|First appearance||Secret Avengers #1|
|Created by||Ed Brubaker|
Mike Deodato Jr.
Fictional organization history
The Shadow Council first came into view in the 19th Century when Confederate soldier Aloysius Thorndrake found a portal to Mars and was altered by a being called the Abyss granting him immortality. He formed the Shadow Council where he acts as its Director. For a hundred years, the Shadow Council has been working with various governments and parties to prepare for the arrival of the Abyss.
The Shadow Council have their first encounter with the Secret Avengers on Mars where Sharon Carter is attacked by someone that looks like Nick Fury as she has the Crown of Tentacles. When the Secret Avengers find some mind-controlled Shadow Council members, they end up shooting themselves upon failure which reaches "Nick Fury" as the Secret Avengers are attacked by Nova who is possessed by the Serpent Crown.
Ant-Man stumbles into a portal called the Vanishing Point that took him to the Shadow Council's citadel in Texas. At the same time, "Nick Fury" is meeting with Aloysius Thorndrake who is musing over the Crown of Tentacles. When Aloysius is alerted to the events on Mars, he orders Fury to send the 9th Legion.
Thorndrake later shows the rest of the Shadow Council the Serpent Crown as Ant-Man goes through the Vanishing Point to stop the kamikaze Shadow Council soldiers.
When Captain Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter ask Nick Fury about the character that looks like him, Nick Fury states that it was a Life Model Decoy that was stolen by Scorpio, who had modified its LMD to make it believe, despite numerous deactivation, that it was the true Nick Fury. Five years ago, a mysterious man reactivated the Life Model Decoy and helped it to escape where the mysterious man named it Max Fury. In the present, Max Fury is doing some research on the Secret Avengers in the Shadow Council's headquarters. The mysterious man that helped Max Fury to escape is revealed to be John Steele who tells Max Fury that the Secret Avengers must be watched or taken down if necessary.
Aloysius Thorndrake has somehow partially resurrected Shang-Chi's father Zheng Zu (who used the alias of Fu Manchu) as the Shadow Council agents are digging for the Eyes of the Dragon. Max Fury then reports to Aloysius that they have found the Eyes of the Dragon. Aloysius and Max then move on to the next part of the plan that involves capturing Shang-Chi and using him to restore Zheng Zu to life.
Prince of Orphans and Valkyrie arrive at Zheng Zu's grave where they find a few Shadow Council agents on guard knowing that someone would come to the grave. They defeat the Shadow Council agents and take one of them prisoner and taken to an unknown location. Meanwhile, Max Fury informs Aloysius Thorndrake about the two unfortunate mishaps. Zheng Zu is not pleased for there is only two days left to complete the ritual needed to restore himself to life. Aloysius promises to Zheng Zu that Max Fury and John Steele will handle this.
John Steele and Max Fury plot a strategy to attack the Secret Avengers. Captain Steve Rogers suspects that the Shadow Council will use the Eyes of the Dragon to drain Shang-Chi's lifeforce and make Fu Manchu immortal. While Fu Manchu and the Hai-Dai attack Hong Kong, John Steele and Max Fury infiltrate the Secret Avengers' Quinjet and have taken Sharon Carter hostage. John Steele contacts the Secret Avengers offering them a trade...Sharon Carter for Shang-Chi. If the demands aren't met, Sharon will be dead by tomorrow.
While the other members of the Secret Avengers ask Captain Steve Rogers who John Steele is, Max Fury approaches Sharon Carter in her jail cell. They trade words about their difference in opinion in what they do. Max then tries enticing her to join the Shadow Council which Sharon refuses. When Captain Steve Rogers and Shang-Chi meet with John Steele for the exchange, John Steele ends up attacking Captain Steve Rogers and manages to overpower him. While Shang-Chi is in his jail cell, it is shown that Moon Knight had infiltrated the Shadow Council.
Zheng Zu prepares the ritual that will enable him to use Shang-Chi's life-force to resurrect himself. Disguised as a Shadow Council agent, Moon Knight gives the signal and the Secret Avengers drop in on the Shadow Council. Captain Steve Rogers fights Max Fury while Valkyrie fights John Steele. Prince of Orphans disrupts the ritual causing Zheng Zu to turn to stone which Prince of Orphans shatters. When the temple begins to crumble, the Shadow Council take their leave while Valkyrie manages to defeat John Steele enough for the Secret Avengers to apprehend him and remand him to the Raft.
John Steele is hooked up to a device that would scan his memories for info on how he joined the Shadow Council. The only problem is all that they are getting are flashes until Captain Steve Rogers recognizes a memory of his last mission with Steele. He volunteers to be hooked up to the device so that he could fill in the gaps. In the memory, Captain Steve Rogers (back when he was Captain America) and John Steele infiltrate a Nazi fortress in Prussia. Inside, they find a few mutated prisoners who were experimented on. John Steele soon notices a Shadow Council agent leading a strange alien creature somewhere. Steele then insists that Rogers get out before he shoots him, flat in the chest. Captain Steve Rogers disconnects from the machine where he was aghast that what happened in the memory was not what he remembered. Unfortunately for him, John Steele has woken up and broken free. Steele gets his mind back and Rogers offers him a chance to get back at the Council.
While investigating the Secret Empire's hidden underground city beneath Cincinnati, the Secret Avengers are attacked by some Shadow Council agents. The Secret Avengers discover that the Shadow Council plans to make use of the city-sized version of Doctor Doom's time machine which would transport the city of Cleveland above and drop it and any other city on different locations. Beast makes a makeshift nuclear bomb which destroys the device as the Secret Avengers escape from the hidden city.
Arnim Zola 4.2.3 (a flawed copy of Arnim Zola's consciousness in a robot body) was recruited by the Shadow Council. He faced the Secret Avengers who were investigating the Shadow Council's mining operations inside of a bad continuum (a malformed reality). The Secret Avengers managed to defeat Arnim Zola 4.2.3.
In Aniana, Symkaria, the Secret Avengers stumble upon a plot by a drug lord named Voydanoi to sell his super-soldier drugs to the Shadow Council. The Secret Avengers managed to thwart Voydanoi's plot.
Max Fury and the Shadow Council form the ninth incarnation of the Masters of Evil consisting of Princess Python II, Vengeance II, and Whiplash IV. They were discovered by the Secret Avengers during a mission run by Captain America and Hawkeye. While setting up the Shadow Council's headquarters in Bagalia, Max Fury recruits numerous other criminals including Black Talon, Brothers Grimm, Carrion III, Constrictor, Crossfire, Diablo, Griffin, Killer Shrike, Lady Stilt-Man, Pink Pearl, and Squid to join the Shadow Council's Masters of Evil. Max Fury and the Masters of Evil capture John Steele after he attempts to escape Bagalia with the Serpent Crown and the Crown of Thorns. In order for the Masters of Evil to obtain the Crown of Wolves for the Shadow Council, Max Fury hired Taskmaster to retrieve it only for Taskmaster to demand more money for the job and he hid in the Hole. Upon claiming the Crown of Wolves, Max Fury was unable to harness its power because he is a Life Model Decoy. When Taskmaster donned the Crown of Wolves, he was unable to control the powers of the Abyss. Under the control of the Abyss, the Masters of Evil and the other people in Bagalia make their move as the Secret Avengers fight to keep the people under control of the Abyss from leaving Bagalia and invading other countries to spread the possession to other people. While possessed by the Abyss, Taskmaster used its power to take control of the villains and have them board an airplane out of Bagalia to spread the campaign of the Abyss. While the others fight the possessed villains and other people, Venom uses his symbiote to break the Crowns and capture Taskmaster.
- Aloysius Thorndrake - Director of the Shadow Council.
- Arnim Zola 4.2.3 - A flawed copy of Arnim Zola.
- John Steele - He was brainwashed into joining the Shadow Council.
- Lt. Hood - Member of the Shadow Council. Dies in Secret Avengers #21.
- Max Fury - A Life Model Decoy of Nick Fury that works for the Shadow Council.
In other media
- The Shadow Council appears as the primary antagonists of Avengers: Black Panther's Quest. While Killmonger and Princess Zanda are on the Shadow Council, its known agents are Tiger Shark, Whitney Frost / Madame Masque, M'Baku, and Ulysses Klaue. Later episodes in the series would reveal it was an enemy of both Wakanda during the reign of T'Chanda and the Allied forces in the 1940s. Believed to have been destroyed long before T'Challa and Shuri's time by the series premiere, the Shadow Council has been secretly revived behind the scenes by various supervillains with the aim of global conquest. Tiger Shark acted as the point man for the masterminds behind the secretive cabal until his reckless battle with the Avengers in New York ended with him being denied an extraction. Tiger Shark was locked up in Atlantis by the Atlantean soldiers on Attuma's side until N'Jadaka activated bombs designed to destroy Atlantis so he and Tiger Shark could get away. In the episode "The Panther and the Wolf", N'Jadaka attempted to sway White Wolf to the Shadow Council's side which ended with a list of the Wakandans that are on the Shadow Council's side being secretly stolen by White Wolf. This caused the Shadow Council to send M'Baku after White Wolf only to be defeated by Black Panther, Shuri, and White Wolf. In the episode "The Zemo Sanction", it was revealed that Heinrich Zemo was the leader of the Shadow Council back in the 1940s. In the "Mists of Attilan", Black Bolt and Medusa reveal that T'Chanda made a bid to keep pieces of an ancient relic out of the Shadow Council's hands, making a pact with the Inhumans in order to keep one piece safe from them; a history which was brought up when Princess Zanda has infiltrated the Inhuman Royal Family in an attempt to steal it. In the episode "Mask of the Panther", it is revealed that T'Chanda even went spelunking for artifacts of his own culture & kingdom in order to keep another of the pieces safe, hiding history within history using the long-lost Wakandan ship called Yemandi's Cutter. Whitney Frost is later welcomed as a member of the Shadow Council as Madame Masque after commandeering it. The Shadow Council kidnap Black Widow off-screen and Zanda impersonates her and frames T'Challa for the murder of Captain America he did not commit to turn the Avengers against him.
- Secret Avengers #3
- Secret Avengers #1
- Secret Avengers #2
- Secret Avengers #4
- Secret Avengers #5
- Secret Avengers #6
- Secret Avengers #7
- Secret Avengers #8
- Secret Avengers #9
- Secret Avengers #10
- Secret Avengers #11
- Secret Avengers #12
- Secret Avengers #16
- Secret Avengers #18
- Secret Avengers #19
- Secret Avengers #21.1
- Secret Avengers #29
- Secret Avengers #30
- Secret Avengers #31
- Secret Avengers #32
- Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4
- "Into the Deep". Avengers Assemble. Season 5. Episode 3. September 30, 2018. Disney XD.