Membership: Blitzen, Dharma, Donner, Iota, Iron Butterfly, Mechanic, Payback, Plus, Red Dog, Sideshow, Starlight
Purpose: "To save humanity from itself".
Base of Operations: Shadowspire
First Appearance: Hardware #11 (Milestone)
History: Thousands of years ago, the Shadow Cabinet was formed, a secretive organisation of beings of power (in modern parlance, superheroes), sworn To save humanity from itself, whether humanity liked it or not. Membership of the group changed regularly both through the years and from one mission to the next. Throughout it's history, the Cabinet remained hidden from public knowledge and scrutiny, until their veil of secrecy was pierced in recent times, when a rebel offshoot from it, the Star Chamber, tried to get hold of a supply of "quantum juice", the substance that caused the Big Bang (see Static or Blood Syndicate), causing a civil war between the two factions that sucked in most of the superpowered residents of Dakota City.
The current leader of the Shadow Cabinet is Dharma, a precog who has forseen a terrible catastrophe that would mark the end of the world. With this threat in mind, he is incredibly ruthless, feeling that whatever he has to do to prevent this is justified, no matter how vicious or underhanded his actions. As he puts it, after his team has assassinated a super-powered assassin, It was a dirty deed, but it kept dirtier deeds from being done. And well do worse before were through. Dharma was fully capable of manipulating or even sacrificing his team members if that was what it would take to get the job done.
At least once this attitude has backfired dramatically, when he appeared to sacrifice many of his team, abandoning them in Antarctica. It was a ruse to lure an enemy into his clutches, and the team were able to eventually return safely to the Cabinet's base, the Shadowspire. In spite of Dharma's explanations, Sideshow, who had been one of the agents abandoned, killed him. Dharma was returned to life however by Red Dog, a powerful sorcerer who had run the Cabinet back at the turn of the last century. This sobering experience briefly caused Dharma to become less secretive and manipulative, but his apocalyptic visions soon returned him to his former ways; in fact he got worse; My plan is simple. I will control everything. Nothing will happen without my approval. I know my Shadow Cabinet may disapprove, but they are in no position to judge.
When many of the Cabinet disobeyed him and lent assistance during the Utopia Park riots, Dharma finally lost it. He attacked his sisters, Plus, breaking them apart from one another, and when Sideshow tried to stop him, Dharma returned the favour of months past, and killed him. He then summoned the remaining Cabinet members together and announced that from now on they would only leave the Shadowspire on missions. Deciding he had gone mad, several of them fled rather than be imprisoned.
Five of the team, those who escaped (Payback, Donner, Blitzen, Iota and Starlight), along with the young hero Static have formed a new group, the Heroes. And the rest of the Shadow Cabinet...? Only time, and Dharma, will tell.
Comments: The Shadow Cabinet was created by Washington and Leon.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
any other Shadow characters
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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