|Jack Boniface Shadowman|
Jack Dominique Boniface
|Date of Death:||
September 9th, 1999
|Place of Birth:||
When the Darque Power fills Jack Boniface, he can glide, regenerate, and gains increased strength.
"It’s all jazz, and I can play it."
Jack Boniface is a jazz player who the Coven, a group of practitioners of the mystic arts, endows with the Darque Power, a form of necromantic energy, to combat Master Darque, a 19th Century necromancer. In an effort to taint his would-be nemesis, Darque enlists the Spider Aliens, a race of blood-sucking extraterrestrial arachnoids, to poison Jack to limit his use of the Darque Power.
When night falls, Jack gains great power and struggles against drug dealers, Darque’s forces, and other evils of the night on the streets of New Orleans as the dark-vested hero Shadowman.
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 the evening of March 1st 1992 at the La Bas Jazz Club in New Orleans’ French Quarter, Jack Boniface gazed into the audience while he played his sax and noticed Lydia, an attractive woman who came to the club two weeks earlier, looking back at him. Enthralled with Lydia's exotic features, legs, and eyes that were deep as the night, Jack mused how they froze men in their tracks and drew others as moths to a flame, while those who did not fear the night left with her.
Pleased to see Lydia, Jack mustered the courage to join her and, to his surprise, she told him that she hoped he would. As Jack sat, Lydia told him that she admired his music and had six of his CDs, so when she decided to move to New Orleans she knew she had to hear him live. When Jack told Lydia that he had seen her there night after night but by the time he finished his set she always left, she said that one never knew how relationships would turn out, then she excused herself to go to the ladies room and told him that maybe he could walk her home.
While Jack waited for Lydia to come back, Dickey, a musician friend, surprised him and told him that his band was cutting a live recording seven weeks later, and that if he had some time, they would like to have him on a couple of cuts. Since he had missed playing with the band on their last record, Shades of Two Worlds, and it was always a pleasure to sit with them, Jack agreed to work something out with Dickey. As Lydia came back from the ladies room, Dickey told Jack to call him the next day at the Fleur D’ Orleans hotel and left the two of them alone. Coyly, Lydia urged Jack to leave with her and hinted that she wanted to sleep with him.
Later that night, in Lydia’s apartment in Le Vieux Carré, Jack stared out at the city from the balcony and said that it seemed made for him while she poured him an aperitif. After Jack drank the brew she made him, Lydia pulled him down besides her on a love seat and they vehemently kissed each other. While Jack complemented Lydia’s eyes and told her that they were deep as the night and cold as Northampton, he suddenly felt dizzy and could no longer move.
Slowly, Lydia rose up and told Jack that all her people loved music, though it was only patterns of vibration to them, and she particularly loved his, but all good things had to end. Unable to move, Jack watched as Lydia disrobed and said that it was dangerous for her to stay in New Orleans and she had to keep moving, so that night was her last change to have him. Excusing herself, Lydia drank a special cocktail that she said took a little longer to work than Jack’s did which transformed her into a horrific creature that bit Jack on the neck.
Before he passed out, Jack saw a light that startled Lydia, who cursed its timing before she vanished.
The next day, Jack awoke on the floor of Lydia’s apartment surprised to be alive. As Jack called Lydia out, he was appalled to see two puncture wounds on his neck in his reflection on a mirror and yelled out for Lydia to tell him what she had done to him. When Lydia did not respond, Jack went to look for her and noticed that all her things where still there even though she told him that she was leaving. Just then, Jack noticed that the door to the attic was ajar and followed the stairs to the loft, where he found the corpses of Lydia’s victims. Horror-struck, Jack grasped that Lydia tried to kill him, and, as he realized that if something had not scared her away she would have succeeded, he left the apartment as fast as he could.
After he spent the rest of the afternoon walking along the river thinking about what happened, Jack returned to La Bas and read on the newspaper that the night before there had been a big fight down the street right outside Lydia’s window. Surmising that the fight was what scared Lydia away, Jack wanted to call the police to report the corpses in her attic, but the urge to hunt Lydia and cast her out of the night made him leave the club and make his way back to her place.
Unsure of what made him decide not to call the police, Jack walked down a darken street and mused that, while he had never been into personal vendettas, the situation with Lydia was very personal. Just then, Jack stumbled across an ordinary Mardi Gras mask he surmised a tourist wore in the Cardinal Parade to help scare away the evil spirits and then tossed it aside with no one the wiser when he was done with it. As Jack held the mask, he mused that demons like Lydia could not follow one home if they did not know who they were, when then he noticed that he had walked back to her apartment.
As Jack stood outside Lydia’s window, he swore to himself that she turned into something inhuman before she bit him, but he quickly dismissed the notion and blamed it on the spiked drink that she gave him. Cursing himself for easily falling for Lydia, Jack was upset that someone like her existed in his world.
Suddenly, Jack heard a voice in an alley, and when he followed it he was shocked to see Samedi, a knife-wielding serial killer, carving a helpless woman while he recited a soliloquy. Compelled to stop the killer, Jack donned the mask to hide his face so he could not follow him home and lunged against him. Filled with a sense of calmness that eclipsed his trepidation, Jack fought Samedi to expel him from his night. When Jack got him to destroy his own blades, Samedi turned and ran without warning, so Jack followed him over a wall, but then someone shot at him with a shotgun and helped Samedi escape in a car that roared away.
As Jack stood under a porch light and pondered who could have helped a monster like Samedi, an old woman came out of her house and told him to get out of her yard as she flashed him with a hex sign. As Jack vanished into the night as if he had never been there, the woman clutched her robe and called him a shifty Shadowman.
The Loa of Death
On March 13th 1992, in the New Orleans Medical Center, Doctor Lyons walked into a darken examination room with the test results for an exam she performed on Jack Boniface and asked him why he turned off the lights. Uncertain, Jack said that he felt comfortable in the dark.
When the doctor told him that his tests were negative and that, other than the scratch on his neck, there was nothing wrong with him and he was in very good shape, Jack asked her how that could be, since he never worked out, ate all the wrong things, and had not seen a vitamin since he was a kid. Sarcastically, the doctor told Jack that if he insisted on being sick, they could always run more tests, but he declined and said that he did not understand why for the past couple of weeks he felt so weird, especially at night. As Jack walked out, doctor Lyons said that darkness could sometimes cause a psychological change in people, and that if he liked, she could refer him to a good therapist and reiterated that there was nothing physically wrong with him.
On his way to his car, Jack wondered why if there was nothing wrong with him and he was in great shape it felt like the sun was crawling under his skin and he should hide from the light. Back in his apartment, Jack dismissed Lyons’ suggestion that he should see a shrink because he imagined what happened to him. Certain that there had to be a rational explanation, Jack tried to settle down with a beer, but he was too restless and did not feel like playing at the club, so he called Amelia and canceled his gig just as he had done all week. As Jack pondered why he canceled and told himself that he did not need the money and was just doing Amelia a favor, he gazed at the mask and the darkness outside his window and felt like going out again to take a walk.
While Jack skulked the darken streets of New Orleans with the mask on his face, he witnessed as two thugs assaulted a helpless man outside a streetcar station. Swiftly and silently, Jack leapt out of the shadows and defeated the thug, then, as he vanished into the night, the man asked aloud what happened but got no reply.
Amazed by the strength and speed he displayed, Jack dashed home and vowed to rid the night of the demons that defiled it. Standing on the doorway of his apartment, Jack decided to wear the mask on his hunts so the demons would not know who he was and find him. As dawn approached, Jack collapsed on his couch and fell asleep holding the mask against his chest.
The next day, Anjenetta Grampion, Jack’s housekeeper, startled him from his slumber when she showed up on a Saturday afternoon unexpectedly to clean 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 on the newspaper that Samedi had continued his murder spree and said that someone had to stop him. 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.
Certain that Loa was Voodoo, Jack reminded Anjenetta that he did not believe in that stuff, but she sat beside him and asked him to look in his heart and see the truth and said that, while she may sound like a 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 some folks that did not know him and the mask, her people did and understood. Facing Jack with a stoic glance, Anjenetta said that the Loa entered his soul, and that while he could pass her off as an old fool, he could not deny the spirits inside him.
Later that night, Jack donned the mask to go out, and as he leapt across the rooftops, he mused that while it sounded like Anjenetta had lost her mind, something weird was going on and he needed a sound explanation and a sane reason for what he was feeling. Just then, Jack stumbled across a murder scene and saw a graffiti message from Samedi that said that he got a new blade for him. Recognizing Samedi’s name from Voodoo, Jack knew that Anjenetta could tell him more about it than he needed to know. Glad that Samedi was out to get him, Jack relished the personal conflict.
In the hope that he would find answers to his problem, Jack returned to Lydia’s apartment, but, to his surprise, the whole house was empty, as if Lydia packed up her little house of horrors and moved on. Bothered that he waited so long to go back, Jack believed that Lydia had set up in another town to add bodies to her collection. As he made his way toward a window, Jack wondered if he did not return sooner because he feared Lydia, but he knew that what he feared was that the truth about what happened to him did not fit in the world he believed in and that Lydia was the horror from the pit she seemed to be that night.
Dejected, Jack removed his mask and mused that now that he wanted to know the truth he did not know how to find Lydia and find out what kind of poison she fed him and what it did to him, when then he saw a man on a car outside the window looking at him with a pair of binoculars. Surmising that he was not the only one who wanted to find Lydia, Jack heard the sound of footsteps rushing towards the door and fled just as four armed men broke into the apartment.
As he leapt across rooftops to get away, Jack assumed that the armed men were Federal Agents who would have better luck finding Lydia than he would. Worried that he would go crazy unless he did something, Jack felt the need to talk with someone sane, so he called Scott, his friend and confident and told him to meet him at Casey's, a strip bar where he played regularly.
At Casey’s, Scott asked Jack why he got him out of bed in the middle of the night and Jack asked him if he believed in demons. Scott chastised Jack for hauling him out of bed at one in the morning to find out whether he was superstitious and told him to try the real world for a change, but Jack said that he could no longer seem to find the real world and that, as strange things happened to him, he felt that he had changed. Nonchalantly, Scott told Jack that he was paranoid, obsessive, demanding, and slightly insane and had not changed at all. Disappointed with Scott’s advice, Jack tossed a stripper’s bra at him and coldly thanked him. Sarcastically, Scott told Jack that what he needed was more fiber in his diet, and then went back home.
The next day, Jack read on the newspaper that Samedi continued to elude the police and sought the counsel of Anjenetta, who told him that he had to go after Samedi in the bayou, consecrated place of magic and mystery. Anjenetta urged Jack to accept what he had become and told him that, in Voodoo, Shadow meant Soul, and then she 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.
At midnight, two weeks after he met Lydia and tangled with Samedi and he knew that his life had changed forever, 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 Anjenetta made for him, Jack faced Samedi, who stood before him with a giant ax in his hands.
With clenched teeth, Samedi told Jack that their encounter would not be easy for him and 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, Samedi punched Jack in the face and tossed him under the water to drown him, but driven by the urge to cast Samedi out of his night, Jack rose up from the swamp and pummeled him into submission while he pondered that he was stronger and darker than any demon.
The next day in La Café Petite in Canal Street, Scott read on the newspaper that a tip led the police to the bayou and the capture of Samedi and commented that a masked vigilante was doing the police department’s job for them, but Jack told him that the police were doing their job and Shadowman was doing his.
When Jack added that Shadowman’s job was a completely different ballgame, Scott told him that he seemed to have many opinions on him and asked him how much he knew about Shadowman, to which Jack replied that he did not know much about him at all just yet.
On the night of April 1st 1992 in Dale's Pub, a tavern that he visited infrequently, Jack Boniface witnessed as two thugs dragged a man that owed them $6,000 dollars he lost beating on horse races into the bathroom to beat him up. Compelled by savage animal urges, Jack stood up to follow the thugs even though Dale, the tavern’s owner, told him that he did not want to get involved. Worried for his safety, Dale gave Jack a pipe so he would not go into the bathroom unarmed. Grateful, Jack told Dale that the pipe would definitely be handy.
As Jack walked into the bathroom and closed the door behind him, one of the thugs drew a switchblade from his jacket and told him that if he was looking for trouble he came to the right place. Undaunted, Jack secured the door’s bolt with the pipe and told the thugs that he could always find guys like them in the toilets. When the thug threatened to cut the man’s throat unless he pried the bolt open again and got out of there, Jack said that he did not care about the man, he cared about them. When one of the thugs came at him while his partner held the man on his knees at knife point, Jack shattered the light bulb and rendered the room in utter darkness.
30 minutes later, the thugs rushed out of the bathroom and, at Jack’s behest, paid their tab before they left. As Jack sat on his stool, Dale thanked him and gave him a drink that Megan, a patron at the other end of the bar, bought for him. Grateful, Jack sat next to Megan, who asked him what he did to the thugs. As Jack said that he just scared them, the man asked him how he knew they would not kill him and he told him that he did not know. Uncertain of whether what Jack did was brave or stupid, Megan asked him if he was that Shadowman everyone had been talking about and he told her that he was just an average citizen he guessed she could say Shadowman inspired.
Three days later, Jack found it hard to tell Anjenetta Grampion how, 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.
That night at Casey’s, Jack performed a song which dark melody that was black as night made him feel good, and when he was done, he thought he heard the announcer ask the audience to cheer for Shadowman. As the lights came on, Jack heard the announcer ask the audience for a big round of applause for Jack Boniface and wondered what was happening to him. Driven to look for Emil, Jack abandoned his saxophone on the stage and went out into an alley where he changed into his Shadowman costume and abandoned his clothes.
In need of a view of the city, Jack climbed atop a rooftop, when then he heard police sirens coming from the other end of the block and followed them to a murder scene. While he looked down at the cops, Jack wondered if the senseless murder had anything to do with Emil, when then he heard the police receive a call about another homicide in their vicinity on Beacon street and left to get there before them.
While Jack pondered that he had a feeling the murders would lead him to Emil, Emil leapt at him from atop a rooftop and mockingly said that all it took to get him to come running was a couple of bodies on the street. 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.
The following evening, Jack awoke in a cellar in the Sosa Plantation shortly before nightfall. Suddenly, Anjenetta’s friend came into the cellar with a little girl Emil was holding hostage and told Jack that she had stashed her babies where Emil could not find them and she was leaving that night. After Anjenetta’s friend asked him to take the little girl out of there and that he tell Anjenetta she owed her, Jack picked the girl up and walked out through an open window. As Jack rushed out of the plantation, 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 standing beside the tree 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, he ordered Shadowman to show himself, when then Jack closed the door and sent Emil 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 him that the little girl he rescued was in bad shape and would need a lot of doctoring before she was able to cope, Jack coldly said that all that mattered was that the girl was alive and that he had put Emil Sosa out of commission, and then left.