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The Night Shift is a team comprised mainly of criminals with superhuman or supernatural powers and devoted to selfish gain. The team is primarily active in the Los Angeles area and has several bases in the region, most notably in the so-called Tower of Shadows.
The team was first organized by the Shroud, who believed his crime-fighting vigilantism could be more effective if both the general public and the criminal underworld believed him to be a criminal himself. In pursuit of this goal, the Shroud organized the Night Shift as his allies. Except for Jack Russell, the Werewolf By Night, the other members of the Night Shift were all criminals, and only Russell knew that the Shroud was actually a crime fighter.
The Shroud led the Night Shift in combating other criminals and criminal organizations. The members of the Shift benefited by sharing in the wealth they stole from these criminals, that the latter themselves had accumulated through illegal means. Also, by keeping an eye on the other members of the Night Shift, the Shroud hoped to make certain that they did not victimize law-abiding individuals. One of the first such endeavors was against the criminal known as the Power Broker. In taking him down, the Night Shift aided the hero Captain America.
When Shroud was absent, the Night Shift battled the West Coast Avengers in an attempt to obtain the release of their captured member, Digger. Dansen Macabre, the deputy leader, could not understand why the Night Shift had never battled the Avengers before. (In reality, the Shroud had previously made a deal with the Avengers' leader, Hawkeye, not to interfere with his motives for leading the Night Shift.) However, the Avengers trounced the Night Shift, who escaped only with the help of the Shroud, straining his relationship with the Avengers.
Shortly afterward, in part because of the friction in the team over the way the Shroud handled the Avengers, the Night Shift mutinied against his leadership, forcing him out. Presumably, the Night Shift continued its criminal activities, this time under the leadership of Dansen Macabre and devoted to more general crime, not merely against other criminals and criminal organizations.
At one point, Satannish made a deal with actor Jason Roland, who had previously traded his humanity with another demon in exchange for fame in the movie business and, as a result, had gained a body that resembled his movie-monster costume and make-up. Satannish returned to Roland his original appearance as well as the powers to become the second Hangman. On behalf of Satannish, the Hangman sought out the Night Shift, and its members also received enhancements to their powers from Satannish. The Hangman then led the Night Shift against the Avengers' West Coast branch, resulting in a battle that would be filmed by numerous local reporters and worldwide cable stations.
Satannish hoped that the resulting battle would allow Satannish to manifest on Earth, and, by way of his televised appearance, he would be able to take the souls of all who viewed him. The Avengers' Scarlet Witch managed to contact Doctor Strange, who in return made the members of the Night Shift realize they had been tricked by Satannish and the Hangman. They betrayed Satannish, forcing him to flee to his native plane. Just before he disappeared completely, he managed to take the soul of Jason Roland, the Hangman, with him.
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