Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #151: Silhouette

The New Warriors were a 90s era Marvel team whose original line-up was made up primarily of forgotten teenage Marvel heroes under the leadership of new character Night Thrasher.  Thrash, as he was sometimes called, was something of a Batman rip-off, a wealthy young man using his fortune to fight crime using only a perfectly honed body and unwavering sense of righteousness and determination after the death of his parents.  He was also supposed to be 90s cool, so of course he fought evil on a skateboard.

But then in the second issue there was another new character that would become a member of the team in the form of Silhouette.

More mobile than both Professor X and the Doom Patrol’s Chief already.

Silhouette was one Silhouette Chord.  Yes, Silhouette was her real name.  She was one of two children by Andrew Chord, Night Thrasher’s guardian, and Chord’s wife Miyami.  Chord was an African American Vietnam War vet, and Miyami was the only daughter of Tai, a Cambodian mystic with her own dark agenda.  Sil’s brother went by the name of Midnight’s Fire.  The two were mutants with Sil having the power to access the Dark Force dimension and teleport herself and others through shadows.

As it is, Miyami didn’t want her children getting involved in their grandma’s dark agenda, so she faked their deaths and hers, leaving a bereaved Chord to…go back to Tai looking for answers.  That was, like, the worst thing he could have done.  As time passed, the orphaned Dwayne Johnson managed to hook up with the siblings, starting a romance with Sil and eventually trying out crime fighting before he adopted the whole “Night Thrasher” identity.    That ended badly when Sil was shot by the police and left paralyzed from the waste down.  The group broke up with Midnight’s Fire becoming a bitter drug lord who blamed Dwayne for his sister’s injury.

As it is, Sil would join the team Thrash started alongside such notable Marvel heroes as Speedball, Namorita, Firestar, and Nova.  If that doesn’t sound like a particularly noteworthy line-up, keep in mind when the team started those guys were the particularly noteworthy members of the line-up.  The New Warriors, who were a fairly popular team in their original incarnation, were in many ways just a place for Marvel’s lesser-known teen heroes to go hang out when they didn’t really fit in anywhere else.

As it is, that evil agenda thing from Sil’s grandma came to pass when it came out that Chord, along with Dwayne’s father, met Tai when their unit encountered the older woman with an offer to breed children of power or else.  Dwayne’s father, already married, said no, and years later a mind controlled Chord would kill both of Dwayne’s parents in front of the boy before Dwayne’s own memories of the event were mindwiped by Tai.

You know, it sounds as if Night Thrasher was a more interesting character than Silhouette at this rate.  I have far more to say about him than her, and she used to lose her clothes when she teleported, making her one of Watson’s favorite superheroes.

Um, if her clothes couldn’t make the trip, why could her crutches?

As it is, Sil became a member in good standing with the Warriors, and her dad was even forgiven and became legal guardian of juvenile Warrior and former Misplaced Hero Rage.

But then the first New Warriors series ended, and though Marvel has revived the team a couple times, often with original members, Silhouette was never one of them.  The last one to date did feature her as a reservist member who came to help out former teammates Justice and Speedball when those two put together a Warriors team made up, once again, by new, younger heroes that didn’t really fit in anywhere else.

They updated her look, too.

So, there you have it.  A hero who faded into the shadows both literally and metaphorically.

I could probably pull a month’s worth of columns from this picture alone…


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