Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human mutate (ancient Egypt and modern era);
citizen of Egypt
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Unidentified Elder Gods
Enemies: Roger Sherman, Spider-Woman (Mattie Franklin), unidentified pharaoh
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Pruneface" (nickname used by Mattie Franklin)
Base of Operations: Long Island, New York;
First Appearance: Spider-Woman III#5 (November, 1999)
Powers/Abilities: Shadowcaster had the mystical ability to bend lightrays around him, making him invisible to the naked eye. However, he still cast a shadow, tricking people into believing he was actually a living shadow. Shadowcaster was sufficiently familiar with the practice of dark magics to use artifacts in order to cast complex transmogrification spells. He used a mystical serpent staff capable of various, powerful magic attacks. Shadowcaster had eternal life bestowed upon him, but could seemingly perish at his own hand.
Height: 6'2" (by approximation)
Weight: 140 lbs. (by approximation)
(Spider-Woman III#6 (fb) - BTS) - The man who would become known as Shadowcaster was born in ancient Egypt. After committing an unspecified offense that angered the pharaoh, he was entombed alive. Before his death, he sold his soul to unrevealed demons who granted him immortality. Still stuck in his coffin, he only escaped in the early 20th century when the tomb was unearthed during a dig. Driven mad, he began to plan his revenge, writing about his exploits in a series of diaries.
(Spider-Woman III#5 (fb) - BTS) - Shadowcaster eventually moved to the United States where he set up residence in an abandoned house at the far end of Long Island, near the Hamptons.
(Spider-Woman III#5) - After reading about an exhibit of ancient Egyptian artifacts at the Manhattan Museum of Antiquities, Shadowcaster decided to use his lightbending powers to steal the objects he needed for his plans. Blending in with his environment, he appeared to be a living shadow and made his way to New York City. At the museum, his shadow form was noticed by Mattie Franklin who was on a school trip with her class. Quickly changing into her Spider-Woman outfit, she attacked Shadowcaster but fell for his gimmick and only focused on his shadow. This allowed him to gain the upper hand, mocking the young heroine as he proceeded to beat her up. When he slammed her into a display case full of mummies, she rattled her long enough for Shadowcaster to abscond with several mystical artifacts. In his rush to get away, he knocked over a security guard who could do nothing to stop him.
(Spider-Woman III#5 - BTS) - Frustrated by her ineffectiveness against this new villain, Spider-Woman swore to take him down with the help of Jessica Drew and Madame Web. Both had never heard of Shadowcaster before.
(Spider-Woman III#5) - At his Long Island residence, Shadowcaster used the artifacts to start a week long mystical ritual he believed would grant him ultimate power and allow the world to taste the full fury of his wrath.
(Spider-Woman III#6 - BTS) - As a result of the ritual, Shadowcaster created a mystical serpent staff and a headband he donned to get his revenge plan underway.
(Spider-Woman III#6 (fb) - BTS) - Hoping to learn more about Shadowcaster, Mattie and Jessica Drew decided to pay a visit to the virtually omniscient Morris Maxwell. After asking some very specific questions, the two heroines learned where they could meet the villain: his Long Island home.
(Spider-Woman III#6) - While Jessica and Mattie made their way to Long Island, Shadowcaster had left his home for another trip to New York City. Visiting the New York Museum of Anthropology, he gained access to the facility right before closing time. By taking out security guard Roger Sherman, he had the run of the place for himself. He headed for the museum's Egypt exhibit and was furious to find a pharaoh on the throne, because it reminded him of his painful past. He knocked over the mannequin and sat on his throne, using the powers of his newfound serpent staff to start a transmogrification ritual.
(Spider-Woman III#6 - BTS) - Shadowcaster's magic ritual caused a ripple effect of psychic energy picked up by Madame Web who sensed the coming of a very ancient evil. Web quickly contacted Spider-Woman and told her to rush back from Long Island to help.
(Spider-Woman III#6) - By the time Mattie Franklin arrived, Shadowcaster was emanating massive amounts of mystical light energy to animate the mannequins in the exhibit, recreating the Egypt of old. He even had one of the concubine women make out with him on his throne. Disgusted, Spider-Woman swooped in and destroyed the animated doll. This infuriated Shadowcaster who fired a series of magical blasts from his staff. Easily dodging the rays, Spider-Woman grabbed the serpent staff away from Shadowcaster and clumsily fired a shot that destroyed his throne. Deciding to deal with his opponent by becoming 'one with the shadows', he turned invisible and attacked her. For a moment, Mattie was unsure what to do until she figured out Shadowcaster wasn't a walking shadow at all. Adjusting her strategies to deal with her invisible foe, she pummeled him into submission. Resigned to his fate, Shadowcaster manipulated a jewel on his hand and seemingly committed suicide, leaving only an ebon, shadowlike figure on the floor.
(Spider-Woman III#6 - BTS) - In the aftermath, Mattie conferred with Jessica Drew who had found and studied Shadowcaster's diaries. What she read only left her more puzzled. She could not begin to tell who had empowered Shadowcaster and what his goals were. They concluded that only someone like Doctor Strange might hope to answer these questions and they considered handing the diaries to him for further study.
Comments: Created by John Byrne, Bart Sears, Randy Elliott and Andy Smith.
Very little makes sense about Shadowcaster. In Spider-Woman III#5 he appears to be a bald technology user in a business suit, using a microphone to project his voice while shadowcasting. But by the end of that issue he's suddenly revealed to be a living mummy out for revenge. Add to that #6 which gives us as flimsy an origin as you can get. This makes it next to impossible to determine Shadowcaster's real goals, but it seems like he was trying to use magic to turn back time and transform Manhattan into ancient Egypt. Basically, this makes him a poor man's Kulan Gath. And just how a seemingly immortal man can commit suicide at the proverbial drop of a hat? It seems safe to say we haven't seen the last of Shadowcaster.
Profile by Norvo
Shadowcaster has no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Spider-Woman III#6, p6, pan1 (main image)
Spider-Woman III#6, p7, pan2 (close up)
Spider-Woman III#5, p7, pans 3-5 (blending with the shadows)
Spider-Woman III#5, p11, pan7 (spotted by Spider-Woman)
Spider-Woman III#6, p20, pans3-5 (kills himself)
Spider-Woman III#5 (November, 1999) - John Byrne (writer), Bart Sears (pencils), Randy Elliott & Andy Smith (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spider-Woman III#6 (December, 1999) - John Byrne (writer), Bart Sears (pencils), Randy Elliott (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
First Posted: 07/15/2020
Last Updated: 07/15/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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