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Living Nightmare (Astro City)
Real Name:
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Superhuman Strength: The Living Nightmare is incredibly strong. Although the upper limits of its strength are unknown, it has been observed trading blows with the extremely powerful Samaritan and shrugging off Samaritan's Empyrean Web, which is capable of containing a tidal wave.

Energy Drain: The Living Nightmare can leech energy from its opponents, causing them to grow weaker as they fight the monster. Any and all physical contact with the creature causes drainage.

Invulnerability and Superhuman Durability: The Living Nightmare’s energy draining powers seem to protect it from many forms of attack, making it nigh-invulnerable. It can also survive in the vacuum of space.

Uncanny Senses: As of 1995, the Living Nightmare was inexplicably drawn to its super-powered enemies.

Teleporation: The Living Nightmare appears out of nowhere, and it “blinks out of existence” when too far away from his power source, fear.

Reconstruction: Despite being defeated numerous times, the Living Nightmare has always reconstituted and returned, though the nature of each incarnation may vary.

The Living Nightmare is powered by raw fear and can be defeated if isolated from these emotions (by sending it into space, for example). In addition, the tentacles on its head are said to be fear-receptors, and the creature has occasionally been defeated by blocking or modifying its access to the fear around it.

Very little is known about the history of the Living Nightmare, save for the fact that it was inadvertently created by a psychologist during an ill-conceived attempt to eliminate fear altogether. It is also known that during two periods, the monster was mentally controlled by a courageous Marine pilot. Under the pilot’s influence, the Living Nightmare became a hero and even joined Honor Guard. His first stint was sometime in the mid-to-late 1960s and second stint starting in 1976 or a couple of years earlier.

By 1995, however, the Living Nightmare had become a nearly mindless, primal monster inexplicably drawn to the super-powered beings who had contained it countless times in the past. During this period, it confronted Samaritan and was soundly defeated again.

In its current incarnation, the Living Nightmare is a mindless creature who relentlessly attacks its enemies until on the verge of defeat or separated from a source of fear. It seems consumed by rage, blindly lashing out at its enemies.

The Living Nightmare is also an incredibly stupid and predictable creature that can be maneuvered into a tactically disadvantageous position during combat. It has shown no ability to communicate beyond growls, roars, and other incoherent noises.


First Appearance: Kurt Busiek's Astro City (1995) #1

View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
Astro City (2013)
Astro City A Visitors Guide (2004)
Astro City: Dark Age/Book Two (2007)
Astro City: Local Heroes (2003)
Astro City: The Dark Age (2008)
Kurt Busiek's Astro City (1995)
Kurt Busiek's Astro City (1996)

Group Affiliation(s):
Honor Guard

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