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Thursday, June 13, 2024

How Marvel Is Reinventing Nightshade for 2023

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The Marvel character Nightshade may be best known as a Captain America and Black Panther villain, but that may change thanks to the release of Marvel's Voices: Pride 2023. One of the stories in this anthology issue introduces a brand new version of Nightshade, one ready to follow in her reformed predecessor's footsteps and carve a new legacy for herself.

That story is written by Stephanie Williams (Nubia & The Amazons) and drawn by illustrator Héctor Barros. The new Nightshade is also spotlighted on a variant cover from superstar artist Phil Jimenez. Get a closer look at Marvel's Voices: Pride 2023 in the slideshow gallery below, and then read on to learn more about the new Nightshade:

Marvel's Voices: Pride 2023 Preview Gallery

This issue introduces readers to Logan Lewis, a younger cousin of original Nightshade Tilda Johnson. Whereas Tilda had some run-ins with heroes like Cap, Luke Cage, Iron First and Black Panther before ultimately reforming and joining the Avengers, Logan starts out her costumed career on a more heroic path. Williams makes it clear that a strong family and community are what make all the difference for the new Nightshade. This pride story is very much about the importance of having strong support networks in place for LGBT youth.

"I wanted to show how life-changing and or saving it can be to have people in your life who actively see you," Williams tells IGN. "For Logan, her supporting cast is responsible for helping her bloom into the hero she was destined to be."

"Logan isn’t mutant or inhuman," Williams says of her unique powerset. "She gains her powers as a direct result of her own actions. Logan can control her body’s chemistry. An ability she’ll have to continue mastering as her powers can evolve. When you meet her in Marvel’s Voices: Pride, she has super strength and can heat and freeze things rapidly under her touch."

Williams also reveals that the character was created specifically for Marvel Voices: Pride, though the seeds of the idea go back much further.

"I think [Nightshade] is a character who had been percolating in my brain on a subconscious level. She was floating around in the ether without a shape or form, but the material needed to build her when the time came was still being acquired through my years of reading comics, falling in love with different stories in the characters within them, and my life experiences. It wasn’t until I got the tap for Marvel’s Voices that I began reaching out for the materials to bring Logan to life."

"It was enjoyable working with Héctor," Williams adds. "After the editor, Sarah Brunstad, made the introduction, we got right to work visualizing Logan. I sent a mood board I created for Logan, some color palette ideas for her suit, and a description of her personality to give Héctor some idea of what I was thinking. Once he returned the character design sketches, we focused on bringing her uniqueness forward while nodding to the original Nightshade."

Many of the characters featured in the annual Marvel's Voices: Pride issues have gone on to enjoy recurring roles in the Marvel Universe. Williams is hopeful the same will hold true for Logan, as this new heroine continues to chart a new course for the Nightshade mantle.

"I think she has the potential to do the same, and I hope that she has appearances beyond her debut story," Williams says. "I absolutely have more stories I would love to tell with the new Nightshade."

Marvel's Voices: Pride 2023 is available in comic shops and digital storefronts now.

In other comics news, Robert Kirkman's Void Rivals turned out to be the launching point for a new Transformers/G.I. Joe shared universe, and legendary Marvel artist John Romita, Sr. has passed away.


Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.

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