Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Professional criminal;
former exotic dancer
Group Membership: Night Shift
Saint, Tatterdemalion/Arnold Paffenroth,
Tick-Tock; formerly Brothers
Grimm (Percy and Barton Grimes), Hangman
(Jason Rolands), Gypsy
Moth (Sybil Dvorak), Shroud (Maximilian Coleridge), Werewolf
formerly Superia's Femizons
Talon (Samuel Barone), Captain America (Steve Rogers), the
Hood and his "villain army" (Centurius,
Crossfire and others),
(Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Hercules, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Jocasta, Living
Lightning/Miguel de Santos,
Mockingbird/Bobbie Morse-Barton, Moon Knight/Marc Spector, Scarlet
Witch/Wanda Maximoff, Spider-Woman/Julia Carpenter, Stature/Cassie Lang,
Tigra/Greer Nelson, USAgent/John Walker, Vision/Victor Shade,
Vision/Jonas, Wasp/Hank Pym, Wonder Man/Simon Williams), Blazing
Skull (Jim Scully), Echo (Maya Lopez),
Kali, Locksmith, Dr. Karl Malus,
the Midnight Sons (Daimon
Kale, Man-Thing, Michael Morbius, Werewolf/Jack
Russell), Count Nefaria (Luchino Nefaria), Paladin ("Paul Denning"),
Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Dr. Stephen Strange, Power Broker (Curtiss Jackson),
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly the Tower of Shadows, Los Angeles, California
formerly the sewers of Los Angeles
formerly Las Vegas, Nevada
First Appearance: Marvel Team-Up I#93 (May, 1980)
Powers/Abilities: As a priestess of Shiva, Dansen had mastered the mystical, hypnotic "Dance of Shiva" that could entrance her audience, making their mind and body susceptible to her commands. A variation of this dance could even kill. She was also able to place herself outside human perception, making her undetectable by the naked eye and even eluding Spider-Man's "spider sense." Dansen had undetermined extrasensory perception which allowed her to see even when covered in the Shroud's veil of darkness.
When her powers were temporarily enhanced by Satannish, Macabre could teleport people and objects as massive as the Tower of Shadows, including the entire rock wall it sat on. She could also use her dance moves to blind people.
Dansen was proficient in the use of bladed weapons,
preferring a kris
dagger to kill her enemies. Despite the fact she was a more than proficient
dancer, her acting and performance skills left much to be desired.
(Marvel Team-Up I#94 (fb) - BTS) - Through unrevealed
ways, the exotic dancer who would become known as Dansen Macabre joined
the Cult of Shiva. When she learned that the Shroud, empowered by
Shiva's rival Kali, had turned to crime and was using the powers he'd
been granted to set himself up as a Los Angeles crime lord, she swore to
kill him for this blasphemous act (see
(Marvel Team-Up I#93) - Dansen Macabre visited the Shroud's jazz club where she witnessed Spider-Man's fight against Tatterdemalion. The webslinger mistook the dressed up dancer for his similarly clothed quarry and chased her. She led him to her penthouse apartment, a stylish abode turned into a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, where she introduced herself to the stunned hero.
(Marvel Team-Up I#94 (fb) ) - Quickly entrancing Spider-Man with her hypnotic dance, she ordered the hero to attack the Shroud who was running his criminal operation from the club.
(Marvel Team-Up I#94 - BTS) - Spider-Man complied and returned to the jazz club to fight Shroud, who was able to free the hero's mind after a brief struggle. They decided to trick Dansen by having Spider-Man deliver "The Shroud" to her (in reality it was a dummy dressed in his costume).
(Marvel Team-Up I#94) - Pleased to see Spider-Man return with the Shroud, she prepared to kill him with her kris dagger. Spider-Man protested, but was unable to move after she took control over his body. She quickly realized she'd been duped, however, as the real Shroud made his appearance. Dansen then fought the Shroud, who figured he could elude her with his darkness, but she proved able to see him even in the pitch black. By rapidly dispelling his darkness, Shroud temporarily blinded her while the shock also freed Spider-Man. Though robbed of her sight, Dansen could still perform the dance of death, but that proved useless against the blind Shroud, who also shielded Spider-Man's eyes with patches of darkness. In a final, desperate move she placed herself outside the realm of human perception and, believing herself invisible, tried to stab Shroud. He sensed her, though she landed a kick that knocked the wind right out of him. While a confused Spider-Man looked after the toppled over Shroud, Dansen tried to crush the heroes by toppling over the giant statue of Shiva. Spider-Man caught the massive structure. Recovered, Shroud knocked Macabre out with a single punch, but then got into a fight with Spider-Man when he refused to turn Dansen in. Shroud reasoned no jail could hold her anyway, but to Spider-Man it was proof Shroud really was a villain. After a brief scuffle, Shroud simply vanished, leaving Spider-Man and the unconscious Dansen alone. Fed up, Spider-Man decided to head back to New York but not before calling the cops to pick up Dansen Macabre.
(Spider-Woman I#50 - BTS) - Apparently eluding the police, Dansen was
later captured and imprisoned by Locksmith along with other Los Angeles
based super-powered beings like Tigra, Werewolf, Daddy Longlegs, and the
Shroud. Locksmith had the floor of her cell filled with marbles to keep
her permanently off balance, preventing Macabre from performing any of her
(Spider-Woman I#50) - Locksmith and his associate Tick-Tock abducted Spider-Woman and locked her up along with Dansen and the others. However, Spider-Woman was able to escape her cell and, with some help from Gypsy Moth, Tigra, and Shroud, defeated their wardens. After freeing her friends and associates like Mickey Silk, the Werewolf, and Daddy Longlegs, Spider-Woman informed the police where they could find the still locked up Macabre and the other villains.
(Captain America I#330 (fb) - BTS) - Somehow being able to overlook the fact she'd tried to slaughter him, the Shroud recruited Dansen Macabre into his newly formed Night Shift and even made her deputy leader. Serving with other villains like the Brothers Grimm, Needle, Digger, Tatterdemalion, and Tick-Tock, she bought the Shroud's lie that the team would be preying on other villains strictly for personal gain. The team was housed in the Tower of Shadows, but used the LA sewer system, which Tatterdemalion regarded as his home, as their underground transportation way. At some point, the Power Broker (Curtiss Jackson) began to use the sewers to rid himself of his failed power-augmented subjects. The mentally deranged brutes began to roam around in packs, a threat to the general public. Shroud had Dansen and the Night Shift take down and lock up as many mutates as they could find.
(Captain America I#330) - Captain America, while looking for his friend D-Man, entered the LA sewers and found himself surrounded by several of the Power Broker's failed mutates. Tatterdemalion and some of the Night Shift came to his aid. After the fight, Captain America ran into the fully assembled Night Shift, but the Shroud quickly used his powers to quietly inform the Avenger of his true motives and asked him to play along. Shroud told Dansen Macabre to use her dance to entrance the hero, which she happily did. However, Shroud secretly covered Cap's eyes with his darkness, allowing the Avenger to remain unaffected. Dansen believed her dance had worked and had no problem with Captain America joining them in an attack on the estate of the Power Broker. Driving up in three hearses, the Night Shift made their way on to the premises where they fought the Broker's enhanced guards while Cap went forth to confront the man himself.
(Captain America I#331 - BTS) - After the Power Broker's defeat, Shroud ordered Dansen and the other Night Shift members to bring in the 29 or so mutates they had previously captured so they could be cured.
(Solo Avengers#3/2) - Dansen Macabre and the other Night Shift members watched as Moon Knight (Marc Spector) tried to make his way into the hazardous Tower of Shadows. Unbeknownst to the hero, who merely wanted information on criminal Cornelius van Lunt, Shroud considered the Fist of Khonshu as the team's potential new leader. After surviving the lethal traps and a fight with the Shroud, Moon Knight declined the team's offer and departed.
(West Coast Avengers II#40 (fb) - BTS) - At some point,
one of the Power Broker's failed mutations joined the team, taking the
(West Coast Avengers II#40 - BTS) - Mockingbird came across Digger who was right in the middle of burying the three criminal Calamari brothers in the street, and attacked him. She quickly defeated Krupp and turned him over to the local authorities.
(West Coast Avengers II#40) - The Gypsy Moth learned of Digger's defeat at the hands of Mockingbird and informed the Night Shift. Unaware Mockingbird was no longer a member of the team, Tatterdemalion became infuriated with the Avengers for trying to muscle in on their turf. This convinced Dansen, acting as deputy leader in the Shroud's absence, that a retaliatory strike on the Avengers in their compound was the right move. Despite their best efforts, the Night Shift proved no match for the more powerful Avengers Vision and Wonder Man. Even though they were overpowered quickly, the Shroud's arrival allowed them to escape.
(Captain America I#387 (fb) - BTS)- Dansen Macabre and her fellow Night
Shift member Gypsy Moth were among the super-powered females assembled by
Nightshade to be Superia’s Femizons.
(Captain America I#388) - Captain America and Paladin came across Nightshade’s ship transporting the Femizons to a rendezvous with the cruiseship S.S. Superia.
(Captain America I#389) - On board the S.S. Superia, Dansen Macabre had a front row seat when she attended the "Power Pageant," an exhibition of superhuman feats that was interrupted when contestant Ferocia smelled the presence of Captain America and Paladin on the ship. All the Femizons joined in to attack the two heroes.
(Captain America I#390) -
Outnumbered and outgunned, Captain America and Paladin were eventually
overpowered and captured by the Femizons. Dansen Macabre used her
domination dance to bind the heroes to her will, forcing them to reveal
why they were there. Cap's will power proved exceptionally strong, and he
only revealed they were there to find Diamondback. Though Titania was all
for killing them, Superia ordered the Femizons to bring the two to her
island. Upon arriving on Superia's island, Dansen used her powers to keep
the prisoners docile until they reached Superia herself who announced
she'd be turning the two men into women.
(Captain America I#391) - Dansen, along with all the other Femizons, attended Superia's meeting in which she outlined her plans to guide Earth into becoming Femizonia, the 23rd century alternate future Femizonia's alleged descendent, Thundra, hails from.
(Captain America I#392 (BTS)) - Captain America, freed by Asp and Diamondback, discovered Superia’s plan: turn Earth into Femizonia by launching a rocket that would sterilize all women of the planet except those gathered on her island. He used her own ego to defeat her. Escaping her island, he made contact with the Avengers and learned the Qusar had led the rocket into space where its payload could do no harm. Planning to come back and clean up Superia’s island of Dansen and the others with the Avengers, he was informed by the Vision that there was no trace of Superia’s island for two hundred and twenty-one miles.
(Avengers West Coast II#76 (fb) - BTS) - The Hangman
(Jason Rolands) arrived at the Tower of Shadows where he revealed the
true, heroic nature of both Shroud and the Werewolf. After getting rid
of the two, he took over as team leader.
(Avengers West Coast II#76 - BTS) - Upset that his movie The Demon That Devoured Hollywood was being reshot, the Hangman led some of the Night Shift in an attack on the set. They were opposed by several Avengers who happened to visit the set because Wonder Man was working on the film as a stunt man. Still unable to stand up against the heroes, the Night Shift returned to the Tower of Shadows.
(Avengers West Coast II#76) - Hangman tempted Dansen Macabre and the others with promises of power and stardom by reminding them of what they had once been, though Macabre insisted she wasn't a stripper, but an exotic dancer. Using his noose to open a dimensional portal, Hangman roped them into entering the realm of Satannish where they all traded their souls for enhanced powers. As the Avengers investigated not only the Night Shift but missing actor Jason Rolands (unaware he was Hangman), the Night Shift attacked again. Dansen not only showed off her ability to teleport, but was also able to blind her spectators. This proved instrumental in time defeating Hawkeye, Spider-Woman and USAgent. The captured Avengers were then placed on a sacrificial disc while the Night Shift chanted to Satannish. A portal opened, and Satannish's hand reached out towards the Avengers.
(Avengers West Coast II#77 - BTS) - To track down the Night Shift and their ever elusive base, Iron Man allowed Digger to escape from prison, hoping he would lead the Avengers to their captured teammates inside the Tower of Shadows which he did.
(Avengers West Coast II#77) - Iron Man and Living Lightning arrived at the Tower in time to free their comrades and attacked the demon, but he departed, as did the Night Shift using Dansen Macabre's new teleportation powers. Hangman sent Tick-Tock, Tatterdemalion, Macabre and Misfit to the Devoured set, where they kidnapped Wonder Man, who had resumed acting duties on the film. Hangman revealed himself to Wonder Man as Rolands. Wonder Man opted to play along, offering to star in Rolands' version of the movie.
(Avengers West Coast
II#78) - Night Shift and Wonder Man began shooting their "opus" with a
kidnapped film crew, as the hero waited for the right time to stop them.
Dansen Macabre was displeased with both the plot and the fact she barely
had any lines. Hangman told Macabre that her voice and acting abilities
weren't exactly her strongest assets. To lure Hangman and his team out
of hiding, the Avengers convinced the real crew of Devoured
to replace the missing Wonder Man with USAgent. In the meantime, Iron
Man visited Dr. Strange for help regarding Satannish. The Night Shift
attacked the Devoured set
again, and captured USAgent.
(Avengers West Coast II#79) - Using her enhanced powers, Dansen Macabre teleported the Tower of Shadows, including the hill it sat on, right next to the movie set. Despite this display of force, the hostage crew members attempted to fight back against the Night Shift, and were almost killed before the Avengers arrived and rescued them, releasing their comrades Wonder Man and USAgent in the process. Hangman then conjured Satannish who began to manifest in this dimension, actively empowering the Night Shift members who grew even more powerful. However, Scarlet Witch was able to summon Dr. Strange who quickly deduced the Night Shift's souls were stolen. He used his spells to return their souls, upon which Dansen Macabre and the others joined the Avengers in opposing Satannish who was eventually cast out. In the aftermath, Macabre and the other Night Shift members were apprehended by the Avengers.
(Marvel: Year in Review '92 - BTS) - At the Bar With No Name in Springdale, Connecticut the audience was waiting for Dansen Macabre and her Exotic Dance Troupe to perform. Before the act everyone fled the bar when someone in management dressed up as Scourge to chase them all out so that they could close the bar for the evening.
(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo analyzed Dansen Macabre and the other Night Shift members' potential usefulness to Norman Osborn. The living computer concluded that with their most powerful members gone and without reliable leadership, the team's current potential was low, though they could be used by the Hood to gain a foothold into the West Coast criminal scene via the Brothers Grimm.
(Marvel Zombies 4#2 (fb) - BTS) - Dansen Macabre and the other Night Shift members were recruited into the Hood's villain army.
(Marvel Zombies 4#2 (fb) - BTS) -
(Marvel Zombies 4#2) - The Hood called the Night Shift (Dansen Macabre, Digger, Needle, and Tatterdemalion) to accompany him to a meeting with the Black Talon on the island nation of Taino. The Talon had invited the Hood to discuss the purchase of an other-worldly virus that induces zombification. Sensing the presence of the Midnight Sons, a group organized to eradicate the virus, the Hood sent the Night Shift to stop them from interfering. Dansen took on sorceress Jennifer Kale, who commented on the fact Macabre was a naked skank before getting knocked out by her Kali-empowered dance moves (see comments). Though they ambushed the Midnight Sons, the Night Shift was soon overpowered, with Dansen Macabre getting assaulted and bit by Morbius the Living Vampire. Regrouping, the Night Shift lurched forward, ignoring a warning from their foes that the plague approached. The plague tore the Night Shift apart, disintegrating their remains.
(Marvel Zombies 4#4 (fb) - BTS) - Dormammu resurrected the Night Shift as mangled zombie versions of themselves and sent them after the Midnight Sons to distract them while he wrested control of the plague.
(Marvel Zombies 4#4) - Bursting into the Black Talon's plantation while the Midnight Sons and a powerless Hood worked to stop the plague, the Night Shift were held back by the Hood, Morbius, and Hellstrom. With the plague successfully contained within Simon Garth, the Night Shift returned to their human forms and were ultimately teleported away by a re-powered Hood.
(Mighty Avengers I#32) - Using Henry Pym's Infinite Mansion, the "Mighty" Avengers were able to teleport to anywhere in the world. This allowed them to quickly respond to a variety of threats that caught their attention, such as foiling Dansen Macabre's latest criminal scheme in Paris.
(Heroic Age: Villains I#1) - Upon assuming command of
SHIELD, Steve Rogers comprised a series of threat analyses of the most
prevalent super powered menaces, including Dansen Macabre. Rogers
concluded that she should only be approached by operatives prepared for
her hypnotic dance, adding that additional members of the Night Shift
might be lurking in the shadows at all times.
(Moon Knight IV#3) -
Dansen Macabre and the other members of Night Shift were hired by LA
crimeboss Snapdragon (Sheoke Sanada,
acting on orders from Count Nefaria) to seek out and capture
(Moon Knight IV#4) - The Night Shift caught up with Marc Spector who was having a talk with Maya Lopez (the deaf vigilante Echo) outside on a bench. When Spector refused Tick-Tock's polite invitation to accompany them, the Night Shift attacked. Dansen decided to stay out of the conflict, waiting for the right moment to jump in. When she caught Moon Knight off guard, she used her hypnotic dance moves to seduce and subdue him. However, Echo spotted her and, using a gun she got off Tick-Tock, shot Macabre just as she was planning to stab Moon Knight with her concealed blade. With their de facto leader down for the count, the Night Shift were no match for the two Avengers who defeated the vigilantes and held them down long enough for the police to arrive and arrest them.
(Moon Knight IV#5 - BTS) - The Night Shift were released
from jail after their lawyer made the case they really were the victims
of two outlaw vigilantes beating on them.
(Moon Knight IV#6) - Snapdragon brought Dansen and the other Night Shift members to meet with her boss who wanted to discuss why the six of them had failed to capture the two heroes. Nefaria insulted the team for their bumbling incompetence, which they took offense to. But before anyone could act, they were incinerated by Nefaria's ionic energy blast. As the Night Shift's remains continued to smolder, Nefaria turned to Snapdragon and requested she aimed a bit higher the next time she hired outside help.
(Fearless Defenders I#6 - BTS) - Perhaps unaware of Dansen's
apparent demise, Caroline le Fay considered Macabre as a potential
candidate for her new Doom Maidens.
Comments: Created by Steven Grant (writer), Tom
Sutton & Carmen Infantino (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks)
For someone who started out as a religious zealot, it's a bit ironic Dansen actually tried to crush Shroud and Spider-Man by toppling over the statue of her own god Shiva. Who's the blasphemous one now, m'dear?
Speaking of Shiva and Kali, I'm no expert when it comes to Hindu deities but it seems Dansen shifted gods along the way. In her first appearance, she's an agent of Shiva, out to destroy the Kali empowered Shroud only to refer to herself as "the stylus through which Kali, the Black One, writes universal agony and eternal ecstasy".
Marvel Zombies suggested
Dansen has been naked all along, but the art in all her previous and
subsequent appearances don't support this. Still, the outfits she wears
are so skimpy and skin tight, she might as well have been fighting in
The codename "Dansen Macabre" is of course based on the rather excellent classical piece Danse Macabre by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921). The composition is based upon a poem by Henri Cazalis, on an old French superstition: "Zig, zig, zig, Death in a cadence, Striking with his heel". Incidentally, "Dansen" happens to be Dutch for "dancing", which shouldn't come as that big a surprise given her powers.
Dansen Macabre received profiles in Official Handbook of
the Marvel Universe I#3, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe III#5
and Heroic Age: Villains I#1.
Profile by Norvo.
Dansen Macabre should not be confused with
images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe III#5, p29, pan3 (main image)
Marvel Team-Up I#94, p11, pans4&5 (steps outside human perception)
Spider-Woman I#50, p8, pan3 (locked up by Locksmith)
Captain America I#390, p11, pan1 (performs the Domination Dance)
Avengers West Coast II#78, p6, pan2 (is ready for her closeup)
Moon Knight IV#4, p17, pan1 & 2 (shot by Echo)
Marvel Team-Up I#93 (May, 1980) - Steven Grant (writer), Tom Sutton & Carmen Infantino (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Marvel Team-Up I#94 (June, 1980) - Steven Grant (writer), Mike Zeck (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spider-Woman I#50 (June, 1983) - Ann Nocenti (writer), Brian Postman (pencils), Sam DeLaRosa (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Captain America I#330 (June, 1987) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Tom Morgan (pencils), Sam DeLaRosa (inks), Don Daley (editor)
Captain America I#331 (July, 1987) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (pencils), Vincent Colletta (inks), Don Daley (editor)
Solo Avengers I#3 (February, 1988) - Roger Stern (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Stan Drake (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
West Coast Avengers II#40 (January, 1989) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Gustovich (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Captain America I#387 (Early July, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#388 (Late July, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#389 (Early August, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#390 (Late August, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#391 (Early September, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#392 (Late September, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Avengers West Coast#76 (November, 1991) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), David Ross (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), NelYomtov (editor)
Avengers West Coast#77 (December, 1991) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), David Ross (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), NelYomtov (editor)
Avengers West Coast#78 (January, 1992) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), David Ross (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), NelYomtov (editor)
Avengers West Coast#79 (February, 1992) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), David Ross (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), NelYomtov (editor)
Marvel: Year in Review '92 (1992) - Peter Sanderson (writer)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin & various others (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Marvel Zombies 4#2 (July, 2009) - Fred Van Lente (writer), Kev Walker (pencils & inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Marvel Zombies 4#4 (September, 2009) - Fred Van Lente (writer), Kev Walker (pencils & inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Mighty Avengers I#32 (February, 2010) - Dan Slott (writer), Khoi Pham (pencils), Craig Yeung (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#3 (September, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#4 (October, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#5 (November, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#6 (December, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Fearless Defenders I#6 (September, 2013) - Cullen Bunn (writer), William Sliney (pencils & inks), Ellie Pyle (editor)
Last updated: 02/16/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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