By Sean T. Collins
The end of the world was just the beginning.
The second limited series in Marvel's adaptation of Stephen King's post-apocalyptic masterpiece, beginning on March 11 THE STAND: AMERICAN NIGHTMARES picks up where THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS left off—a very, very dark place indeed. A government-created superflu has pushed humanity to the brink of extinction, while a sinister figure known to some as Randall Flagg has emerged to pick up the pieces and rebuild them in his own evil image.
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with art by Mike Perkins, AMERICAN NIGHTMARES will reveal how main characters Stu Redman, Fran Goldsmith, Nick Andros, Larry Underwood, and Lloyd Henreid begin finding their way in this grave new world, as
Preview art by
well as introduce several key new supporting players. With new allies and enemies emerging, and a host of forces—manmade, natural, and even supernatural—in play, Marvel.com presents a quick and dirty guide to the people and events who will haunt your NIGHTMARES in the months to come.
IN DREAMS HE WALKS WITH YOU…
Though the Captain Trips virus originated as an all-too-human creation, its survivors quickly discover that something superhuman is afoot in its aftermath. As already glimpsed in CAPTAIN TRIPS, a series of incredibly vivid dreams begins plaguing America's few remaining residents. For some, this means nightly visits from the Dark Man himself, Randall Flagg. And while most people recoil in terror from the Man With No Face, a select few sense a kindred spirit…
But not all of these dreams prove nightmares. Like yin and yang, visions of the Dark Man get offset by visitations from a kindly, elderly woman with a down-home accent and a quiet courage. Her name is Mother Abigail, and a benevolent force she's too humble to pretend to understand acts through her to call together the good-hearted survivors of the plague—if any of them live to find her.
MAKE NEW FRIENDS, BUT KEEP THE OLD
CAPTAIN TRIPS left most of our main characters utterly alone, their loved ones dead or dying. AMERICAN NIGHTMARES will see them reconnect with the rest of humanity, or what's left of it: Larry Underwood will hook up with a beautiful older woman named Rita Blakemoor; Frannie Goldsmith will befriend a sullen teenage outcast named Harold Lauder; and Stu Redman will encounter Glen Bateman, a sociology professor who sees the plague as
Preview art by
a chance to put his theories about human nature to the test. Will these new friendships lead our heroes to help or to heartbreak?
THE HUMAN TORCH
The events of CAPTAIN TRIPS would be enough to drive anyone insane, but some survivors of the plague were already there. One such individual: a pathetic pyromaniac known to his childhood tormenters—and even to himself—as the Trashcan Man, after one of his favorite firebug targets. Throughout his miserable life, the blazes he's ignited have been mostly harmless nuisances. But with humanity on the brink and Flagg on the rise, he could be the match that sets the whole world to burn.
During CAPTAIN TRIPS, Nick Andros, Stu Redman, and Lloyd Henreid found themselves behind bars, but the circumstances couldn't have been more different. Lloyd's headed for the chair after a multi-state murder spree, Stu's the guinea-pig prisoner of a government disease center desperate to discover what makes him immune, and Nick has been deputized to keep guard on the very thugs who mugged him. AMERICAN NIGHTMARES will see Nick, Stu, and Lloyd emerge from their prisons, but Randall Flagg will ensure that Lloyd won't escape without paying a heavy price—and thanks to the human predators still roaming the streets, neither will Stu and Nick…
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
Left alone in a city of eight million corpses, Larry and his newfound companion Rita quickly decide that the city that never sleeps has gone down for the count. Their only way off this island of the dead? Travel from Manhattan to New Jersey by foot through the seemingly endless darkness of the Lincoln Tunnel. Clogged with stalled vehicles whose drivers were killed by the plague—and in some cases by something even more horrible—the Tunnel will push Larry and Rita to the brink of madness. If they both emerge on the other side, what will be left of them?
IN THIS ISSUE, A SURVIVOR DIES
Preview art by
They may be immune to the plague, but the men and women who survived Captain Trips are not indestructible. The total collapse of society has left them vulnerable to other diseases—and other survivors. Wild animals and crumbling infrastructure, untamed weather and unbridled emotion, the Dark Man and the darkness inside us all: these factors can, and will, spell doom for at least one character we know and love. Who will it be? Read THE STAND: AMERICAN NIGHTMARES and discover for yourself.
THE STAND: AMERICAN NIGHTMARES begins on March 11, but you can read the first issue of CAPTAIN TRIPS for free on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Also, for more info, head over to Marvel.com's Stand hub page.
Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes!
Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" now on iTunes!