Real Name: Jillian Marie Woods
Identity/Class: Human, mystically empowered
Occupation: Occult investigator
Group Membership: Shock Troop, Secret Defenders
Affiliations: American Eagle, Cadaver, Luke Cage, Cognoscenti (Joshua Pryce & Al), Dagger, Deadpool, Deathlok (Michael Collins), Drax, R.G. Mathieson, Lindsay McCabe, Quasar, Roxxon (including Raymond Sikorski), Silver Surfer, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Steel Spider (Ollie Osnick), (former) Dr. Druid
Enemies: Dark Anti-Body, Dr. Druid, Malachi, Neutron, Presence, Slorioth, Strange, Swarm, Thunderbolts (Penance, Radioactive Man, Songbird, Venom)
Known Relatives: Unnamed parents
Place of Birth: San Francisco, California
Base of Operations:
San Francisco, California
formerly, Dr. Druid's townhouse, Boston, Massachusetts
Education: University degree, incomplete graduate studies
First Appearance: Quasar#45 (April, 1993)
Powers/Abilities: Shadowoman exists in a shadow form, all that remains of her soul. She can tap into energies similiar to those found in the Darkforce Dimension (and, in fact, may be connected to that realm), allowing her to generate darkness around opponents, create shadowy constructs such as giant claws, phase through solid matter, flight, the ability to melt into shadows, and she is virtually immune to physical harm.
Jillian also possesses many mystical artifacts, including the Shadow Key.
Weight: 140 lbs.
History: (Secret Defenders#22 (fb)) - Jillian Marie Woods' father abandoned her mother when Jillian was just a child. Her mother was forced to take low-paying jobs, and went through a succession of boyfriends. Wanting to get out of her home, she eventually finished high school and qualified for financial aid to attend the University of San Francisco. She became fascinated by the supernatural.
(Secret Defenders#16 (fb), 22 (fb)) - Jillian attended a lecture by Dr. Druid. She felt a strange closeness to him, and met up with him after the lecture. Druid examined her with his mystic powers, and learned that in past lives, their souls had known each other in the time after the reign of King Arthur. Back then, Jillian's soul inhabited an alchemist, and Druid was a British princess. Jillian's past self was slain by the princess' brother for having defiled her. Jillian and Druid drew together romantically after this revelation.
When Dr. Druid took possession of several mystic artifacts once owned by Magnus, Jillian was assaulted by a demon released from one of the items. Jillian was slain, but Druid restored her using the Bride of Slorioth statue to retain her soul, and she received shadow-powers. Jillian was unaware that she had died.
(Quasar#45-46) - Shadowoman accompanied the Shock Troop to North Carolina, where Quasar was battling an Anti-Body from the New Universe which had been corrupted by the darkforce of Quagmire, as well as the Presence and Neutron. Shadowoman melted into her shadow form to absorb two of the Anti-Bodies, saving two bystanders. Dr. Druid then had Shadowoman cast her form around one of the Anti-Bodies, and drew the other Anti-Bodies toward it, remerging them into one. Finally, Glom of the Imperial Guard devoured the Anti-Bodies, consuming their energy. Shadowoman escaped from the last Anti-Body before Glom could eat it.
(Quasar#50) - Shadowoman accompanied the Shock Troop as they responded to a call from Dr. Strange to face a threat at the Nexus of All Realities, but the threat had already been neutralized by Quasar.
(Secret Defenders#15) - Shadowoman met Dr. Druid as he assumed the responsibility of organizing the Secret Defenders, and joined with him, Luke Cage and Deadpool to attempt and prevent Malachi from reassembling the Moebius Stone. They met up with their teammates at the Chicago Museum of Art, and confronted Malachi as she attempted to acquire a Moebius Stone fragment attached to a sword. To hold the Secret Defenders back, Malachi animated paintings and sculptures to attack them, and departed with the fragment.
(Secret Defenders#16) - Dr. Druid directed Shadowoman to defeat the animated artwork by casting her shadow form over them, causing them to dissipate as they were much like a laser-generated hologram, requiring light. Druid then teleported them to his townhouse to seek artifacts which could aid them against Malachi. While there, Shadowoman related her origin to Deadpool and Cage. They set out to oppose Malachi at a tomb where a corpse held the last fragment of the Moebius Stone in a ring upon its finger. They were joined by Cadaver, a teenager slain by Malachi who was animated by Agamotto to serve as his Pale Horseman. However, Malachi obtained the last fragment, and snared Shadowoman and Dr. Druid with her spells.
(Secret Defenders#17) - Shadowoman was able to phase through her bonds, and distracted Malachi while Dr. Druid escaped. Malachi struck Shadowoman down, and when she survived the blow, she realized she shouldn't have, and that Dr. Druid had done something to her. Malachi was finally slain by Deadpool, but then Strange, Dr. Strange's servant, attempted to claim the Moebius Stone. Shadowoman opposed him, only to be struck down, but Dr. Druid was able to destroy the Moebius Stone.
(Secret Defenders#18-19) - Shadowoman joined Cadaver, Dr. Druid and R.G. Mathieson in confronting Swarm, as it attempted to control the Rand-Meachum supercollider. Shadowoman was immune to Swarm due to her powers, and helped free Dr. Druid and Cadaver from the creature's clutches. She and Cadaver helped hold Swarm back long enough for Dr. Druid to convince Swarm to stand down, lest humanity destroy it.
(Secret Defenders#20) - Returning from their encounter with Swarm, Jillian asked Dr. Druid to explain to her what she had become. Druid promised to do so, but cast her into the Bride of Slorioth.
(Secret Defenders#21-22) - Within the statue, Jillian encountered the dark side of Dr. Druid's soul, and learned from it what Dr. Druid had done to her. She emerged from the statue furious, and assaulted Dr. Druid, but he convinced her that he had only done what had to be done, and that he was ready to lead her and Cadaver on a mission that would free them all of their respective curses. She agreed, but assumed the new alias of Sepulcre for that mission. Dr. Druid then teleported them to Starkesboro.
(Secret Defenders#23) - Sepulcre and the others met up with Deathlok, Dagger and Drax, their teammates for this mission. Dr. Druid led them to the Gates of Perdition, where he was to confront the demon Slorioth. However, as Dr. Druid departed, the original Defenders-- Silver Surfer, Hulk and Sub-Mariner-- appeared to oppose the Secret Defenders.
(Secret Defenders#24) - Sepulcre engaged the Silver Surfer in battle, but he fled the scene when he realized he was in an era where Galactus' barrier did not surround the Earth. However, the Surfer's conscience knawed at him, and he returned to engage Sepulcre once more, but she encased him within a field of total darkness. Just then, their battle was interrupted when the demon Slorioth arose.
(Secret Defenders#25) - The two teams of Defenders fought Slorioth, but Sepulcre and Cadaver were taken aside by Joshua Pryce to face the real threat-- Dr. Druid, corrupted by his dark side. Dr. Druid claimed that everything he had done had been for Jillian, then attacked his one-time allies. Since Dr. Druid had taken control of her soul, he used that advantage to cause her to dissolve away. Ultimately, Joshua Pryce brought in the Vishanti and Living Tribunal, who drove off Dr. Druid and Slorioth. Pryce then went to help Sepulcre, but she begged him to let her die. He replied, "Better to live, forever a Shadowoman...than to die a Sepulcre!", and helped raise her to life.
Shadowoman and Cadaver met with Pryce afterward, and decided to go their separate ways, but noted that "if the world ever needs saving...and all the good super-heroes are busy," they would meet again.
(Sensational Spider-Man '96 Annual/2) - Jillian was contacted by Lindsay McCabe, a friend of Jessica Drew's, and was asked to help her find Jessica. They were joined by Spider-Woman, who had encountered Jessica's Spider-Woman costume moving of its own accord, compelled to do so by Jillian. Jillian cast the two women to the dimension of the Void-Eater, where Jessica was imprisoned. Jessica was repowered by her costume, and escaped the Void-Eater with Lindsay and the other Spider-Woman, and Jillian closed the portal to the Void-Eater's realm before the creature could follow them back.
(Civil War: Battle Damage Report) - Tony Stark listed Jillian as an enemy combatant.
(Thunderbolts II#112) - After an exciting night with a man Jillian woke up at noon. She couldn't remember his name and told him that she had job interview at two and left her bed to get dressed.
(Thunderbolts II#113) - By phone, Jillian Woods (Shadowoman, Sepulchre) was contacted by Sikorski of Roxxon Blackridge (Roxxon's private security division). He wanted her to work as security for them at some middle-eastern holdings, and arranged to meet her in Phoenix on the following day.
(Thunderbolts II#114) - On her way to Roxxon's offices Jillian saw the Thunderbolts' cloudeyes in the sky. When Venom started to attack innocent people she attacked him. She was joined in her fight by American Eagle. Steel Spider soon joined them when they were all surrounded by the Thunderbolts.
(Thunderbolts II#115) - Sepulcre took the Thunderbolts' sight with her Darkforce. Shortly after being blinded by Radioactive Man, Sepulcre knocked out Songbird and then ran to Roxxon's offices. She immediately took the job they offered to get out of the country.
(New Avengers II#7) - Frustrated with the mispronounciation of her name, Sepulchre nevertheless applied for the job of nanny for the child of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, but didn't get it.
Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald, Grant Miehm, David Day and Dan Day.
We never did learn why Jillian wears Jessica's old costume, but presumably it had to do with her powers coming from Jessica's old friend Magnus.
She got her own entry in OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10.
by Prime Eternal
Shadowoman should not be confused with:
The Shadow Key allows Jillian to create a keyhole-shaped portal into dimensions, and then close the portal when needed. She used the Shadow Key to allow Spider-Woman and Lindsay McCabe into the dimension of the Void-Eater.
--Sensational Spider-Man '96
The Bride of Slorioth was the mystical statue Dr. Druid used to manipulate Shadowoman, using it to transform her soul into a shadow-form. The statue also claimed a portion of Dr. Druid's soul, transforming it into his dark side. Druid also wielded the statue against Slorioth, but his own dark side manifested itself from the statue, and overwhelmed him.
--Secret Defenders#15) 22(fb), 15,
16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25
Images taken from:
Quasar#46, page 6, panel 4
Secret Defenders#22, cover
Sensational Spider-Man '96 Annual/2, page 4, panel 4
Secret Defenders#18, page 3, panel 2
First Posted: 08/11/2004
Last updated: 03/23/2014
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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