SYDNEY TAINE

Real Name: Sydney Taine

Identity/Class: Extra-dimensional (Earth-1211) Human

Occupation: Detective

Group Membership: Nightside Detective Agency

Affiliations: Ape Largo (partner in Nightside Detective Agency); Bruno; Marie Dread; Suzuki Shosan

Enemies: Princess Akiuki Orugawa; Black Dragons; Various members of The Others (in particular Benedict and Risso)

Known Relatives: unnamed brother

Aliases: temporarily posed as Risso

Base of Operations: New York City, Earth-1211

First Appearance: Nightside#1 (December 2001)

Powers/Abilities: Sydney has no superhuman abilities, but is remarkably well-trained in many forms of hand-to-hand combat, inlcuding Capoeira, as well as weapons combat (Kendo).

History: (Nightside#1-4) - During her investigation into the deaths of three of NYC’s mob bosses (Jelly The Belly, Gorgeous George, Little Bertha), all three part of the supernatural underground known as the Others, Sydney Taine and her partner Ape Largo proceeded to question other members of the community, including the Vampire boss Benedict. However, the true mastermind behind the killings was Benedict’s lawyer Arkady Dread. Dread had made pacts with the Black Dragon Society and five underlings from the five main Nightside territories. The Black Dragons were searching for the Three Lost Treasures of Tao, while the underlings would take over after their bosses were murdered.

Seeing Taine as a complication to his plan, Dread hired seven Were-Tigers to attack her and Largo, and six of them were killed in the process. The survivor revealed the Black Dragons’ connection to the plan. Taine tried to warn one of the two remaining bosses, a Werewolf named Arlan Cyrus, of an upcoming attempt on his life, but was unsuccessful. Following the trail back to Benedict again, she found the Vampire dead at the hands of his underling Risso, who then attacked Taine. Taine managed to kill the Vampire using her spike heel.

Taine, Largo and Benedict’s club bouncer Bruno then found one of the Three Lost Treasures in Benedict’s office safe – The Mask of P’u-Hua (The Mask of Reality). Posing as the now-dead Risso, Taine infiltrated a meeting of the five underlings who were now the leaders of The Others, referring to themselves as The Five. Taine revealed herself to them, and explained that she knew their connection to the murders. Bluffing that she was sent to investigate by the East Coast Council (apparently a larger organization of The Others that regulates smaller communities), she managed to get them to reveal where the other two Treasures were. In exchange for their cooperation, and to keep their parts in the plot to overtake the Nightside community a secret, Taine demanded ten percent of any profits for a year.

Arriving at Dread’s offices, Taine and Largo joined forces with Dread’s sister Marie, and rushed his offices, only to find Princess Akiuku Orugawa, the leader of the Black Dragon Society. The Princess then released the magical Spirit-Dragon from her body’s tattoos, but it was swiftly defeated by Taine. Orugawa attempted to combat Taine hand-to-hand then, but was easily outmatched as well. She then tried to destroy the Mask in retaliation, but was drawn to it’s glow. Putting it on, The Princess saw "reality" and was instantly lobotomized. Taine then returned all three Treasures to Suzuki Shosan, the original owner and also Taine’s teacher in the arts of Kendo and Zen.

Comments: Created by Robert Weinberg.

This four issue series should not necessarily be considered part of any Marvel continuity. First, it is, at least for the most part, a creator-owned series. Secondly, the set-up for how the supernatural world is run does not match that of Marvel-616’s at all.

There’s a lot of unanswered questions coming out of this series, most notably the unnamed brother of Taine’s. For a character who only makes a one-panel flashback appearance, he seems to be set up for some importance.

Concerning Sydney Taines' brother you're right that he's fairly significant; he's the star of a series of short stories written by Weinberg that have appeared in various places in the last decade or so. For the life of me, I can't remember his first name.
--Thomas Deja

Also, while Taine has no supernatural powers, Benedict refers to her as "Demon Woman," so for a Vampire to refer to a human as that brings up some issues.

Weinberg planned a second Nightside series for Marvel, but it was never released.

Syndey Taine outside of Marvel Comics

To explain better, in 2004 a role-playing game company called Guardians of Order published a short story anthology titled "Path of The Bold", based on their then best-selling game "Silver age Sentinels" (editor: James Lowder)

One of the stories, titled 'Enter, The Eradicator', was written by Robert Weinberg, and while set in the SAS universe, it starred none other than Nightside's own Sydney Taine (who was brought over to the SAS universe to battle an extradimensional threat). I kinda stopped reading the story not long after she showed up, as the story thus far wasn't that good, and Weinberg was touting her the way Steve Englehart did with Mantis in "celestial quest", if you catch my drift.

It is a non-canon appearance as I understand the handbook rules. Sorry I can't be of more help, but I just perused the story again to make sure I remembered things right, and the story's just as horrible as I remember. GoO has since gone out of business, but I think you might still be able to find copies of the book at some hobby/gaming stores.

Thx to the mysterious shapeshifter, who sent us this info!

CLARIFICATIONS:

APE LARGO should not be confused with any other "Ape" characters

SYDNEY TAINE should not be confused with

The NIGHTSIDE DETECTIVE AGENCY should not be confused with:

 

Profile by Madison Carter


APE LARGO

(Nightside#1-4) - As Taine’s partner, Ape Largo pretty much experienced most of the same situations as she did. Ape is a very intelligent man with superhuman strength. It is not known if he is a member of the Others, or if he is just really really strong. Before teaming with Taine in the Nightside Detective Agency, Ape worked with her brother.


SYDNEY TAINE’S BROTHER

(Nightside#2 (fb)) - While explaining the history of the Black Dragon Society to Sydney, Ape Largo revealed that he and Sydney’s brother encountered them in Chicago once. The brother’s name and fate are not revealed in the book.


LIEUTENANT MONAHAN, OFFICER FERGUSON, DR. CAVENDISH (left to right)

(Nightside#1) - The three main police officers who investigated the death of Jelly The Belly.


SUZUKI SHOSAN

(Nightside#4) - Sydney’s teacher in the arts of Zen and Kendo. Also a former samurai and the true owner of the Three Lost Treasures of Tao, and employed Sydney on a mission to recover them.


THREE LOST TREASURES OF TAO

Ikkyu’s Skull (The Skull of Truth); Suzuki Shosan’s Sword (The Sword of Justice); The Mask of P’u-Hua (The Mask of Reality)

(Nightside#3-4) - The three mystical items Sydney Taine sought to recover. They had been bought by Simon Benedict, and were used by his attorney Arkady Dread to bargain with the Black Dragon Society. Sydney recovered the Mask from Benedict’s office, and took the other two in a fight with Princess Orugawa, using the Sword to destroy her Spirit Dragon. The items were returned to Shosan.

The Mask of P’u-Hua had the ability to make its wearer see the reality of truth, and lobotomized Orugawa when she attempted to use it.

Ikkyu’s Skull could talk and revealed truth in what people around it said.

The Sword of Justice’s true powers are unknown, but it was able to kill a supernatural Spirit Dragon.


Appearances:
Nightside#1-4 (December, 2001 - March, 2002) - Robert Weinberg (writer), Tom Derenick (pencils), Mark Powers (editor)


Last updated: 10/13/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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