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Into the Heart of Darkness[]

Max Coleridge was born in a wealthy and happy family, his refined father and his caring mother provided him with all the necessary support and care. Tragedy struck when his parents were gunned down right by robbers before his eyes as they returned from a concert. The young and orphaned Max Coleridge was raised by his family's attorney, Justin Meagher.[1] His parents' murder fractured his soul and inspired him to dedicate his life to fighting crime. He became a scholar of criminology, studying to use science against evil and perfecting his body to combat it. However, as he became an adult, the rise of super heroes incited him to go beyond human limits. He then journeyed to Nepal in search for the enigmatic Cult of Kali, which worshipped a diabolical goddess of darkness.[7] In order to hide from Meagher, Coleridge forged his own death to abandon his civilian life.[1] Coleridge was tutored by the cult leader Balinor. He also forged a connection with Balinor's daughter, Dalindra.[8] By embracing the shadows after years of intense training, Coleridge received a mark of success for his graduation. The celebration ritual had him branded on the face with the "Kiss of Kali," a red-hot iron emblem of the deity. Following a period of intense pain and confusion, he realized that the ritual had his eyesight replaced by a mystic extrasensory perception.[7] His despair caused the cultists to reject Coleridge, who drifted by himself after the experience.[9] In reality, Balinor wished to protect Coleridge from being corrupted by destruction incited by the Cult of Kali and chose to cut contact with him.[10]

Using his newfound abilities, Coleridge was able to travel back to America, where he adopted the identity of the Shroud as a dark and brutal vigilante. As his first mission, the Shroud decided to kill the super villain Doctor Doom in a delusional plan to become the world's most renowned hero.[7] To accomplish that, the Shroud spied on Doom's main enemies, the Fantastic Four. He was identified by the Human Torch, but managed to best him in combat.[3] He followed the Fantastic Four to Latveria, the country Doctor Doom ruled.[11] Although the Fantastic Four was legally prohibited from acting against Doom as part of a peace treaty, the Shroud did not care for such a restriction. By directly confronting Doctor Doom, the Shroud was seemingly able to execute the evil monarch.[7] As his first act, he released Namor, who had been kept hostage by Doctor Doom in his castle.[7] They tried to escape the country, but found the Shroud's airplane destroyed by Latverians loyal to Doom. In their escape, they counted with the Circus of Crime to get cover, until learning Doctor Doom was, in fact, alive.[12]

Betrayed by the Circus of Crime, they were captured by Doom, who revealed himself to be Prince Rudolfo, the former heir to the throne. The Shroud chose to support Rudolfo in his attempt to bring revolution to Latveria.[13] However, during their war for freedom, the Shroud witnessed Rudolfo be defeated by the Red Skull, who had taken control over Doom's throne.[14] The Shroud was also subdued by the Red Skull, who then met opposition in Namor, the real Doctor Doom, and Captain America. The Red Skull teleported to the Moon, from where he intended to deploy the Hypno-Ray to brainwash the world's population under his rule.[15] Ironically, the Shroud accompanied Doctor Doom in a space journey to stop the Red Skull's plan. As Doom battled the Skull, the Shroud attempted to sabotage the device, but inadvertently prompted its activation. In desperation, he chose to protect Earth from its effects, being subjected to the ray himself. Captain America was able to rescue the Shroud, who lost his sanity due to effects of the brain-numbing effects of the Hypno-Ray and was hospitalized.[16]

Upon recovery, the Shroud gained the ability to summon up absolute darkness at will.[17] In New York City, the Shroud finally stumbled upon the Cultists of Kali again, who now engaged in murder. Wishing to get answers,[9] the Shroud followed them to Los Angeles, where they established themselves in the Hatros Institute. He did not anticipate that the institution's receptionist was secretly the vigilante Spider-Woman, who intercepted him during his mission. When fighting the cultists, the Shroud vanished,[17] but chose to amicably introduce himself to Spider-Woman and recruit her for his investigation. Together, they infiltrated a S.H.I.E.L.D. base to collect intelligence. The Shroud found proof the murderers had no connection to the real Cult of Kali and enlisted Spider-Woman to raid their secret temple. The murderers were defeated, but their leader Nekra managed to escape.[9]

Lord of Crime[]

The Shroud remained in the West Coast to test an unconventional approach by pretending to be a villain to reach criminal operations. In one of his adventures, he approached the crime master known as the Crooked Man to join his gang of burglars. Their master plan involved profiting from a gallery of art. After kidnapping a renowned artist and his works, the Crooked Man sent the Shroud, alongside Cat and Mouse, to confuse authorities and collect the bribe. In fact, the Crooked Man had orchestrated the Shroud's end by reporting him to the police. Sympathizing with the Shroud, Cat and Mouse decided to help him trick the Crooked Man instead. Using his powers, the Shroud was able to get the Crooked Man arrested and usurp his operations. Pretending to be a crime-lord, the Shroud started a secret war against the underworld to be waged from within.[5]

In his shadowy duty, the Shroud observed the activities of the gangs in Los Angeles to gain influence. He turned his attention to the eccentric Dansen Macabre, a devotee of Shiva. In a nightclub, he witnessed Spider-Man and Werewolf by Night confront Dansen Macabre's agent Tatterdemalion, but chose not to have Cat and Mouse act to expose his rival. However, she was able to anticipate his plan and mesmerize Spider-Man to act on her behalf. Having fallen to Spider-Man, the Shroud was taken to Dansen Macabre, who wished to destroy him for considering him to be a heretic worshipper of Kali. In fact, the Shroud had Cat impersonate him so he could find Dansen Macabre. With Spider-Man resisting her influence, the Shroud was able to defeat her. However, he was forced to flee from Spider-Man, who saw him as a villain as well.[18]

As part of a plan to imprison Spider-Woman and other super-humans she had had contact with, the mischievous Locksmith also caged the Shroud, using deafening sound effects to disorient him. Spider-Woman was unable to release the Shroud from his torment. Eventually, Spider-Woman was able to liberate all the captive super-humans. Tragically, this was followed by Spider-Woman's apparent demise at the hands of Morgan Le Fay.[19] The Shroud and the were-woman Tigra vigilantly guarded Spider-Woman's lifeless body at the hospital, until they started to experience ghost-like appearances of their comatose ally. Tigra contacted her allies in the Avengers for help, who in turn summoned Doctor Strange to restore Spider-Woman's soul. Morgan took the opportunity to craft a revenge attack.[20] The heroes thrived and eliminated Morgan's threat, fully restoring Spider-Woman to life.[21]

Back to their usual adventures, Spider-Woman and the Shroud remained close.[22] She asked the Shroud to keep an eye on Tigra as she joined a secret group. The Shroud followed her to the West Coast Avengers Compound. Initially mistaken for a villain, he was attacked by the new team of West Coast Avengers Tigra had joined. She interrupted the fight and vouched for his allegations of being a hero. After explaining his situation, the Shroud was offered a position in the West Coast Avengers by team leader Hawkeye, but refused in order not to destroy his criminal façade.[23] At some point, while the Shroud investigated the Avengers, Cat and Mouse were attacked by the Galeno gang. The West Coast Avengers offered to join the Shroud in solving the crisis. Together, they searched for Galeno, only to find the criminal Blank behind the organization. As a fight ensued, Blank's superior revealed himself to be all-powerful Graviton, who easily disposed of the Shroud and the Avengers to consolidate his power over the crime scene on the West Coast.[24] As the Shroud recovered, the Avengers managed to trick Graviton and put an end to his threat.[25]

The Shroud's operation grew to the point of becoming a super-villain group named the Night Shift, which were manipulated into doing good deeds. They crossed paths with Captain America when he fought Dr. Malus and the victims of his macabre experiments. In order to preserve his credibility, the Shroud revealed his secret to Captain America and asked him to go along with the charade. The Night Shift joined Captain America in hunting the Power Broker.[26] After Captain America was able to dissolve Power Broker, Inc., the Shroud rescued the victims of its experimentations for treatment.[27]

The lunatic vigilante Moon Knight invaded the Shroud's Tower of Shadows in search for information about the Zodiac's leader Taurus. In a violent display of capabilities, the two dark anti-heroes fought each other. The Shroud ceased fighting and offered Moon Knight to lead Night Shift, arguing they shared their mission, but he refused.[28] Instead, the Shroud lured Taurus to invite him to the Zodiac as his new Pisces. This allowed Moon Knight to tackle his target. As the Moon Knight brutally assaulted Taurus, the Shroud contacted the West Coast Avengers to brief them about their teammate's activities.[29] Soon after, he interacted with the West Coast Avengers again. When out in business in San Francisco, the Shroud could not keep discipline of his Night Shift, who performed robberies without his supervision. The West Coast Avengers intervened, with Moon Knight, Tigra, and Mockingbird even infiltrating the Tower of Shadows. With discretion, the Shroud arranged a meeting with Hawkeye to keep the two groups from fighting each other. However, this crisis weakened the previous sense of camaraderie the teams shared.[4] Eventually, Hangman exposed to Shroud's minions his secret and seized control of the Night Shift to transform it into a real criminal gang.[30]

Shadows that Lead Home[]

Even without his team of villains, the Shroud kept his obscure vigilantism by himself. When another hater of Kali, Firefly, emerged, he was intrigued by his opponent's motivations. He ultimately protected her from Krago Ksang, a vicious member of the Cult of Kali. In a tragic result, the Shroud was unable to prevent Firefly and Krago from murdering each other due to their blind devotion to their causes.[31] He also watched the rise of the Deacon, a fanatic demagogue with light powers capable of dissipating the Shroud's darkness. The Deacon established a reign of terror in Los Angeles by hunting gangsters to blackmail them and gain profit. In a last stand, the Deacon targeted his ex-wife and crime lord Kathryn Cinnibar. The Shroud intervened and proved his darkness could destroy the Deacon, who succumbed to his own madness.[32] Using brute force, the Shroud maintained his dominance in Los Angeles. He attacked a gang of robbers led by a criminal named Manny, who targeted the elderly, which enraged the Shroud. He avenged one of their victims by destroying their gang without mercy.[33] Alongside many other wielders of the darkforce energies, the Shroud was corrupted and incapacitated by the vile Darkling, who ended up being defeated by the New Warriors.[34][35]

Eventually, the Shroud moved his mission to New York City in order to run after and get revenge at the gunrunner Joey Gregson. Although successful in defeating Gregson and his lackeys, the Shroud was attacked by Spider-Man, who believed him to be a crime lord. During the ensuing fight, the Screaming Masks of Cyttorak were freed from the ruins of the Sanctum Sanctorum and empowered Gregson and his men.[36] The dire situation forced Spider-Man and the Shroud to team up to fight the threat. The masks consumed their hosts and threatened the city by corrupting Spider-Man. As Spider-Man resisted the possession, the Shroud locked the masks and vanished without providing explanations.[37] After that, the Shroud kept targeting the mobs in New York City with Cat and Mouse. Their first mission involved dismantling a money-laundering operation executed by Garrick King, who had connections to a mystery involving the Cult of Kali. The Shroud blackmailed King into joining his mission, but King was hunted by the Scorpion. This caused the Shroud to cross paths with Spider-Man once again.[38] The Shroud ultimately knocked the Scorpion out and, before Spider-Man could intervene, he vanished.[8]

The Scorpion acted on orders from Lassister, a Kali cultist. When searching for him, the Shroud found a replica of the Temple of Kali, years after of his banishment. There, he met with his old master, Balinor, who informed him how the Cult of Kali had fallen into darkness under Yannroth, who forged an alliance with Lassister to bring destruction.[8] The Shroud was attacked by Lassister's assassins, but managed to escape. He then contacted Garrick King's wife Amara, who was in fact an undercover CIA agent. Thanks to her intel, he was able to locate King and Lassister conversing on a ferry. However, Lassister was prepared not only with Scorpion, but also with Kali, who was Yannroth's prime assassin.[39] Soon, the Shroud realized that Kali was his former partner in the Cult of Kali, Dalindra. As he orchestrated his counterattack, Cat warned Spider-Man to get help. As Spider-Man took care of the Scorpion, the Shroud was able to subdue Dalindra. In the end, the connection between the New York City mobs and the Cult of Kali was destroyed. The Shroud and Spider-Man called a truce after the Shroud argued that public reputation could lead to unfair judgement.[10]

Having relocated to an abandoned asylum in Roosevelt Island, the Shroud succumbed to glumness for reminiscing his infancy. Cat and Mouse worried about their boss, but were repelled by him. Succumbing to insanity, the Shroud patrolled the streets by employing extreme violence. When visiting his parents' grave, he stumbled upon his former caretaker Meagher. Ultimately deciding to re-established himself in Manhattan, Max Coleridge hired Meagher once again in order to reacquire his family's vast inheritance.[1]

Superhuman Registration Act[]

Using his wealth, Coleridge ran a company and used its resources for his mission against crime however he could. He took interest in Julia Carpenter, the former member of the West Coast Avengers previously known as Spider-Woman. She had lost her powers and the use of her legs. Coleridge's company's labs were able to replicate the process that gave Carpenter powers. After intensive therapy, she fully recovered. Coleridge got close to her and to her daughter Rachel. Eventually, their relationship blossomed into a romance.[40] Soon after, the Superhuman Registration Act was enacted, forcing unregistered heroes to submit to the government or face prison. The Shroud fought against it and openly destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. units tasked with capturing vigilantes. Julia Carpenter, adopting the name Arachne, wished to help him and made herself be recruited by Tony Stark to act as a mole in the operation.[41]

Arachne provided Stark with false intel about the Shroud's location. However, she was immediately identified as a double agent, allowing S.H.I.E.L.D. to pinpoint both outlaws.[41] Hunted by Ms. Marvel and Wonder Man, the Shroud let himself be arrested to cover Arachne and give her a chance to reunite with her daughter.[42] Unfortunately, despite his intent, she failed and was also captured.[40] The Shroud was taken to Prison 42, being released when Captain America orchestrated a prison break to oppose the authoritarian act. The Shroud was among the many heroes who joined the opposition,[43] with no success.[44] As Arachne was forced to serve in Omega Flight,[45] the Shroud remained underground and kept close contact with her under the radar, collecting information about Stark to resist the registration.[46]


Shroud resurfaced in the midst of Shadowland; when Daredevil ordered ninja clan The Hand to dispense justice on New York's streets. When the bodies of mobsters and suspected child-pornographers were discovered brutally murdered baring the Hand insignia, Shroud investigated the deaths as strange and vicious beyond that which Daredevil would decree.[47] Alongside private investigator Misty Knight, mercenary-for-hire Paladin, and Symkarian bounty hunter Silver Sable, Shroud determined that the murders were in fact committed by furious, embittered policemen posing as Hand ninja.[48] It was presumed that Shroud continued to aid the other New-York based superheroes in the redemption of Hell's Kitchen from Shadowland.[49]

Maximillian Coleridge (Earth-616), Zel Credo (Earth-616), and William Boddicker (Earth-616) from Heroes for Hire Vol 3 9 0001

In the wake of Shadowland, Misty reformed Heroes For Hire, this time taking a withdrawn role and directing other heroes. After being kidnapped and held prisoner by Puppet Master,[50] Shroud was forced to act as a liaison for a new, loose-knit Heroes for Hire. They fought the Worthy,[51] as well as Purple Man in the Raft.[52]

Returning to San Francisco[]

Having returned to San Francisco, Maximillian fell into a depressive state and let himself go. His aggressive vigilantism and uncooperative behavior made him an annoyance for the commissioner of police.[53] While acting on a death wish,[54] the Shroud started building a reputation as a criminal as part of a plan to target San Francisco's kingpin, the Owl, kidnapping capos and burning marks on their top lieutenants.[55] When Daredevil returned to San Francisco, having made his identity public, the Shroud became jealous of him.[53] As part of his plan to establish himself as a credible threat in the city to attract the Owl's attention and earn an audience with him,[55] Max lured Daredevil to a trap and tried to take him down.[53] After subduing the Shroud, Daredevil convinced him to follow a different plan to personally confront the Owl. However, when the two vigilantes had the Owl cornered, the crime lord promised to help Max reunite with his ex-girlfriend Julia.[55] The Shroud escaped with the Owl, and the crime boss manipulated Max into helping him gain access to a cutting-edge piece of technology from a fiber optics company that delivered data directly into a person's brain, turning them virtually omniscient. Daredevil intercepted both of them, but not before the Owl entered in contact with this device. After leaving the Owl to the police, Daredevil tried to talk some sense into the Shroud, but to no avail.[54]

Maximillian Coleridge (Earth-616) and Leland Owlsley (Earth-616) from Daredevil Vol 4 13 001

The Shroud controlling the Owl

In order to find Julia, the Shroud abducted the Owl from prison and used him inhumanly as the heart of a surveillance supercomputer he set up in Alcatraz.[56] When Daredevil and the Owl's daughter Jubula Pride found him, the Shroud broadcasted malefic footage of Daredevil's personal and professional life to prevent further interference.[57] Later, the Shroud managed to find Julia aboard a plane about to layover in San Francisco, and stopped her at the airport, but Daredevil intervened. The appearance of Jubula Pride resulted in a scuffle during which Julia was kidnapped by henchmen sent by the Kingpin, who intended to use her as leverage to put Max under his thumb.

After learning of Julia's location from one of Fisk's goons, the Shroud interrupted a deathmatch between Daredevil and the Kingpin's assassin Ikari. The Shroud killed Ikari, unwittingly dooming one of Matt's loved ones, since Kingpin had also captured Kirsten McDuffie and Foggy Nelson, and planned to kill either of them if Daredevil beat Ikari.[58] While Daredevil impersonated Ikari to meet up with Kingpin and stall for time, the Shroud returned to the Owl and used the surveillance system to reveal all of Fisk's illicit operations. After the Kingpin's fall, the Shroud liberated the Owl. Later, Daredevil and Julia set up a trap to capture Max. On the pretense that she wanted to reconcile with him, Julia met with Max and kissed him. However, she had covered her lips with a tranquilizer, knocking him out almost instantly so he could be apprehended.[59] Max was subsequently locked up, and Julia put his surveillance system to use in order to investigate New U Technologies.[60]

All-New Moon Knight[]

After the death of Marc Spector, the original Moon Knight,[61] Shroud stepped forward to take up the mantle.[2] He was hostile to the tenants of the Midnight Mission, demanding them to leave their base to let him takeover.[62]

In preparation for the upcoming vampire uprising, the Structure transformed Shroud and other Darkforce users into portals which proceeded to cover the entire Earth. With sunlight blocked from reaching Earth, the vampires were free to spread worldwide and prey on the human population.[63]


Power Grid[65]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Master: Single Form of Combat:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Single Type: Medium Range:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Learned


Psychic Perception: The Shroud possesses a mystical sense of perception enabling him to "see" even through his own mantle of darkness. This mystical sense gives him psychic impressions of his environment within a radius of about 100 feet of him.[7] Unlike Daredevil, the Shroud can receive non-visual sensory impressions through solid objects. Thus, he can perceive people and objects in the room next to him with the ease that he can perceive the contents of the room he is in.

Darkforce Projection: The Shroud possesses the mystical ability to summon Darkforce by opening a mystical portal into the Darkforce Dimension and drawing its thick, inky atmosphere in various quantities into Earth's dimension. This darkness is not simply the absence of light, but the negation of it. No illumination can penetrate it. It is unknown how much of this darkness the Shroud can summon at once. He can blanket a small auditorium in darkness within several seconds. The darkness he projects does not fill a volume instantly: it is possible to see its hazy boundary move like thick, black smoke in the air. There appears to be no limit to the length of time the Shroud can maintain the darkness. However, if the Shroud is rendered unconscious the darkness seems to be naturally drawn through the portal from whence it came. The Shroud has control over the darkness so as to create hazy-edged, featureless black shapes with it, the complexity of which is limited only by his imagination. He frequently forms the darkness into his own shadow in order to serve as a decoy. Unlike Darkstar's Darkforce, the darkness possesses no mass, and unlike Cloak, the Shroud is unable to travel into or out of the dimension from which he draws his darkness.


The Shroud is an Olympic level athlete with extensive training in several styles of Asian martial arts, and is adept at acrobatics, infiltration and criminology.[7]


Insanity: The Shroud became a suicidal sociopath who tried to take on supervillains with a death wish while fixated on Julia Carpenter.[64]



  • Moon Knight's Suit: A reversal from his predecessor, the Shroud wore a black suit.
  • Bombarang / Magnarang
  • Titanium net
  • Insulated costume

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #14
  2. 2.0 2.1 Vengeance of the Moon Knight (Vol. 2) #4
  3. 3.0 3.1 Super-Villain Team-Up #5
  4. 4.0 4.1 West Coast Avengers (Vol. 2) #40
  5. 5.0 5.1 Marvel Preview #21
  6. Solo Avengers #3 ; "Tower of Shadows"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Super-Villain Team-Up #7
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Shroud #2
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Spider-Woman #15
  10. 10.0 10.1 Shroud #4
  11. Super-Villain Team-Up #6
  12. Super-Villain Team-Up #8
  13. Super-Villain Team-Up #9
  14. Super-Villain Team-Up #10
  15. Super-Villain Team-Up #11
  16. Super-Villain Team-Up #12
  17. 17.0 17.1 Spider-Woman #13
  18. Marvel Team-Up #9394
  19. Spider-Woman #50
  20. Avengers #240
  21. Avengers #241
  22. Doctor Strange (Vol. 2) #67
  23. West Coast Avengers #1
  24. West Coast Avengers #3
  25. West Coast Avengers #4
  26. Captain America #330
  27. Captain America #331
  28. Solo Avengers #3
  29. West Coast Avengers (Vol. 2) #29
  30. Avengers West Coast (Vol. 2) #76
  31. Marvel Comics Presents #54
  32. Marvel Super-Heroes (Vol. 2) #7
  33. Marvel Comics Presents #87
  34. New Warriors #3334
  35. New Warriors Annual #3
  36. Spectacular Spider-Man #207
  37. Spectacular Spider-Man #208
  38. Shroud #1
  39. Shroud #3
  40. 40.0 40.1 Ms. Marvel (Vol. 2) #8
  41. 41.0 41.1 Ms. Marvel (Vol. 2) #6
  42. Ms. Marvel (Vol. 2) #7
  43. Civil War #6
  44. Civil War #7
  45. Omega Flight #1
  46. Marvel Comics Presents (Vol. 2) #6
  47. Shadowland: Blood on the Streets #1
  48. Shadowland: Blood on the Streets #23
  49. Shadowland: Blood on the Streets #4
  50. Heroes for Hire (Vol. 3) #1
  51. Heroes for Hire (Vol. 3) #9
  52. Heroes for Hire (Vol. 3) #1011
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 Daredevil (Vol. 4) #2
  54. 54.0 54.1 Daredevil (Vol. 4) #4
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 Daredevil (Vol. 4) #3
  56. Daredevil (Vol. 4) #13
  57. Daredevil (Vol. 4) #15
  58. Daredevil (Vol. 4) #17
  59. Daredevil (Vol. 4) #18
  60. Prowler (Vol. 2) #2
  61. Moon Knight (Vol. 9) #30
  62. Vengeance of the Moon Knight (Vol. 2) #1
  63. Blood Hunt #1
  64. Daredevil (Vol. 4) #24
  65. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z: Update Vol 1 4