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Superheroes of the Darkness

Updated on July 20, 2012

Superheroes of Shadow and Night

A whisper...encapsulated in the quiet and still evening; that is the covert way of the shadow-powered superhero, gifted with the skills to manipulate the darkness and ebbs of tenebrous wisps at his whim.

Such are these shaded powers, not only personified by those seeking to harbor justice outside of sight, but equally by the vile and morbid shadowmancers, contesting to overpower humanity with their dark visions of evil.

Within this subtle archive, we will be detailing each superhero gifted with the powers of the darkness and the shadow; they are known, maybe barely, to the population because theirs is the way of the hidden and the meticulous, the crafty and the cunning. For all of them follow traits of the night; they know the futility of blinding light.

What about the bad guys?

They're far worse. Check out

Super-Villains of Darkness

to find out more!

Batman - The Dark Knight of Gotham

The day a young boy named Bruce Wayne saw his mother and father gunned down in an alley was a moment that forever changed his life. Somewhere in the dank haze of his subconscious, he made a pact, an extended reach into the immortal darkness, to deliver justice against the rogues and scum of the city.

And why did he choose the bat? Because the bat is an omen of his fear, a fear that he would turn against crime.

Batman, ironically, is one of the greatest superheroes of multiple generations and perhaps the greatest superhero of darkness and shadow; his legend has followed us from the early 19th century with movies comic books and radio spots. The most intriguing aspect of the dark knight is that he has no powers, only an unyielding determination and will to thwart evil. So dedicated is he, that his mind has adopted a superhuman level of psychology and tactics to deal with underworld; his icon, The Bat, is presence enough to cause undeniable fear among the underworld, and his use of the night and the shadows is unparalled.

The Way of the Bat - An Example Scene From "Batman Begins"

Of all the possible interpretations of Batman, this scene in "Batman Begins" exemplifies the dark, mysterious side of the Gotham Knight, the shadowy enigma that instills misery among the scum that prey on the weak.

Recommended for Batman - They have all the elements of the Dark Knight

If you happen to be one of the unfortunate few who know nothing about Batman (is is possible?), then I recommend you start here, with these items available at Amazon.com.

Batman Begins [Blu-ray]
Batman Begins [Blu-ray]

Although there have been many Batman movies, I feel this is the definitive story that represents his nature. One of the best superhero origin movies put together. A must for the Batman fan.

 
Batman: The Animated Series, Volume One (DC Comics Classic Collection)
Batman: The Animated Series, Volume One (DC Comics Classic Collection)

Batman is often put in cartoons, but no cartoon reached the level of excellence that Batman: TAS did in the 90's. In this season 1 series, you are introduced to the gotham knight, presented in dark, early-19th century setting. One of the best!

 
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Game of the Year Edition) - Playstation 3
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Game of the Year Edition) - Playstation 3

Having played a few Batman styled games, this one captures all the elements of his dark, superheroic setting. You immediately are immersed in the Asylum where madness sets all around you. A great piece of work for the PS3.

 

Cloak - The Keeper of the Darkness Within

First appearing in Spectacular Spider-Man #64 (March 1982), Ty Johnson, a young street runaway, was a victim of experimental drugs; in an extraordinary stroke of fate, they ignited latent mutant powers inside him, giving rise to his powers as Cloak.

Cloak is a brooding, dark-souled, enigmatic figure following the ways of Dark Justice, but he is.not alone in his fight against crime; typically, he travels with a female partner, named Dagger, also gifted with mutant powers to throw blinding forces of light.

Cloak's powers are mysterious and extradimensional. He is one of the only Superheroes capable of teleporting multiple beings, doing so by enveloping them within his aperture of darkness. He also has the ability to become intangible. As a form of attack, he surrounds his opponents with his darkness, and seems to suck them into the dimension. When they are released, they seem cold and mentally unstable (for a period).

A strange, observed side effect of Cloak's powers has followed him since his mutation; with the absence of light and warmth, his vitality and strength seems to ebb, creating a vampiric tendency to feed. Fortunately, by partnering with Dagger, he finds sustenance through her glowing aura and powers.

What is Dark Justice?

Dark Justice, sometimes paralleled with the term "Vigilantism", occurs when the hero inacts penalties beyond the norm of typical law. For example, a hero that kills his opponents because he believes the law doesn't function properly. (Think "Punisher").

Enter the Cloak - A Classic Illustration of Cloak & Dagger

Cloak and Dagger: Predator and Prey (A Marvel graphic novel)
Cloak and Dagger: Predator and Prey (A Marvel graphic novel)

Cloak, in his earlier appearances, was always paired with his female companion "Dagger". In this vintage graphic novel, you see them at their best; a true collector's item showing off their duet of black and white and good vs. evil.

 

Darkstar

The Dark Lady of Russia

Laynia Sergeievna Petrovna was born a twin to her brother Nikolai; in their teenage years, both were revealed to have mutant powers, hers being the awesome control over The Darkforce.

Taking the name of Darkstar, Laynia was quickly inducted into the Soviet Union super-soldier program; sometimes she appeared on the side of good, and other times she represented Communist Russia, being represented as a supervillain.

Darkstar's powers are actually some of the more significant of any dark-wielding heroes; surprisingly, she never gained much attention with them. She is capable of teleporting people, creating objects out of darkness, firing blasts of dark energy, and flight. At one point, she was believed to be killed, but resurrected herself from a creature known as a Dire Wraith (it comes from the Darkforce Dimension).

Darkstar's first appearance was in Champions #7 (August, 1976).

The Fallen One

The Dark Herald of Galactus

Of the Fallen One, there is little known. He was originally created as one of the Heralds of Galactus, and therefore it can be speculated that his powers rival that of the Silver Surfer.

The powers of the Fallen One are many; he has full control over dark energies and is considered a hybrid being of that energy and matter. He is capable of intersteller travel, blasts, physical strength augmentation and a myriad of feats.

The Fallen One first appeared in Thanos # 11 (Aug. 2004). He is thought to have been killed in battle with a group of entities known as the Proemial Gods

Obsidian - The Other Side of Shadow

The child of Alan Scott (the original Green Lantern) and Rose Canten (A villain named Thorn), Obsidian is one of the stranger heroes, also having the unfortunate circumstance to shift to evil due to mental strains on his sanity.

Although he never seemed to develop a popular following, Obsidian showed us many unique powers from his connection to the Darklands, the DC representation of dark energies in their universe. He was capable of increasing his physical prowess by merging with his own shadow; during that state, he could assume intangibility and flight. Likewise, he could envelope objects in darkness and possess the shadows of others.

Obsidian's first appearance is in All-Star Squadron #25 (September 1983).

Darklands Note:

Sometimes Darklands will be interchanged with Shadowlands in the DC Universe.

The Shadow - "The Clouded Mind Sees Nothing!"

The weed of crime bears bitter fruit; crime does not pay.

The Shadow knows!

~ from the radio series "The Shadow"

From 1930, he was first introduced to us as "The Living Shadow"; it was only a matter of nights before this dual, pistol-wielding fighter of darkness gained radio popularity as well as a 1933 and 1994 movie. Now known as The Shadow, his immortal laugh and catchphrase remains embedded in the criminal psychology: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow Knows!"

Gifted with the ability to cloud men's minds he returns to the United States, determined to use his hypnotic powers to ever remain invisible in the sight of his foes; the only thing they could see was his terrifying shadow.

The Shadow is the first known superhero to use these powers for justice; he remains one of the unassailable icons of fear in the criminal underworld, an unseen, ethereal fear to those who do wrong.

The Shadow
The Shadow

Released in 1994, Alec Baldwinr put on a pretty good show, starting with the origin of The Shadow, leading to his great battle with the heir of Genghis Khan over control of the entire city.

 

The Shroud - Servant of Kali

Steeped in the traditions of martial combat. Maximillian Quincy Coleridge, joined the Cult of Kali, partly because of his terrible childhood where he witnessed the murder of his parents. (Sound familiar?)

Originally, The Shroud's main power was his extrasensory perception, which he gained upon initiation into the cult as The Kiss of Kali was bestowed upon him, a iron-hot branded scar that destroyed his eyesight. With this ability, he was able to see, and sometimes divine things before they happened. (It is suspected that this gave him superhuman like-agility when fighting super-powered foes).

Later, The Shroud would gain control over The Darkforce, a strange energy that allowed him to manipulate and create objects out of darkkness.

Although he is less known among superheroes, The Shroud is an interesting read that could really flourish in the hands of a great writer; he has all the aspects of religious cults, mystery, and esoteric-inspired fear.

The Shroud first appeared in Super Villain Team-Up #5 (April 1976)

Is someone missing?

Superheroes to come.

Just in case you thought your hero was left out intentionally from this superheroes list of the dark, shadowy, and powers of the night, fear not! The following is a compendium of characters being researched ; return often for updates:

Darkhawk, Dusk, Doorman, Nightcrawler, Nightside, Nightshade, Nightwind, Sepulchre, Silhouette, and The Smuggler.

If your character is missing, leave a note in the guestbook.

Thanks for dropping by. If you support this information and would like to see more of it in the future, please leave a comment about what you saw or how you feel. Likewise, if you notice any errors, let me know.

Super-heroic Feedback - Did you find everything?

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    • profile image

      Trendblazers 6 years ago

      Hi there,

      I really like this lens, you have inspired me now to have an "unyielding determination..." to create better lenses.

      ps the video wasn't working when I checked, however it may be due to the filtering - youtube is banned at my school

      Cheers

      Colin

    • BlakeCzirr profile image
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      BlakeCzirr 6 years ago

      @Trendblazers: No no. Thank you, my friend. Apparently the video got pulled, I'll fix it right up. And thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I failed your quizzes. I guess I should try harder.

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