Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #121

Issue Date: 
February 1993
Story Title: 
<BR>(1st story) Wolverine & Venom in Claws and Webs: Part 5 of 6 – “Dreams Scars”<BR>(2nd story) Mirage in “Of Faith and Fable”<BR>(3rd story) Ghost Rider and Cloak & Dagger in And Let There be Light: Part 3 of 4 – “The Bride of Grimbat”

(1st story) Howard Mackie (writer), Sam Kieth (breakdowns), Dwayne Turner (finishes), Steve Dutro (letterer), Mike Thomas (colorist)
(2nd story) Jaye Gardner (writer), Joe Madureira (penciler), Hector Collazo (inker), Richard Starkings (letterer), Carlos Lopez (colorist)
(3rd story) Paula Foye (writer), Alexander Morrissey (penciler), Ken Branch/Tim Tuohy (inker), Steve Dutro (letterer), Sarra Mossof (colorist)

Terry Kavanagh (editor), Mark Powers (assistant editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief), Sam Kieth (Wolverine cover art), Joe Madureira/Hector Collazo (Ghost Rider and Cloak & Dagger cover art)

Brief Description: 

(1st story)

On the astral plane, Wolverine and Venom are able to defeat Nightmare’s monster with ease. Once they do, the fallen monster morphs into both Mariko and then Spider-Man, all in an effort to mess with the heroes’ minds. Wolverine is able to talk sense to Venom and, together, they make their way up the mountain and eventually come face to face with Nightmare. As they attack him, Nightmare laughs. He is going to use Wolverine as a pawn to help him get to his dimension and off of the astral plane.

(2nd story)

In Asgard, Danielle Moonstar spars with the Valkyrie Mist. After Mist defeats her, Hota-Mitanio, a Cheyenne god who is the symbol of a warrior’s heart appears and engulfs Dani in a bubble. Mist defends her sister and begins to do battle against Hota. Eventually, Dani manages to free herself of the bubble and is able to stop the fight. After having a heart to heart with Hota, he leaves her be. Turning to Mist, Dani exclaims that she is of two worlds – Cheyenne and Valkyrie – now and forever.

(3rd story)

In the dark world of Zianon, Ghost Rider and Cloak break out of their cell. When they do, they become lost in the ensuing labyrinth. Meanwhile, inside the throne room, Dagger is met by an old woman by the name of Melnoa, who informs her that her friends are not safe. That information breaks Dagger out of her trance and, with a key given to her by Melnoa, finds her friends. Reentering the throne room, Dagger is grabbed by Grimbat, who tells her that she can’t leave. Just then, Melnoa arrives and tells Grimbat to let her go. Dagger unleashes her light power on Grimbat, felling him. When the heroes turn their attention to Melnoa, they ask who she is. Melnoa gives them her name and says she is the bride of Grimbat.

Full Summary: 

(1st story)

Facing the giant creature in front of them, Wolverine tells Venom that, as big and ugly as it is, it’s just another of Nightmare’s creations. Though it is the only way they’re gonna get to the girl and to Nightmare. Venom replies that you don’t have to convince them, they like big and ugly.

Watching the battle, Nightmare laughs. Look at the big strong super heroes. Do they think they can get to me by defeating one of my pets? And if they did, do they really think that either of them would stand a chance against him? Do they think he’s afraid? He thinks not. He eats, sleeps and breaths fear. He is a fear master, the master of the realm of nightmares, the master of mankind’s innermost fears. And soon, the master of much, much more.

Attacking the creature, Wolverine tells Nightmare to forgive them if they don’t fall down shaking with fear. Once Venom has the creature’s head trapped in his webbing, he tells Wolverine to go for the… Slicing the creature’s neck, Wolverine tells Venom that he’s been using his adamantium claws for a while; he doesn’t have to tell him how to use them. When the monster falls to the ground, Nightmare points out that the evil monster has fallen dead before the big heroes. Or was it a monster after all? Perhaps it was the innocent girl the heroes sought to protect? Perhaps it was someone else?

Just then, the monster morphs into Mariko. As Wolverine cradles her in his arms, Nightmare says that it is Mariko, his lost true love. She who was dying painfully in his arms, poison coursing through her veins. Put her out of her misery. As he did before. Popping his claws, Wolverine prepares to stab Mariko. Before he can, Venom yanks him off of her, throws him away and asks him what he’s talking about. That’s no lady, that’s Spider-Man. Choking Spider-Man, Venom remarks that he can only die by their hands. It’s their right. As Venom continues to choke his most hated foe, Nightmare laughs maniacally.

Wolverine grabs hold of Venom and tells him it’s him, it’s Nightmare. Venom replies no, it’s the Spider. They have to crush the spider. Wolverine states that he’s playing with them. He knows what their worst fears are, their greatest losses, their nightmares. He has to fight it, trust him and watch. Once Venom lets go of “Spider-Man,” it transforms back into “Mariko” and then fades into nothingness. When Venom asks Wolverine how he knew, Wolverine tells him that Nightmare chose the wrong memory to bring up. The wound ran deeply and is still too fresh. And now he’s tired of his games. He says they take the fight directly to him.

As they make their way up the mountain, Nightmare remarks and still the heroes forge upward and onward. Will nothing deter them from their quest? Let’s see. With that, Nightmare uses his power and unleashes a horde of creatures against Venom and Wolverine. Fighting the creatures, Wolverine yells out to Nightmare that they are coming for him. He chose the wrong two minds to screw around with and made a big mistake in choosing neutral ground. He doesn’t know what he thought he was going to gain by this conflict, but he’s wrong.

When they reach the plateau, Nightmare exclaims that he is never wrong. He controls everything in the dimensions he creates. All here are his pawns. Here to serve his purposes. As Venom uses his webbing to snare Nightmare off of his steed and Wolverine takes the steed out, Venom informs their foe that they serve no one. Wolverine asks that he wasn’t expecting this, was he? Grabbing hold of the fallen Nightmare, Venom exclaims that they’ll eat his brains. Pointing his claws at Nightmare, Wolverine says no. Maybe now he’ll be willing to talk. Just then, Wolverine begins stabbing Nightmare with his claws. As he does, Nightmare says that the time for talking is over. This is what they wanted all along. The threads of reality will begin to unwind. He, Wolverine, will be his path to his dimension. So he sees, he was his pawn all along!

(2nd story)

In Asgard, Danielle Moonstar, the former New Mutant called Mirage, and the Valkyrie Mist do battle with staves. As Mist charges, she tells Danielle not to back away from her. To stand her ground and fight would avail her much more. Blocking Mist’s attacks, Dani states that she is. Continuing her assault, Mist points out ‘tis a combat of strength and skill, without the use of mutant power. If she was truly concentrating, she could not take advantage of her so easily. With ease, Mist manages to knock Dani to the ground and places her staff against her neck. When she does, she tells Mirage that she is down and not to conjure up an image to save her. Noticing that her staff is pinned beneath her and that she can’t reach it, Dani concedes victory.

Helping Dani up, Mist tells her that distraction does not become her and asks if anything is amiss. When Dani asks if it is that obvious, Mist tells her indeed. When she asks her what is troubling her, Dani replies that she’s not quite sure. Mist asks if she can help but Dani tells her that it’s nothin’ serious. It’s just that she feels uneasy. There’s something there, around them, watching. Can’t she feel it? Mist tells her nay, she cannot. Mayhap it’s her imagin… Just then, Dani is suddenly encased in a protective bubble.

At that moment, a muscular man shows up and states that the time has come for young Moonstar to return home. When Dani tells Mist to save herself, Mist says she cannot leave her side. Grabbing her staff, Mist calls the unnamed man an outlander and that Danielle shall not go anywhere. Looking at the stranger, Dani wonders who he is; she’s never encountered him before. Wait, can it really be him? Snatching Mist’s staff out of her hands, the stranger knocks her away, snaps her staff, and tells her that this does not concern her. Do not worry about Danielle Moonstar. She will be where she truly belongs. Calling out to Mist from her bubble, Dani tells her not to aggravate the stranger, she knows who he is.

Picking herself up off the ground, Mist says that is twice he has hit her, ‘tis time for him to pay. Brandishing the other staff, Mist tells the stranger may he find Hela, the death goddess’ accommodations fitting “for he art on his way for a visit.” Stopping her staff strike, the stranger tells her he thinks not. Her death goddess would find him rather unappetizing. Now for the last time, be gone! Using her athletic skill, Mist flies through the air. As she does, she tells him that was an admirable toss cretin. But Valkyries to his dismay are verily resilient.

Inside her bubble, Dani determines that she’s gotta get outta there. Pressing around the sphere, she notices that it is elastic so it must have a stress point. And her spirit lance will help her to stretch it beyond that point which should make it pop. Once free, Dani watches the stranger and Mist continuing their fight. She asks Mist to forgive her but her best bet is to restrain her. Surrounding Mist with fire, Dani tells them both to stop fighting. Flying over the fire, Mist tells the cretin that fire shall not hold a Valkyrie at bay. Nor shall it prevent her from… Before Mist can reach the stranger, Dani uses her powers to stop Mist in her tracks. She then tells her that he didn’t summon the fire, she did. She had to stop her.

As Mist kneels on the ground, she turns her head away from Dani and tells her not to speak to her. She hast turned on another Valkyrie. Dani says she doesn’t understand. Hota-Mitanio is a Cheyenne god, from her own culture. He’s the symbol of a warrior’s heart. And he wouldn’t have come there without a reason. Hota informs young Moonstar that she has betrayed herself and her proud heritage.

Dani tells him she doesn’t understand. She hasn’t betrayed anybody. Hota tells her that by becoming a Valkyrie and residing in Asgard, she has embraced another faith and left her true self behind. It is time for her to return home, to the Cheyenne. Dani tells him that she’s not ready to leave Asgard. Hota says she is insulting him. Dani states that she honestly isn’t. It’s just that there’s so much she needs to learn. The Valkyrian mantle of responsibility was thrust upon her the day she saved Brightwind. She did not choose to become a Valkyrie, but nonetheless, she is a Valkyrie. Hota tells her by birth-right, she is Cheyenne; that is who she is. Dani replies that she can’t ignore the fact that she’s also become a Valkyrie, with an entirely different lifestyle that is foreign to her. One that she wants to understand before she returns home.

As he disappears, Hota says very well. He does not think it best, but he will leave her as long as she promises to return home. Dani states that she will… eventually.

When Dani makes her way over to Mist, Mist tells her that Hota had no right to be there. She is one of them now. Dani tells her no, she is of both worlds. Hugging Mist, Dani says she is Cheyenne and Valkyrie, now and forever.

(3rd story)

Ghost Rider breaks the bars of the cell holding himself and Cloak. Cloak asks him that if what the warden says is true, these people are in great suffering from their lack of light. If anyone understands that, it’s him. Ghost Rider replies that it doesn’t matter to Grimbat. He causes too many others to suffer to meet his ends. And if he thinks bars can hold them, he is more a fool than he first thought. Lying on the ground, the warden begs them not to take Dagger. She is their savior, their only hope. Cloak angrily tells him that she doesn’t belong to him.

As Cloak and Ghost Rider make their way along on Ghost Rider’s bike, Cloak then asks Ghost Rider where they go, how to get out of there. Ghost Rider tells him their heads were covered when his minions brought them but fortunately they have his light to guide them. Breaking through a nearby wall and into another area, Cloak remarks that it’s as if this darkness had a life of its own. Can he feel it? Ghost Rider says yes, and they appear to have entered a labyrinth.

Reaching a dead-end, Cloak asks Ghost Rider where now, they’re trapped. He then points out to Ghost Rider that the creatures around them want his flame. Ghost Rider says yes and, since they have no option but to go through them, they will receive his hellfire. As Ghost Rider tosses the creatures away, Cloak envelops some of them in his cloak. Once he does, he yells out in pain. Releasing the creature, he weakly says the pain… of their darkness… even too much… for his…

Sitting on a throne, Dagger thanks one of the creatures, Emmadidin, for serving her. Emmadidin tells her that these trinkets are just tokens to honor her great beauty. When the door opens, Emmadidin tells her that she shouldn’t let herself be seen. Just then, the figure enters the room and orders the subjects to let her talk to Dagger alone. As the subjects run away, one of them tells the new person that they risk what they didn’t want themself. Making her way up to the older woman, Dagger asks her who she is. The woman introduces herself as Melnoa. She has come to warn her that her friends are not free.

Snapping out of her trance and removing her robe, Dagger asks what has she done. Where is Cloak and Ghost Rider? What has he done with them? Melnoa informs her that there is a tunnel, a labyrinth, leading to the prison. They’re probably lost in it. Pulling a key out of her robe and handing it to Dagger, Melnoa tells her that it opens the floorboard in the main hall. Hold onto the walls, follow the spikes. They lead to the only possible route through.

Finding the pathway to the tunnel, Dagger enters it. As she does, she mentions that she’s done it without getting Grimbat’s attention. Now, to find the others. Continuing her way down the stairs, Dagger finds more voracious creatures clamoring for light. Dagger decides to give them a little light to appease their hunger. Following the spikes, she is shortly reunited with Cloak and Ghost Rider. As she embraces Cloak, she tells him she was so worried. Cloak asks her that she is well now. Ghost Rider tells them enough reunions. They must get out of this dank place.

Once they reach the throne room, Dagger asks her friends if they hear that. It sounds like weeping. Looking up, Ghost Rider asks the creature what they cry for. Come and you’re yourself. Emerging from the shadows, Grimbat tells Dagger that she escaped, but no matter. She will not leave. Dagger says he’s wrong about that. Grabbing hold of Dagger, Grimbat tells her that she tests him. Struggling to free herself, Dagger orders Grimbat to let her go. She will not stay where she’s nothing more than a slave in a gilded cage. She already knows what that’s like.

Just then, Melnoa appears and tells Grimbat to let her go. Looking up, Grimbat exclaims that it cannot be. At that moment, Dagger angrily tells Grimbat that, if he wants light, she’ll give him light. With that, she unleashes her light against Grimbat. When Grimbat falls to the ground, Ghost Rider asks who the woman is. Dagger tells them she helped her find them, but she doesn’t know who or what… The woman explains that her name is Melnoa, the bride of Grimbat.

Characters Involved: 

(1st story)

On the Astral Plane:




One of Nightmare’s unnamed monsters

In Wolverine and Venom’s nightmares:

Mariko Yashida


(2nd story)

Danielle Moonstar/Mirage



(3rd story)

Cloak & Dagger

Ghost Rider

Grimbat (Ruler of the dimension of Zianon)

Melnoa (Bride of Grimbat)

Emmadidin and various unnamed residents of Zianon

Story Notes: 

This issue also includes:

4th story – Andromeda in “Civil Disabilities”

Logan killed Mariko after she was poisoned with blowfish toxin back in Wolverine (2nd series) #57.

Danielle Moonstar stayed in Asgard after she and the New Mutants battled against Hela in New Mutants (1st series) #77-87.

Issue Information: 
Written By: