to their death during the American Civil War.[24]

Modern Age

When a young Peter Parker was fishing with his Uncle Ben, they were attacked by monsters. This attack 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.[25]

A man named Havelock revealed that twelve years before he first encountered Doctor Strange, he had washed up on one of the Sunda islands. There he encountered an old woman. During the night, the old woman had to fight off Nightmare, overlord of the Dream dimension.[26]

Nightmare plagued the Hulk with hallucinations and nightmares for years.[27]

Fathering Hybrids

In Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Karl, a faithful worshiper of Nightmare and member of a cult, slept with Naomi, an unbelieving member of the cult, profiting from the stars' alignment, causing the dimensional barriers to weaken to serve as a vessel for Nightmare, allowing Nightmare to impregnate Naomi. Two weeks later, pregnant Naomi fled the cult with Jerry Ward. Karl and Nightmare witnessed the scene, but despite Karl's proposal to stop them, Nightmare left them be, as his son being raised among ordinary people would serve his purposes and interests. She birthed Terrance Ward, who would grow to be able to shapeshift into a person's worst fear.[28]

Nightmare claimed that his daughter Daydream was conceived by forcibly entering the mind of the Hulk's late wife, Betty Ross, raping her in her sleep.[27] Other accounts state he seduced a human woman in her sleep[18] or sired Daydream with the woman in a deep sleep.[2]

First encounters with Doctor Strange

One of his first conflicts in the modern age 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 Strange had found out the secret of his crimes, would try to kill Strange. Strange managed to escape Nightmare's dimension with the help of the Ancient One.[29]

Seeking to conquer our dimension, Nightmare put a mystic potion inside an occult device to trap people in his dimension while they were sleeping in the hopes of gaining information on how to defeat Dr. Strange and his master, the Ancient One. Strange successfully freed the captives but had to battle Nightmare in the Dream Dimension. Nightmare summoned the Spinybeast using his mystic prod. Strange commanded his amulet to gleam, temporarily blinding Nightmare and causing him to lower his prod-wand, killing his spinybeast instantly.[30]

When Dr. Strange forgot to recite a spell before sleeping, Nightmare entered his dreams and fought Strange. Strange was imprisoned in a nightmare where he was depowered and started being tormented by Nightmare. However, the Gulgol arrived, and Nightmare was powerless to stop the Gulgol due to using all his energy against Strange. Without any other alternatives, Nightmare agreed to Strange's proposal of giving Strange back his powers. Strange then made the Gulgol disappear because the Gulgol was only an illusion cast by Dr. Strange to make Nightmare believe that the Gulgol had arrived. Dr. Strange then woke up from Nightmare's dimension.[21]

Further Schemes

Nightmare posed as Hamir to attempt to destroy the Ancient One, but Dr. Strange was able to stop Nightmare with the Cloak of Levitation and send him back to his realm. The Ancient One later woke up and admitted that he intentionally set himself as a trap for Nightmare so that Dr. Strange could defeat Nightmare and gain more confidence.[7]

Dr. Strange woke up from a nightmare that had Nightmare impersonating Eternity and tormenting Strange with the deity. When Clea and Dr. Strange later went on a date in the middle of Times Square, he was ambushed by Nightmare, who happened to have Eternity imprisoned with cosmic forces and spawned animals and human beings from different time periods into the current time of Earth. Nightmare offered to challenge Strange in the Dream Dimension, which he accepted.[31] Doc defeated his minions, trying to use the Eye of Agamotto on Nightmare, but that backfired because Nightmare learned a counter spell that ricocheted it back towards Strange and knocked him unconscious. Nightmare then boasted about the pending dissolution of the barrier between their respective realms.[32] Still trapped in the Eye of Agamotto, Dr. Strange bared witness as Nightmare was about to combine Earth with both its past and its future; however, he was interrupted by the arrival of the Juggernaut, who had come seeking a way back to Earth. Convinced that Doctor Strange was the one who could take Juggernaut back, Juggernaut fought Nightmare in hopes of stealing his captive. Dr. Strange used this distraction to wriggle himself free of his captivity and summoned an illusory image of himself. When Nightmare and Juggernaut noticed the freed sorcerer, they worked together to subdue him again but sent their mystic bolts at the illusion, passing through and releasing Eternity. The two villains continued their alliance, this time trying to overpower Eternity. Eternity banished Nightmare and Juggernaut to another realm and restored the natural order before returning Dr. Strange to Earth.[4]

Nightmare escaped the realm. When Strange was hit by a truck, Nightmare trapped Strange in the Nightmare realm. There, Strange was tormented by false illusions before realizing he was dreaming. Nightmare and Strange fought until Strange defeated him, waking up in the hospital.[33]

Dr. Strange was the sole survivor of the destruction of the Earth. Seeking to try and appeal to Eternity to undo the planet's destruction, he traveled into the Eye of Agamotto to the realm of Eternity. However, Strange found himself in the Dimension of Dreams instead. There he battled Nightmare and found that Eternity had been held captive again and subjected to Nightmare's insanity. Nevertheless, Dr. Strange managed to free Eternity, resulting in Eternity remaking the Earth and rapidly speeding up its evolution to the modern era before returning Dr. Strange to his home.[34]

Following the joint funeral of Biotron, Queen Esmera, and Prince Shaitan, Dr. Leonard Samson found a mind shock in the brain of Arcturus Rann, causing his brain to shut down on the right side. Doc theorized that some evil entity had managed to enter. His solution was to shrink down the Microns and send them into Rann's brain. After being attacked by their nightmares, the micronauts found Nightmare attempting to discover the secret of the Enigma Force. Nightmare sent more nightmares to fight the group. However, the micronatus conquered their fears and caused the illusions to disappear. Defeated, Nightmare disappeared but not before contacting the brain of the sleeping Rann to send anti-bodies that would attempt to destroy the foreign micronauts inside his brain.[35]

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 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.[36]

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 regressed 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.[37] After a discussion between Nightmare and Gnit, Dr. Strange, with the assistance of Nightmare, was sent to Ancient Egypt. Nightmare and Gnit watched Strange in the past, to the annoyance of Nightmare having to put up with Gnit. Once Dr. Strange successfully saved humanity, Nightmare was able to destroy Gnit because Nightmare's nightmare was over.[20]

He teamed up with the Hell Lords to torment Ghost Rider. Nightmare helped Zarathos gain full control over Johnny Blaze to create fear and gain power, but Johnny escaped Nightmare and regained control.[38]


At some point in time, Nightmare attempted to look into the dreams of others. Dr. Strange tricked Nightmare into believing that Nightmare's dreams had come true.[39] In his dream, he had successfully tricked Strange into making the entire world fall asleep due to Strange's connection to all living things as the sorcerer supreme. Nightmare had successfully trapped Dr. Strange's astral form in the Dream Dimension, forcing him to watch as Nightmare looked into the dreams of others while destroying many of the cosmic entities, including Surtur, Arishem the Judge, Lord Chaos, Eternity, and even the Living Tribunal.[40] Nightmare was about to destroy the Earth[41] when Dr. Strange revealed that it was all a trick and that none of the events had ever happened, escaping the dream.[39]

In an attempt to kill Dr. Strange, Nightmare struck out at one of the sorcerer's allies, the Hulk. Nightmare tormented him with dark dreams in hopes to revert him to his more savage and uncontrollable form.[42] His actions created a psychological rift in the Hulk's subconscious; whereas once the mind of Bruce Banner maintained control over the Hulk, now the monster had reverted to a state of nearly total savagery..[19]

Cutting a swath of destruction through New York, Hulk was exhausted and soon fell asleep. In his dreams he was visited by Nightmare who reminded the Hulk of his mission to seek out Doctor Strange and destroy him. The Hulk woke up and continued on his path to Strange. After a few fights, Hulk landed in Central Park where he stood before an Adamantium statue erected in his honor. He tried to destroy the statue but only alerted the authorities. Nightmare once more prompted the Hulk to resume his mission. Once Hulk reached Strange's house, Dr. Strange probed the Hulk with the Eye of Agamotto, revealing Nightmare's involvement. Furious at having everything taken away from him, Bruce transformed into the Hulk inside his mind and attacked Nightmare. No longer wishing to live with the monster again, Bruce Banner committed psychic suicide leaving his body in the full control of the Hulk. With no mind and no memory, the Hulk became totally savage, driven by pure rage, and ran away.[43]

The dream manifestation of the Hulk soon entered Nightmare's dimension. Peter Parker had a nightmare where he was at the Daily Bugle. He soon noticed the Hulk smashing the building, destroying it. Peter Parker heard a voice calling for help but could not do anything. Finally, after multiple false illusions, Peter found himself in a sewer where he met Nightmare. Nightmare revealed the Hulk had been chasing Nightmare and begged Spider-Man to save Nightmare before Hulk destroyed Nightmare's realm. He warned Peter that if Peter died in the dream, he would die in real life. When Spider-Man lured the Hulk to the surface, Peter was surprised that the dreamscape looked just like Manhattan. After losing Hulk around the Statue of Liberty, Peter returned to Nightmare and demanded to know why the realm looked like Manhattan. Nightmare explained that his realm takes on aspects familiar to those trapped in it, and only an adept can see it as it truly is. When Spider-Man mentioned the name of Doctor Strange, Nightmare cursed his foe, blaming him for cursing his realm with Bruce Banner's sleeping mind. Nightmare then revealed that he was the one who summoned Spider-Man to the Nightmare Realm. Fleeing to the edge of Nightmare's realm, Spider-Man was able to knock the Hulk into the void, destroying the dream form. However, Nightmare intended to keep Spider-Man in the domain forever. Suddenly, the Hulk reached out from the void and started to drag Nightmare in. Nightmare begged Spider-Man for help, but Spider-Man ignored Nightmare's screams. Peter Parker then woke up.[44]

Escaping, Nightmare manipulated Cloak into summoning a demon onto an airplane. Dagger managed to drive the demon back. Nightmare wanted to use Cloak to bring Dr. Strange to him. Nightmare made Cloak ask Dr. Strange for help, posing as a prisoner of the Predator. Nightmare successfully managed to pull Cloak, Dagger, and members of the New Defenders into his realm. Nightmare was defeated when he could not bear more of Dagger's light attacks.[45]

Betty, overwhelmed by the loss of Bruce, suffered a miscarriage. Unfortunately, D'Spayre and Nightmare tapped into Betty's nightmares, competing 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.[46]

He had to battle Excalibur and Power Pack. [47]

Ghost Rider and Daniel Ketch were separated and taken to Nightmare's Realm; there, Nightmare tried to renew his partnership with Zarathos, but neither 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 ultimately and escaped Nightmare's Realm.[48]

The Fear Lords

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.[49] 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 outdo one another, offering to assist the victor. Their joint torment caused human despair, which empowered D'Spayre.[50] Nightmare and Dweller-in-Darkness fled. A 'man without fear' was needed: Daredevil was summoned by the Straw Man (who had formed another body) to help the others. They managed to defeat D'Spayre.[51]

Further Encounters

Nightmare was considered one of the deadliest enemies of the Sleepwalkers, the dream police. He could not influence them due to them not needing to sleep. In a plan to change this, he entered the mind of one 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 Nightmare from harming his people.[52]

Wolverine and Venom reluctantly teamed up to battle Nightmare.[53]

Nightmare took control of Morbius, the Living Vampire, as a trap for Dr. Strange. When Strange came looking for Morbius, the bait worked, and Nightmare took over Strange's physical body.[54] Nightmare physically entered the real world by taking control of Strange's body. Morbius was freed, and he and Nightmare in Strange's body fought.[55] Strange was eventually released when Nightmare got too excited about being in the human realm. After a fight, Nightmare summoned his mount to return to his dimension.[56]

Nightmare (Earth-616) from Marvel Fanfare 34 001.jpg

Club Fear

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.'[57] Patrons were briefly exposed to their nightmares. There he posed as owner Edvard Haberdash, becoming romantically involved with a horror movie actress.[16]

However, his realm was taken over by the demon Exile, the stillborn twin brother of Lucre.[57] Allied with demons from the Realm of Madness, Exile attempted to send assassins to kill Nightmare, but he killed them all. [16] An owl sent to Earth from Doggerel warned Nightmare of the events in the Dream Dimension since he left. Nightmare then returned home and defeated Exile, granting Exile's wish to be with his brother again by sending Lucre's soul through one of Club Fear's nightmare chairs to Exile, trapping both of them in the Realm of Exiles.[58]

Nightmare would later prove his worth to Roxanne by saving Dr. Strange's life from the Hanon Tramps.[59]

Further Plots

The threat of the Archenemy led the Lords of the Splinter Realms, including Nightmare, to gather for the third time in 47,000 years and briefly unite their realms and pool their power into Amanda Sefton.[22]

Later, Nightmare was able to access human minds through the 'American dream' concept. Many deeply patriotic people who had achieved 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.[60]

When Black Panther and Moon Knight journeyed into the spirit realm to reconnect with Bast, Nightmare came to the Panther God Pavilion to draw off the dreams of the previous rulers of Wakanda and sleeping mortals.[61] Nightmare attempted to torment Black Panther with his father's dreams, but Moon Knight was able to free Black Panther. Nightmare soon grew weak from being outside of his realm and wanted to return. However, he couldn't return due to the Book of the Dead only being able to be used by mortals. Posing as Khonshu, Nightmare attempted to trick the heroes into using the book to launch an attack on Nightmare's realm. Nightmare, still posing as Khonshu, tried to follow the heroes and return home, but the heroes soon discovered Nightmare's deception. The Black Panther threatened to destroy the Book of the Dead, trapping all three in the Land of the Dead. Ultimately, Nightmare was forced to release Moon Knight and the souls of all previous Black Panthers to return home.[62]

He battled the Marvel Knights.[63]

Nightmare 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. Nightmare was temporarily killed by the Hulk in retaliation.[27]

Nightmare once attacked Magik (Jimaine Szardos) and Nightcrawler while under Hive's control, attempting to claim the Soulsword.[64]

Doc Samson tried some experimental therapy on the Hulk but led them both to the nightmare realm where they battle Nightmare and his creations.[36]

A herd of horses from Nightmare's realm invaded Greenwich Village. However, a hellfire blast from Daimon Hellstrom quickly destroyed them.[65]

Secret Invasion

During the Skrull Secret Invasion, Nightmare battled Hercules and the God Squad when they passed through his realm to reach the realm of the Skrull Pantheon and after angering them by feeding on their fears in an attempt to gain enough power to take over the waking world.[5]

Conquest of the World of Fiction

Nightmare attempted to conquer the World of Fiction but was defeated by the Fantastic Four.[66]


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

After the Superhuman Civil War, his son Terrance Ward joined the Initiative and trained at Camp Hammond under the codename "Trauma."[67] 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.[68] However, Tigra helped him recover, forcing Nightmare to release Trauma. Trauma and Penance were invited to join the Avengers Resistance, but both declined.[69]

Later, Nightmare attempted to get revenge on Hercules by manipulating Arcade into trapping Hercules and Deadpool in a labyrinth constructed by Nightmare and Arcade. The gambit failed, and Nightmare withdrew.[70]

After the fall of Hercules and the deaths of Zeus and Hera, the Olympians argued over who should rule the Olympus Group. The gods eventually agreed to fight through mortal proxies. However, Nightmare and Nox soon entered Olympus. Nightmare hoped to destroy Amadeus Cho due to Cho helping Hercules humiliate Nightmare during the Secret Invasion. However, as Nightmare attacked Cho, Cho used a pocket teleporter bag to trap Nightmare and teleport him to Bruce Banner's laboratory.[71]

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 eliminate many of the planet's prime defenders, leaving only certain gods and some shielded humans to attempt to counter his chaos and darkness.[72][73] He was returned to life, along with the destroyed multiverse, when Hercules sacrificed his powers to restore the multiverse to before.[74]

Fear Itself

When Cul was released from his prison and launched the Serpent War, Mephisto went to The Infinite Embassy to learn other gods' plans about the Serpent, his last stop being Nightmare. Nightmare explained that the Serpent was starving him of fear. Nightmare wanted to fight Cul, but Mephisto said he would lose all respect from the other evil gods. When Nightmare talked of joining the Serpent, Mephisto argued that the Serpent would keep starving him, and he would die. Nightmare, unsure what to do, listened to Mephisto to do what everyone else was doing: staying neutral and waiting for something to happen.[75]

After the Serpent War, the fear energies of the Asgardian god of Fear washed across the world and infected numerous people, including Kid Loki. Nightmare began collecting the fear energies of these infected sleepers 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. However, Nightmare couldn't take it because Loki soon woke up.[76] Loki and his allies, Hellstrom and Leah, began racing Nightmare from infected sleeper to infected sleeper to eliminate the fear energies before Nightmare could harvest them. The task proved exhausting, and Loki offered to give Nightmare his large amount of fear energies, which was enough to make the crown so that Nightmare would put no innocent at risk anymore.[77]

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. They fought Nightmare in a never-ending cycle of attempts to take the crown one Fear Lord from another.[78] Alerted by the spirit of the old Loki, Mephisto entered the cycle and took the crown from the Fear Lords, the Fear Lords bending to his will and feeding off the fear Mephisto gave them from the crown. Kid Loki sacrificed himself to stop the crown from existing by allowing an echo of his old self, Ikol, to take over his body. It is presumed that when Kid Loki sacrificed himself, the crown faded, and the Fear Lords left Mephisto's service.[79]

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.[80]

Nexus of Nightmares

Baron Mordo allied with Nightmare, where Baron Mordo would use the Darkhold to bring Nightmare and all other Dream Dimension denizens to the human dimension in return for Baron Mordo ruling by Nightmare's side. For weeks, Nightmare subjected Dr. Strange to nightmares of his past, forcing him to relive his own experiences and causing him to doubt his worthiness as the sorcerer supreme. Baron Mordo sent his astral form into the Nightmare World to meet with Nightmare. As a demonstration of power, Nightmare easily destroyed the Beyonders he had been holding for years before urging Mordo to begin his attack on the Sanctum Sanctorum to retrieve the Darkhold to free him. Baron Mordo successfully invaded the Sanctum Sanctorum and retrieved the Darkhold. As Baron Mordo was casting the spell in Transylvania, Dr. Strange stopped Karl and sealed the portal. As punishment for his failure, Nightmare grabbed Mordo back to the Nightmare World to torment him.[81]


After learning that Loki, as the newly-appointed king of Jotunheim, was neglecting the throne, Nightmare launched an attack on the realm, hoping to use the land of the Frost Giants as a stepping stone to conquer the rest of the Ten Realms. His invasion was quickly thwarted since Loki happened to have returned home, and Nightmare was promptly defeated when the magic snowman Frösti devoured him and digested him back to the Nightmare Dimension.[82] Enraged by the embarrassing defeat, Nightmare resurfaced on Earth, where Loki was spending most of his time,[83] and confronted him in Washington Square Park outside of the Stark Unlimited HQ.[84]

After Nightmare failed to trap Loki in his worst fear, since he was already living in it due to his uneventful new life as king, Loki convinced him to form a pact to forfeit their immortality for a duel to the death. As soon as the fight started, Loki used his previously-schemed preparations to make a prototype flying car dive out of the Stark building and into Nightmare, killing him. Nightmare subsequently found himself in Heaven, where the One-Above-All greeted him in the afterlife, much to the fiend's rage.[85]


With the sudden death of Stephen Strange, several mystic forces were able to break free and haunt the world of the living, one of which was Nightmare. During Devil's Night, the night before Halloween, he found himself in New York, tormenting Cyclops, Jean Grey, and X-23 during their sleep. However, Jean Grey managed to break free of her nightmares, calling him out for his attempts to use the death of Strange to feed on the minds of others and threatening to end him if he ever returned to prey on the dreams of the X-Men.[86]


Power Grid[92]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Virtually Unlimited:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Virtually Indestructible:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Warp:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Incalculable:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Omniscient


Nightmare is a Class Three Demon[2][87] 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.[citation needed] He can also possess people to work through them.[60]

Nightmare can summon several lower beings in his realm, such as Succubi, to do his bidding.[citation needed]

Nightmare can summon his mount, Dreamstalker, when needed.[citation 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.[citation needed]

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. However, he also sustained reasonably good physical harm with one strike from Hercules. His existence and vast knowledge are known to the Council of Godheads.[88] After gaining enough power from 1/3rd of the sleeping beings on Earth, Nightmare was able to defeat and imprison Eternity.[34] In his own realm, he was powerful enough to defeat three Beyonders, toying with them for years before easily destroying them.[81]

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


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.[citation needed]

If humanity stopped dreaming, Nightmare would cease to exist, though humanity would go insane.[20]



Mystic Prod: Nightmare's wand is capable of generating a maze that is nearly impossible to escape.[citation needed]




  • Nightmare appeared in Marvel Swimsuit Special #4.
  • The placement of Marvel Vol 1 in the continuity is unconfirmed but is placed at its spot due to the design of Dr. Strange and some other heroes sporting their classic costumes, notably Clint Barton, Black Widow, and Iron Man. However, this could just be an unintentional design choice.
  • Nightmare has often been called the ruler of the Dream Dimension.[89][71] However, he is not the ruler of the entire Dream Dimension, only the Nightmare World.
  • Writer Chris Claremont had several different ideas for Nightcrawler's parentage, one of which was Nightmare as Nightcrawler's father. Then-Dr. Strange (and later X-Men) editor Roger Stern prevented this connection.[90]


See Also

Links and References


  1. Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality #5
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Horror 2005 #1; Nightmare's entry Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "
    Nightmare's entry" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "
    Nightmare's entry" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "
    Nightmare's entry" defined multiple times with different content
  3. Doctor Strange #183
  4. 4.0 4.1 Doctor Strange #182
  5. 5.0 5.1 Incredible Hercules #118
  6. 6.0 6.1 Marvel Fanfare #51
  7. 7.0 7.1 Doctor Strange #170
  8. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #8; Nightmare's entry
  9. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #31; The Book of the Vishanti: A Gathering of Fear Part One
  10. 10.0 10.1 Fear Itself: Fellowship of Fear #1; Fear Lords' entry
  11. 11.0 11.1 Doctor Strange Vol 2 #34
  12. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #33
  13. Doctor Strange Vol 2 #32
  14. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #33; The Book of the Vishanti: A Gathering of Fear Part III
  15. Magik #1
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Nightmare #1-4 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "4-4" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "4-4" defined multiple times with different content
  17. 17.0 17.1 Magik #2
  18. 18.0 18.1 Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons & Various Monstrosities #1; Nightmare's entry
  19. 19.0 19.1 Incredible Hulk #298
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Doctor Strange Vol 2 #53
  21. 21.0 21.1 Strange Tales #122
  22. 22.0 22.1 Magik #3
  23. Alpha Flight #67
  24. 24.0 24.1 Deadpool Annual Vol 5 #1
  25. Sensational Spider-Man #-1
  26. Doctor Strange Vol 2 #65
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #81
  28. Avengers: The Initiative #30
  29. Strange Tales #110
  30. Strange Tales #116
  31. Doctor Strange #180
  32. Doctor Strange #181
  33. Marvel Premiere #3
  34. 34.0 34.1 Doctor Strange Vol 2 #13
  35. Micronauts #29
  36. 36.0 36.1 Dazzler #4-5 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "5-5" defined multiple times with different content
  37. Doctor Strange Vol 2 #52
  38. Ghost Rider Vol 2 #77-78
  39. 39.0 39.1 Marvel #6
  40. Marvel #1-5
  41. 41.0 41.1 Marvel #5
  42. Incredible Hulk #292-297
  43. Incredible Hulk #299
  44. Web of Spider-Man #7
  45. Strange Tales Vol 2 #3-7
  46. Incredible Hulk #360
  47. Excalibur #29
  48. Ghost Rider (Vol. 3) #11-30
  49. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #31-33
  50. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #38
  51. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #39-40
  52. Sleepwalker #12
  53. Marvel Comics Presents #118-122
  54. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #52
  55. Morbius: The Living Vampire #9
  56. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #53
  57. 57.0 57.1 Nightmare #1-2
  58. Nightmare #4
  59. Over the Edge #7
  60. 60.0 60.1 Captain America Vol 3 #8-12
  61. Black Panther Vol 3 #21-22
  62. Black Panther Vol 3 #22
  63. Marvel Knights #8-9
  64. Nightcrawler Vol 3 #9-11
  65. Last Defenders #3
  66. Fantastic Four: True Story #2-3
  67. Avengers: The Initiative Special #1; Fear For Your Life
  68. Avengers: The Initiative #25
  69. Avengers: The Initiative #28-30
  70. Deadpool Team-Up Vol 2 #899
  71. 71.0 71.1 Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #2
  72. 72.0 72.1 Chaos War #1
  73. Chaos War: Ares #1
  74. Chaos War #5
  75. Journey into Mystery #627
  76. Journey into Mystery #634
  77. Journey into Mystery #635
  78. Journey into Mystery #635-636
  79. Journey into Mystery #645
  80. Silver Surfer Vol 7 #5
  81. 81.0 81.1 Doctor Strange: Nexus of Nightmares #1
  82. Loki Vol 3 #1
  83. Loki Vol 3 #2
  84. Loki Vol 3 #3
  85. Loki Vol 3 #4
  86. X-Men Vol 6 #4
  87. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Horror 2005 #1; Appendix
  88. Incredible Hercules #117-118
  89. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #30
  91. Strange Tales Vol 2 #7
  92. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol 1 8
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