That Time Doctor Strange Fought Freddy Krueger

This is "My Name It is Nothin'," a look at when comic books guest star celebrities, but their names are changed so as to avoid any legal problems. Today, I look at an amusing (and unlicensed, naturally) fight between Doctor Strange and Freddy Krueger.

As you are almost certainly aware, Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street was a massive horror blockbuster film series in the 1980s and 1990s (you might NOT know that it was partially inspired by the pop song, "Dream Weaver")...

The film was popular enough that Marvel Comics decided to do a black and white comic book magazine based on the film, which they released in the late 1980s, around the time of the fifth Nightmare on Elm Street film's release.

The magazine was a hit but Marvel abruptly canceled it after just two issues (with the book already solicited up to issue #5).

The late, great Steve Gerber was one of the writers on the series and he told Reading For Pleasure back in late 1989 the reason why he had heard that Marvel had canceled the comic:

According to my best information, Marvel cancelled the book in anticipation of pressure from the various anti-violence advocate groups. A few weeks prior to the release of the first NIGHTMARE, there had been an article published in the New York Times decrying the level of violence in comic books. Apparently, that article -- along with the picketing that took place outside theatres showing NIGHTMARE 5 in Los Angeles and elsewhere -- was enough to make Marvel turn tail and run for cover.

Please note that this is DESPITE the fact that the NIGHTMARE magazine carried a "suggested for mature readers" warning and that NO DIRECT PRESSURE had actually been applied on Marvel.

The cancellation of NIGHTMARE is a textbook example of the "chilling effect" you hear so much about these days in discussions of free speech. The book was killed not because of it WAS criticized, but because the publishers FEARED it would be criticized.

This won't be the last incident of its type, either. The impulse to censor -- led by groups on both the left and the right, and fed by the innate cowardice of American business -- is growing in this country. It's something that anyone who reads for pleasure or edification ought to be aware of, and prepared to combat. Inone of the great ironies of history, we have a situation in which the totalitarian nations of the world are on an inexorable march toward freedom, while their very model, the United States, is moving slowly, but dangerously, in the opposite direction.

By 1991, Innovation had picked up the comic book license...

It was with that in mind that 1991's Marvel Comics Presents #79 came out, which contained a story called "A Nightmare on Bleecker Street" by Robert Campanella, Steve Geiger and Mark McKenna.

It begins with Doctor Strange and his secretary/business manager, Sara, attending a showing of the latest Nightmare on Elm Street film...

When they returned home and went to sleep, well, things got weird...

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