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1. At the age of ten, Maximillian Coleridge witnessed the murder of his parents at the hands of a small-time hood.

2. Employing the family fortune built through the multi-generational antiquities firm Coleridge Importers & Explorers, Max Coleridge trained for years in a variety of fields, pushed on by his legal guardian and family lawyer, Justin Meagher. By the time he was 22, Max had earned a double major in Criminology and Asian Studies with a minor in Business as well as earning his way to the final qualifying round of the AAU Junior Olympic Games. By 25, he had earned his law degree with an emphasis on criminal law.

3. Studying the extensive notes and journals of his father, at 26 Max Coleridge chartered a plane to Tibet in search of a lost faction of the Cult of Kali. When he found them, he was accepted as one of their own and trained to become a champion of the goddess of destruction. After two intensive years of training, he was given the 'Kiss of Kali', a ritual which both blinded him and left his face horribly scarred. Fleeing from the cult, he has been unable to resdiscover their whereabout since.

5. However, the 'Kiss of Kali' seems to have also granted him a supernatural sixth sense (and, unknown to him at the time, control over the shadows. Utilizing the rest of his family fortune, Max Coleridge (now referring to himself as the Shroud) bought himself a jet, a variety of gadgets, and a fancy costume.

6. Wanting to make a splash, the over-eager Shroud decided to start his super-heroic career by assassinating Dr. Doom. Although he nearly accomplished his task, and ended up allying with Prince Rudolpho of the former Latverian royal family and Namor, the Sub-Mariner, Doom managed to escape the attempt through the interference of Namorita and the mutated people of Hydrobase.

7. Through a complicated series of dealings and double-crossings, Shroud found himself allied with Captain America and Doctor Doom against the Red Skull, who intended to fire a mind-controlling satellite weapon on Earth. Shroud heroically intercepted the blast by physically throwing himself in front of it, and spent the next several months in a comatose state.

8. During this period the Shroud discovered his supernatural control over darkness and relocated to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, between the hospital bills and the expenses incurred during his attempted assassination of Doctor Doom, the Coleridge fortune was nearly spent. He spent much of the following months quashing a variety of Hindu cults, from Kali-based murder cults to rival Shiva-worshipping groups. He also became closely allied with Spider-Woman, and even discovered her secret identity.

9. At the same time, the Shroud began considering exactly what his niche as a crimefighter was. After infiltrating the organization of a minor mob boss, the Crooked Man, he decided to seize control of the Crooked Man's gang and resources and cast himself as a criminal mastermind alongside his two closest allies, a pair of professional thieves known as Cat and Mouse.

10. Thanks to his affiliations with Spider-Woman and Captain America, the Shroud also began regularly running into the Avengers (both East and West coast teams) and helped them on a variety of missions.

11. As his takeover of the criminal underworld of LA became more successful, he began to recruit allies and formed the team Night Shift. While many of the members believed him to be a mysterious mob boss, he had a sole confidant: Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night, whose rampages could be controlled through the hypnotic powers of Danse Macabre, a Shiva-worshipping member of the Night Shift.

12. Unfortunately, his regular alliances with members of the Avengers led to questions within the organization of the Night Shift, and eventually he was forced to flee alongside Cat and Mouse to New York.

13. Now, the Shroud has reestablished the Coleridge Imports & Explorations firm, although it is a meager operation at the moment.


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