Anjenetta Grampion is a powerful voodoo priestess who plays a leading role in the century-long conflict between the Coven, a group of practitioners of the mystic arts, and Master Darque, a 19th Century necromancer, and the transformations of Maxim St. James, a 19th Century gambler, and Jack Boniface, a 20th Century jazz player, into Shadowmen. Exploiting the Coven’s power to block Master Darque from approaching their ceremonies and conceal their identities from his reprisals, Anjenetta poses as Jack’s housekeeper, Mamma Nettie, to guide his transformation.
Something mysterious happened to Jack Boniface after dark. Was it a super adrenaline rush?, A terminal sickness?, Or one hell of a mean streak? A well-intentioned and vulnerable human being, in the absence of daylight, Jack Boniface became something very scary.
On March 14th 1992, Anjenetta Grampion startled Jack Boniface while he slept when she showed up on a Saturday afternoon unexpectedly to clean up his apartment since she could not do it on Monday because her niece was getting married.
As Jack thanked Anjenetta for making him breakfast and said that it seemed like the only time he got a square meal was when she came in to clean, he read the newspaper and commented that someone had to stop Samedi, the knife-wielding serial killer who stalked the city of New Orleans to kill innocent women. Cryptically, Anjenetta told Jack that she thought they both knew who that someone had to be, and as she stood over him while he tried to hide his mask, she said that she had been watching him and seen that he had an instinct and power as the Loa inside him had changed him.
As Anjenetta sat beside a doubtful Jack, she urged him to look in his heart and see the truth, and told him that while she may sound like an old fool, she had seen a change come over him and seen him become something he was not before. As she picked up the mask, Anjenetta told Jack that he was the Shadowman, and that while maybe there were some folks that did not know him and the mask, her people did and understood. Facing Jack with a stoic glance, Anjenetta told him that the Loa had entered his soul, and that while he could pass her off as an old fool, he could not deny the spirits inside him. As Samedi continued his murder spree and painted the city with graffiti messages for him that said he had a new blade, Jack sought Anjenetta’s counsel and she told him that he had to go after Samedi in the bayou, a consecrated place of magic and mystery where he could find him. As Anjenetta urged Jack to accept what he had become, she told him that, in Voodoo, Shadow meant Soul and gave him a costume with the sigil of a shadow in a doorway that symbolized the Loa in him that had taken over his soul and came out at night to fight.
On the night of March 21st 1992, Jack reluctantly went to the Bayou on the word of Anjenetta to wait for Samedi, the ax–wielding homicidal maniac, to show up and attempt to carve him into pieces small enough to fit in his pocket. Standing in the swamp, up to his shins in reeking swamp water garbed in the costume that Anjenetta made for him, Jack faced Samedi, who stood before him with a giant ax.
With clenched teeth, Samedi told Jack that their encounter would not be easy for him and that he was ready to finish what they started and finish him, then he swung his ax at Jack’s head, but Jack moved aside and disarmed him. Certain that he did not need an ax to finish Jack, Samedi punched him in the face and tossed him under the water to drown him, but Jack unexpectedly rose up from the swamp and relentlessly pummeled Samedi until he lost consciousness and fell at his feet.
Jack subsequently contacted the police anonymously and they arrested Samedi for his crimes.
The Beasts And The Children
While Anjenetta Grampion cleaned up Jack Boniface’s apartment on the afternoon of April 4th 1992, he told her that, soon as the sun went down, he felt funny and got strange savage animal urges. Concerned for Jack’s safety, Anjenetta warned him to avoid those urges that night because Emil Sosa, a pedophilic drug lord, was laying in wait for him and he did not want to go and mess with him. When Jack asked Anjenetta who Emil was and how she knew he was after him, she told him she had a friend who worked for Emil, who threatened her babies if she did not become his maid. Troubled, Anjenetta told Jack that Emil used to kidnap little children for Carrera, an abusive child pornographer, until he betrayed him and blackmailed him for money and little children that he fried up as if they were Sunday barbeque using bad fire spirits that worked within him, a payment that her friend said came every month like clockwork. As Jack reached for his mask, he told Anjenetta that, regardless of how scary Emil was, once night fell, he did not fear anyone.
The next night Emil committed a series of murders to draw Shadowman out, and after Jack arrived on the scene of his first homicide, he followed him to a second crime scene and leapt at him from atop a rooftop. During their scuffle, Jack kicked Emil off the roof, but then they both fell toward the street, and while Emil grabbed on to a fire escape, Jack hit the payment and lost consciousness. As he leapt off the scaffold, Emil sarcastically told Jack that he needed him alive to hear him scream.
The following evening in the Sosa Plantation, Anjenetta’s friend helped Jack escape from Emil’s cellar and asked him to take a little girl that Emil was holding hostage out of there. As Jack rushed out of the plantation with the girl in his arms, night fell and he felt the urge to return and take care of Emil for good, so he left the girl beside a tree and asked her to wait for him there.
Within minutes, while Jack ventured back into the house, Emil discovered he had escaped and found the girl where he left her. When Emil threatened to kill the girl unless he came out of the house, Jack told him that if he wanted him he had to go get him.
As Emil entered the darken den and he ordered Shadowman to show himself, Jack closed the door and sent him careening across the room with a punch. While the girl hid, Jack stood in front of a window to lure Emil at him, and when he leapt in his direction, he moved and Emil fell out the window. Scared, the girl asked Jack if he would take her home and he said he would.
Two days later in Jack’s kitchen, Jack commented that Emil was a maniac and he was glad that he was dead, but Anjenetta then told him that Emil was in the hospital all twisted up, and she did not think he would bother no one for awhile. When Anjenetta told Jack that the little girl he rescued was in bad shape and would need a lot of doctoring before she was able to cope, he coldly said that all that mattered was that the girl was alive and that he had put Emil Sosa out of commission.
As Jack left, Anjenetta placed her hand besides his mask on the counter and guessed that was all that mattered to Shadowman.