The Origin of Nightshade
"Maureen Eden" was originally a queen from another dimension called "The land of the Nightshades." When the evil Incubus invaded her kingdom, she fled to Earth's dimension and settled in the American midwest. There, she married Warren Eden, an aspiring politician, and had two children, Larry Eden and Eve Eden.
When Eve and Larry were still young children, Maureen received a summons from one of her subjects that it was safe to return. Maureen called Eve and Larry into her bedroom and explained who she really was. She demonstrated her hereditary ability to open a dimensional warpfield to her homeland. The three entered the land of the Nightshades, a magical land of tall grass and giant mushrooms. However, the Incubus had not been driven away and they were attacked by the Incubus' minions. Maureen told the children to flee; Eve looked back and saw her mother turn into a shadowy creature in order to fight the Incubus' troops.
Eve got separated from Larry and hid. She ran back to find her mother dying and Larry captured. Maureen told Eve that she, too, had the power to become a shadow and open dimensional gates. Her last words to Eve were a plea for her to rescue Larry. Eve managed to make it back to Earth. Since her father had never known about Maureen's true identity, Eve had to lie to him and to the police, saying that her mother and brother had simply disappeared.
As she grew older, Eve developed her abilities until she felt confident enough to try a rescue. However, she found the Nightshade land to be cold and dark under the Incubus' rule. She encountered the Incubus and panicked; as she left through the warpfield, she felt his icy touch as he grabbed her leg. Eve managed to get away, but she could no longer turn into a living shadow.
Eve's relationship with her father grew colder, as Warren Eden withdrew into his political career and finally became a senator. With no one else to turn to, she entered a Newman house and talked to the priest there. She began a spiritual conversion at that point.
At the same time, to spite and embarrass her father, Eve dropped
out of college and moved to Washington D.C. She gained a reputation
as a scandalous jet-setter, drinking too much and using men as decorations.
Finally, Eve re-evaluated her life (no doubt due to her growing
devout Catholicism) and made the decision to get serious and use
her powers as a crimefighter. She still uses the "jet-setting
Eve Eden" act as a cover for her career as Nightshade, but
her appearances are less frequent.
created a costume and approached CBI agent King Faraday. "Nightshade"
proposed that she would use her powers working for the CBI if they
would, in turn, provide much-needed training. Faraday agreed, and
she kicked off her career. One of her first cases involved stopping
the Black Spider in Gotham City when Batman was in Markovia (by
this, we can infer that Nightshade first appeared when the Outsiders
formed, roughly "4-5 years ago" by the Zero Hour 10-year
timeline). She and Faraday also stopped Punch and Jewelee several
times, and Nightshade was instrumental in saving her own father's
life on several occasions.
When Captain Atom appeared on the scene and the government needed to assemble a false "history" for him, Nightshade agreed to let them publicize her previous covert missions, substituting Captain Atom for King Faraday. She then met the Captain and they casually dated for a short time.
Amanda Waller, assembling a team of incarcerated supervillains who would work for the government under the name "Suicide Squad", contacted the CBI and asked to use Nightshade. Hoping that she'd be able to used the Squad to rescue Larry, Eve agreed.
Life with the Suicide Squad was harrowing for Nightshade. Her first mission was to infiltrate the Quracian terrorist unit known as "The Jihad" under the codename Chimera. She was horrified when the Jihad killed hundreds of people as part of a field test, making her an accessory to a massacre.
Eve developed a crush on team leader Rick Flagg, but Rick had many personal problems and never returned the affections. Tom Tresser (Nemesis), the only decent, honorable man on the Suicide Squad, loved Eve but waited for her to get over Flagg. On a political mission to rescue a novelist from a communist country, Nemesis was captured and only the efforts of Eve and Flagg brought about his release. It was around this time that Eve first realized Tom was carrying a torch for her.
Finally, Amanda Waller allowed Eve to use the team to rescue her brother. Eve assembled her team, including Deadshot and the mystical Enchantress. They entered the Land of the Nightshades to find it even more horrifying than before, filled with scraggly trees and razor-sharp winds. The entire environment was controlled by the Incubus. Eve's team was captured and she finally met Larry the Incubus!
Larry revealed that the previous Incubus had been their mother's
sister; the Incubus was really just a form of demon possession,
and she had passed this demon on to Larry's body. There was also
a companion entity known as the Succubus, which was meant for Eve.
This Succubus had been deposited in the body of June Moon; it was
what allowed her to become the Enchantress. The Succubus was removed
from June and placed into Eve's unwilling body. Eve resisted the
demon's control. Deadshot solved their problems by shooting Larry
between the eyes, and the Nightshade dimension dissolved around
Eve's returned to Earth a defeated woman. Her misguided lifelong quest to save her brother had resulted only in his death and her demonic possession. Fearing that she was condemned to hell, she turned to Belle Reve prison's Father Craemer for guidance. She also began to explore her newfound powers.
At this time, the existence of a government-funded team of super-villains was made public, and a Senate committee led by Senator Eden investigated their activities. Amanda Waller, knowing that Senator Eden had an eye on the presidency, revealed his daughter's dual identity and used her activities as Nightshade to cut a deal with him. Furious, Eve quit the Suicide Squad. She returned to her apartment, where she received a letter from Rick Flagg telling her that he was going to detonate a nuclear device in Qurac by hand. He urged her to get on with her life and find some happiness. A short time later, she began a romance with Nemesis.
Nightshade became involved with the Suicide Squad again and again, not always by choice. Also, her relationship with Nemesis has cooled somewhat due to her reclusive nature.
Currently, she is a member of InterC.E.P.T. (The Interdimensional Cooperative Enforcement Police Team), an organization devoted to fighting dimensional menaces. Although it is not known how she met the organization, Nightshade joined InterC.E.P.T in order to protect the Nightshade dimension to allow it time to heal.
Eve's original hereditary abilities were two-fold: she could open warpfields and become a living shadow. She lost this second ability during her early attempt at a rescue mission. Her warpfield ability allowed her to open a circular portal which she and people with her
After her unsuccessful rescue mission, Eve's powers increased greatly
due to the Succubus inside her. She can now transport people any
distance, but only by going through the frightening Nightshade dimension.
Her shadow abilities returned. Also, she no longer needs a black
wig, for now her body gives off an aura of "Shadowstuff."
It usually manifests itself as body-length black hair, but dog-like
shadow creatures extend from it when she fights (or if she cannot
maintain control of them). These shadow-guardians work as long-range
weapons and are at least strong enough to shatter a heavy metal
door. She can extend shadowfields (areas of darkness) around other
people; similarly, she can envelop people while in her shadow form.
The Nightshade dimension, once a fairy-tale land of flowers and sunshine, then a dark land of stone and gnarled trees, has now deteriorated even further. This is due to either the absence of the Incubus' influence, the dominance of the Succubus inside Eve or perhaps the rule of both demons (it's difficult to believe that a demon would die due to its host being shot). Eve claims that it is now a land of mind-bending nightmare and that no one can witness it and retain their sanity, which is why she has people close their eyes as they pass through it. This may be hyperbole and it may not. It has been scary enough to drive a horde of Thanagarians into catatonic madness, yet some people have emerged from it only slightly frightened.
Eve can invite enemies to face her inside the Nightshade dimension, where her powers grow in strength. Given that being in the dimension is supposed to drive them mad anyway, her increased powers may be of little relevence. However, the one occasion where this ability was exibited was in battle with the Female Fury known as Artemis. Artemis didn't seem at all bothered by the Land of the Nightshades, although this may be due to her Apokoliptian nature.
Thanks to Dwayne (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Steve
Mattsson (StMattsson@aol.com) for their assistance. This information
is culled from stories and materials by Robert Greenberger, John
Ostrander, Kim Yale
This article is © 1998 Michael Hutchison
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