Concept & Creation
Created by Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III, and Paul Leon. Many of the team members of the Shadow Cabinet appeared in several of the Milestone titles leading up to Milestone's first major inter-company crossover, The Shadow War. Their clandestine modus opreandi and the dubious morality of their covert operations led to many to describing them as "the JLA as run by the CIA".
The exact origins of the Shadow Cabinet remains an enigma. However there is evidence that they have been in existence for a very long time, subtly guiding and shaping the course of human events in the shadows. A secret order of superhumans, their purpose is to "save humanity from itself" but they believe in the concept that the ends justify the means. And as their purpose is the salvation and survival of the human race, there is nothing that the Shadow Cabinet and their roster of agents will not stoop to in order to accomplish their mission; including long term undercover missions, murder, and assassination should the situation calls for it.
The First Version
Originally they were run by the psychic Indian known as Dharma. It was also revealed that the Shadow Cabinet was in existance long before members of this roster were even born.
The Second Version
This team was developed after the Dakotaverse merged with the DC Universe. It hasn't been really clear who leads it, but Dharma yet again appears to be at the head. Worth noting is that Icon, in the Dakotaverse, had originally refused to work with the Shadow Cabinet because of their ill-moral methods of exacting justice and stabilizing the balance of good and evil. After the universes merged, he is seen working with them. Also worth noting is that he was also playing a kind of double agent role.
Question of morality?
The Shadow Cabinet weren't really heroes in the conventional way. They were not above killing, or starting wars for the greater good. And as Dharma put it they actually keep the balance between good and evil. So one may even question if they were really heroes to begin with.
- Iron Butterfly
- Oro (left and join Blood Sydicate)
- Bad Betty (undercover for Holocaust's criminal empire)
- Heroes (defectors when Dharma went insane):
- Star Chamber (defectors that started the chain of events to Shadow War):
- Iron Butterfly
- Gloria Mundi