Real Name: Joseph Vorin
Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (native of Sharin/Arena World) magic and technology user
Occupation: Warrior, would-be savior of his race,
leader of the Shadow Riders;
formerly Hi-tech magician and healer on Arena World
Group Membership: Shadow Riders;
formerly the Reiver gangs of the sixteenth century
Affiliations: Doctor Stephen Strange, Goodfellow
(familiar), Joel, Moon Knight (Marc Spector);
Cable and Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch/Noble Kale) (loose allies)
Enemies: Abadon, Mys-Tech (especially Eadmund Porlock)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Various secret bases scattered
across Earth, Shadow Riders HQ in North-West England;
formerly Sharin/Arena World
First Appearance: Shadow Riders#1 (June, 1993)
Powers: Vorin has athletic agility, strength and speed, peak human durability and stamina, and enhanced human reflexes. He is very long lived, and only appears to be in his early forties. Vorin is an extraordinary genius, gifted in multiple intellectual areas.
Vorin possesses a number of abilities, some magical and some technological in origin. Only a few of these have been observed, and it is difficult to determine which abilities come from which source. Vorin is a master of high-tech wizardry, a powerful spell caster drawing on as yet unknown energies. He can generate bolts, shields and protection spells. Since the transformation brought about during his journey to Earth, Vorin is able to re-mold both organic and inorganic matter at their most basic levels. It is unclear which of his other powers stem from his transformation, and which stem from his magic.
Vorin has some level of telekinesis. He can levitate himself or others, having been seen to levitate a large adult male human. He also has advanced telepathic abilities. He can both conjure images magically and has developed the technology to create solid light holograms. He was able to magically seal a wormhole opened by Mys-Tech. He uses the being known as Goodfellow as a familiar to assist him in controlling his magical abilities.
Employing his matter manipulation and telepathy to their fullest extent, Vorin can bring living matter back from the point of death and transform it. Such transformations are usually permanent. Vorin has a unique "death sense," which draws him to a potential candidate for transformation, guided by unknown forces. It's possible he may engineer such events in certain cases where he feels a person is suited to his cause as a Shadow Rider. These mystic senses can be erratic, and their predictions not always accurate. During such transformations, Vorin has been known to project images of his war with Mys-Tech into a person's mind, instilling them with a deep-rooted hatred for the evil immortals. This is effective even on those such as Boot or Grunt who had both previously worked for Mys-Tech. The transformations are limited in that the effects appear to be completely random. In addition, it is not known how often Vorin can "resurrect" an individual or what effects multiple resurrection would have. Potentially, each additional resurrection could increase the chances of the magic failing, creating distorted versions of the subjects. Vorin only uses this process sparingly as it requires a large amount of personal energy. Vorin is able to magically heal non-fatal injuries, having been a healer during his time on Sharin.
He has an extensive knowledge of Earth history, geography, languages, and the physical and natural sciences, with particular skills in the fields of genetics and TRANSIT technology. His understanding of, and control over, mechanical and electronic machinery is highly advanced, second to none. He also has advanced knowledge of cybernetics. Much of his knowledge came from studying Mys-Tech. However, even before learning of Mys-Tech, he was a high-tech magician and healer. He is versed in the use of several hand weapons, but prefers to use majickal abilities. However, he was reluctant to use his powers often, as their unique energy signature would have alerted Mys-Tech to his whereabouts. As a leader, he is a careful planner but tends to work on a need to know basis, which can often frustrate members of the Shadow Riders team. He has a powerful stare and charismatic manner.
He wears mystically enhanced battle armor, including a personal force shield. He has various personal weaponry, some acquired from Warheads returning from wormhole jumps and some of his own creations. He also wields a sword. Vorin's unique black light TRANSIT technology enables him to project himself or his Shadow Riders anywhere in the world with the correct navigational co-ordinates. TRANSIT only operates at light-speed and has no time travel capability. For additional transportation, Vorin uses his own Shadow Bike, created of unique fluid metal.
Weight: 310 lbs.
Eyes: Solid red (no visible pupil), possibly yellow. (See comments).
(John Freeman's Vorin Character Profile) - Vorin was born in the Sharin Mountains on the planet Sharin (see comments). He grew up to be a hi-tech magician and healer.
(Shadow Riders#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point Goodfellow became Vorin's familiar.
(Shadow Riders#3 (fb) - BTS) - The evil organization known as Mys-Tech uncovered technology enabling them to open "wormholes" in time, space, and/or dimensions. They formed a group of warriors known as the Warheads to access these wormholes and pillage whatever technology, artifacts, etc. they could find for Mys-Tech's use. One of their first Wormholes accessed brought the Warheads troop through time and space to the time equivalent to 1383 AD on the planet Sharin. In the process of scouring the world for technology, the Warheads slaughtered a vast number of the natives.
(John Freeman's Shadow Riders Guide) - Vorin learned much about Mys-Tech through watching their activities on his home world, before traveling to Earth using his own experimental Transit system. During his jump between the Arena and Earth something happened to both Vorin and his odd partner, Goodfellow. Both were transformed in ways they didn't understand.
(Shadow Riders#3 (fb) - BTS) - They eventually arrived on Earth in 1393 AD via his own transit system, which only traversed space, not time. See comments.
(John Freeman's Shadow Riders Guide) - To Vorin's despair, the Transit system recorders crashed and all records of the spatial location of his own world were lost to him. Vorin was trapped on Earth. Vorin and Goodfellow established a base in caverns in the North West of England.
(Shadow Riders#3 (fb) - BTS) - Not wanting to stop Mys-Tech before the date they had first invaded/assaulted Sharin for fear of creating a temporal paradox, Vorin spent the next six centuries challenging Mys-Tech to take their measure, as well as to explore, steal, and adapt some of their powers for his own purpose.
(Shadow Riders#2 (fb) - BTS) - <16th century> - Wychwood fought Vorin in a ship outside Lisbon and believed him dead at the end of it.
(John Freeman's Vorin Character Profile) - Vorin is known to have been a leader of one of the Reiver gangs of the sixteenth century who fought battles on the borders with Scotland and England.
(Shadow Riders#2 (fb) - BTS) - In Paris, Vorin sold Tyrburn a plague bacillus, which was actually a cure for typhoid. Fortunately for Mys-Tech's debt of souls to Mephisto, Tyburn learned the truth in time and stopped it from being released (see comments).
(John Freeman's Shadow Riders Guide) - At some point Vorin fully perfected his Transit systems.
(Shadow Riders#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point Vorin began to form a small army to assist him. These warriors, known as the Shadow Riders, were formed from humans killed in battle. Vorin claimed these people at the moment of the death, brought them to his base, and resurrected and empowered them. He convinced these people of the evil of Mys-Tech's ways. His Shadow Riders have fought for centuries.
(Shadow Riders#3 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in the 20th century Vorin became the owner of both a nondescript cottage in Lancashire and a nearby motorway service station. The service station became just one of the means by which he was able to fund Shadow Riders activities.
(John Freeman's Vorin Character Profile) - Vorin remained single, and is not known to have a criminal record.
(John Freeman's Shadow Riders Guide) - At some point, Vorin met Doctor Strange.
(John Freeman's Shadow Riders Guide) - At some point, Vorin met Moon Knight.Both Doctor Strange and Moon Knight have aided Vorin more than once, often unconnected with his struggles against Mys-Tech.
(Shadow Riders#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in the modern era, Vorin recruited Stranger to the Shadow Riders.
(Shadow Riders#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Vorin's death sense led him to try and recruit Che. He also knew something of Che's fellow Warhead, Boot and his past.
(Shadow Riders#1/2 (fb)) - Vorin appeared in Egypt just after Malkuth Troop had left via a wormhole. He shot the troop's Master Key and his helpers. He was surprised when the dead body of Boot appeared through the wormhole, with no sign of Che or the rest of Malkuth Troop. He used his powers to transform and ressurect Boot's body. Before leaving, he set off an explosion to destroy the wormhole site in order to cover his tracks. He left, taking Boot with him to make a few more mechanical adjustments.
(Shadow Riders#4 (fb) - BTS) - Roadie was apparently killed in a particularly messy accident on the Exeter By-Pass, leading to her becoming a Shadow Rider.
(Shadow Riders#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Vorin became aware of Death's Head (Minion) and his killing prowess.
(Shadow Riders#2 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Vorin learned of Ghost Rider (Daniel Ketch) and his abilities. Somebody known to Vorin highly recommended Ghost Rider.
(Shadow Riders#2 (fb) - BTS) - One of the Mys-Tech leaders, Eadmund Porlock, believed that either Vorin or his agents were responsible for sealing three of Mys-Tech's portal wormholes within the space of one year. He planned to lure the Shadow Riders into a trap. By this point, Vorin's crusade against them had lasted six centuries.
(Shadow Riders#3 (fb) - BTS) - Porlock planned to dupe the Shadow Riders into rescuing and recruiting Matt Ryan, who appeared to be a prisoner being tortured by Mys-Tech. Ryan was in fact a powerful entity called Abadon.
(Shadow Riders#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Shadow Riders detected unusual energy readings from Mys-Tech Central.
(Shadow Riders#1 (fb) - BTS) - At this point Vorin had resurrected at least a dozen people to join his Shadow Riders since Stranger had become a Shadow Rider. However, only Boot, Che, Goodfellow, Roadie, Stranger, and Vorin were on the team.
(Shadow Riders#2 (fb) - BTS) - While Vorin carried out investigations atop the roof of the Museum of Pagan Antiquities, his presence was recorded by Mys-Tech's security.
(Shadow Riders#1 (fb) - BTS) - Vorin's death sense led him to New York to recruit Rick Jones. While on his way, he felt the disappearance of Boot. Unknown to Vorin, Boot had encountered the time-traveling mutant known as Cable.
(Shadow Riders#1) - Vorin arrived in New York and was contacted by Roadie, who informed him that Boot's transmissions had stopped. Unable to deal with it, he watched as Death's Head prepared to kill Rick Jones, whom he believed to be Mick Jones. Fortunately for Rick, the Hulk arrived and intervened. Vorin spoke briefly to Rick, surprised that he hadn't been killed. Then, sensing an imminent death elsewhere he disappeared. He reappeared at Mys-Tech central, where he found the body of Arnold Coltrane. Coltrane had been killed by none other than the Shadow Rider Boot, who was there fighting Mys-Tech security. Vorin ordered Boot to retrieve Coltrane's body, and they left via Transit beam. On returning to their HQ, Vorin used his abilities to resurrect and transform Coltrane, at the same time flooding the mans mind with images of the Shadow Riders across the centuries. He, Boot and Stranger took Coltrane to his lab to stabilize the mans new form.
(Shadow Riders#1 (fb) - BTS) - Vorin asked Roadie to notify him immediately of any further strange energy readings from Mys-Tech central. Some hours passed while Vorin worked on Coltrane. The transformation stabilized, Coltrane was fitted out with armor and a heavy blaster.
(Shadow Riders#1) - Vorin and Coltrane joined the other Shadow Riders just as Roadie was informing the team of new readings from Mys-Tech central. With their defensive perimiter systems affected, Vorin agreed it was the perfect time for an assault on the enemy base.
(Shadow Riders#2 (fb) - BTS) - Vorin remained at their HQ while the Shadow Riders went on their mission.
(Shadow Riders#2) - Vorin monitored the mission, and operated the Transit systems, sending the Shadow Riders to Mys-Tech central. He observed mystical probes being sent out by the source of the energy readings, now known to be a young man called Matt Ryan. When the Shadow Riders returned with Matt, and their temporary ally Ghost Rider, Vorin welcomed them all. He had Roadie remove Matt's psi-blindfold, and examined him. Ghost Rider enquired why he had not been psi-blindfolded. Vorin explained that he knew Ghost Rider was had no psi-tracing abilities, and that also that he came highly recommended. He thanked Ghost Rider for his assistance, and sent him back to New York.
(Shadow Riders#2 (fb) - BTS) - Stranger informed Vorin that he had stolen data from Mys-Tech during the mission. Vorin believed the data would concern a portal wormhole. Vorin and Roadie accompanied Matt Ryan to their medi-lab to examine him. Vorin stopped after a while, concerned that the boy was too weak to take any more.
(Shadow Riders#2) - Vorin asked Roadie her opinion of Matt. She believed him to be on the level, but very confused. Vorin then asked Stranger about the stolen data, which it turned was indeed about a portal wormhole.
(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 to Sharin by harnessing the peculiar properties of Matt Ryan's energies and breaching the wormhole. Stranger was dubious, as was Boot. Matt agreed to help, having been convinced to do so by Roadie.
(Shadow Riders#4 (fb) - BTS) - Secretly Vorin suspected a trap, and arranged for Goodfellow to follow the team in secret.
(Shadow Riders#3) - An hour later the Transit Drive was ready and Stranger saddled up to leave for Sharin with his teammates. As they left, Cable was accidentally caught in the beam. They arrived on Sharin, which was now a barren desert, known as Arena World. Vorin was dismayed, especially when Boot revealed that he had known of Arena World's fate. Suddenly, they were attacked by the Slaughterhouse Six, one of whom slashed Vorin who fell to the floor. The other Shadow Riders fought the creatures with help from Cable, but unfortunately they weren't the only threat. The Shadow Riders were ambushed by one of the leaders of Mys-Tech, Porlock. The villain acknowledged that it was almost an honor to meet Vorin face to face for the first time. Porlock revealed that Ryan was actually an extradimensional entity known as Abadon, under his control, and that his apparent torture had been a trap to put an end to the Shadow Riders interference with Mys-Tech activities. Vorin struggled to get back to his feet as Porlock ordered Abadon to destroy them all.
(Shadow Riders#4) - As the Shadow Riders struggled against Abadon's mystic bonds, Porlock had the entity attack Vorin first. Abadon did so, hitting Vorin with a mighty blast of energy. Fortunately, Goodfellow arrived and shot Abadon. While the entity was distracted, Stranger disrupted its mystic bonds. Goodfellow then leeched the power of one of the Slaughterhouse Six, transferring it to Boot. Boot then time-phased the Shadow Riders, Cable, and Cable's double agent Che so that they could hide from the enemy.
(Shadow Riders#4 (fb) - BTS) - Vorin planned to attack Abadon and make him angry so that he and Roadie could psi-link and affect him while he was distracted.
(Shadow Riders#4) - Once the time-phase wore off, they attacked. Even distracted, Abadon was too powerful for Vorin and Roadie to contain with their linked psi-powers. Nevertheless, Vorin and the Shadow Riders managed to escape back to Earth. Although Vorin was nearly trapped on Arena World with Vorin, Boot pulled him free of the entity's grasp as Vorin sealed the wormhole. Mys-Tech security on Earth opened fire on them, and Che was shot, but Cable transported them all back to Shadow Riders HQ with his bodyslide technology.
(Shadow Riders#4 (fb) - BTS) - Vorin worked hard for an hour to resurrect and transform Che.
(Shadow Riders#4) - Once Che's transformation was over, Vorin led him to the recreation center. While there, it transpired that Goodfellow had discovered a component from a transit drive. This was evidence that there was other life on Sharin/Arena World, giving Vorin a renewed commitment to rescue them. Vorin forgave Boot for his part in the slaughter on Arena World, and thanked him for saving his life. As Cable left, Vorin welcomed Che to the Shadow Riders promising him that they would take the war back to Mys-Tech.
Comments: Created by John Freeman, Brian Williamson, and Ross Dearsley. Marvel UK
In Shadow Riders#2, when Porlock shows an image of Vorin, two other Mys-Tech agents reference previous encounters with Vorin. The one mention reference is clearly Wychwood. The other...
In my initial review, I’d assumed the one on pg. 18, panel 2 who noted that Vorin had sold him a seeming plague bacillus in Paris “long ago” to be Rathcoole, because the character looked more masculine. In re-reviewing (for an Arena World profile), I think the wavy hair and the semi-cloak deal makes it more likely Tyburn...she’s just old and ugly and the art is course.
In the panel you mention, the wavy hair and redness of the clothing is consistent with Tyburn in other panels of this issue (Rathcoole is in blue elsewhere). However in the next panel it's clearly Rathcoole standing in that position relative to the other board members, and Tyburn is further back. Facially they don't appear that different. The art definitely isn't helping.
I personally would note the questionable nature in the comments, but change to Tyburn. It looks more like Tyburn to me but I wouldn't be surprised if there's some sort of art error going on.
Although it's not revealed who recommended Ghost Rider to Vorin, I suspect it most likely to be Doctor Strange. It could also be Moon Knight, though I'm not sure how familiar he would be with Ghost Rider.
Vorin's profile lists his eyes as being yellow. The comics show that they are red. Perhaps they appear red due to his powers, or something.
It's not entirely clear which abilities stem from his being altered during transit to Earth. His agility, durability, speed, stamina and strength may be average for his race, due to his alteration, or might have developed during his years of action against Mys-Tech. The source of his longevity isn't clear, this too could be a natural trait for his people. It's clear from John Freeman's supplementary info that he was already a genius hi-tech magician and healer before being altered, however. He describes his resurrection ability as high tech wizardry, but Grunt is also said to have been changed by "shadow powers of unknown origins." Perhaps it is a bit of both. Vorin's own transformation merely enhanced what was already there.
Vorin's profile states that the transit systems operate at light speed. Now, Sharin must be light years away, so the journey to Earth would've taken years. We know Mys-Tech discovered the wormholes ten years prior to Warheads #1, and Sharin was one of the first portal worlds they discovered (if not the first - Overkill's wormhole exit procedure document labels Arena World as dimensional interface 001) so if they discovered it around 1982/83 then it would've led them to Sharin circa 1382/83 as the wormhole sends them back six hundred years. There is no indication what year Vorin left Sharin, however. He can't have been around for too long, as he was shocked to see the state of the planet in 1393 when he returned.
Vorin was very nearly used in a Warheads story set on Arena World that never saw print. In this story he would've met Liger's Kether Troop, which might point to him having remained on his homeworld for some years before leaving as Liger didn't join Mys-Tech until the early 90's.
What happened to Vorin? The Revolutionary War series tells us that Mys-Tech were defeated and trapped in Hell. Although the Shadow Riders didn't appear (apart from Che, returning to Kether Troop in Revolutionary War: Warheads), this must have affected them. They may well have been involved in the battle of London Bridge, just not seen. After the battle, although the Mys-Tech board were in Hell, they left behind technology and agents such as the Psycho-Warriors and Psycho-Wraiths. Vorin may have continued to oppose Mys-Tech by tracking down and dealing with those technologies and agents. Alternatively, Vorin may have taken the opportunity to spend more time on his search for survivors of the slaughter on Arena World. Of course, these are just my thoughts on the matter. I'd love to see Vorin and the Shadow Riders return. There were plans for another Shadow Riders series, and a Shadow Riders/Knights of Pendragon team up. These are really unique characters, and I hope that although they weren't used in Revolutionary War (which did a fine job of incorporating as many Marvel UK characters as possible - I'm not really complaining) they may appear again one day. I'm not holding my breath, in case I die and am brought back as one of Vorin's agents! - Changeling.
Thanks to Marvelous Luke for updating the images.
Profile by Snood, updated and expanded by Changeling.
Vorin has no known connections to
Joel worked for Vorin at his cottage in Lancashire. He was doing some gardening on one occasion when Boot returned. As Boot went into the cottage, he admitted out loud that he thought Joel was weird and wondered why Vorin kept him around.
As you can see, Joel used a hoe suggesting he had some level of gardening skill. Perhaps he had other house keeping/ground keeping skills, but that's just conjecture. Joel seemed to have some awareness of Vorin and the Shadow Rider's activities, though perhaps not the full extent of them, for example the fact that Vorin wasn't human and his friends had been raised from the dead.
images: (without ads)
Shadow Riders #1, p16 (main image)
Shadow Riders #1, p5, pan5 (Vorin mug shot)
Shadow Riders #1, p18, pan5 (Vorin shooting Mys-Tech employees)
Shadow Riders #1, p22, pan3 (Vorin resurrecting Boot)
Shadow Riders #1, p14, pan3 (i'm after vorin laying hands on/transforming grunt and the image of a younger vorin in a sword fight)
Shadow Riders #4, p14, pan3 (Vorin with sword)
Shadow Riders #3, p8, pan5 (Joel)
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: 07/07/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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.!
Back to Characters