Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human mutate, conventional weapons user (Native American [Mohawk] citizen of Canada)
Occupation: Vigilante; formerly soldier, janitor
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Oscar Charlesworth, Angela Cleaver, Ivan Petrovich;
Samuel Clement "Scoop" Daly, Cancer Divine, Dr. Schuyler G Edsall, Bill Hershey, An Hoi, Jamie, Mike Macey, Inez Pearl,
Simple Simon, Chinese White, his cat
Enemies: Yi Yang and the Dragon Tong (Dragonfire, Ghost Tiger, Red Cudgel), Armourer, Assassin,
Colonel John "Wolf" Bane, Harold Chase, Chess Master, Comte De Saint Germain, Death Master (Randall Croft),
Dr. John Dee, John "Ace" Diamond, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, Edgar Stasheff (aka Slasher), Francisco "Fat Man" Farinelli, "Tall Saul" Konig, Danny Marinello,
"Small Paul" McGee, "Madman" McHooey, Tony Meyer, Mr. Big, Beauregard Montclair IV, Night Raven (Howard Bates),
Martin Rheinhardt and the Swords of the New Dawn, Boysie Ragazzi, Paulo Riggio, David Simons, "Neat Pete" Sligo, Snow Leopard(s),
Soldier (Jack Krieger), Taxman, Don Salvatore Vischetti
Known Relatives: Unidentified parents, unidentified uncle, unnamed grandfather (all presumably deceased)
Aliases: Blackbird, Dark Avenger, Lone Man of Justice, Man in the Mask; impersonated Don Castillio, Snake, many others
Base of Operations: Mobile worldwide, especially New York City; 1920s-present
First Appearance: Hulk Comic#1/5 (January 7, 1979)
Powers/Abilities: Night Raven originally possessed no superhuman powers. He is skilled with firearms of most kinds, carrying at various times revolvers, automatic handguns, and rifles. He is also a capable knife user, and usually has at least a pair of handguns and a knife on his person. Night Raven is also highly competent in the use of ropes, and at least briefly carried a grappling-hook gun, possibly of his own manufacture. He is a master of stealth, able to pass through rooms without the occupants ever noticing his presence. Although he rarely, if ever, maintains his own vehicles, he is more than capable of operating whatever cars, motorcycles or other transportation he might come across. He is an exceptionally deadly hand-to-hand combatant, and is remarkably stealthy and skilled at sleight-of-hand. Finally, Night Raven is known for marking his victims with a device concealed in his glove. This device chemically burns a copy of Night Raven's logo into the victim's flesh, and, when applied to the forehead in Night Raven's usual practice, can bring about insanity or even death through unknown means. He wears a full-head mask apparently carved from bone or ivory.
Exposed to an unknown chemical agent by Yi Yang, Night Raven has found his physiology dramatically altered. Originally, this included constant agony. Although this effect has since been nullified, Night Raven no longer ages, and possesses an extremely accelerated healing factor. His body apparently does not produce fatigue toxins, virtually no other drugs or chemicals have any effect on him (in large doses, strychnine can induce a sort of torpor), and he recovers from wounds extremely quickly. The rate of recovery varies by type of injury; he has been seen to recover completely from flesh wounds, such as gunshots, in a matter of seconds or minutes, but more serious structural damage such as broken bones can take hours or days to heal. It is unknown whether his regenerative abilities could compensate for dismemberment or incineration. He is also highly durable, possibly a side effect of his layers of mutated scar tissue, and seems to be abnormally strong as well.
Weight: 115 lbs
Hair: None, formerly black
Other distinguishing features: Night Raven's body is covered in scar tissue, and he has no lips or eyelids. He speaks with a pronounced hiss.
History: (Marvel Superheroes#382 (fb)/Mighty World of Marvel II#13 (fb)/Night Raven: House of Cards (fb)) - The man who would become known as Night Raven was born in southern Alberta, Canada in 1900. He was half Mohawk, and, after "something happened" to his parents early in his schooling, he split his childhood between an orphanage run by white people and living in the woods with his grandfather. He was never able to come to terms with this dual identity, and his totem, according to his grandfather, reflected this. The Spirit Raven was telling him that he would never have a place to roost, and that he had both magic and danger within him. The words his grandfather spoke stayed with Night Raven throughout his life: "Always honor your spirit bird...Fly with Death, feed with him. But always seek out the true things in this world and nurture them.".
By the time Night Raven was a young man, he had moved to live with his uncle in New England. His best friend there was a boy named Bill Hershey. In 1915, he and Hershey headed to Canada to join the army, eager to do their part in the First World War. It was 1917 before they made it to the front, just in time for the Third Battle of Ypres. All of the future Night Raven's idealism was stripped away by the horrors he witnessed in Belgium. One day, he and Hershey were crossing the slick wooden duckboards which provided the only safe pathways across the ever-present sucking mud, when a German minenwerfer exploded nearby. The shockwave buffeted the duckboards, and Night Raven lost his footing, plunging into the muddy depths. In desperation, he looked around for handhold and found it in the form of the outstretched hand of a corpse, partially disinterred by the blast. From it, he was able to struggle up to Hershey, who pulled him to safety. Shortly thereafter, the shell-shocked young man was shipped away from the front lines and ultimately to a New England asylum. In his own words, "madness claimed [him] before a bullet did".
(Night Raven: House of Cards (fb) - BTS) - Over the following decade, the man regained at least some of his sanity, escaped or was released from the asylum, and, moving to New York City, adopted the guise of Night Raven, establishing himself as a detective and vigilante. He had a daytime job as the janitor for an apartment building, from which he would go out into the city to interrupt the seemingly-endless stream of Prohibition-era criminals. His calling card was a note reading "Where brooding darkness spreads its evil wings - the Night Raven stings!".
(Marvel Superheroes#382 (fb)) - At some point after the war, Night Raven visited the Sudan and his acquaintance Oscar Charlesworth, whom he may have known from the Army.
(Night Raven: House of Cards) - Night Raven's earliest recorded exploit came in early 1929, when he became obsessed with a singer named Inez Pearl, who was the girlfriend of a small time crook, Jack, known in the underworld as "Soldier". Congressman Harold Chase was interested in Pearl, as well, and used his ties with mob boss "Tall Paul" Konig to try to force Jack to give him a night with her. Jack tried to resist Konig, but the mob boss brought a lot of heat down on him. Fearing for his life, Jack arranged for Pearl to meet with Konig in exchange for a large sum of money. Night Raven saw Pearl as pure, and was furious that Jack would allow her to be used in such a fashion.
Jack had actually given Pearl a gun and was going to have her either take the money or shoot Konig if he resisted. Night Raven, unaware of this, swooped down at the meeting site, in an effort to "rescue" Pearl. Fearing that his interference would ruin their carefully laid plans and risk Jack's life, Pearl resisted, and in the process shot the Raven in the face. It was a glancing blow, and he fell into the river below, where he later recovered. Konig's men killed Jack and captured Pearl. They took her to Yi Yang, head of the criminal Chinese Dragon Tong, intending to leave her at one of Yi Yang's brothels until things cooled off enough to bring her to Chase. Pearl was drugged to keep her tractable, but Chase, shaken by how personally he had become involved in the situation, ordered that she be disposed of, and Yi Yang administered an overdose.
Night Raven broke into Yi Yang's brothel, slaughtered her men, and located Pearl. As he carried her out of the building, she fell asleep in his arms, and was dead by the time he got her into a car. Seemingly in shock, Night Raven told his dead love, "I am a healer, and a healer must dwell amongst the sick. And if he cannot save them with either skill or love - then he must ease them gently into death." He then drugged Chase, branded him (on the behind), put Pearl's corpse in bed with him, and called the newspapers, effectively ending Chase's political career.
(Hulk Comic#1/5) - Night Raven, impersonating the mafioso Don Castillio, infiltrated a high-level criminal meeting called by a mob boss called Granacci. As Night Raven revealed his deception, the meeting dissolved into chaos. Night Raven escaped to the roof, and pulled Granacci up after him. When two of the three remaining criminals went up after him, they shot and killed what they believed to be Night Raven. However, it was actually Granacci, dressed in Night Raven's hat and coat. Meanwhile, Night Raven had returned downstairs, ambushing and branding the third mobster. By the time the two remaining criminals found their newly-insane partner, Night Raven was gone.
(Hulk Comic#2/5) - A wanted criminal known as "Madman" McHooey holed up in an eighth-floor apartment. The police laid siege to the apartment building for three days, but could do little because McHooey was holding a woman hostage. Night Raven, disguised as a deaf and blind beggar, wandered across the street towards McHooey's building. The gunman let the "beggar" pass by, and he entered the building, discarding his disguise in the elevator on his way up. He held onto his blind man's cane, however, tapping it up to the door to McHooey's room. McHooey prepared to attack whoever entered, but the sound of the tapping outside the door slowly faded. McHooey opened the door to look down the hall, but found Night Raven immediately outside, tapping his cane more and more lightly on the floor. Before McHooey could react, Night Raven disarmed and branded him, leaving him gibbering and incapacitated for the policeman who had followed him in.
(Hulk Comic#3/5) - Night Raven witnessed the shakedown of pawn-shop owner Sam Venuti by the Taxman and his strongman. Unfortunately, the policeman who responded to Mrs. Venuti's call assumed Night Raven was the man responsible, and chased him into an alley. Night Raven overpowered the officer and stole his car. Speeding to Carlo Canalone's restaurant, the Taxman's next target, Night Raven arrived just as the bomb left behind by the Taxman exploded, killing Canalone and his staff and destroying the building. Night Raven was knocked to the ground by the explosion, and before he could recover, he was confronted by a policeman who had been alerted to the theft of the squad car.
(Hulk Comic#4/5) - As the officer tried to handcuff Night Raven, he found that, not only had he somehow handcuffed himself, but Night Raven had emptied his revolver. The next night, Night Raven went to the shop of clockmaker Albert Feldstein and tied him up, taking his place in the shop. When the Taxman arrived, the disguised Night Raven pleaded with the Taxman to accept a fancy clock as payment for his protection debt. While the Taxman considered it, the real Feldstein kocked over the chair to which he was tied, and the Taxman's thug went to check it out. When the thug discovered Feldstein in the back room, Night Raven jumped him, and defeated him after a short fight. Meanwhile, the Taxman was escaping in his car with the clock, when he suddenly realized the significance of its noisy ticking. Moments later, the clock exploded, throwing the car and the Taxman himself into the river.
(Hulk Comic#5/5) - Night Raven was at Fat Freddie's pool hall during a high-stakes poker game between "Ace" Diamond and three other men. Diamond had been winning big all night, and the other men got suspicious. When they found cards up Diamond's sleeve, they started working him over. Night Raven joined the fight, using the pool balls and cues against the three gamblers (despite the pleas of Fat Freddie, who'd just had the table re-covered). Diamond, however, was not grateful, and ran away with his ill-gotten winings, pausing only to lock Night Raven in with his opponents to avoid sharing any of his take.
(Hulk Comic#6/5) - Night Raven, fighting for time to pick the lock, switched off the lights. When the lights came up, the other three gamblers saw the door hanging open and ran outside in pursuit, failing to notice that Night Raven was hiding under the pool table. Several nights later, while Diamond is holed up in aa hotel downtown, he received an invitation to a big poker game at Hotel Central. The next day, the other three gamblers received anonymous tips that Diamond would be at the Hotel Central that night. As they arrived, Night Raven disposed of and branded them all, and when Diamond finally showed up, he was greeted with the sight of the bodies of the others. Night Raven challenged him to a single hand of poker, and was ecstatic when Night Raven dealt him three kings. The vigilante, however, laid down three aces, and dispatched Diamond with a brand to the forehead.
(Hulk Comic#7/5) - Happening upon a pair of thugs mugging a drunken old man, Night Raven stepped in to help. As he finished taking down the two, however, the "old man" removed his mask and revealed himself to be the Assassin, hired by mob boss Mr. Big to kill the crimefighter.
(Hulk Comic#8/6) - The Assassin had Night Raven at gunpoint, but was distracted by the arrival of Detective Nick Nolan, who had been assigned by police Captain Dougla "Dougie" Doyle to bring Night Raven in. The three were ina standoff briefly, until the Assassin recovered and fired. Night Raven leapt out of the way, and the Assassin's bullet hit Dolan. Night Raven disarmed the Assassin before he could fire again, but the criminal knocked him down and fled up a nearby fire escape. Night Raven followed, using a grappling gun, but the Assassin crossed to a second fire escape and hurled a knife, severing Night Raven's line.
(Hulk Comic#9/6) - Night Raven was able to stop his fall with the help of a convenient boom, but found himself in the middle of a late-night shipment of illegal liquor. He dropped a crate full of bottles on one of the smugglers, and some of the liquor reached the semi-conscious Nolan, who called headquarters. Meanwhile, just as Night Raven finished off the last of the bootleggers, the Assassin returned to finish him.
(Hulk Comic#10/6) - Night Raven and the Assassin squared off on the boom. Night Raven threw his coat over his opponent's head, blinding him, and swept his legs out from beneath him. The Assassin, however, managed to grab the boom on the way down, and swung around to kick Night Raven, who was thrown off into space, only managing to save himself by grabbing a nearby sign and swinging through the building's window. He found himself in a speakeasy run by none other than the Assassin's employer, Mr. Big himself, who ordered his men to kill Night Raven. Night Raven responded by shooting down the chandelier, and taking out Mr. Big's men in the darkness and confusion. As Night Raven made his way to the exit, the police summoned by Nolan's call arrived. Hearing the sirens, Mr. Big tried to escape, failing to realize the man pushing his wheelchair was Night Raven. Before the vigilante could get far, though, the Assassin jumped him, and Mr. Big was sent careening out of control.
(Hulk Comic#11/6) - While Mr. Big veered into traffic and was killed by a truck, Night Raven and the Assassin were fighting their last battle. The Assassin seemed to have the upper hand, but Night Raven was able to defeat and brand him. He then took the Assassin downstairs to an alley where he was shot to death by the police.
(Hulk Comic#12/6) - Night Raven interrupted a robbery at a hotel where reporter "Scoop" Daly of the Daily Sentinel was staying.
(Hulk Comic#13/6) - As Night Raven fought the robbers, Daly took a picture of him from the staircase. The flash blinded Night Raven, allowing the criminals a chance to overpower him and grab Daly as a hostage. The robbers forced Daly to drive their car away from the scene, but he had never driven before, and backed into another car before managing to speed away. The other driver got out to inspect the damage, at which point Night Raven climbed into the car, facetiously introducing himself as "Phantom Auto Repairs", and raced after the robbers.
(Hulk Comic#14/6) - Witnessing one of the robbers shooting down a motorcycle cop who was following the robbers' car, Night Raven resolved to finish with them quickly. He fired at the car, but their return fire shot out his tire. Daly lost control of the car in the confusion, and crashed through a railing and down a steep embankment. He took the stolen money with him as he ran from the scene, but Night Raven caught up with him and lunged for his head. Daly passed out, but when he awoke, he found that Night Raven had realized he was "mostly" innocent. The two robbers lie motionless nearby, both bearing the vigilante's brand, and the money was gone. But Night Raven had only branded the door behind Daly.
(Hulk Comic#15/6) - In 1931, Night Raven headed to the Chinatown docks, having heard there was a large opium shipment coming in. The police had also been tipped off, and moved in to arrest the smugglers, who were part of the criminal Chinese Dragon Tong. The police were unprepared for the skills of the Dragons, however, and Night Raven joined the fight himself. He fought his way through the smugglers to their leader, Dragonfire, who was hijacking the police launch. When he grabbed Dragonfire's sash, however, he found himself holding a venomous snake.
(Hulk Comic#16/6) - Night Raven dove into the water to shake off the snake. Dragonfire and one of his henchmen made their escape, killing another policeman as they did so, but Night Raven was able to catch up with and board the boat. He took the Dragons off-guard, and forced Dragonfire to crash into a barge moored along their path. The barge was full of fuel oil, and the boats exploded.(Hulk Comic#17/6) - Night Raven and Dragonfire continued their fight in the water, until, drowning, they both made for the surface. Night Raven reached the surface, only to find the water ablaze with oil, and was sucked into a sewer intake. As he pulled himself out into the tunnels beneath the city streets, he noticed Dragonfire ahead of him. He gave chase, little realizing that Dragonfire was waiting ahead to ambush him.
(Hulk Comic#18/6) - When Dragonfire made his move, Night Raven was too fast for him, and was able to disable him long enough to head up to his favored environment - the streets. Once aboveground, though, he found himself under attack by more members of the Dragon Tong.
(Hulk Comic#19/6) - Night Raven easily defeated the Dragons, but was then confronted with Khan, an enormous tiger. Unfortunately for Dragonfire, he chose that moment to emerge from the sewers, and the uncontrollable beast savaged him. Night Raven took advantage of the distraction to scale a nearby building. Yi Yang, the ruler of the Dragon Tong, sent Khan after him.
(Hulk Comic#20/6) - Night Raven was able to use his grappling line to swing Khan off the building to his death. Chasing Yi Yang's car from the rooftops, Night Raven caught up with it and leapt to its roof. In the driver's attempts to shake the vigilante off, he drove down a blind alley and crashed into a solid wall. Yi Yang escaped, however, and began to shoot at Night Raven from the darkness, until he was able to disarm and brand her. Possibly due to her unnatural physiology, however, she was not driven insane, but instead appeared to commit suicide out of dishonor at her defeat. Night Raven left her body in the alley where it lay with a copy of his poem.
(Marvel Super Heroes#390/3 (fb)) - Yi Yang, who was effectively immortal, survived, but the Dragon Tong lost a great deal of credibility in the underworld. In revenge, she somehow discovered Night Raven's hideout and had an envelope delivered to him. When he opened the envelope, it appeared empty except for a single hexagram from the I Ching - number twenty-three, Falling Apart. However, the envelope had also contained a mysterious chemical agent, and when Night Raven breathed it in, he was horribly cursed with unending physical pain, which slowly ate away at his sanity.
(Savage Action#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Night Raven broke into the study of Herbert Walpole, wealthy head of Walpole Chemicals, the night before Walpole held a dinner party with several of his relatives and business associates. He may have been investigating rumors about the murder of Walpole's wife.
(Savage Action#1/2) - At Walpole's party, Walpole unexpectedly spasmed and died. His doctor, Cedricke Waterfield, pronounced him dead of a heart attack, but later that night, Night Raven examined the body and determined that Walpole had been poisoned.
(Savage Action#2/2) - Dr. Waterfield sent Walpole's butler, Jenks, to lock the dining hall until the police could investigate in the morning. Just as Jenks did so, the Night Raven swept down on him, telling him to inform the other guests that he knew who had killed Walpole and how and why it was done. Jenks fainted, and awoke with the guests anxiously huddled around him. He conveyed the Night Raven's message, saying that it had been told to him by the Phantom of Walpole Towers itself.
Several hours later, Walpole's employee David Simons crept down to the dining hall and picked the lock. He entered and was shocked to find the Night Raven inside. The vigilante showed Simons that he had the soup spoon that Walpole had used, and then fired a round into the ceiling to bring the other guests down. When the crowd was assembled, Night Raven forced Simons to reveal that he had murdered Walpole, who had been blackmailing him into working for extremely low wages, by smearing poison on his spoon. He had thought that, with everyone having eaten soup from the same tureen, the food would not be suspect, and it would be assumed that Walpole had died of a heart attack. Dr. Waterfield then told Simons that he had examined Walpole two weeks prior, and his heart had been perfectly fine. Night Raven then left Simons in the custody of Waterfield and the other guests, and was presumably arrested for murder in the morning.
(Savage Action#3/2) - Night Raven read in the papers that the middle-aged Senator Berkley had become prematurely senile for no apparent reason. The only clue was a single white chess pawn found in the room. Night Raven knew that there had been talk in the underworld about a connection between recent crimes and chess, and he decided to find an informant to explain it. As chance would have it, he found his chosen informant, Shady Deale, at the same time as thugs Ox and Sapper, who had been sent by the criminal mastermind Chess Master to ensure that Deale didn't tell anyone about his recent activities. Night Raven easily dispatched the thugs, then began to pump Deale for information. Deale escaped, though, and although the vigilante managed to catch him, Ox and Sapper returned with guns, and Night Raven was forced to use Deale to shield himself from the bullets.
(Savage Action#4/3) - Night Raven followed the thugs' car back to the Chess Master's warehouse base. Sneaking in through a window, he took Ox, Sapper, and the Chess Master himself by surprise. The Chess Master rallied quickly, however, and disappeared through a hidden door in the wall. Night Raven shot out the lights and began a deadly waiting game with the thugs. When Ox made a move, the crimefighter was able to shoot him down, but Sapper shot him in the arm in return. Though injured, Night Raven was able to kill Sapper and return to his lair. Chess Master, however, had somehow discovered Night Raven's headquarters, and he was waiting along with his right-hand man, Markham. Chess Master had Markham disarm Night Raven, but the henchman was instead overpowered and branded by the vigilante. In the thick mist of the headquarters, the Chess Master failed to recognize the Night Raven until it was too late. Though he did his best to escape, Night Raven stabbed the Chess Master with a syringe he took from Markham which contained the special neurotoxin which Chess Master had used to enfeeble Berkley.
(Savage Action#6/3) - Night Raven staked out the businessplace of an underworld weapons dealer known as the Armourer. When a pair of crooks named Ratso and Snake left the building, the vigilante took the opportunity to impersonate Snake, tricking the doorman into letting him in. Night Raven quickly dispatched the thug and confronted the Armourer, demanding to know who financed his business. The Armourer tried to distract the crimefighter and shoot him, but Night Raven was too quick, and incapacitated the Armourer with the brand concealed in his right glove.
(Savage Action#8/4) - Night Raven watched as men sent by the Death Master slaughtered mobsters belonging to Rocko Gavinelli's gang and framed Gavinelli's rival "Big Jim" Shotter for the hit. He did not realize he himself was being watched by the Death Master, who had previously seen him defeat the Armourer.
(Savage Action#12/3) - On October 10th, 1931, the cosmetic surgeon Dr. Schuyler G Edsall disappeared, and two nights later, Mayor Philip Edwards was kidnapped by Death Master and his men. On the Night Raven's orders, "Scoop" Daly - who had by this time gone to work for the Daily Bugle - and his young partner Jamie went to District Attorney candidate Randall Croft's home to tell him that the Gavinelli and Shotter gangs were being set up by a third party. The two were suspicious when Croft was initially not home, despite it being the middle of the night. When he arrived, Croft told them there was nothing he could do without the help of the current DA and the chief of police. Night Raven observed all of this from the shadows, and, when the reporters returned to the Bugle's offices, he told them to follow Croft's limousine. While they waited, they saw Croft leave in another car.
(Savage Action#13/2) - Night Raven infiltrated the offices of Shotter and Gavinelli, telling each of them to take one man and go to the Coney Island funhouse in forty-five minutes to meet the man who had manipulated them into their gang war.
(Savage Action#15/2 (fb)) - Night Raven headed to Coney Island and intercepted the group of Death Master's men who were bringing Mayor Edwards from Croft's house to the hideout. He left the mayor hiding in Croft's limo.
(Savage Action#14/2) - Night Raven easily snuck into the Death Master's funhouse lair, and found the trigger for the secret door leading to his hideout. As he walked down the stairs, however, he was ambushed and knocked unconscious by the Death Master himself. When Night Raven awoke, he found he had been tied up in a storm drain in which the water level was rising. Death Master taunted Night Raven briefly. Night Raven revealed that he knew Death Master was Croft, prompting Croft to remove Night Raven's mask. Gasping in horror, Death Master fled, leaving his captive to drown.
(Savage Action#15/2) - As the water filled the storm drain, the sodden ropes slowly loosened. Night Raven was able to escape, and headed up to deal with the crime boss. He walked in on a group including Death Master; his men Frank and Spike; "Scoop" Daly and Jamie, who had been captured by Death Master's men; Gavinelli, Shotter and their gunmen; and Dr. Edsall and someone appearing to be the mayor, tied to chairs. It had been a tense standoff, and the Death Master attempted to use the interruption to flee, but was shot down by the gangsters. Night Raven then shot the "mayor" to death, much to the astonishment of the others, but Dr. Edsall explained that it had actually been an impostor surgically altered to look lik the mayor. Night Raven explained that Death Master had planned to control the city through his puppet mayor. He then left, warning Gavinelli and Shotter to expect no mercy the next time they met.
(Marvel Superheroes#382/3) - When Night Raven read that his old acquaintance Oscar Charlesworth had been found dead of an apparent suicide only days after his nomination for mayor, he suspected foul play, though he could think of no suspects. He headed to Charlesworth's home to investigate, knowing that the family doctor, who had ordered the immediate cremation of Charlesworth's body, lived there. WHen he arrived, however, all his attention was drawn to a mysterious Oriental casket, which appeared to function as a complex smoking bowl. When Night Raven curiously lit the remnants of the bowl's contents, he was surprised to find several glass balls in the casket glowing, and, touching them, was transported to a hallucinagenic place where his ruined body was whole and a strange woman beckoned him to stay with her. He also caught glimpses of Charlesworth and a mysterious third person. As what little had been left in the bowl was consumed, Night Raven awoke from his dream-state to find himself lying in Charlesworth's home again, held at gunpoint by the doctor.
(Marvel Superheroes#383/4) - Night Raven explained to the doctor that he had known Charlesworth. The doctor revealed that he was Charlesworth's younger brother - the youngest of three, in fact. It had been kept a jealously-guarded secret, but Oscar had had a conjoined brother named Orville, who was highly degenerate and protruded from Oscar's chest. Oscar had come across the casket in his travels in the Far East, and its crystals had made his lot in life bearable. Although the doctor never realized it, Night Raven, with his brief exposure to the crystals, realized that Oscar's final overdose had not killed him, but had instead sent his spirit to some other place, and that the mysterious stranger he had seen there had in fact been Orville, made whole - as Night Raven had been - by whatever unearthly quality that other realm possessed.
(Marvel Superheroes#384/4) - Night Raven investigated the murders known as the Number Killings, where each of the victims slain had a connection to a number. During a moment of addled thought, Night Raven disposed the body of the fourth victim, racketeer "Runner" Ritchie, into the river, where it wouldn't be discovered. Reading in the paper that the Big Boss of the numbers racket,"Fat Man" Farinelli, was celebrating his fifty-fifth birthday that day, Night Raven deduced that he would be the next victim. Staking out Farinelli's base of operations, Night Raven found Danny Marinello, the son of Rocky Marinello, a racketeer who had been murdered by rivals. Realizing that Danny was the murderer, the vigilante jumped him from behind, breaking his neck and killing him. Knowing that the police were looking for victim number four next, Night Raven cut off both of Danny's forefingers, marking him as the next victim. Fifteen minutes later, acting on an anonymous phone call, the police arrived to find "Fat Man" Farrinelli crouched over Danny's body, and arrested him for the Number Killings.
(Marvel Superheroes#385/3) - A black guy was running from satanists through the city at night. The satanists lost him at an alley. One of them mistook Night Raven for the negro (that's the description given in the text...), Night Raven stamped the guys head and pinned his calling card. The rest of the cult found the body and read the note.
(Marvel Superheroes#386/3) - A private eye, Will Gretchen, was guarding a warehouse on a wharf. When he sat down for a break his head was split open. Night Raven came later and inspected the scene. Gretchens partner, Mike Macey, got a call from the police who found Gretchen's body. Gretchen went to the scene and was told by the police to not interfere. He went to a bar to find a suspect regardless of the police. Night Raven stopped him from interrogating the suspect and told him to go outside, which Gretchen did.
(Marvel Superheroes#389/3) - Night Raven sent a note to Macey, telling him that he could help him find out who murdered Will Gretchen. Macey figured he had nothing to lose, and soon received additional notes, telling him to make contact with Rubin and that the two should be at Acme Warehouse at 3am that night, where they would find burglars whom they could follow back to their bosses. Macy and Rubin followed the directions, and ultimately found themselves at the prison, where they realized that Governor Oscar Dennison and Matthews, the chief warden, had been releasing Boysie Ragazzi at night to commit crimes, then splitting his take. Night Raven had also headed to the prison, and disguised himself as a guard. He was thus present for this confrontation, and, gun in hand, ensured that nothing happened to Macey or Rubin as Rubin called headquarters to arrest Dennison and Matthews. With that done, he vanished into the night.
(Marvel Superheroes#390/3) - In 1941, Right Raven discovered that the "antidote" for his curse - actually a lethal disease in its own right, which would kill anyone who came in contact with Night Raven - was in the possession of a small-time hood named Willy "The Lip" Lorre. Willy the Lip had obtained it several years before, when the Dragon Tong's American operations broke up. Night Raven tracked down the Lip and tortured him cruelly, breaking his fingers until he confessed that he had given the bottle with the cure to "Scoop" Daly. The Lip was then branded and killed. When Daly found out about this, he realized that Night Raven almost certainly knew he had the bottle. By the time he rushed home, however, Night Raven, maddened with pain, had abducted Daly's wife Sadie. He left behind a note instructing Daly to meet him the next night at Bleeker's Wharf.
(Marvel Superheroes#391/3) - "Scoop Daly" envisioned all of the horrible things Night Raven may be doing to his wife Sadie. Daly reviewed the facts available to him and came to the conclusion that he could not give the cure to Night Raven. The reason being that the cure, supposedly, was another pathogen that would fight the original pathogen Night Raven had contracted. The problem was that Night Raven would become a carrier and would cause the entire city to be wiped out. Daly knew Night Raven was obsessed and mentally deficit, so Daly wouldn't risk Night Raven drinking it disregarding the consequences. He drowned his thoughts in liquor and passed out. He woke up the next morning thinking it was all a dream only to realize it was all too real.
Daly met Night Raven at the designated time and place at the wharf. Night Raven arrived with his wife. Daly (who was scared and petrified for concern of his wife) pled with Night Raven about the negative repercussions of the "cure", but Night Raven thought he was lying. Night Raven pulled a scalpel out and held it at Sadie's throat. Daly prepared to pull a gun out he was hiding as he told Night Raven that he threw the cure into the East River. Night Raven maniacally lunged at him with the scalpel and Daly shot him several times. Afterwards, Daly thought that Night Raven didn't really try to get him, knowing what Night Raven was capable of. Night Raven seemed to have planned it all as he said two words when he fell off the wharf into the water, grinning "The Cure". Daly waited for a sign of him resurfacing but nothing happened.
Daly often reminisced about the cure, which he never really disposed of. He wondered about two possibilities, both stemming from Yi-Yang's sadism/revenge: one being that there was no cure at all and the other being...it really was a cure, with no side effects at all, just The Cure.
(Marvel Superheroes#392/3) - Howard Bates was a stereotypical 1950's American guy. He didn't like what was happening to America as he thought it was being changed too much from the Rockwellesque mom and apple pie motif. He also was enamored by the exploits of his lifelong idol, Night Raven. He misguidedly believed that if Night Raven was still alive, then he would clean up America.
One day he purchased the old beat up mask that Night Raven used to wear from an antiques dealer for $ 1.50, in his mind a bargain. After arriving at his apartment building, he thought about all the non-Americans that he had to live with both there and in general. In a deranged sense of self-righteousness, he put on the mask and decided that he would purge America of all the filth that he perceived existed as the new Night Raven. Over the next several days he assembled his own replica of the Night Raven costume and some gear.
His first victim would be a political activist out of Greenwich Village, Mike Lawler. Bates strangled Lawler after Lawler was walking back from a poetry session. Lawler's friend, a photographer named Manfred the Maniac, happened to have just left Lawler a few moments earlier and heard the struggle. Manfred was able to snap a photo of Bates, dressed in full Night Raven regalia, in the act. The next evening all the newspapers were running the story with a copy of that photo. Unfortunately for Bates, the new Night Raven, in an attic somewhere in the West 50's someone else was looking at that story. That person said one word, "Ssssssssso".
(Marvel Superheroes#393/3) - A picture taken of Bates at the scene of one of his crimes spread across the city newspapers, and it eventually came to the attention of the amnesiac Night Raven. Seeing his mask on Bates stirred memories of his old life, and he resolved to take back his mask from this new wearer who was turning it into "the visage of murder incarnate". Utilizing his skills as a detective, Night Raven didn't take long to find out the identity of the new owner of his mask. He knew that the killer only claimed the lives of people with left-wing or Bohemian habits and tendencies. The killer was also developing a taste for killing women; the last four victims were women, and all were murdered at their homes. This suggested that the killer had some form of access to their addresses. Further investigation showed that the only factor that linked the women together was that they all used the same library.
Night Raven staked out the library, and was somehow able to tell that Howard Bates was the man he was after. Tracking Bates home, Night Raven observed Howard, in his Night Raven costume, breaking into the apartment below his. There he waited for his neighbor, Minnie Sapperstein, to return. She arrived sooner than Night Raven had expected, and, while he was still making his way to her apartment, Bates was able to attack her. As he strangled her, Night Raven burst in to reclaim his mask. After a savage fight, Night Raven branded and killed Bates, leaving his body and the unconscious Sapirstein behind, but retrieving his mask. Later, Night Raven sat on the rooftops, knowing that, with the mask, he could bear the pain and would never again forget who he was.
(Marvel Superheroes#394) - ???
(Marvel Superheroes#395) - ???
(Daredevils#6/2) - In 1965, Night Raven reasoned that Yi Yang must have spread false information about the cure, as she would never risk unleashing a plague which would kill every living thing on the planet but the two of them. Night Raven therefore got as far away from civilization as he could, somehow making his way to Antarctica and trudging deep into the continent's interior until he could see no other living thing. Then he drank the cure. Hours later, he realized that he could no longer feel the pain, and headed back north.
(Daredevils#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - In 1973, Night Raven finally tracked down Yi Yang. She had reinstated Dragon Tong operations in America, supplying cocaine to dealers in New York. Night Raven began to systematically annihilate the city's cocaine trade, killing Billy Angel, Daddy Frost and the Donovan brothers, among others.
(Daredevils#7/2) - Night Raven continued his assault on New York's drug dealers until he found one who could tell him where Yi Yang was. The dealer, named Spanish Eddy, sold cocaine to a variety of people, including Cancer Divine and Chinese White, from a place called the V-Note in Greenwich Village. Night Raven caught up with him there just as Divine showed up to make a purchase. Night Raven ignored Divine, cutting apart Spanish Eddy's men, and tortured Eddy until he told the vigilante exactly where Yi Yang could be found. Then the Night Raven left.
(Daredevils#9/2) - Night Raven went to the large, elegant house on Beaumont St where Yi Yang was staying. He did not realize that his enemy was setting a trap for him, planning to lure him into a room using Chinese White - disguised as Yi Yang herself - as bait, then burying him forever under a hundred gallons of concrete.
(Daredevils#10/2) - As Night Raven entered the house, Divine - who had come to the house looking for White - warned him that it was a trap. Night Raven shoved Divine to the floor as the thugs in the stairway opened fire. He then responded with a handful of grenades, closing in to finish off the survivors. It was then that the Vigilante and Divine saw Yi Yang retreating into the main room. When they followed, they found what appeared to be two Yi Yangs. Night Raven was confused, but Divine knew White had been disguised as Yi Yang, and, as the giant cement mixers in the adjacent rooms began to pour their contents into the room, he noticed that one of the "Yi Yangs" had mismatched eyes. He assumed that meant that one of White's contacts had fallen out, and he dragged her out of the room as Night Raven abandoned the other "Yi Yang" to her eternal fate in the rapidly-forming concrete block. Night Raven left the scene shortly thereafter, his mission carried out, and so did not learn that Yi Yang had disguised one of her own green eyes with a pink contact, nor that she had gunned down Divine in cold blood and made good her escape.
(Daredevils#11/2) - Ten years later, in 1983, Night Raven saw a televised rally of the white supremacist group Swords of the New Dawn. The Swords concluded their rally by forming hexagram twenty-three of the I Ching, which Night Raven knew must be a message from Yi Yang. He immediately headed for Shanghai, Alabama, source of the newscast. When he arrived, he beat up a couple of local malcontents, and when Sheriff Rab Collins went to the trainyard to investigate, Night Raven knocked him out. When Collins came to, Night Raven convinced him to cooperate by twisting the sheriff's shotgun to scrap with his bare hands, and interrogated him about the Swords of the New Dawn.
(Mighty World of Marvel II#7/3) - Night Raven waited outside the hotel where a meeting between Beauregard Montclair IV, the secret head of the Swords of the New Dawn, and Martin Rheinhardt, their figurehead leader, was proceeding. He lurked outside, near Rheinhardt's pickup truck, while the group within discussed Rheinhardt's prepartions to assassinate Abraham Lincoln Brown, a black New York DA who was a front-runner candidate for President. He stowed away in Rheinhardt's truck as the racist headed out to a secluded cabin to prepare for his task. Night Raven realized that Rheinhardt was insane and that his assassination attempt could not possibly succeed, and so he left Rheinhardt to his work, heading instead to Montclair's mansion. He surprised Montclair and his lawyer, Ambrose Fisher, there, and after learning from them what the real plan against Brown was, killed and branded both men. He then rushed to the Shanghai stadium where Brown was scheduled to appear, and where Yi Yang's assassin the Ghost Tiger was waiting to kill him.
(Mighty World of Marvel II#8/3) - As Night Raven arrived, he sized up the situation. He saw Rheinhardt in the water tower, and realized that was the only place from which a sniper attack could come. Therefore, the only other avenue attack would be from the stadium itself. A riot provoked by the Swords was in full flare, and Brown and his security contigent emerged from the stadium towards an armored limousine nearby. Rheinhardt fired, but only succeeded in felling a guard, and the return fire sent him falling to his death. Moments later, as Brown was hustled into the limo, the Ghost Tiger darted out of a locker-room door and hurled a grenade into the limo. Brown and his security guards were blown apart. Cursing, Night Raven set out in pursuit of the escaping assassin.
After a all-night pursuit, in which Night Raven was forced to kill a pack of hunting dogs sent by Sheriff Collins, the vigilante and his prey faced off deep in the Alabama woods. Although the Ghost Tiger was a more skilled and artful fighter than Night Raven, he was ultimately unable to overcome Night Raven's tirelessness and lack of response to pain. Finally, after the assassin made a last, desperate lunge, Night Raven was able to get ahold of him and crush the life out of his body - thereby destroying his last source of information about Yi Yang. He kicked at the corpse out of spite and his injured leg gave way, sending him to the forest floor. He lay there for two days, healing and thinking about the underworld of the 1980s, and ultimately derived a plan. He would simply start killing every prominent criminal until he found something that led him to his eternal nemesis.
(Mighty World of Marvel II#9/3) - Night Raven travelled to the Chicago stockyards in the winter of early 1984, waiting outside in a stockwagon for the arrival of the King of Chicago, Don Salvatore Vischetti. Vischetti was a member of the National Executive, the controllers of organized crime in America, with whom Yi Yang was presently affiliated. When Vischetti finally arrived to visit his old friend Joey La Rocca, Night Raven confronted him in a packing plant. Vischetti sent his bodyguard Tony Riggio after Night Raven, but the vigilante broke his neck, branded him, and hung him upside-down from a meathook. When Vischetti left the city with La Rocca later that night to stay at his lakeside house outside the city, Night Raven ambushed them in a snowstorm and killed them both. He stole from Vischetti's briefcase papers dealing with the transport of men and material to a place called Wilderness Base in northern Wisconsin. The next morning, Night Raven stowed away in a truck when the driver stopped to investigate the carnage around Vischetti's wrecked car.
(Mighty World of Marvel II#10/3) - Night Raven made his way to Wilderness Base, sneaking in at night through the minefields to kill the radio operator and destroy all of the base's communications equipment. The next morning, he watched as troops swarmed around the base, which was now completely cut off from the outside world. He learned the layout of its buildings by keeping track of who went where, and also caught a glimpse of a woman who might have been Yi Yang. That night, Night Raven silently entered the commander's hut and found that the woman was in reality An Hoi, consort-captive of the base's commander, Colonel"Wolf" Bane. Hoi had been expecting Night Raven; Yi Yang, whom she had encountered long ago, had sent a message informing her that someone was coming to kill Bane. She was therefore surprised when the vigilante expressed no interest in Bane, instead seizing on Hoi's information that Yi Yang wished to meet him twenty miles southeast of Escanaba, Michigan.
(Mighty World of Marvel II#11/3) - Night Raven wired the base to explode and left through the minefields, followed by Hoi and dragging the unconscious Bane along on a sled. Also on the sled was the Dragon Tong-developed Breath of the Dragon, a man-portable nuclear rocket launcher. As they headed out along a long peninsula jutting out into Lake Michigan, Hoi collapsed onto the sled, unable to carry on in the bitter cold. Night Raven continued to drag the sled and its contents towards the rendevous, which turned out to be two miles out from shore. Waiting there was an old cargo steamer, and waiting by the shore was a small boat and a two-way radio. The radio came to life, and Yi Yang's voice urged the Dark Avenger onwards, imploring him to meet her on the ship. Night Raven's reply came in two parts. Switching the radio to send instead of receive, he told her "...I will not come to you. Instead I ssend my emissarry. Hiss name iss Death." With that, Night Raven fired the Breath of the Dragon at the steamer, annihilating it in a brilliant atomic fireball. He was overcome with both triumph and emptiness; with his vengeance finally achieved, he did not know what to do with himself. He handed his knife to Hoi and told her that if she wished Bane dead, she would have to do it herself.
(Mighty World of Marvel II#12/3) - Night Raven returned to New York, devoid of purpose now that he believed Yi Yang dead. Seeking to forget, he turned to alcohol and drugs, even killing to get them, but found that they had no effect on his altered physiology. Ultimately, he was able to put himself into a trancelike state by eating strychnine, but the effects were temporary. One night, as he began to awaken from his trance, he found himself being abducted by a pair of thugs named Vinny and Ralph McGee. The McGees were also making off with two other homeless people who shared Night Raven's warehouse lair, a childlike giant and his elderly mother. They had been taken to fight in a place called the Gladiator Club.
The Gladiator Club was run by "Neat Pete" Sligo, and in it, people taken from the street fought each other to the death for the amusement of the city's wealthiest and most immoral citizens. The giant, whom Sligo had named Simple Simon, was forced to fight Night Raven, or "The Man in the Mask", or else Sligo's men would hurt his mother. Night Raven was finally out of his drug-induced torpor by the time the fight began, and he knew Simon could not hope to defeat him. However, in order to prevent Simon's mother coming to harm, Night Raven allowed Simon to appear to defeat him. Later, when the McGees went down to the East River to dispose of Night Raven's body, he killed them both, freed Simon and his mother, and returned to the Gladiator Club to dispatch and brand Sligo, bringing an end to the Gladiator Club.
(Mighty World of Marvel II#13/3) - A day in February of 1984 brought Night Raven news that his old friend Bill Hershey was celebrating his eighty-fifth birthday at Sisters of Mercy Hospital. He entered Hershey's room late that night to talk to his old friend. Hershey had gone blind, and, old and resigned to his fate, was not unduly troubled by Night Raven's presence. Prompted by the vigilante, he reminisced about his youth, focusing on his teenage years in New England and the friend there who accompanied him to Ypres in 1917. He also remembered the day he saved the life of that friend - Night Raven himself. Hershey eventually fell asleep, and died shortly thereafter. Night Raven, ambivalent about this visit to the past of a man he no long was, left by the window, nonetheless haunted by the WWI ditty "The Bells of Hell".
(Mighty World of Marvel II#14/2) - Curious despite himself about the memories unearthed by Hershey, Night Raven began to walk northeast, to the asylum he dimly remembered. He followed the train tracks through upstate New York, lost in thought, until he was hit by the Downline Express and thrown brokenly into the bushes. His body was found by local authorities and reported to the government agency TRACE (Tactical Research and Cultural Examination). TRACE agent Angela Cleaver recovered the body from the sheriff's office and took it to a lab, where a pathologist had been called in to perform an autopsy. As soon as he cut into the body, though, the partially-healed Night Raven regained consciousness and, reflexively grabbing the doctor's scalpel, slashed him to ribbons in a panic.
(Mighty World of Marvel II#15/2) - Night Raven was locked in the operating theater, with Cleaver on the outside. He was horrified to find himself completely naked and almost completely defenseless, and demanded his clothes. Cleaver acquiesed, knowing she could never stop him if it came to a fight, and then agreed to drive him away from the laboratory and from TRACE. As they travelled, Cleaver asked Night Raven about himself, and specifically about what had happened in Wisconsin. Night Raven said that he had taken revenge on Yi Yang for making him the abomination he had become. When Cleaver, apparently reading something in his responses, asked if he had loved Yi Yang, he simply told her to drive.
(Mighty World of Marvel II#16/2) - The ambulance Night Raven and Cleaver had escaped in was reported by various people, and after a few hours, they found themselves at a roadblock. Cleaver, now committed to helping Night Raven, rammed through, but the ambulance caught the edge of a police cruiser and was thrown into the air. Night Raven saved her from the flames, although both of her legs had been shattered, and disappeared into the night.
(Mighty World of Marvel II#17/3) - On the roof of a skyscraper, Night Raven witnessed the assassination of a mysterious white-robed man. He pursued the gunman, but lost the trail, and decided to investigate the building further to see if he could find any clues to the man's identity or why he might have been killed. He was able to determine that the penthouse and top floor were inhabited by a Dr. Francois Duvalier, but was attracting too much attention in the daylight. While he was waiting in the parking structure for nightfall, he saw the Comte De Saint Germain and Dr. John Dee arrive with a couple of bodyguards. He was confused by the way they knew Duvalier had been killed, yet spoke of him as though he were still alive. When he followed them up to the penthouse, he killed the two bodyguards, but was put into some kind of mystical trance by the living, breathing Duvalier.
(Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#85/3) - Duvalier used his magic to pry Night Raven's identity and history from his mind. Once the three men, who were all members of the loosely-knit community of immortals, realized he was the monster created by Yi Yang, they decided that she must decide his fate. And, unbeknownst to Night Raven, she had lived through the nuclear blast in Wisconsin, and came to New York at Saint Germain's call. Yi Yang spoke to Night Raven while he was still immobilized by Duvalier's ritual, telling him that it was too soon for him to know of the other immortals, and that he would destroy them all. Instead, she sent him back out into the world: "You're my guilt and you must walk the world until this pain and fear are worn from us..." When Night Raven awoke, he found himself on the top of the skyscraper, and wondered if he had dreamed everything that had happened since he first stood on the roof of the building.
(Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#86/???) - ???
(Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#87/3) - In September, Night Raven witnessed arsonist Tony Meyer burning down an abandoned building. A homeless man named Benny Saint was killed in the fire, and the vigilante stalked Meyer over the course of the next day. He followed Meyer home. He trailed Meyer as he cashed in a ticket for the city's numbers racket, stolen from Saint's body, for a hundred thousand dollars. Finally, as Meyer made his plans to leave town, Night Raven set fire to Meyer's trailer, incinerating it, the money, and Meyer himself.
(Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#88/3) - Chicago gangster Paulo Riggio came to New York seeking revenge on Night Raven for killing his brother Tony. He was told that Night Raven lived in a warehouse on the riverfront, but when he came to kill the vigilante, Night Raven knocked him to his death from an upper floor.
(Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#89/4 (fb)) - That fall, Night Raven realized someone else had begun living in his warehouse. Staking out the roof, he eventually saw a dark, inhumanly fast figure returning to the old rooftop oil tank.
(Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#90/??? (fb)) - ???
(Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#89/4) - Night Raven remained at watch on the roof of his warehouse for five days, while Edgar painfully rotted away inside the oil tank.
(Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#90/???) - ???
(Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#91/???) - ???
(Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#92/???) - ???
(Captain Britain II#10/4) - In the heat of the summer of 1985, Night Raven felt himself drawn out one night. He found himself watching a hotel called the Inn of the Peace of Heaven, bordering Central Park. When a third floor light came on, it revealed the unmistakable figure of Yi Yang. He screamed her name in rage, but before events could escalate, a police cruiser approached him. The police attempted to investigate the strange masked man, causing Night Raven to vault over their car to escape, incidentally slamming the door on the head of Officer Pat Devine, crushing his skull. Devine's partner Joe Rascjnek sprayed Night Raven with a shotgun in retaliation, but Night Raven made it to the roof across from the hotel regardless.
(Captain Britain II#11/4) - The police, alerted by Rascjnek, surrounded the building Night Raven was atop. under the bright searchlight of a police helicopter, Night Raven made a desperate decision, and lunged across the alley to the hotel next door. He fell two stories before he hit, smashing through a third-story window - and into the room of Yi Yang herself. Again, though, the police interrupted him, and he left Yi Yang behind as he fought his way downstairs and into Central Park. As he left the park, however, he found that police SWAT teams were patrolling all the surrounding passages, and he was forced to hide in a garbage hopper behind a restaurant. The next morning, when Night Raven was dumped unceremoniously into the mountains of trash down by the harbor, he found Yi Yang and a pair of her Dragon Tong servants waiting for him. He rushed her, but was incapacitated by drugged darts wielded by the twins (possibly using strychnine).
(Captain Britain II#12/4) - When Night Raven awoke, he found himself, unexpectedly, in a hotel in Mexico City. He had been left there by Yi Yang, who had also provided him with an extensive selection of theatrical makeup, as well as new clothes and 10,000 pesos. It seemed she was giving him a chance at a new life. Night Raven crafted a new face for himself and went out into the daylight to explore the city, but his cautious pleasure soon turned to doubt and despair as he saw the squalid conditions many people endured, both in the city itself as well as, once he had caught a taxi, in the barrios outside the city proper. On the return trip to the hotel, the taxi driver accidentally hit and killed an Indian boy in one of the barrios, and this spelled the end of Night Raven's experiment at regaining his humanity. He left all his money on the body, returned to the hotel, cast off his human mask, and, Dark Avenger once more, disappeared into the darkness of the Mexican night.
(Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty (fb)) - In the present day, Night Raven learned that Yi Yang had become involved with drug smuggling in the former Soviet Union. He travelled there, becoming known as Blackbird, and began killing his way through the Russian Molina crime families in search of his eternal enemy. Yi Yang, in response, killed a diplomat named Leonid Kostoev, then marked him with Night Raven's brand and dumped him in the American embassy. As a result, SHIELD (the Strategic Hazard Intervention Logistics Directorate) sent in their sometime-agent Black Widow to investigate before the matter escalated.
(Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty) - Black Widow interrogated a Molina member, who told her of his encounter with Night Raven. Later, other mobsters tried to have him killed, believing he had informed on them, and Black Widow intervened. She was overpowered, however, and moments away from being killed when Night Raven arrived and saved her. Night Raven was shot by a sniper, and, while pursuing, he was confronted and gunned down by a police helicopter. By the time the police reached the roof, however, he was gone.
He had healed, however, in time to attack a shipment of drugs which was also being staked out by a Russian police OMON (SWAT) team. As Black Widow and the OMON team rushed in, however, Night Raven was already on the move, attacking a helicopter carrying Yi Yang. He was able to grab the copter's landing skid, and he cut the line Black Widow fired to follow him up, but Yi Yang shot him in the face and sent him falling down after her. Stunned by the fall, he was unable to avoid Black Widow again. The two headed to Night Raven's base of operations in Moscow, hammering out a tenuous alliance, but when they arrived, they found Black Widow's comrade, Ivan Petrovich, the prisoner of Yi Yang's agent and lover, the Snow Leopard. Snow Leopard and a group of Molina gangsters prepared to kill Night Raven and his new allies, but they were interrupted by the arrival (through the skylight) of Russian police colonel Yuri Petrov. Night Raven seized the opportunity to shoot out the lights, and in the ensuing fight, Night Raven overpowered the Snow Leopard. Before he could finish his foe, however, Yi Yang's helicopter returned, and she gutted the building with a new, non-nuclear Breath of the Dragon. Snow Leopard and the surviving Molina were incinerated, but Night Raven, Black Widow, Petrovich and Petrov survived. The Russians began to make plans for an assault on Xanadu, the abandoned school of Professor Phobos which Yi Yang had made her Siberian base, but Night Raven grew impatient and stalked off on his own.
Night Raven crafted a disguise and infiltrated Xanadu as one of the guards. He only revealed himself when Yi Yang had captured Black Widow and her allies. Two more Snow Leopards attacked him, but Black Widow killed one and he briefly held off the other - until Yi Yang threatened to kill her last hostage, Night Raven's old acquaintance Angela Cleaver. Cleaver had other ideas, however, and crashed her wheelchair into Yi Yang, sending both women plunging towards the seeting energy core of the base. The remaining Snow Leopard saved Yi Yang, and Cleaver managed to grab hold of a railing. Night Raven and his allies wiped out the remnants of Yi Yang's forces, but Petrov died in the process. Night Raven rescued Cleaver, then chased Yi Yang out of the base. Black Widow followed him, giving him an assault rifle, and Night Raven proceeded to shoot down Yi Yang's helicopter. As it fell, she was able to steer it to land on top of the Dark Avenger himself, and both combatants disappeared in the ensuing explosion. However, neither body was found.
(Wolverine: The Best There Is#3) - Winsor acquired hair from Night Raven.
Comments: Created by Steve Parkhouse and David Lloyd.
Night Raven was a retcon pulp character, patterned after the Shadow, the Avenger, the Spider, etc. His stories in the Hulk Comic (by Parkhouse and Lloyd) were each 3-4 pages long, and fit right in with that genre. The text stories that followed, mostly by Alan Moore and Jamie Delano, were truly incredible. House of Cards (by Jamie Delano and David Lloyd, 1991) was up next...it's a study into a dark character, and a great read. Death Duty (by Cefn Ridout and Charlie Adlard, February 1995) brought him firmly into the Marvel Universe.
Night Raven's branding is particularly influenced by the Spider and the cigarette lighter he used to brand his victims, and the same gimmick is used by Mike Mignola's retcon pulp hero "Lobster" Johnson.
Captain Britain II#13 has a profile of Night Raven from the files of Mastermind (Captain Britain's supercomputer), and Daredevils#9 has a piece called "Night Raven: The Pulp Tradition" about Night Raven and some of the actual American pulps.
Thanks to good ol' Loki for meeting with David Lloyd and obtaining this autographed Night Raven picture. Thanks, of course, to David Lloyd, too!
Night Raven's classic quote is actually taken from a poem by Milton, L'Allegro: "Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous wings, and the night-raven sings..."
When asked why he killed Yi Yang in Wisconsin, his reply was:
Night Raven's pathology report:
Night Raven's continuity is a mess. His childhood is referenced three different times in the text stories and House of Cards, and none of these accounts agree with one another. The account presented here does not actively conflict with any of the information provided. MWoM#13 was clearly written with Night Raven and Bill Hershey as Americans. It says they joined the Army in 1915, but sat around because the US didn't enter the war until two years later. In House of Cards, Night Raven fought at Ypres - presumably the Third Battle, the one people mean when they say "Ypres" - with the Canadians. I've done what I can with this, assuming that Night Raven and Hershey (living in New England at the time) went to Canada to join the Army (which happened plenty) in 1915, but for whatever reason didn't reach the front until 1917 (which doesn't seem very likely, but oh well), when they were sent to Ypres. (Oddly enough, both stories were written by Jamie Delano.)
Death Duty confirms Night Raven's place of origin as southern Alberta despite the fact that the Mohawks live around Lake Ontario.
Another recurring inconsistency is that later stories repeatedly place Night Raven's first meeting with Yi Yang in 1929, but that story features both a Shadow magazine (first published in 1931) and a poster for the 1931 film The Public Enemy. Night Raven's recollections fifty years later must be in error.
The events of Death Duty could almost be placed at the time of publication, as the principals (Night Raven, Black Widow, Nick Fury, Yi Yang) are all essentially ageless characters, and SHIELD has been around in some form or another since before the modern era. This would also avoid the inevitable progression of Angela Cleaver's age. However, Ivan Petrovich is a sticking point, as is the abandonment of Professor Phobos' school.
I can't recommend these stories highly enough. They're hard to find...in fact, I still need Savage Sword of Conan (Marvel UK) #89. Please let me know if you know where I can find this. Alan Moore wrote the story with Cancer Divine and Chinese White. My personal favorite. -Snood
The art in House of Cards (by far my favorite story) and Death Duty are both superb. In fact, it's a shame that the picture of Night Raven at the top of the page is the clearest full-body shot from Death Duty, because it's far from the most dynamic and striking image Adlard produced for the book. Even if he got the symbol wrong. -LV!
Much thanks to the boatload of information, straight from the UK, courtesy of Mark Caithness, who was kind enough to fill in all of the holes in the history, and complete the profile.
If you're interested in tracking it down, Marvel released all the original Night Raven stories (from Hulk Comics) as a Graphic Novel called Night Raven the Collected Stories back in 1990, well worth a read, as the strip was shown in colour for the first time. The original text stories by Alan Moore in Savage Action are well worth trying to track down, as they reveal the background on how Yi Yang poisoned Night Raven and show his descent from the Shadow type 1930's vigilante to the pain crazed near immortal being shown later in the Black Widow graphic novel. - Mark Caithness
The coloring in The Collected Stories is kind of bad, in my opinion. Plus they consistently miscolored Night Raven's chest symbol red (although, to be fair, Lloyd's painted cover for the collection was the first place it was possible to tell it was meant to be white). -LV!
...and then came Nocturne (by Dan Abnett and John Fonteriz, June 1995), which complete changed everything, making him from the UK, and a high-tech vigilante, and a bunch of other changes. Anyway, the two identities are clearly not compatible. Here are my thoughts:
looks like a terrific piece of research and I congratulate you on it. What I
said to the guys at the show was that I, and, another time, myself and Jamie
Delano, had tried to bring back Night Raven. The second, and last time, we
almost transformed him into a completely new character because Joe Quesada had
asked for something ' completely new ' if we were going to resurrect him. We
turned him into a kind of ' real ' spiderman - an Amazon warrior le parkouring
around the city blocks like Tarzan in Manhattan. It could have been very
exciting but Marvel didn't give it the time of day.
My own attempt previous to that, had him frozen in ice in Alaska, where he had trekked in a Frankenstein-like attempt to vanish in the snowy wastes amid the misery of his continuing pain and immortality. This followed on from the text story continuity. He was released via global warming and an attempted land grab from Native Americans. I wrote a great scene where he explodes from his
ice prison as ' bad guys ' melt him out, thinking he's just a ragged totem - a relic of Indian culture.
Anyway.... none of this was an attempt to put him firmly into the MU. He's just a great, crazy, character in the best tradition of Phantom of the Opera -types, crossed with Indiana Jones and The Shadow. Shame Marvel often don't know what to do with a good thing.
Best with future works,
Night-time in the city...
Thanks to nagromlt for adding the information for adding Marvel Superheroes#385-386, 391-392.
Clarifications: Night Raven is not the same character as:
Night Raven's cat
Night Raven had a cat in his early years as a crimefighter, and it lived in his apartment in the downtown apartment building where he worked as a janitor. Night Raven never referred to it as anything but "cat"; whether it had a name is unknown. What happened to the cat after Night Raven contracted Yi Yang's "curse" is unrevealed, but by the modern era it would certainly have been dead for many decades.
--Night Raven: House of Cards
Full shot - Death Duty, p6, panel 2
Action shot (branding) - House of Cards, p5, panel 5
Head shot (unmasked) - Death Duty, p37, panel 5
Head shot (masked) - Night Raven: The Collected Stories, front cover
Full shot (1929) - Captain Britain II#13, p14 (including ads)
Head shot (unmasked, 1929) - House of Cards, p40, panel 9
Playing card - House of Cards UK, front cover
Upper body shot (smoking guns) - House of Cards, p51, panel 1
Full shot (seated) - Daredevils#11, p23
Full shot (naked) - Mighty World of Marvel II#15, p16
Full shot (blizzard) - Death Duty, p34
Cat - House of Cards, p9, panel 5
Hulk Comic#1/5 (January 7, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn & Richard Burton (editors)
Hulk Comic#2/5 (March 14, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn & Richard Burton (editors)
Hulk Comic#3/5 (March 21, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn & Richard Burton (editors)
Hulk Comic#4/5 (March 28, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn & Richard Burton (editors)
Hulk Comic#5/5 (April 4, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn & Richard Burton (editors)
Hulk Comic#6/5 (April 11, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#7/5 (April 18, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#8/6 (April 25, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#9/6 (May 2, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#10/6 (May 9, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#11/6 (May 16, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#12/6 (May 23, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#13/6 (May 30, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#14/6 (June 6, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#15/6 (June 13, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), John Bolton (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#16/6 (June 20, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), John Bolton (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#17/6 (June 27, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), John Bolton (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#18/6 (July 4, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), John Bolton (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#19/6 (July 11, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), John Bolton (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Hulk Comic#20/6 (July 18, 1979) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), John Bolton (artist), Dez Skinn (editor)
Savage Action#1/2 (November, 1980) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), Luke Warme, D. Ryder & Jim Steranko (artists), Alan McKenzie (editor)
Savage Action#2/2 (December, 1980) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Alan McKenzie (editor)
Savage Action#3/2 (January, 1981) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), David Lloyd & John Bolton (artists), Alan McKenzie (editor)
Savage Action#4/3 (February, 1981) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), David Lloyd & Simon Ellinas (artists), Alan McKenzie (editor)
Savage Action#6/3 (April, 1981) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), Jerry Paris (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Savage Action#8/4 (June, 1981) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), Jerry Paris (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Savage Action#12/3 (October, 1981) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), Jerry Paris (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Savage Action#13/2 (November, 1981) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), Paul Neary (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Savage Action#14/2 (December, 1981) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), Floron Florenzo & Alan Davis (artists), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Savage Action#15/2 (January, 1982) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), Floron Florenzo (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#382/3 (February, 1982) - Paul Neary (writer), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#383/4 (March, 1982) - Paul Neary (writer), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#384/4 (April, 1982) - Paul Neary (writer), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#385/3 (May, 1982) - Simon Hudson (writer), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#386/4 (June, 1982) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#389/3 (September, 1982) - Maxwell Stockbridge (writer), Steve Dillon (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#390/3 (October, 1982) - Alan Moore (writer), Mick Austin (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#391/3 (November, 1982) - Alan Moore (writer), Paul Neary (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#392/3 (December, 1982) - Alan Moore (writer), Paul Neary (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#393/3 (January, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), Paul Neary (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#394/??? (February, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), Paul Neary (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#395/??? (March, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), Paul Neary (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Daredevils#6/2 (June, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), David Lloyd (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Daredevils#7/2 (July, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Daredevils#8/3 (August, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Daredevils#9/2 (September, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Daredevils#10/2 (October, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Daredevils#11/2 (November, 1983) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel II#7/3 (December, 1983) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Tim Hampson (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel II#8/3 (January, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Tim Hampson (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel II#9/3 (February, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Tim Hampson (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel II#10/3 (March, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Tim Hampson (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel II#11/3 (April, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Tim Hampson (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel II#12/3 (May, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Chris Gill (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel II#13/3 (June, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Chris Gill (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel II#14/3 (July, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Chris Gill (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel II#15/2 (August, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Chris Gill (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel II#16/2 (September, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Chris Gill (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel II#17/3 (October, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Allen (artist)
Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#85/3 (November, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Ellen (artist)
Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#86/??? (December, 1984) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Ellen (artist)
Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#87/3 (January, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Ellen (artist)
Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#88/3 (February, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Ellen (artist)
Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#89/3 (March, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Ellen (artist)
Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#90/??? (April, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Ellen (artist)
Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#91/??? (July, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Ellen (artist)
Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian UK#92/??? (June, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Ellen (artist)
Captain Britain II#10/4 (October, 1986) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Allen (artist), Ian Rimmer (editor)
Captain Britain II#11/4 (November, 1986) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Allen (artist), Ian Rimmer (editor)
Captain Britain II#12/4 (December, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Ivan Allen (artist), Ian Rimmer (editor)
Captain Britain II#13 (January, 1986) - profile
Night Raven: House of Cards (1992) - Jamie Delano (writer), David Lloyd (artist)
Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty (1995) - Cefn Ridout (writer), Charles Adlard (artist)
Wolverine: The Best There Is#3 (April, 2011) - Charlie Huston (writer), Juan Jose Ryp (artist), Axel Alonso (editor)
First Posted: 01/13/2002
Last updated: 01/06/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com/
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
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