Marvel Comics Presents #54 (Shroud)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #54 (Shroud story only)
The Shroud finds someone about to destroy a statue of Kali at a museum (a museum that also has a replica of Dr. Strange's window).
She turns out to have light powers, and she calls herself the Firefly.
There is no clear winner in their fight, and Firefly is forced to flee. She later goes after the exhibit owner. He's been going under the name Mr. Ksang, but he's really Krago, a cult high lord of Kali. The Firefly's family was murdered by Kali cultists. He creates a paralyzing field that traps the Firefly, but the Shroud shows up to rescue her.
But the Firefly doesn't trust the Shroud. She thinks he fights the cult of Kali just so he can take it over.
They meet again later in a warehouse, where Krago has set a trap with the statue of Kali.
Krago winds up getting caught in the statue's attack, but the Firefly continues to fight the Shroud and eventually dies burning out her own power.
A very weird story. I kind of wish Ditko scripted it himself just so i could be sure that we weren't missing something that he intended in his plot but didn't come through. I also wonder who suggested that Ditko do a Shroud story. Supposedly Ditko, when he came back to Marvel beginning in the 80s, only worked on purely heroic characters or teen characters that had time to grow. Neither of those describe the Shroud, but Ditko has also worked on purely evil characters (Dracula), so i wonder if the Shroud also fell into some kind of category that was also acceptable or if Ditko's standards were relaxing. The other thing is that while Kali does figure into the Shroud's origin, it's not been a topic of interest to him for some time, but maybe he's refocusing on that now that Night Shift seems to be in shambles per the Werewolf By Night story that was being published concurrently with this issue.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Does anyone know if Cloak ever met Shroud? They both have access to the "Darkforce" dimension.
Posted by: clyde | August 3, 2015 4:14 PM
Actually, Ditko DID do a Shroud story before this in Marvel Preview 21. And there was another Shroud story Ditko did that will be published in Marvel Super Heroes 7. This website suggests that maybe Ditko was planning on doing a Shroud series with Steven Grant:
Posted by: Michael | August 3, 2015 6:53 PM
Ah, that's a magazine i've been wanting to get but it's hard to find. Thanks, Michael. Interesting article in that it talks about how Gruenwald and Grant tailored that Preview story to fit Ditko's belief's systems.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 3, 2015 7:27 PM
@clyde, Shroud and Cloak appear in some New Warriors issues later on during a storyline involving the darkforce but I don't recall them interacting. If memory serves they were both just background characters not major players during that arc.
Posted by: Robert | August 4, 2015 9:20 AM
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