Superhero-mania shows no signs of abating! Since Balladeer’s Blog’s recent look at the defunct Centaur Comics superheroes was such a hit I decided to post an entry on another of their neglected figures.
Secret Identity: Howard Hall, scientist
Origin: Wealthy young scientist Howard Hall found both science and his life of luxury to be ultimately unfulfilling. Immersing himself in the secrets of Eastern Mysticism he discovered he had a real knack for one particular Dark Art: endowing his shadow with life, solidity and super-strength.
Calling himself Nightshade, Hall costumed himself in a white tuxedo and white hat with a pair of large sunglasses serving as a mask. He used his new abilities to fight crime and other forces of evil.
First Appearance: Amazing-Man Comics #24 (October, 1941). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1942.
Nightshade could bring his shadow to life and operate it remotely. The shadow could stretch, become solid and possessed more than human strength.
In addition the shadow was immune to almost any harm. Nightshade could speak and hear remotely through the shadow as well.
Comment: In my opinion Nightshade’s powers are so odd and impractical that he would have made a better supervillain than superhero. He seems quirky and weird enough to fit right in with the Rogue’s Gallery of Will Eisner’s classic hero the Spirit.
But, I have a real soft spot for figures who wear that “fancy duds and hat” look. And the sunglasses in lieu of a mask does give Nightshade a certain something.
FOR THE MAIN LIST OF CENTAUR COMICS SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MEMBERS OF INFINITE HORIZON CLICK HERE
FOR THE AUSTRALIAN SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE
FOR MORE SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE: Superheroes
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