Shadow Cabinet (comics)

Shadow Cabinet (comics)


caption=The Shadow Cabinet confronts Dharma.
Art by John Paul Leon.
team_name=Shadow Cabinet
publisher=DC Comics
debut="Shadow Cabinet" #0, (January 1994)
creators=Dwayne McDuffie (writer)
Robert L. Washington III (writer)
John Paul Leon (artist)
memberlist= membership
The Shadow Cabinet is a team of fictional superheroes created by Milestone Comics and published by DC Comics. They first appeared in "Shadow Cabinet" #0 (January 1994), and were created by Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III and John Paul Leon.

Publication history

In the Milestone Comics universe the Shadow Cabinet is a secret organization of superhuman beings acting to protect the world by neutralizing potential threats while they are still relatively harmless - "to save humanity from itself, no matter what that requires". The covert nature and dubious morality of many of these clandestine missions led to their being described as "the JLA as run by the CIA".

Various Cabinet members may be sent on "deep-cover" missions lasting months, or even years (during which time some choose to defect), their total membership at any time is known only to their leader.

The base of operations for the Shadow Cabinet is the Shadowspire, a subterranean complex within the Himalayas and typically accessible only via the Shadowslide, their teleporter (so named because, if the subject's origin is not in complete darkness at the time of teleport, the machine overloads and cannot be used for up to an hour).

Team Biography

Red Dog

Red Dog, a powerful Irish sorcerer, is the leader of the Shadow Cabinet from the late nineteenth century until the mid twentieth. Several of his people include 'Bent Nature', 'Ether', 'The Magnate' and 'Munition'.

Red Dog recruits Dharma as his replacement, but his activities do not end there. Dharma is slain by one of his own people and Red Dog steps in to bring him back to life. Red Dog disagrees with Dharma's efforts to take over the world and re-forms his own Cabinet to stop him. He and his people also attempt to save many Shadow Cabinet members in issue #17.


Dharma, otherwise known as Harry Chawney, has the power to perceive the past and future of any object he touches. He has perceived countless apocalypses, and is ruthless in acting to prevent them, whatever the cost. In theory, he knows the ultimate consequences of whatever action he sends his operatives to perform; however, the impossibility of considering every factor has led to his fear that he may be causing the very disasters he is trying to prevent - in the words of one agent, "What about the man who died? His future could have been important "too". Did you check?", to which he was forced to respond "I can't think about that right now".

The Cabinet makes an appearance in "Blood Syndicate" #20, (Nov 94) when Dharma fires Oro, who has been a Syndicate associate, police officer, and a Shadow Cabinet operative. He is allowed to keep his costume and receives one month severance pay deposited directly into his bank account. Dharma even gives Oro advice to "Take the left" as Oro teleports out.

The teleportation technology is maintained by a powerful telekinetic simply known as "Mechanic". Another notable employee is Payback, a spy for the independent superhero Icon. Icon also has evidence that Dharma had been involved in the 'Big Bang', a riot which, due to altered tear gas, ended with dozens of fatalities and superpowers granted to the survivors.

He would not treat further departures from the Cabinet as gracefully as Oro's. When Cabinet operatives Donner and Blitzen leave to form the unofficial team "Heroes", Dharma sends a Syndicate attack squad.


Modern team

*Bad Betty - a cyborg who was sent on a deep-cover mission to infiltrate organized crime.
*Blitzen (Valerie Kameya) is superhumanly fast as the result of a substance she developed herself. A biochemist that is in a lesbian marriage with Donner, later joins Heroes.
*Donner (Gerri Brauer) is superhumanly strong and resistant to injury. The granddaughter of a Nazi geneticist, in a lesbian marriage with Blitzen, later joins Heroes.
*Epiphany - appeared only once, upon being recalled from a deep-cover mission.
*Iota (Isadora Wellington-Smythe) is an international jewel thief with the ability to shrink herself and other objects.
*Iron Butterfly (Kahina Eskandari) is a Palestinian with telekinetic control of any and all metallic substances).
*Plus (Bina & Aputra Chawney) are the teenage sisters of Harry Chawney (Dharma). Aputra is an energy being and lacks physical form; Bina uses this energy to fly and manipulate objects.
*Ramjet - appeared only once, upon being recalled from a deep-cover mission.
*Sideshow (Ramon Rand) is a photojournalist who is able to transform any part of his body into the equivalent body part of another species; this enables him to recover instantly from intoxication.
*Starlight (Stella Maxwell) is an astronomer with various electromagnetic abilities, later joins Heroes.
*Twilight - both a living portal into another dimension, and the man forever trapped within that dimension, Twilight resembles a silhouette of a chubby man wearing a top hat. His whole body is covered in a texture that resembles the cloudy sky. He therefore strongly resembles a walking Magritte painting. His personal dimension is also home to a collection of peculiar supernatural creatures which he has painstakingly acquired over the years; he can, at will, release them in the hopes that they will carry out his wishes (however, he has no direct control over them). At one point, other operatives entered Twilight in the hopes that Dharma would not be able to perceive them; however, whether this worked is not known.
*Windshear - flight abilities; appeared only once, upon being recalled from a deep-cover mission.

tar Chamber

Star Chamber is a rogue faction which disagrees with Dharma, all it's operatives have defected from the main group.
*Artemis - veterinarian and animal-rights activist; had mind-control abilities over animals; was later killed in self defence by another operative.
*Ash - able to artificially induce rapid aging in objects she touches.
*Funyl - teleporter.
*Headmaster - psychic abilities including mind control, characterized by a number of white spheres which floats around his head.
*Rainsaw - a living cloud of several million microscopic razor-sharp fragments of metal.
*Slag - superhumanly strong with fire manipulation abilities.
*Transit - teleporter.
*Wytch -

External links

* [ Shadow Cabinet Bios] - "Shadow Cabinet" Bios page, part of [ Milestone] the Milestone section of International Hero
* [ The Milestone Rave] - includes a "Shadow Cabinet" comic book index and issue details.

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