With DC releasing the Suicide Squad movie in 2016 as the follow up to the much hyped 'Batman vs Superman : Dawn of Justice', and Marvel already cashing up huge on James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems that the villians/anti-heroes team-up is the next big thing. Now that the Suicide Squad is already cast and ready to start shooting soon (Will Smith, Tom Hardy, Jared Leto, Oh yeah!), we look at another team of the same kind that has been hugely sidelined in the DC universe, although they played quite an impactful role in the events leading up to the Infinite Crisis.
Strictly speaking, the members of the Shadowpact are not all criminals or psychopaths, but they aren't your typical boy scout superhero either (no offence to the most popular boy scout of the universe). They kill when its necessary and they get the job done, simple as that. The creation of the Shadowpact is an interesting tale in itself. The wizard Shazam once tells that the name "Shadowpact" has been used repetitively throughout history by groups of mystics who champion lost causes. The name was an on-the-spot idea by team leader Jim Rook in a moment of impulse, and the team stuck with it.
The lead up to the formation of the team was a trigger event to one of the most popular crisis arcs in the DC universe namely, Infinite Crisis. It starts when Jean Loring, the ex-wife of Ray Palmer (Atom), in her prison cell discovers the last black diamond in her prison cell and the spirit of vengeance-turned-evil Eclipso takes over her body. Eclipso then tricks Spectre, the spirit of vengeance (without a body host at that time) into thinking that magic is evil because it breaks the laws of nature set by God, which makes perfect sense to the vulnerable Spectre. This leads to the Spectre setting out to wipe out all the magic wielders and dabblers of the universe.
Having witnessed his attack first hand, Enchantress summons Ragman to the Mist Woods to save her from the Spectre, who has just defeated and killed "seven hundred combat trained sorcerers" who were having an informal gathering. As Blackbriar Thorn provides a distraction, they retreat to the Oblivion Bar, a bar between dimensions where magically powered beings meet to trade war stories. The subject of the day at the bar is the Spectre and his attacks on magic across the world. The bartender is Jim Rook (the Nightmaster) and the bouncer is Blue Devil. When Enchantress proclaims that the magic world needs to make a stand against the Spectre, she gets no agreement, save for Detective Chimp. Detective Chimp reveals that the Phantom Stranger, one of several "big-gun" magicians that Ragman believes is better suited for this type of fight, has been turned into a mouse, emphasizing the importance of fighting the Spectre. These five are joined by Nightshade as the Shadowpact and they all agree to take the fight to the Spectre. While the mystics plan this attack, the ancient wizard Shazam recruits his champion Captain Marvel in a bid against the Spectre.
The members :
1) Jim Rook a.k.a. Nightmaster - Jim Rook, lead singer of the hard rock band "the Electrics", enters a run-down shop named Oblivion Inc. Inside, he is somehow transported to the strange dimension Myrra, where he is the descendant of the mighty Myrran warrior Nacht. He takes his ancestor's Sword of Night, a weapon with the ability to warn of danger and force a person to speak the truth, and becomes involved in a clash between Myrra and evil warlocks. After his adventures in Myrra, he opens a bookstore in the Oblivion Inc. space and becomes active with other metahuman and supernatural entities, such as Primal Force and Swamp Thing.
While exploring a mysterious door in his bookstore, Rook discovers it was actually one of the many "back rooms" of the Oblivion Bar, an otherdimensional realm open to those touched by magic. After serving for a time as the bar's relief bartender, he becomes its owner. The bar has the benefits of modern life, such as showers, dishwashers and microwaves. It also has its own special rules, such as the phones not working unless the caller knows his or her dimension's area code.
2) Enchantress (June Moone) -
Freelance artist June Moone is invited to a costume party at an old castle, and stumbles upon a secret chamber where an unknown magical being (later named as Dzamor) empowers her to fight an evil presence in the castle. Saying the words 'The Enchantress' her appearance changes from blonde-haired June to black-haired and costumed Enchantress. Enchantress is a powerful sorceress. She appears to possess the ability to manipulate magical energy for any number of effects, from healing to teleportation, and can directly affect any non-living objects with her magic. She can also walk through walls.
3) Ragman (Rory Regan) -
Rory Regan is a ragman, doing good in his community by buying used items from people who need money. The suit of rags that he wears, as mentioned above, was originally just a costume made from materials found around the rag shop, Rags'n'Tatters, that he shared with his father. This was retconned in a 1991 limited series, and currently each of the patches in the suit is made from the soul of an evildoer that the Ragman had punished and absorbed. The absorption of these souls caused a problem for Rory at one point, when the evil souls hungered for murder and finally freed themselves of Ragman. It was only with the support of Batman and Regan's old friend, Rabbi Luria, that he regained control, though at the cost of Luria's life. Ragman's powers have increased since then. Currently, he can absorb souls into his costume. With each new soul added, a rag is added. He can call upon the souls in his costume to lend him their attributes or power. He is also a very proficient magic user.
4) Blue Devil (Daniel Patrick Cassidy) -
Daniel Patrick Cassidy is a special effects wizard and stuntman hired to create and play the title character in the movie Blue Devil. To that end Cassidy creates a full-body costume with a hidden powered exoskeleton and built-in special-effects devices. When two of his co-stars accidentally free a demon named Nebiros, Cassidy uses his costume to drive the demon back, but not before being blasted with mystical energy. After the fight, Cassidy finds that the blast has permanently grafted the Blue Devil costume to his body.
5) Nightshade -
Once integrated into the DC Universe in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Nightshade was shown as a government super-spy who worked for Task Force X aka the Suicide Squad. Nightshade has since then resurfaced as a member of the Shadowpact in the Day of Vengeance miniseries. She has been paired with Detective Chimp, resulting in some good-natured bickering. Nightshade's powers are hereditary due to her being the only surviving member of the royal family of the Land of Nightshades. She can teleport herself and others by passing them through the Land of Nightshades. She can magnify and shape shadows into solid or semi-solid forms.
6) Detective Chimp -
Detective Chimp (alias Bobo T. Chimpanzee) is a deerstalker-wearing (à la Sherlock Holmes) chimpanzee with human-level intelligence who solves crimes, often with the help of the Bureau of Amplified Animals, a group of intelligent animals that also includes Rex the Wonder Dog. He was originally created in the final years of the Golden Age of Comic Books, during the interregnum between the former and the Silver Age of Comic Books.