|Maxim St. James|
Maxim St. James
Maxim St. James is a 19th Century gambler who the Coven, a group of practitioners of the mystic arts, endows with the mark of the Loa to combat Master Darque, a 19th Century necromancer. To the Coven’s dismay, Maxim defies them and rejects his duty to stop Master Darque, and through yet unknown circumstances, he vanishes in the night and does not reappear until 1994.
In 1895, Anton Quigley, a scholar of arcane knowledge and mentor of Master Darque, attacked Maxim St. James outside Ruby’s Bordello, a gambling brothel in Storyville, New Orleans’ red-light district, for stopping him from taking a prostitutes’ finger and left him for dead.
Anjenetta Grampion, a powerful Voodoo priestess, found Maxim and took him to the bayou, a place of magic and mystery where she performed a ceremony that opened him to the shadow spirits and burnt him with a sigil that symbolized the Loa within his soul that came out to fight.
At Anjenetta’s command, the Coven hid Maxim’s face behind an ordinary Mardi Gras mask because he had become Shadowman and his only purpose was to stop Master Darque, but, to their dismay, he rejected them and left to look for Anton and enact his revenge.
Maxim found Anton at Ruby’s Bordello after he killed Sandria Darque, Master Darque’s twin sister, and, after a fierce swordfight, he allowed Anton to stab him in the chest at Anjenetta’s behest and the energy from the mark of the Loa killed him. Wounded, Maxim was unable to stop Darque as he set the brothel on fire and charmed the locals into believing he and Anjenetta set off the blaze. While Darque carried Sandria into the night and the bordello becomes an inferno, Maxim took Anjenetta upstairs to escape through the roof.
Again and Again and Again
Furious with Anjenetta for what she did to him, Maxim pulls her down into the attic through a window and draws his blade to skewer her, but then Jack Boniface, the dark-vested hero known as Shadowman, comes in through the door and stops him.
Believing that Jack was protecting Anjenetta’s virtue and mocking him with his mask, Maxim slashed him with his blade and pummeled him with his bare fists after he disarmed him. During their brawl, Maxim told Jack that he was out of his league and urged him to give up his power, but then Jack suddenly vanished. As Jack disappeared, Anjenetta told Maxim that Jack was the future of his cruelty.
Didn’t He Ramble?
When Jack reappeared two seconds later as mysteriously as he vanished, Anjenetta stopped them from fighting again and urged either one of them to rescue her from the blaze and the crowd. Weary of Anjenetta, whom he believed deserved to burn, Maxim wished Jack good luck and then jumped out the window to go home and open a bottle of Napoleon brandy.
With Jack’s help, Anjenetta escaped the crowd aboard a horse–drawn cab and returned to the bayou.