Hello and welcome to another edition of Marvel Snapshot! In this week’s character spotlight, we’ll be looking at one of my favorite villains in Nightmare! He’s been around a long time, and his current whereabouts are in question, too, so let’s get crackin’! He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko back in 1963 (Strange Tales #110).
Nightmare is a creature from a dream dimension that preys upon people through their dreams (kinda like Freddy Krueger). First and foremost, he’s been a thorn in Dr. Strange’s side since his earliest days as a sorcerer. Nightmare usually goes it alone, but he does sometimes align himself with others to get what he wants. The Fear Lords are a group that he once made a pact with to try and kill Dr. Strange. He was eventually tricked by D’spayre and Strange was victorious. Nightmare would plague the Doctor several times, but always come up short.
Nightmare later turned his attention to Hercules and his partner Amadeus Cho. During Secret Invasion, Hercules and the God Squad had to travel to Nightmare’s realm. They bartered with him to get past, and he made them give up the fears of the gods. They actually tricked him as Amatsu-Mikaboshi used a duplicate of himself to fool Nightmare. Later, during the Chaos War, Mikaboshi traveled to Nightmare’s realm and defeated him, apparently killing him. All the beings with psionic powers felt this happen. To back up for a moment, though, Nightmare also had a quarrel with the short lived new sorcerer supreme, Doctor Voodoo (great series that should never have gotten cancelled, by Rick Remender). Under the tutelage of Dr. Strange, we saw Doctor Voodoo and his brother Daniel accidentally release Nightmare into this world. He proceeded to try the usual take over routine, but this time he made it more interesting by possessing all of the mystically powered beings of this universe, forcing them to obey him, and sent them to kill Voodoo and his brother.
Nightmare has also had a long standing vendetta against the Sleepwalkers. They are a race of beings that do not sleep, so Nightmare has no control over them. This has frustrated him over the years, but he eventually got his revenge against them when he used Rick Sheridan’s mind to get back at the Sleepwalkers. It has also been revealed that Nightmare is the father of the Avengers Initiative character Trauma. I hope that this character doesn’t stay gone long, because he’s been consistently one of the most underrated villains in the Marvel Universe.
As usual, check out my recommended reading list below, along with some of Nightmare’s best covers! Enjoy!
Doctor Strange (1974) #10, 13, 32, 33, 34, 50, 52, & 53
Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural – Tpb
Ghost Rider (1973) #77-78
Nightmare (1994) #1-4
Sleepwalker (1991) #12