Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #122

Issue Date: 
February 1993
Story Title: 
<BR>(1st story) Wolverine & Venom in Claws and Webs: Part 6 of 6 – “Nightmare’s End”<BR>(3rd story) Ghost Rider and Cloak & Dagger in And Let There be Light: Part 4 of 4 – “The Light Within”

(1st story) Howard Mackie (writer), Sam Kieth (artist), Babcock/Sharpe (letterers), Mike Thomas (colorist)
(3rd story) Paula Foye (writer), Alexander Morrissey (penciler), Ken Branch/Tim Tuohy (inker), Michael Higgins (letterer), Mark Bernardo (colorist)

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

Brief Description: 

(1st story)
On the astral plane, Wolverine and Venom are trapped by Nightmare, who explains to them that his plan was to use Wolverine to get to Professor Charles Xavier and inside his mind. Eventually, Wolverine and Venom are able to break free of their bonds. Once they do, Wolverine jams his claws into Nightmare’s head, while in the physical world Professor Xavier uses his telepathic powers. When he does, Nightmare disappears and Venom and Wolverine are sent back to their own realities.

(3rd story)
On Zianon, Grimbat transforms his body, thanks to the light he received from Dagger. At first, he is defiant in keeping Dagger there and does battle with Ghost Rider and Cloak in order to do so. Once Melnoa makes his presence known and he is enveloped in Cloak’s cloak, Grimbat changes his view. Using their light powers, Melnoa and Dagger transform Grimbat into a sun that will light his planet. Their job done, Ghost Rider, Cloak and Dagger all head home.

Full Summary: 

(1st story)
Venom and Wolverine now trapped, Nightmare laughs maniacally. He then informs Wolverine that he has given it all to him. And Venom, helped. And now, as this astral plane unravels and consumes you both, he has access to one of the greatest minds of their dimension – Professor Charles Xavier – a mutant telepath whose abilities are unparalleled. And now he has to thank Wolverine for allowing him to establish a psychic bond with him.

When Wolverine asks how, Nightmare tells him that he knew that, if he kept assaulting him in his dream state, that he would turn to the Professor for aid. By doing so, he has given him a thread back to his mind through his. He who has shielded himself from his psychic assaults for far too long will be his to use. And through him, he will gain access to every living being in their dimension at once. Even he has not been able to see the unlimited powers of his mind. Feeding off the fear of the world all at once will raise the scope of his powers, his strengths, to godlike proportions.

As one of Nightmare’s creatures, a being that is part motorcycle, part man with a number of knives sticking out the front charges to them, Wolverine asks why all of this. Once he had him there he should have had the connection. Why Venom? Why the fighting? Nightmare tells him that he needed him to feel as though he was winning. His defenses had to be lowered. Professor X had to be made to think that he was safe in his care. Now his opening, his thread, will soon be firmly embedded in his psyche. The plane on which they battled was created out of part of his own essence. For all intents and purposes, it is him. And as it unravels, all the bits and pieces will swallow them up. Even as they speak, they are attempting to bore into their mind, into their psyche. And once they have, he will ride that link straight to the mind of Professor Xavier. He, Wolverine, will disappear. Him and Venom will simply cease to exist on their plane. Oh, he stands corrected. With their help, it will be his plane.

As Wolverine and Venom are consumed by pieces of Nightmare’s realm, Nightmare continues. He will miss Wolverine’s nightmares. They had such a distinct flavor. And, Venom… sadly enough, he never came to truly know him. He was no more than a pawn. His symbiotic relationship with the alien that serves as his costume caught his attention. Oh, the jumbled dreams the two of them had. He regrets that he has no time to spend unraveling the disorder of their joint psyche. He learned nothing of them, but… they did serve the purpose. Freeing himself from his bonds, Venom exclaims that they are no one’s pawn. He, Nightmare, made a mistake thinking he could feed off their minds, their dreams, their nightmares. He holds no power over them.

After Venom frees Wolverine from his bonds as well, Wolverine thanks him. Pointing his claws at Nightmare, Wolverine then asks Venom if he’ll just wrap Nightmare up in that costume of his, he’ll see to it that he gets out of their heads. Preparing to jam his claws into Nightmare’s head, Wolverine asks Professor Xavier if he’s ready. Telepathically, Xavier tells him to proceed. Once he jams his claws into Nightmare’s head, he dissipates into thin air.

Venom asks Wolverine what he did. Is he dead? Wolverine tells him nah. The Professor was on to what Nightmare was after from the beginning. Charlie was fairly certain he could cause a psychic backlash if they could get close enough to him. He volunteered for the job. After the jolt they just gave him, he’s not going to be fooling around in his mind ever again. And he doesn’t stand a chance of getting at Charlie. As they both begin to go back to their own realm, Venom asks Wolverine if he thinks what he did to them will work for them, too. Wolverine replies that he can’t really say. He’ll be seeing him.

Back in his own room, Professor Xavier asks Logan if he can perform a mind scan to ensure that Nightmare caused no permanent psychic damage. Logan tells him later, he needs some real sleep. And besides, who’d know the difference?

(3rd story)
While Dagger embraces Cloak, Cloak remarks to Ghost Rider that Grimbat is down. Now they just have to figure out how to get out of this place. Seeing Grimbat begin to stir, Ghost Rider states that it is not over yet. Melnoa adds that it has barely begun. Just then, Grimbat’s body begins to morph and he grows two additional heads. His transformation complete, Grimbat exclaims that he is finally capable of becoming anything he desires.

Swiping his tail, Grimbat smacks Cloak into a nearby wall. Grabbing hold of Dagger, he thanks her. Dagger asks what he has done with Cloak. Grimbat informs her that her impressive blast of pure light has served to make him more powerful than ever before. Defiantly, Dagger tells him that his bullying tactics don’t wash with her. Swinging his chain, Ghost Rider tells Grimbat to get away from her. Grimbat asks that he dares provoke him. At that moment, the additional snake head of Grimbat grabs hold of Ghost Rider. Grimbat’s other head remarks that he’s never experienced such energy before.

While in Grimbat’s clutches, Ghost Rider tells him to feel the wrath of his penance stare. This evil must cease. Grimbat tells he’s wrong. Everything he’s done has been to help his people, and his world. Ghost Rider says that he is only delaying the inevitable. Dagger pleads with Grimbat to let her, let them go and to face the truth. Melnoa pipes in and tells Grimbat to face the error of his ways. Why does he refuse to see what he’s done to her and so many others? He convinced her to let her light power be used for the good of their people. Draining her of all she had. Now he wants to do the same to her. Looking up and releasing Ghost Rider, Grimbat sees Melnoa and states that it can’t be; she’s dead. Melnoa tells him she’s been hiding, attempting to regain some of the power she once had.

Revived, Cloak attempts to envelop Grimbat in his cloak. Pushing the limits of his power, Cloak is able to do so. After a short time, Cloak releases Grimbat from his cloak, hoping that all of him can see the error of his ways, not just part of him. Picking himself up off the floor, Grimbat, sans the two additional heads, remarks that he must still help his world, but not as before. Turning to Dagger, he says to her that, if she empowers him once more, he’ll use her light to break up the atoms of his being and become a source of lasting light to shine down on his people. Dagger replies that she doesn’t have it in her to do it again. Melnoa adds that, with Dagger’s help, she may have just enough strength in her to infuse him with the light he needs. Grimbat states then it shall be done. Emitting flame out of his mouth and onto a nearby wall, Grimbat provides the heroes with a doorway back home.

With that, Dagger and Melnoa proceed to blast Grimbat with their light power. When they do, Grimbat transforms into a sun of sorts and blasts into the sky. As Ghost Rider and Cloak look on with shocked looks, Melnoa gives Dagger a crown. She tells her to take it and to remember them, as they’ll always remember what she’s given to them.

Exiting through the portal, Cloak remarks that despite their ordeal, he finds himself pitying Grimbat. Ghost Rider retorts that he learned that it is never just for the innocent to suffer, no matter what the cause.

Back on Zianon, Melnoa and the other residents look up at Grimbat. As they do, Melnoa says at last, his personal sacrifice restores the life of his planet.

On Earth, Dagger places the crown on her head, smiles, admires it in the mirror, and says she will never forget.

Characters Involved: 

(1st story)
On the Astral Plane:


Professor Charles Xavier

(3rd story)
Cloak & Dagger
Ghost Rider

Grimbat (Ruler of the dimension of Zianon)
Melnoa (Bride of Grimbat)

Story Notes: 

This issue also includes:

2nd story – Knights of Pendragon in “Seeds of Winter”4th story – Speedball in “Taped Confessions”

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.

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