- 1 History
- 1.1 Origin
- 1.2 Early years
- 1.3 Lords of the Splinter Realms
- 1.4 Fathering Dreamqueen
- 1.5 Modern Age
- 1.6 Fathering Hybrids
- 1.7 First encounters with Doctor Strange
- 1.8 Further Schemes
- 1.9 The Fear Lords
- 1.10 Further Encounters
- 1.11 Club Fear
- 1.12 Further Plots
- 1.13 Secret Invasion
- 1.14 Trauma
- 1.15 Chaos War
- 1.16 Fear Itself
- 1.17 Death
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Paraphernalia
- 4 Notes
- 5 Trivia
- 6 See Also
- 7 Links and References
Nightmare was born in the Everinnye dimension, just like the Dweller-in-Darkness. The Dweller turned his back on his fellow denizens by following the Way of the Shamblu, disembodying his head and existing in physical form. He considered Nightmare to be his cousin, but Nightmare rejected that designation, being aware of the Dweller's full origins, stating that he had no cousin and 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.
His legions included Doggerel, Succubus, the Hanon Tramps (who somethered sleeping people), and the Silurian Guard (who included Gleeg, a captain) who watched over the gates of Nightmare's fortress.
Lords of the Splinter Realms
The Lords of the Splinter Realms gathered only twice in the 47,000 years before the Modern Age. It is unknown if Nightmare attended either of those two gatherings, or if he was even ever part of that parliament.
Later, 350 years ago, Nightmare meddled with the Dreamqueen's schemes involving Native Americans.
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.
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 flew the cult with Jerry Ward. Karl and Nightmare witnessed the scene, but despite Karl's proposal to stop them, Nightmare left then be, as his son being raised among normal people would serve his purposes and interests. She birthed Terrance Ward, who would grew to be able to shapeshift into a person's worst fear.
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. Other accounts states he seduced a human woman in her sleep, or sired Daydream with the woman in deep sleep.
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 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.
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.
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.
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. Dr. Strange, with the aid of Nightmare, was sent to Ancient Egypt.
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.
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.
The 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. 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. 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.
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 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 the Nightmare from harming his people.
Nightmare took control of Morbius, the Living Vampire as a trap for Dr. Strange. When Strange came looking for Morbius, the trap worked and Nightmare took over Strange's physical body. 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.
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.' Patrons were briefly exposed to their nightmares. There he posed as owner Edvard Haberdash, becoming romantically involved with a horror movie actress.
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.
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.
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.
During the Skrull Secret Invasion, Nightmare battled Hercules and the God Squad when they by 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.
After the Superhuman Civil War, his son Terrance Ward joined the Initiative and trained at Camp Hammond under the codename "Trauma". 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. However, Tigra helped him recover, and he forced Nightmare to release Trauma. Trauma and Penance were invited to join the Avengers Resistance, but both declined.
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.
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 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. 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.
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 never ending cycle of attempts to take the crown one Fear Lord from another. 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 an echo of his old-self, Ikol, take over his body.
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.
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. Enraged by the embarrassing defeat, Nightmare resurfaced on Earth, where Loki was spending most of his time, and confronted him in Washington Square Park outside of the Stark Unlimited HQ.
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 duel 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 he was greeted by the One-Above-All to the afterlife, much to the fiend's rage.
Powers and Abilities
Nightmare is a Class Three Demon 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, he can also possess people to work through them.
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.
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.
- Nightmare appeared in Marvel Swimsuit Special #4.
- 175 appearance(s) of Nightmare (Earth-616)
- 20 minor appearance(s) of Nightmare (Earth-616)
- 26 mention(s) of Nightmare (Earth-616)
- 78 image(s) of Nightmare (Earth-616)
- 10 quotation(s) by or about Nightmare (Earth-616)
- 2 item(s) used/owned by Nightmare (Earth-616)