Clockwise from bottom Left: Enchantress, Blue Devil, Jim Rook, Nightshade, Ragman, Detective Chimp.
The Shadowpact is a DC Comics
team that was introduced in the Infinite Crisis
miniseries Day of Vengeance
as a hastily assembled group of supernatural heroes banding together to stop The Spectre
from destroying magic. Jim Rook coins the name Shadowpact, and a conversation between The Phantom Stranger
and the wizard Shazam
reveals that there have been many magical teams by that name
, and all have been failures.
They went on to star in their own series, which ran for 25 issues, in which they faced a powerful wizard called Dr Gotham, who was summoning a being called the Sun King. Both Day of Vengeance
and the subsequent series were written by Bill Willingham, best known for Fables
The original membership was:
- Jim Rook: Formerly the Sword and Sorcery hero Nightmaster, who now ran the Oblivion Bar and was the team's first leader.
- Blue Devil: Still using demonic powers to fight crime, and now worried that he was a walking Family-Unfriendly Aesop.
- Detective Chimp: Because Everything's Better with Monkeys.
- Enchantress: Former Heel-Face Revolving Door magic-user, now firmly a heroine. Became team leader after Rook left.
- Nightshade: Heroine with Casting a Shadow powers and shadow-teleportation. A Half-Human Hybrid whose mother came from the Shadow Dimension.
- Ragman: Gotham City's Tattered Tatterdemalion, who gains power from a costume made of the souls of the damned. In Shadowpact it turns out the suit is actually a tool of redemption - souls that work with Ragman instead of fighting him eventually get released to Heaven.
Later members were:
The Phantom Stranger
- Acheron: An illusion-casting ghost.
- Midnight Rider: A modern-day cowboy with magic guns.
- Warlock's Daughter: the former apprentice of a magical villain from Willingham's run on Robin.
- Zauriel: An angel, formerly a member of Justice League of America, who is commanded to join the team while Blue Devil seeks repentence.
, while not a member of the team, took an interest in them, and was shown as the comic's narrator.
(Incidentally, Day of Judgement
, the 1999 Crisis Crossover
by Geoff Johns
that Day of Vengeance
was a sequel to, introduced a team called Sentinels of Magic that included Enchantress, Blue Devil and Ragman, together with other magical characters such as Zatanna
, Madame Xanadu
and the Golden Age Green Lantern
. This team made one subsequent appearance (JLA: Black Baptism
) and was then never mentioned again.)
This series features examples of:
- Bus Full of Innocents: Dr Gotham's introduction has a literal one.
- Cast from Lifespan: Enchantress casts a spell like this to keep Nightmaster alive.
- Cool Sword: Rook's Nightblade, which grants him Danger Sense and the ability to compel the truth. It later turns out to be haunted by the ghost of his father, who tells him it can do anything he can imagine.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Nightshade, Blue Devil, and Ragman
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of the characters, but especially Detective Chimp.
- The Dragon: Dr Gotham to the Sun King.
- Evil Sorcerer: Several, but especially Dr. Gotham.
- Good Guy Bar/Inn Between the Worlds: The Oblivion Bar caters to magic users and is featured prominently in Shadowpact as the team's headquarters since the owner of the bar is one of its members. While the Bar allows anyone from angels to demons entry, neutrality is strongly encouraged.
- Luke, You Are My Father: Jack of Fire turns out to be Blue Devil's brother.
- Magical Land: Nightmaster's Myrra.
- Order Reborn: In the final story-arc, we see some of the earlier Shadowpacts, and even one from 2108. Despite Nightmaster having taken the name unknowingly, they all have a certain similarity.
- Power Loss Makes You Strong: In the final storyline, Blue Devil, who has sacrificed his demonic abilities, fights Jack of Fire in his original Powered Armor.
- Psycho Rangers: The Pentacle, comprising the witch Strega, the swordsman White Rabbit, the demonic Jack of Fire, the shadowcasting Sister Shadow, the bizarre Bagman and the sociopathic Kid Karnevil.
- You could actually say that the Shadowpact are the Psycho Rangers to The Pentacle, judging from the way they see it - sure, The Pentacle are the bad guys, but both Strega, Bagman, Jack of Fire and Dr. Gotham note that it seems that this Shadowpact was created specifically to stop this team from resurrecting the Sun King, which would in a sense make them "good" Psycho Rangers.
- Redemption Quest: Blue Devil is assigned one of these by the Catholic Church, to atone for his actions in Underworld Unleashed.
- Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Linda Danvers, who retired from superheroics after Many Happy Returns, returns transformed into a vengeful "Fallen Angel".
- Given what happened to her at the end of her series, it's not that hard to imagine she'd be a little pissed off. And besides, Reign in Hell opened with the Shadowpact attacking her with no provocation other than she was deemed too dangerous to be left to her own devices.
- Three Laws Of Robotics: Homaged by Detective Chimp as the Three Laws of Superheroics:
- First Law: The lives and safety of innocent bystanders will always be protected.
- Second Law: The lives and safety of the superhero and members of their team will be protected to the extent that it does not conflict with the First Law.
- Third Law: The lives and safety of all opponents will be protected to the extent that it doesn't conflict with the first two Laws.
- The Tunguska Event: How Mr Meteor of the 1908 Shadowpact got his powers.
- The Wild Hunt: Infiltrated by Rex the Wonder Dog, who overthrows the Huntsman and frees the Hounds.
- Wolverine Publicity: Superman appears in the first issue. Unfortunately, he's supposed to be depowered at the time it's set.