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Midnight Sons

FORMER MEMBERS: Blade, Dr. Strange, Frank Drake, Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch), Hannibal King, John Blaze, Louise Hastings, Morbius, Sam Buchanan, Victoria Montesi
BASE OF OPERATIONS: None
FIRST APPEARANCE: Ghost Rider #28 (1992)

HISTORY: Prior to the fall of Atlantis, the Order of the Midnight Sons (a.k.a. the Spirits of Vengeance) opposed the demon Zarathos. In recent years Dr. Strange gathered a loose-knit confederation of mystically powered heroes (a.k.a. the Nine) to serve as mankind's first line of defense against the Mother of Demons, Lilith, and her children, the Lilin. After Lilith freed herself from the belly of an ancient beast known as the Leviathan, Strange began manipulating certain heroes, knowing that Lilith would ultimately seek to rip open the walls between the Earthly dimension and the one where her children resided. The Midnight Sons were composed of Ghost Rider; the pseudo-vampire Morbius; John Blaze; the Nightstalkers (a group of mystic-hunting heroes that included Blade, Drake and King); and the Darkhold Redeemers (Hastings, Montesi and Buchanan) who were focused on destroying the ancient tome of evil known as the Darkhold and its physical embodiment, the Dwarf.

Lilith was aware of Strange's plans and sought to break apart the Sons before they fully came together; she dispatched a Lilin to poison Morbius, making him susceptible to her control, and also tricked the Nightstalkers into attacking Ghost Rider. The Sons united to temporarily defeat Lilith at the site of her resurrection, a section of Northern Greenland known as "the land of the midnight sun." Soon after, Lilith allied with the Soulless Man, Centurious, in an effort to capture the Medallion of Power. Lilith increased her control over Morbius, allowing a Lilin named Bloodthirst to manifest inside him and reanimate his lover, Martine Bancroft, as a host for the Lilin Parasite. During a battle in the catacombs beneath the Cypress Hills Cemetery, Zarathos was freed from his prison within Centurious, and Lilith abandoned her old ally for the more powerful demon. During this time, the Midnight Sons continued to have internal problems, as Blade briefly turned against the Nightstalkers due to the corrupting influence of the Darkhold, Morbius clashed with the Nightstalkers, and the group as a whole distrusted Dr. Strange for his many lies and manipulations.

Lilith and Zarathos soon consummated their relationship. The Midnight Sons seemingly destroyed Zarathos shortly thereafter, but Lilith escaped with her unborn child. The Midnight Sons slowly drifted apart after this battle, with each becoming involved in their own affairs. Some, like the Nightstalkers and the Darkhold Redeemers, suffered through deaths, resurrections and loss of faith. Drake and King were believed dead for a time, but were actually temporarily merged into a new version of Dracula. Montesi was revealed to be a construct of the Darkhold itself, explaining her own bizarre connection to the book. Other members of the Midnight Sons are still active, though with little or no contact with the other members of the group. Zarathos has recently reconstituted himself within John Blaze, while Lilith has plagued Dr. Strange, Jennifer Kale, Satana, and Topaz; the child she sired with Zarathos has not been seen. Morbius continues to battle his vampiric thirsts while the Ketch Ghost Rider ascended to the throne of Hell and then mysteriously vanished. It remains possible that Dr. Strange could reunite this group if needed.

SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
Rise of the Midnight Sons (Ghost Rider #28, 31 / Spirits of Vengeance #1/ Morbius #1 / Darkhold #1 / Nightstalkers #1 , 1992)
Midnight Massacre (Nightstalkers #10 / Ghost Rider #40 / Darkhold #11 / Morbius #12 / Spirits of Vengeance #13, 1993)
Zarathos returned (Ghost Rider #41-43 / Spirits of Vengeance #14-16)
Siege of Darkness, opposed Lilith and Zarathos (Ghost Rider #44-46 / Marvel Comics Presents #143-146 / Darkhold #15-16 / Morbius #16-17/ Dr. Strange Sorcerer Supreme #60-61 / Spirits of Vengeance #17-18 / Midnight Sons Unlimited #4, 1993-1994)

NOTE: Copied from The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Teams 2005

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