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Quote1 Someday, someone will write a book about me. And that book, it will be almost as amazing as me. Almost. Quote2
Tilda Johnson[src]


Deadly Nightshade[]

Tilda Johnson was born into poverty as the only child of a family[1] living in the Harlem district of New York City. At an early age, she discovered that the fastest and most lucrative way out of her upcoming dead end was learning and crime, prompting her to master both. In secrecy, she explored her natural aptitude for science, hiding a brilliant mind behind a façade of childish behavior. By the time she was sixteen, Johnson had accumulated an extensive knowledge of genetics, cybernetics, and physics worth of three PhDs. Beginning a career of crime, the young Johnson revamped herself as the Deadly Nightshade.[7]

Tilda Johnson (Earth-616) from Captain America Vol 1 164 0001

Queen of the Werewolves

The budding young criminal mastermind was brought to the attention of the crime lord Yellow Claw, who financed her research to debut in a first large-scale criminal venture. Nightshade utilized prisons as a source of manpower for the Yellow Claw, transforming convicts into obedient werewolf-like creatures through the use of a chemical component she had developed. In the Grimrock Prison, Maryland, she was unsuccessful in convincing convict Mel Lansing of joining her operation. Fearful for his fate, Lansing contacted his friend Sam Wilson, the super-hero known as Falcon and partner to Captain America. Nightshade tested her control over the ferocious werewolves with Lansing in retaliation. He was murdered while wearing a replica of Captain America's Uniform for she had anticipated Captain America's involvement.[2]

Captain America and Falcon invaded Nightshade's prison. She captured Falcon and transformed him into a werewolf in order to finish Captain America. Unexpectedly, she was greeted with disappointment by her funder Yellow Claw, who withdrew his support. Additionally, her plan was foiled by Nick Fury of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D.. Failure caused Nightshade to mentally collapse. Believing to be a victim of an unjust world, she threw herself from a cliff and demanded her brainwashed minions to follow as a way to achieve a glorious death. Falcon was restrained by Captain America before he could fall for his death and, as sunlight reverted Nightshade's procedure, he was cured by dawn.[2]

In fact, Deadly Nightshade managed to activate a device inside her headband that saved her life. Despite S.H.I.E.L.D. having declared her dead, she had escaped.[8] In anger, she planned to avenge herself on Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. Using special pheromones to enhance her natural allure, she took control of a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility by seducing several male agents to her will. Led by Eric Koenig, these agents subdued Captain America and the Falcon. Nightshade used her chemicals to create illusions to Captain America, being seen by him as the Enchantress.[9] Revealing her true self, Nightshade declared she wished to use S.H.I.E.L.D. to conquer America for her. Resistant to Nightshade's hypnosis, Agent Valentina de Fontaine researched ways to combat her, realizing sunlight would fade her influence. In the base's solarium, Nightshade was overpowered by Captain America and the Falcon after having lost her brainwashed minions. When her plan ultimately failed, Nightshade was arrested.[8]

Crime Lord[]

Nightshade escaped from prison and returned to Harlem, where she turned her scientific talents toward the creation of life-like robotic cybernauts to serve her in an effort to take control of the criminal underworld. Once again she hid behind a childlike attitude, this time as the "mistress" of rising crime-lord named R.U. Rossum, which was in fact one of her creations.[7] She succeeded in secretly wrestling the protection rackets from local gangs and the organized crime Maggia families. However, her criminal operations caught the attention of the heroes Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Misty Knight.[10] Following the lead of Nightshade's associate Shreeve, Cage and Knight were subdued by her mechanic monstrosities. She trapped the heroes in a car and released them in the Hudson River to drown to death.[11] They survived and, aided by Iron Fist, sought for a payback. The heroes exposed her scheme, and Iron Fist destroyed Rossum. Nightshade attempted to blind them in order to escape, but Iron Fist was able to knock her out regardless. She was arrested one more time.[7]

However, she proved no prison could hold her and resurfaced with a scheme to recruit the monstrous Hulk as an accomplice in acquiring a unique piece of circuitry developed by the Rand-Meachum Company, which could allow her to override the access codes of any computer system. Nightshade firstly attempted to mind control the Hulk using a device, but he was able to resist her. However, she played innocent to befriend him and convince him to do her work. The Hulk acquired the device, by defeating Iron Fist and Luke Cage, who were then able to track him with the help of the robot Machine Man. The heroes convinced the Hulk he had been lied to. Unable to combat such a massive team-up, Nightshade had her plans foiled, being imprisoned again.[12]

After serving a short sentence, she was paroled and conceived a hasty plan to acquire funds for future operations. As her right-hand men, she had Man Mountain Marko and the Eel. Together, they tricked the brothers Stiletto and Discus into joining their operation under the pretense Nightshade had been reformed. They invaded a debutante ball to rob its wealthy guests of their valuables, an opportunity Nightshade took to explore her wishes of being publicly venerated. Luke Cage and Iron Fist, who at the time were accompanying Jeryn Hogarth's daughter Millie to the ball, thwarted her plans another time. Nightshade was knocked out by a furious Millie and once more arrested, alongside her lackeys.[1]

Doctor Nightshade[]

Nightshade lent her scientist expertise to the misandrist Superia, who planned to render most women in the world infertile, except for a bunch of selected women with optimum physical condition in order to control the future of the human species and found Femizonia. As a result, they recruited dozens of supervillainesses with past records as criminals, who became part of Superia's stratagem as the Femizons, based in the luxurious S.S. Superia.[13] Loyal to Superia, Doctor Nightshade was the second in command of the yacht, being in charge of taking care of the women aboard.[14]

Unexpectedly, three of their recruits were allies to Captain America, namely Black Mamba, Asp, and his lover Diamondback. Captain America and their friend Paladin went to their rescue on S.S. Superia. Doctor Nightshade identified their aircraft and ordered Femizons to destroy it under Superia's orders.[15] Captain America and Paladin managed to infiltrate the ship however, prompting Doctor Nightshade to lead the army of Femizons to defeat and capture them.[4] Under Superia's orders, Doctor Nightshade started a process to transform Captain America and Paladin into women.[14] However, Black Mamba and Asp rescued them, with Asp furtively knocking Doctor Nightshade out.[13] The opposition to Superia ultimately prevailed and her plans were foiled.[16]

Doctor Nightshade returned to her origins by experimenting with werewolf serums one more time in coalition with Dredmund, the Demon Druid; this time she used Jack Russell as the source of her chemicals.[17] They created a small army of werewolves around Boston, Massachusetts, brainwashing the man named Moonhunter to act as the beasts' keeper. However, some werewolves became involved in attacks in the area, catching Wolverine's attention. Moreover, Captain America's pilot John Jameson became one of their victims, prompting the star-spangled hero to investigate the situation alongside the mystic Doctor Druid.[18]

Wolverine was captured, but Doctor Nightshade was not able to turn him into a werewolf, instead she only hypnotized him to serve her. She unleashed the berserker mutant onto Captain America and Doctor Druid, effectively overpowering them.[19] As a result, Doctor Nightshade transformed Captain America into a werewolf. His physical strength allowed him to escape her, however she bargained his loyalty for the chance of being transformed back into a human.[20] Captain America's strong will led him to inspire the other werewolves, who rebelled against their captors.[21] John Jameson, as the Man-Wolf, transformed Doctor Nightshade herself into a lycanthropic beast, demanding her to revert the process for all the victims while Dredmund got overpowered by the heroes.[22] With no other choice for she was defeated, Doctor Nightshade complied. When being arrested, she attempted, with no success, to claim Dredmund had mind-controlled her.[23]

Black Panther[]

Nightshade was one of the mercenaries assembled by Boss Morgan under Killmonger's pay to tackle the Black Panther. When Black Panther's search for Killmonger led him to Sergeant Tork in Harlem, Deadly Nightshade was the first to attack him. Underestimated by Black Panther, she was able to use her chemicals to control Tork and neutralize Black Panther. Later on, joined by Morgan and his other goons, she exploded Black Panther's car.[24] Unexpectedly, Black Panther teamed up with many other superheroes, namely the Falcon, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Goliath, which granted him victory over Morgan's group.[25]

Out of prison, Nightshade sought for revenge. She invaded Colleen Wing's apartment to collect the remnant ashes of the magic Black Dragon, who had been beheaded by Wing. She was able to master Wing in combat by intoxicating her with a paralyzing toxin and stealing her grandfather's meitou sword. After reviving Black Dragon, Nightshade laced his genome with a bomb to blackmail him into helping her get revenge against Black Panther. To counter this, Black Dragon restrained her, swapped bodies with Everett K. Ross, the U.S. liaison to Black Panther, and prepared eggs to hatch a replacement body for him. Black Panther rescued Nightshade and destroyed the eggs to revert the situation, but Black Dragon brainwashed Iron Fist into attacking them.[26] Upon waking up, Nightshade informed Ross that Black Dragon would return his body since he would not want to be trapped in Ross' body forever without a chance of having his own body back.[27]

In Black Panther's underwater base, she revived a Black Panther from an alternate reality, mistaking him for the mainstream Black Panther, who she wanted to thank for having freed her from Black Dragon. Before she could escape, a restored Iron Fist tackled her in search of a cure for Black Dragon's unstable condition as he intended to unleash his rage upon Wakanda. In Wakanda, Black Panther depowered Black Dragon. However, the alternate Black Panther took the glory of the battle, having Nightshade by his side.[28]

The alternate and very eccentric Black Panther had been shifted from the future due to the effect of the time-traveling artifacts known as King Solomon's Frogs[29] and suffered from a terminal aneurysm, causing Nightshade to pity him. She joined him, Everett Ross, Mr. Little and Princess Zanda in Kiber Island to collect one of the Frogs. In the process, they fought Kiber the Cruel.[30] The Frogs had been used by Xcon to stage coups in North America, a domination plan the Black Panthers united forces to stop.[31] Nightshade helped Black Panther and Iron Man identify Xcon's temporal doppelgängers and return them to their timelines.[32] After the ordeal, the alternate Black Panther succumbed to his ill fate, being executed by the Man-Ape. Nightshade attempted to save his life with no success and ultimately mourned his demise alongside Monica Lynne, for he had been able to touch them with his heroism.[33]

M.O.D.O.K.'s Heist[]

Johnson's run-in with Black Panther inspired her to start her life over without crime. Despite her skill and intelligence, the only medical job she was able to get was as a receptionist as she was self-taught and, as such, had no official qualifications. She was promptly fired after pointing out a mistaken diagnosis by one of the doctors which led the hospital to conceal her criminal record. Unemployed, she was contacted by M.O.D.O.K. about a mercenary job. With no other options ahead of herself, she accepted the offer.[5]

Nightshade met other seven super-villains summoned by M.O.D.O.K. in a warehouse, where he informed he had need of their specific skills for a group supposed to perform the greatest heist in the multiverse.[34] M.O.D.O.K. trained his band of minions to steal the Hypernova, an almost-unlimited power source from the multiversal Infinicide, in order to create a Cosmic Cube.[35] Nightshade prepared her teammate, the Chameleon, to infiltrate the Infinicide's ship in China, which allowed the group to collect the power source. However, they were betrayed by their teleporter Spot, who stole the device for his real employer, the Mandarin.[5]

The Infinicide's ship detonated as a result; Nightshade only survived thanks to her allies, being protected by the Armadillo and rescued by the shy Rocket Racer, who had developed a crush on her. M.O.D.O.K. then sent his minions to the Mandarin's base, where the Living Laser was soon trapped. To save the Laser, Nightshade tricked a powerless Puma into believing he had recovered his totemic by injecting him with her Werewolf Serum. This allowed Nightshade to threaten the Mandarin of destroying the urn containing his father's ashes.[36]

Being able to wear half of the Mandarin's Rings, Nightshade joined her teammates in battle. However, another traitors influenced the outcome of the heist; Rocket Racer actually worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. and abandoned the site with the Hypernova, but he was targeted by the Chameleon, who was in fact an Ultra-Adaptoid piloted by A.I.M.'s Scientist Supreme Monica Rappaccini. Although Rappaccini claimed M.O.D.O.K. intended to betray those he had hired, the honorable group of goons decided to stay loyal and defeated her alongside the Mandarin. The Living Laser then absorbed the energy of the Hypernova, apparently destroying it. The crooks returned to M.O.D.O.K., who revealed to be in possession of the Hypernova. Grateful to his three only loyal minions, M.O.D.O.K. paid them a sum of millions of dollars and used the Hypernova to destroy Rappaccini. Nightshade, Puma and Armadillo decided to stay working together after the successful heist.[37]


During Daredevil's foul reign over the Hand, Deadly Nightshade resumed her activities as a crime-lord under the radar in his Shadowland. She formed the group of super-powered criminals known as the Flashmob, as a revival of Luke Cage's old gang, the Rivals. Her operatives were targeted by New York City's new hero for hire, Power Man, which sparked her interest on him since she had built energy spectacles for his father Shades in the past.[38]

Having the local police officers under her control, Deadly Nightshade put her plan against Power Man into motion by subduing him alongside the lethal Cottonmouth. She claimed that Power Man's energy absorbing powers came from her spectacles being imbued within his biology and offered him to work for her.[39] Deadly Nightshade demanded Power Man to kill Iron Fist in order to help him understand his abilities. However, he turned against her, joining Iron Fist instead. In the end, they were not able to restrain Deadly Nightshade, which led her to vanish.[40]

Following the fall of Daredevil's Shadowland, Misty Knight assembled the Heroes for Hire to operate in the city under her control.[41] Her group was hired by the the mayor when the population of Manhattan was infected by a spider-transforming agent. Deadly Nightshade attempted to have her Flashmob out of the quarantined spider island, but the Heroes for Hire stopped her from leaving.[42]

Soon after, the Purple Man created his own opposing project to Knight's, Villains for Hire. To combat him, Knight also employed a crew of super-villains, which included Nightshade.[43] Nightshade went to the field as a retriever for Tiger Shark, Bombshell, and Crossfire, being in charge of collecting a cargo Purple Man was interested in. In her plane, she was attacked by Death-Stalker. Nightshade survived Death-Stalker's deadly touch by revealing she was in fact a remote operated robot.[43] Eventually, some of Misty Knight's Crew abandoned her when they were offered more money to join the Purple Man. Although Nightshade was not one of the traitors, they used her intel to pinpoint Knight's location.[44] Knight ultimately defeated Purple Man with a series of misleading ploys.[45]


Johnson found herself hitting rock bottom in her criminal career. When held at gunpoint by a group of thugs, she realized her wasted potential and swore to turn her life around if she survived. She was miraculously saved by the vigilante Nighthawk, who required of Johnson's expertise with electronics. Though he threatened Johnson to have her join him, she gladly and voluntarily accepted.[46] From then on, Johnson acted as Nighthawk's mission control, creating his equipment. She moved to his base in Chicago, as he wished to clean the city from crime and battle injustice faced by the black community, especially by the True Patriots.[47]

The racial tension in Chicago escalated when a black teenager was murdered by a white police officer. Moreover, Nighthawk and Johnson came to the conclusion that the serial killer named the Revelator was responsible for making matters worse in the city's underworld crime scene by killing white racist criminals.[48] Simultaneously, the duo investigated the smuggling of arms from Bagalia into Chicago and linked the operation carried out by the True Patriots to the police.[49] When the Revelator captured Nighthawk,[50] Johnson was forced to go into action in order to mislead the police and rescue him.[51] Nighthawk had Johnson find correlations between the recent crimes and the magnate Dan Hanrahan. Johnson then realized the Revelator had grabbed hold of Hanrahan. She remotely assisted Nighthawk defeat the Revelator with her drones just in time to watch Hanrahan perish as well.[52]

Chicago was eventually visited by the former Avenger Hawkeye, who had embarked on a journey to help people across the country. He contacted Johnson in regards of the origin of a sample of Epidurium he and his partner Red Wolf had found being trafficked illegally. Teamed up with Nighthawk, their investigation took them to an abandoned S.H.I.E.L.D. base located in a coal mine which was being guarded by decades-old Life-Model Decoy.[53] The base was secured thanks to Johnson defeating some hijackers. After reporting the incident to S.H.I.E.L.D., Johnson decided to join Hawkeye and Red Wolf in their road trip of vigilantism, leaving Nighthawk's side in good terms with him.[46]

With her skills, Johnson adapted a state-of-the-art S.H.I.E.L.D. van to serve as the group's vehicle, which Hawkeye named the Vantastic. The Vantastic's A.I. got them stuck in Dungston, Iowa,[54] where the trio learned the town had been invaded by two different factions of shape-shifting Skrulls. Johnson allied herself with some Skrull refugees, acquiring they weaponry to fight the other faction that served the Skrull Empire.[55] In the end, the Skrulls were defeated and S.H.I.E.L.D. took care of the case.[54]

When Steve Rogers revealed himself to be a Hydra sleeper agent and established a Hydra Empire in the United States,[56] Nighthawk was murdered when out of duty, in civilian clothes, for being a black man protesting the fascistic regime. To honor the legacy of the man who had saved her life, Tilda Johnson took his suit and carried on the mantle of the Nighthawk in the resistance run by Hawkeye, the Underground. She brutally countered Hydra's advance alongside Red Wolf, even inspiring people to resist their supremacism in the country. They helped to provide food to victims.[3] Travelling to an old S.H.I.E.L.D. bunker that served as a refugee camp in South Dakota, they confronted a bunch of Hydra agents. Johnson inspired civilians to fight for their freedom, preferring to die fighting rather than surrendering. During the war, Nighthawk and Red Wolf explored their romantic feelings for each other.[57] After the fall of the regime, Johnson was seen without her Nighthawk suit at the Bar with No Name[58] alongside Conan, Juggernaut, and several other patrons.[59]


Power Grid[62]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Experienced Fighter:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/None:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Super-Genius


Super-Genius Intelligence: Tilda Johnson is considered to be one of the smartest people on the planet. She is a brilliant scientist, and has constructed a number of formidable weapons and devices to aid her in her criminal activities. With the Yellow Claw's help, she once developed a chemical which allowed her to control a man's mind and influence his perceptions, but her supply of that chemical has long since exhausted.[60]

Trained Combatant: Nightshade is also an above-average athlete, and is extensively trained in martial arts and acrobatics.[61]



  • Nighthawk's Suit


  • Mesmer Dust: Tilda Johnson used a pink dust to hypnotize people that she could convince to do her bidding.[1]


  • Nightshade has likewise developed various formulas to turn beings into werewolves (see Grimrock Prison werewolves).[2] Nightshade said the werewolf serum was created by Yellow Claw.[8] ("The Yellow Claw's serum might have been able to turn men into werewolves", "Like a lot of the Claw's creations, the werewolves disintegrated on death").

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Power Man and Iron Fist #110
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Captain America #164
  3. 3.0 3.1 Occupy Avengers #8
  4. 4.0 4.1 Captain America #389
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Super-Villain Team-Up MODOK's 11 #3
  6. Captain America #388
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Power Man and Iron Fist #53
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Captain America #190
  9. Captain America #189
  10. Power Man and Iron Fist #51
  11. Power Man and Iron Fist #52
  12. Marvel Team-Up Annual #3
  13. 13.0 13.1 Captain America #391
  14. 14.0 14.1 Captain America #390
  15. Captain America #387
  16. Captain America #392
  17. Captain America #403
  18. Captain America #402
  19. Captain America #404
  20. Captain America #405
  21. Captain America #406
  22. Captain America #407
  23. Captain America #408
  24. Black Panther (Vol. 3) #16
  25. Black Panther (Vol. 3) #17
  26. Black Panther (Vol. 3) #38
  27. Black Panther (Vol. 3) #39
  28. Black Panther (Vol. 3) #40
  29. Black Panther (Vol. 3) #41
  30. Black Panther (Vol. 3) #43
  31. Black Panther (Vol. 3) #44
  32. Black Panther (Vol. 3) #45
  33. Black Panther (Vol. 3) #48
  34. Super-Villain Team-Up MODOK's 11 #1
  35. Super-Villain Team-Up MODOK's 11 #2
  36. Super-Villain Team-Up MODOK's 11 #4
  37. Super-Villain Team-Up MODOK's 11 #5
  38. Shadowland: Power Man #2
  39. Shadowland: Power Man #3
  40. Shadowland: Power Man #4
  41. Heroes for Hire (Vol. 3) #1
  42. Spider-Island: Heroes for Hire #1
  43. 43.0 43.1 Villains for Hire #1
  44. Villains for Hire #2
  45. Villains for Hire #34
  46. 46.0 46.1 Occupy Avengers #4
  47. Nighthawk (Vol. 2) #1
  48. Nighthawk (Vol. 2) #12
  49. Nighthawk (Vol. 2) #3
  50. Nighthawk (Vol. 2) #4
  51. Nighthawk (Vol. 2) #5
  52. Nighthawk (Vol. 2) #6
  53. Occupy Avengers #3
  54. 54.0 54.1 Occupy Avengers #7
  55. Occupy Avengers #56
  56. Secret Empire #0
  57. Occupy Avengers #9
  58. Savage Avengers #14
  59. Savage Avengers #16
  60. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z: Update #1
  61. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #8
  62. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z: Update Vol 1 1