Real Name: Vince Jones
Identity/Class: Human mutate, US Citizen, legally deceased
Occupation: Shadow Rider;
formerly lead guitarist and singer
Group Membership: Shadow Riders;
formerly Chaotic Death
Affiliations: Cable, Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch/Noble Kale);
formerly Rick Jones
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile across Earth and other dimensions, numerous bases across Earth. Primarily Shadow Riders HQ, North-West England.
First Appearance: Shadow Riders#1 (June, 1993)
Powers/Abilities: Stranger has athletic agility, strength and speed. His durability and stamina are peak human. He has enhanced human reflexes. Being dead, he has a radically reduced need for sleep.
Stranger's fazing powers can turn him into a living ghost, making him intangible. He can faze through physical barriers, such as walls and most metals, or energy barriers. He can also allow gunfire (and presumably some/most energy weapons discharge) to faze through him. However this intangibility is apparently limited. Even when Abadon's energy bonds were weakened, he needed a boost of Roadies psi-power to faze free. He is able to sense energies, such as the interdimensional energies of Abadon, which helps him in the application of his fazing powers.
He is a chameleon shape shifter with morphogenetic powers. He can literally become part of the scenery, appearing invisible. Young, quiet, long-haired and likable, Stranger is able to fit in with any crowd even without his powers. He's good at disguise, a skill he uses on other members of the squad.
Stranger can "read" a personality by touch and become that person's exact duplicate for a limited period, right down to memory, personality and innate powers. He has further developed this ability with accessible "Character Pods"; complex data cores detailing every aspect of a personality (except memories and personality) based on information gathered by Vorin or his agents across the globe. Stranger carries perhaps three identities at one time. Stranger can only become another person for a limited time (about half an hour) or that personality, even if drawn from a Character Pod, might take over his body. In addition, using a subject's innate power can speed up this subsuming of his own character. Also, many of the Character Pods may be out of date. For example, an individuals costume may have changed since being scanned by Vorin.
He also has above normal intelligence, and an advanced understanding of computers, communications, electronics, and weaponry. He's a regular tactician. Invariably, if anyone can get the team out of a fix it's usually him who suggests a plan. He's also a musician, able to play lead guitar and sing to some extent. He is an experienced hand to hand combatant and skilled with firearms.
He wears mystically enhanced battle armor, including a personal force shield. He uses various personal weaponry, and has his own Shadow Bike, created of unique fluid metal, for transportation.
Height: 6' (variable; see comments)
Weight: 170 lbs. (variable)
Eyes: Variable (see comments)
Hair: Blond, possibly dyed brown (variable; see comments)
(John Freeman's Stranger Character Profile) - Vince Jones was born in Belmont, Chicago. He grew up to become a musician, and also studied computing and communications to degree level. At some point he became the lead guitarist and singer with Chaotic Death.
(John Freeman's Shadow Riders Guide) - As a member of Chaotic Death, Vince became a famous rock star. However, he always wanted anonymity and was anxious for oblivion in the face of constant scrutiny of his personal life.
(John Freeman's Shadow Riders Guide) - At some point he was previously acquainted with Rick Jones.
(John Freeman's Stranger Character Profile) - He never married.
(John Freeman's Stranger Character Profile) - He was regenerated by hi-tech majick from the point of death by Vorin.
(John Freeman's Shadow Riders Guide) - Having been famous, Vince liked being "dead." He had both his own life and the anonymity that he always wanted.
(Shadow Riders#1) - Roadie informed Stranger that Boot, who was on a mission, had stopped transmitting. Stranger joked that this was good as there were Star Trek reruns on another channel. He then reassured her that Boot could take care of himself, placing an arm around her. Roadie told him she was going to call Vorin, and warned him to remove his hand from her shoulder.
(Shadow Riders#1 (fb) - BTS) - Stranger went to get a beer.
(Shadow Riders#1) - When Vorin and Boot returned to base, Stranger offered the latter a beer. Boot was busy, however, carrying the body of Arnold Coltrane, who was to be a new Shadow Rider. Some hours later, Stranger used his invisibility to sneak up on Roadie as she monitored strange energy readings from Mys-Tech HQ. As the energies were affecting Mys-Tech's defenses, Boot saw an opportunity for the team to infiltrate the enemy base. Vorin announced their new recruit was ready, and they prepared for their mission.
(Shadow Riders#2) - Stranger, Boot, Grunt, and Roadie raced toward London along a motorway in Northern England at midnight. They sped past a motorcycle policeman, who gave chase. However, once Roadie's psi-shield was ready, they were sent the rest of the way to London via Vorin's transit beam. The policeman was left behind bewildered. Upon arriving within Mys-Tech Central, Stranger split off from his teammates and fazed through a wall on a separate mission. In moments, he was elsewhere within the complex, where he activated one of his Character Pods. Disguised as Mys-Tech board member Porlock, he walked on. Unexpectedly, he passed by the Warhead called Che and some other Mys-Tech staff. He made his way to a secondary communications room, where he sat at a computer and began to set things up for the team's escape. Relaxing his disguise in order to avoid becoming stuck as Porlock, he redirected security teams 7 through to 12 up to the museum roof and put all other teams on standby only. Having done that, he noticed an image on a computer screen. The image looked very much like his friend Goodfellow, and the screen also gave information on a permanent wormhole site in Annapurna, Nepal. Just then he was interrupted by two security guards, but used his powers to both disappear and faze in order to avoid being shot.
(Shadow Rider#2 (fb) - BTS) - He managed to scramble the defense systems for one more minute, and obtain a computer disc on the portal wormhole for Vorin. He made his way back to his teammates.
(Shadow Riders#2) - He returned to his friends to find they had teamed up with Ghost Rider and liberated Matt Ryan. They were beamed back to base, and Ghost Rider was sent back to New York.
(Shadow Rider#2 (fb) - BTS) - He assessed the data he had stolen from Mys-Tech, while Vorin examined Matt Ryan.
(Shadow Riders#2) - Later, Stranger was watching Boot and Grunt sparring when Vorin and Roadie arrived. He confirmed to Vorin that the disc had information on another portal wormhole.
(Shadow Riders#3 (fb) - BTS) - It transpired that the portal wormhole led to Vorin's home world, Sharin.
(Shadow Riders#3) - While Matt Ryan slept, his powers flared and wrecked his room. Stranger and the others arrived to investigate. Vorin spoke to Matt of returning to Sharin, but Boot was suspicious of how convenient it was that Stranger had found the information during their raid on Mys-Tech Central. Stranger backed Boot up, but Vorin was insistent it was time to act.
(Shadow Riders#3 (fb) - BTS) - Stranger and Vorin spoke about the portal wormhole and how it linked two different time zones as well as two different worlds. Also, they spoke a little of the details of Vorin's journey to Earth.
(Shadow Riders#3) - Vorin planned to use the Transit Drive to return by harnessing the peculiar properties of Matt Ryan's energies and breaching the wormhole. Stranger was dubious, as was Boot. However, an hour later the Transit Drive was ready and Stranger saddled up to leave for Sharin with his teammates. As they left, the time-traveling mutant called Cable was caught in the beam. They arrived on Sharin and before long they were attacked by the Slaughterhouse Six. Stranger quickly realized that strength alone wouldn't hurt the creatures, and charged through one using his fazing powers. This hurt the creature, confirming Strangers theory that they existed in a multi-dimensional form. He, Cable and Boot recalibrated their weapons to phase over the widest possible electromagnetic scale. This made the blasters effective against the creatures, but unfortunately they weren't the only threat. Porlock appeared, and turned Matt Ryan against them. Stunned by Matt's powers, they learned that Ryan was in fact an entity called Abadon. Stranger lay on the floor recovering as Porlock ordered Abadon to destroy them all.
(Shadow Riders#4) - Stranger recovered, but found himself restrained by Abadon's energy bonds and unable to faze through them. However, the arrival Goodfellow turned things back in their favor, and the bonds began to weaken. Stranger sensed Abadon's energies were tied into a place that even he didn't want to think about. Even with the bonds in their weakened state, he needed a boost of Roadie's psi-power to escape them. His fazing power disrupted the bonds, and they dissapeared, but Stranger was weakened. Roadie examined him, determining that, although in a bad way, he would still live. Meanwhile, Boot and Goodfellow used the power of one of the Slaughterhouse Six to hide everybody from the enemy, including Cable's secret ally, the Warhead called Che whom Stranger had only recently encountered. Stranger recovered, and took part in an assault on Abadon. They managed to escape Sharin, leaving Abadon behind. Arriving at Mys-Tech's portal wormhole sit in India, they were fired upon by the guards. Che was shot, but Cable used his bodysliding technology to teleport everybody to safety.
(Shadow Riders#4 (fb) - BTS) - While Vorin saw to Che, Stranger and the others rested in the recreation center at Shadow Riders HQ.
(Shadow Riders#4) - Stranger explained to Cable that the team watched a lot of television, due to their radically reduced need for sleep. Vorin then arrived with Che, whom he had resurrected and transformed like he had the other Shadow Riders. It transpired that Goodfellow had found part of a Transit Drive on Sharin, giving fresh hope that there were other survivors from Vorin's homeworld. Cable said his goodbyes, leaving Che behind with his new teammates. Stranger was horrified to overhear that Boot had taped over one of his old Star Trek tapes with Red Dwarf.
Comments: Created by John Freeman, Brian Williamson, and Ross Dearsley. Marvel UK
With the description of Vince Jones as lead guitarist and singer of a rock band, eager for anonymity and oblivion, I can't help but think of 90's grunge rock star Kurt Cobain. I think Kurt's uneasiness in the face of fame was probably fairly well documented back in 1993 when this series was written, but I have no idea if this inspired any of Vince's characterization. And of course, Kurt was hardly the first famous individual to struggle with being thrust into the limelight so there could be any number of inspirations. As it is, only the Chaotic Death logo made it into the series, there is no mention of Strangers musical history. It could be through his musical connections that he knew Rick Jones, or their both being musicians could just be a coincidence and they met under other circumstances.
In the real world rock stars have been reported to die in a variety of ways, car crashes, drug related deaths, murders, suicides (as with the aforementioned Kurt), etc (none of these things are "Rock'n'roll", folks). And, of course, in Spinal Tap, drummers are prone to spontaneous combustion. The manner of Stranger's death is, of course, unrevealed.
As Stranger is the former rock star of the group, I feel it appropriate to mention the individual story titles from the Shadow Rider's series in his profile.
#1/1 - "The Screaming Man"
#1/2 - "Morbid Visions", the title of Sepultura's debut album and a song from that album, which was released in 1986.
#2 - "High Speed Dirt", the title of a song by Megadeth from the album Countdown to Extinction, which was released in 1992.
#3 - "Destructive Infinity", the title of a song by Bolt Thrower from the album War Master, which was released in 1991.
#4 - "Symphony of Destruction", the title of another song from the album Countdown to Extinction album.
As you can see, with the exception of #1/1, all are titles of heavy metal songs. And John Freeman has confirmed that The Screaming Man was probably simply named that because there WAS a screaming man in it.
As one of the Shadow Riders, Stranger is clearly long over any issues he had while alive and much happier for it. He is a practical joker and enjoys spooking his teammates with his stealth powers. He still wears the logo of his old band on his jacket, but whether he still sings or plays is unclear.
His stats came from John Freeman's character profile. The height stat was listed with an instruction to "check with Stuart", as in Stuart Bartlett the editor. The eyes stat had nothing listed, just the same "check with Stuart" instruction. Hair was listed as blonde, but appears brown in the actual comics. Of course, all stats are variable due to his powers. It's possible, for example, that he is a natural blonde who uses his powers to alter his hair to appear brown. Or he could just dye it. As for his eyes, he isn't seen without his sunglasses on. Funnily enough, he disguises himself as Porlock who also wears sunglasses!
Thanks to Marvelous Luke for updating the images.
Profile by Snood, updated and expanded by Changeling.
Stranger name has no known connections to
images: (without ads)
Shadow Riders #2, p2, pan4 (Main image, headshot)
Shadow Riders #1, p15, pan1 (Stranger's outline)
Shadow Riders #2, p7, pan1 (Stranger shapeshifting)
Shadow Riders #2, p12, pan5 (Chaotic Death logo)
Shadow Riders #2, p13, pan2 (Stranger turning invisible and phasing/fazing to avoid automatic handgun fire)
Shadow Riders #3, p10, pan2 (Full body)
Shadow Riders #3, p18, pan3 (Stranger phasing/fazing whilst remaining visible)
Shadow Riders#1 (June 1993) - John Freeman & Brian Williamson (Story), Ross Dearsley (Art), Euan Peters (Colors), Stuart Bartlett (Editor), Paul Neary (Editor-In-Chief)
Shadow Riders#2 (July 1993) - John Freeman & Brian Williamson (Story), Ross Dearsley (Art), Euan Peters (Colors), Stuart Bartlett (Editor), Paul Neary (Editor-In-Chief)
Shadow Riders#3 (August 1993) - John Freeman & Brian Williamson (Story), Ross Dearsley (Art), Euan Peters (Colors), Stuart Bartlett (Editor), Paul Neary (Editor-In-Chief)
Shadow Riders#4 (September 1993) - John Freeman & Brian Williamson (Story), Ross Dearsley (Art), Euan Peters (Colors), Stuart Bartlett (Editor), Paul Neary (Editor-In-Chief)
Last Updated: 07/17/15
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