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Spotlight on "The Shroud"

Secret Identity: Maximillian Quincy Coleridge
First Appearance: Super Villain Team-up #5 (April 1976)

The Shroud is one of those Superheroes that you really want to see more of, but somehow got lost in the fold. He's been around since 1976, but has only made sporadic appearances throughout Marvel Comics history.

Origin: In his youth, Maximillian saw the death of his parents; this provoked a morbid sense of philosophy in him, ultimately causing him to cross and join paths with the "Cult of Kali".

Throughout the fanatic teachings, Maximillian learns a rare form of martial arts that he masters, culminating in his ceremony of graduation. In that ritual, his face is burned with a fiery iron brand, completely blinding him, but giving him extra-sensory perceptions (it was noted that he is completely comfortable in the dark).

These were The Shroud's powers until later, when he aided Captain America in a battle against The Red Skull. During the adventure, he was struck by a ray and almost killed. Barely surviving, the combination of his time in space, the properties of the ray blast, and his deteriorating mental sanity, somehow gained him access to the powers of The Darkforce. From then on, The Shroud has been capable of emanating darkness, most intangible, but sometimes quasi-solid, to aid him in his quests. To date, he mostly serves a force of good, however, his main focus typically involves interventions with the Cults of Kali and Shiva.

The Shroud is an enigmatic figure, with a basis in magic and mysticism; there could be much more work in his occult background to provide many inspiring stories.

Interested in more on The Shroud and other figures of Darkness? Check out: Superheroes and Villains of Shadow and Night.

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