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A demon of great mystical power, Nightmare usually targets his victims while they sleep by drawing their psyches into his Nightmare World, the substance and contents of which he can manipulate and reshape at will. He can trap psyches indefinitely but usually only torments souls temporarily lest he permanently deplete the psychic energies he consumes. While inside his own realm, Nightmare is virtually omnipotent; however, he is less powerful and more vulnerable when he manifests outside his kingdom, and was particularly diminished when he assumed mortal form as Edvard Haberdash.
Ruler of his own Nightmare World within the Dream Dimension (linked to and shaped by humanity's collective unconscious), Nightmare is a Class Three demon who influences the dreams of living beings as they sleep, feeding on humanity's psychic energies in particular. Nightmare occasionally singles out souls for special tortures, sometimes trapping their dream-selves in his realm. He has even sought to absorb the entire waking world into his own realm, though never with lasting success. Humanity's chief defender against Nightmare is the sorcerer Doctor Strange, who has fought the demon so often that Strange routinely casts a protective spell on himself before sleeping.
Nightmare has also faced many other foes such as Clea, Spider-Man, the Micronauts, Dazzler, Ghost Rider (John Blaze and Dan Ketch), the Hulk, Cloak & Dagger, Excalibur, Daredevil, Straw Man, Doctor Doom, Wolverine, Sleepwalker, the Enchantress, Heimdall, Morbius, Emma Frost, Captain America, Black Panther and Moon Knight. Nightmare has worked to corrupt unstable super-beings such as the Hulk and Cloak, each of whom have gone on mad Nightmare-inspired rampages, but his influence usually proves temporary. For a time, Nightmare was allied with rival fear-sowing entities such as the Fear Lords, but the group was thwarted by Dr. Strange and his allies.
Eight hundred years ago, Nightmare impregnated the demon succubus Zhilla Char; she died giving birth to their daughter, the Dreamqueen, who now rules her own nightmarish pocket dimension. For a time, Nightmare courted horror movie actress Roxanne in the mortal guise of Edvard Haberdash, helping her longtime director Lucre establish Club Fear where patrons paid to be terrified. "Edvard" eventually caused Lucre's demise, and Roxanne forced herself to keep dating the abusive, possessive, inhuman "Edvard" since she feared for her own safety and that of the world in the face of a wrathful Nightmare's power. During a recent terror attack, Nightmare exploited humanity's desire that it was just a dream, gaining a foothold on an earthly island where he can manipulate reality at whim. On Nightmare Island, the Hulk encountered and named Daydream, a daughter Nightmare had sired with a mortal woman in a deep sleep, who turned against her father and chose to dwell amongst humanity. Nightmare's natural enemies include the denizens of the hostile adjacent Realm of Madness, as well as the Gulgol, a monster who never sleeps.
First Appearance: Strange Tales (1951) #110
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Alpha Flight (1983)
#67 Avengers: The Initiative (2007)
- 'The Ties That Bind'#70
- '...Is But a Dream Within a Dream.'
Black Panther (1998)
#21 Captain America (1998)
#10 Chaos War (2010)
- 'American Nightmare, Chapter Two: The Growing Darkness'#11
- 'American Nightmare, Chapter Three: Finger on the Pulse'#12
- 'American Nightmare, Finale: Nuclear Dawn'
Chaos War: Ares (2011)
Dark Avengers (2009)
Dark Reign Files (2009)
#4 Deadpool (2011)
- 'Here Nightmares Abide!'
#5 Deadpool Team-Up (2010)
- 'Ihr seid alle Lutscher!'
#899 Deathlok (1991)
- 'Merc With A Myth'
#9 Defenders (2005)
- 'Nightmares of Vengeance'#10
- 'Wake Up! It's Time to Die!'
#1 Doc Samson (2006)
- 'Almost a Good Idea...'
#4 Doctor Strange (1968)
- 'Adventure the Fourth: The Endless Nightmare of Leonard Samson, Part 1'#5
- 'Adventure the Fourth: The Endless Nightmare of Leonard Samson, Part 2'
#170 Doctor Strange (1974)
- 'To Dream -- Perchance to Die!'#180
- 'Eternity, Eternity'#181
- 'If a World Should Die Before I Wake...'#182
- 'And Juggernaut Makes Three!'
#10 Doctor Strange (2015)
- 'Alone Against Eternity...'#13
- 'Planet Earth Is No More!'#32
- 'The Dream Weaver!'#33
- 'All My Dreams Against Me'#34
- 'A Midsummer's Nightmare!'#50
- 'The Cat & the Cataclysm'#52
- 'Land of the Pharohs'
#12 Doctor Strange Omnibus (2016)
- 'Blood in the Aether Chapter One'#13
- 'Blood in the Aether Chapter Two: Night of Four Billion Nightmares'
Doctor Strange: Mystic Apprentice (2016)
Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme (1988)
Annual 02 Doctor Strange: What Is It That Disturbs You, Stephen? (2016)
- 'The Return of The Defenders Part 4'#21
- 'Mindless in Manhattan'#31
- 'A Gauntlet Hurled!'#32
- 'Silver-Tongued Devil'#33
- 'The Alexandria Quatrain'#38
- 'Fear Itself'#39
- 'The Fear That Kills!'#40
- 'From Hope and Fear Set Free...'#52
- 'Field of Bad Dreams'#53
- 'Nightmare on Bleecker Street'#79
- 'Farewell, Nightmare Music'#81
- 'Earthquake Logic: Tectonic Shift'
TPB Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural (2009)
- 'Doctor Strange: What Is It That Disturbs You, Stephen?'
#29 Fantastic Four: True Story (2008)
- 'Dream A Little Dream'#118
- 'New year's Evil'#119
- 'Preludes & Nightmares'
#2 Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe (1989)
- 'Grimm's Fairytales'#3
- 'Total Nightmare'#4
- 'Johnny Storm Saves Books'
Generation X (1994)
#20 Ghost Rider (1973)
- 'Bodies In Motion'#22
- 'All Hallows Eve'#26
#77 Ghost Rider (1990)
- 'Ghost Rider... Unleashed?'#78
- 'The Empire of Sleep!'
#11 Ghost Rider (2011)
- 'Through a Nightmare Revealed...'#30
- 'Nightmares of Truth'
Giant-Size Marvel Triple Action (1975)
Guardians of the Galaxy (1990)
Hercules: Fall of an Avenger (2010)
Heroic Age: Villains (2011)
#1 Incredible Hercules (2008)
- 'Heroic Age Villains'
#118 Journey Into Mystery (1952)
- 'Dream Time Part Two Of Sacred Invasion'
Licht & Schatten (1988)
#5 Magik (2000)
- 'Der Rattenkönig von New York'
#1 Marvel Collectors' Item Classics (1965)
- 'The Crossing Guard'
Marvel Comics Presents (1988)
#79#90 Marvel Fanfare (1982)
- 'Life Underground/Fangu Lives/Sixth Scents/Beast, I'm Going to Kill You'#99
- 'D'Spryte Times, D'Spryte Measures/Has Anyboy Seen My Gal?/Razer's Edge/Hauntings'#100
- 'Dreams of Doom/Whose Nighmare Is It Anyway?!/Mutant Dreams/Awakenings'#117
- 'Dream A Little Dream...Of Me/Grand Unification/A World of D'Kay/This Madness Unleashed!'#118
- 'Dreams Are Made of This/Complementary Principle/Vengeance is Ours!/Muses of Fire'#119
- 'Dreams Can't Kill You...But They Can Sure Try!/Home Is Where The Hitmen Are/The Door/The Exclusive'#122
- 'Nightmare's End/Seeds of Winter/The Light Within/Taped Confessions'#146
Marvel Knights (2000)
#8 Marvel Limited: Fantastic Firsts (1994)
- 'Dark Matters'#9
- 'Final Matters'
Marvel Now! Previews (2016)
Marvel Premiere (1972)
#3 Marvel Swimsuit Special (1992)
- 'While the World Spins Mad!'#12
- 'Portal to the Past!'
Marvel Tales (1964)
#134 Marvel Treasury Edition (1974)
- 'The Ghost That Haunted Octopus!'
Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons & Various Monstrosities (2007)
#29 Morbius: The Living Vampire (1992)
- 'To Sleep ... Perchance to Dream!'
#8 Munden's Bar [Webcomic] (2007)
- 'The Algebra of Need'#9
- 'Dreaming Realities'
#9 Nightmare (1994)
- 'The Winding Way, Part 3: Swamp Gothic'#10
- 'The Winding Way, Part 4: Wicked Things'#11
- 'The Winding Way, Conclusion'
#1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
- 'Nightmare, a killer of a love story part 1 of 4: Temptation'#2
- 'Nightmare, a killer of a love story part 2 of 4: Fear Sells'#3
- 'Nightmare, a killer of a love story part 3: My Dream Is Your Nightmare'#4
- 'Club Fear!!'
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Horror 2005 (2005)
Over the Edge (1995)
Silver Surfer (2014)
#12 Sleepy's/Hulk Custom Comic (2008)
- 'Dark Dreams and Darker Schemes!'
Spectacular Spider-Man Adventures (1995)
#115 Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger (2011)
- 'Spidey's Worst Nightmare'
Spider-Man Presented by GoodNites (2014)
#1 Stan Lee Meets Dr. Strange (2006)
- 'Bad Dreams, GoodNites'
Strange Tales (1951)
Strange Tales (1987)
Strange Tales (2004)
nn Strange Tales (2009)
- 'Dr. Strange Master of the Mystic arts'
Strange Tales (Faksimile) (1999)
The Avengers (1973)
The Incredible Hulk (1968)
#297 The Incredible Hulk (2000)
- 'Sleep, My Child...'#298
- 'Strange Days Have Found Us!'#311
- 'Life is a Four-Letter Word!'#360
#78 The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
- 'Tempest Fugit, Part 2 of 5'#81
- 'Tempest Fugit, Conclusion'
HC The Marvel Masterpieces Collection (1993)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983)
#3 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
- 'C-D: From The Collector to Dracula'#8
- 'N-P: From Namorita to Pyro'
#3 The Sensational Spider-Man (1996)
- 'Cloak to Doctor Octopus'#9
- 'Molecule Man to Owl'
#-1 The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl [II] (2015)
- 'Here There Be Monsters!'
#451 Web of Spider-Man (1985)
- 'Beware The Bloodaxe/Enter The Nameless Dimension'#452
- 'With This Axe I Thee Kill!'
#7 What If? (1977)
- 'Welcome...To My Nightmare!'
#40 Wolverine Halloween Special Edition (1993)
- 'What If...Dr. Strange Had Never Become Master of the Mystic Arts?'
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