Ash was a member of the Star Chamber during the Shadow War.

She was born into a poor family in the Appalachia Mountains, but eventually left under unrevealed circumstances.[1] It is unclear if her departure was due to her gaining the power to disintegrate inorganic matter. Ash apparently felt shame over her family background, which she concealed by developing a more blue blood, rather snobbish identity for herself.

At some point, Ash's powers came to the attention the Shadow Cabinet's leader, Dharma, who convinced her to join his team. Her abilities quickly made her a valued asset to the team. Ash also did well socially by joining a clique of Cabinet operatives including herself, Blitzen, Donner, Iota, Jigsaw and Wytch, who would hang out off duty.[2] Ash was such a social butterfly that she also developed ties with Rainsaw and Slag, who were outcasts among the Cabinet. It is rumored Ash's friendship with Slag developed into something more, but that has not been confirmed.[1]

In recent years, the ambitious operative Headmaster felt that beings as powerful as the Shadow Cabinet should rule humanity rather than protect it. His views appealed to several other operatives including Ash.[3] These dissidents would eventually become the Star Chamber, which promptly split off from the Cabinet. This schism would begin the covert metahuman conflict known as the Shadow War.[4]

Since the Shadow Cabinet would oppose their goal of world domination, the Star Chamber needed to quickly bolster their ranks. The key was Dakota City, which saw a major increase in metahumans due to the "Big Bang" event.[4] Dharma had extensive files on Dakota's metahumans, information the Chamber copied before leaving the Cabinet.[4] Thus, the Shadow War quickly escalated as the Shadow Cabinet and Star Chamber vied to get Dakota's superheroes and supervillains to join their side.

Headmaster assigned different teams of Chamber operatives for the metahuman recruitment effort. Ash, Rainsaw, and Slag were assigned to recruit the metahuman street gang, the Blood Syndicate.[1] Headmaster was especially interested in recruiting the gangmembers Fade and Flashback due to their time manipulation abilities.[1] If the Syndicate declined the Chamber's offer, Slag, Ash and Rainsaw were ordered to eliminate the gang to prevent any of them from joining the Shadow Cabinet.[1] Naturally, Ash and her cohorts concealed this aspect of their mission from the newer Chamber members, who would object.

Ash, Rainsaw and Slag met with the Blood Syndicate at their abandoned factory headquarters. With Ash serving as spokeswoman, the Chamber tried to appeal to the gang's desire for respect, power and honor to win their support. Syndicate leader Wise Son realized the gang was being deceived and expressed his disgust by dumping a glass of champagne that Ash offered on her head.[1] Furious at such disrespect, Ash, Rainsaw and Slag shed all pretenses and declared death on the Syndicate. However, as the Chamber members were about to attack, they were thwarted by the sudden arrival of a team of Shadow Cabinet operatives led by Sideshow.[1] The Cabinet and Chamber members promptly engaged in a fierce debate that further angered the Syndicate, who decided to expel both groups from their territory. This resulted in a massive three-way battle between the Star Chamber, Shadow Cabinet, and Blood Syndicate.[1]

As the battle escalated, Syndicate member DMZ knocked out Ash in retaliation for her injuring his teammate, Brickhouse. Witnessing this, Slag decided to unleash his full pyrokinetic fury against both the Cabinet and the Syndicate even though he would wind up killing Ash and Rainsaw in the process.[1] Just then, all the combatants suddenly noticed a massive tsunami bearing down on them. This tsunami was secretly created by the watery metahuman Aquamaria, who felt kinship with the Blood Syndicate and now decided to aid them.[1] The Syndicate promptly took cover while the Shadow Cabinet teleported to safety.[1] The Star Chamber was not so lucky and were swept away when the tsunami hit. Miraculously, Ash, Rainsaw and Slag survived and retreated to their headquarters to lick their wounds.[1]

The other Star Chamber teams were successful in their mission so they began the next phase of their plan of world conquest. A vital part of this plan was Quantum Juice or "Q Juice", an unpredictable, often dangerous mutagen responsible for the Big Bang.[3] The only known stockpile of Q Juice belonged to the malevolent conspiracy S.Y.S.T.E.M., who stored it in a vault hidden in an American casino. Headmaster convinced the new Chamber recruits that stealing the Q Juice from SYSTEM was necessary lest it fall into the hands of the "evil" Shadow Cabinet. Headmaster also desired to capture Q Juice's creator Dr. Nathan Flack, but the Chamber's efforts to find him had so far failed.[3]

The Chamber teleported via Funyl's powers into the casino, breached the outer vault's door, and quickly overcame the squad of armored SYSTEMatics protecting the inner vault.[3] However, the Chamber met new opposition as the Shadow Cabinet teleported in. During the resulting battle, a lucky energy blast from Cabinet ally Icon caused Cabinet member Harm to collide with Ash. Before the pair could recover, they were promptly stunned by Hardware's neural net. The Star Chamber retreated soon after since Blitzen captured the Q Juice before Slag could.[3]

Headmaster had planned for this possibility and implemented a new strategy. Since the Star Chamber could not steal Q Juice, they would make their own by using the superconducting supercollider in Luoyang, China to process certain radioactive materials into the mutagen.[3] These materials were available in three fusion reactors on Earth. Headmaster split the Chamber into three teams, each one assigned to a fusion reactor, to increase the odds that at least one team would be successful.[3] Ash was not on the teams since she was still healing from the casino battle.

Despite the Shadow Cabinet's valiant efforts, the Star Chamber acquired the needed radioactive material. So, the entire Chamber including a recovered Ash teleported to the collider, leading to a final showdown with the Shadow Cabinet.[3] During the fierce battle, Ash along with Funyl and Slag used the conflict as a diversion to reach the collider control room and take the staff hostage. The trio of villains then reprogrammed the collider so it would process the stolen radioactive material into Q Juice.[3] Successful in this endeavor, Ash and her teammates loaded the Q juice into a missile that Funyl had teleported near the collider. They then launched the missile, whose loud roar was so startling that it brought the fight between the Cabinet and the rest of the Chamber to a halt.[3]

Headmaster then revealed to all present that in minutes the Q juice-bearing missile would reach geosynchronous orbit.[3] The rocket was rigged to be detonated by a remote in Headmaster's hand, thus releasing its payload into Earth's atmosphere and killing countless millions. The missile was Star Chamber's trump card in case any superhero tried to thwart the group's true goal of world domination.

However, Headmaster's gloating was short-lived when his remote was snatched by an invisible observer: Dr. Nathan Flack, who now called himself Dr. Nemo.[3] Flack gained his cloaking power by exposure to Q juice, and he now wanted to similarly "bless" humanity by repeating his experiment on a global scale.[3] After observing the Shadow War for days, Flack realized that the Star Chamber's scheme for world conquest was the perfect way to accomplish his dream.[3] Flack then detonated the missile to the horror of those assembled.

Fortunately, Hardware had secretly flown off to intercept the Star Chamber's missile while Headmaster was explaining its purpose.[3] Hardware boarded the missile and then escaped with its Q Juice payload just seconds before the missile exploded.[3] Thus, the world was saved from Flack's insane plans.

The Star Chamber promptly surrendered while the new recruits joined the Cabinet except for the fiery crimelord Holocaust, who fled the scene and returned to Dakota.[3] After securing the new Q Juice, the Shadow Cabinet left the rest of the Chamber to be picked up by the authorities. Ash and her teammates soon found themselves in maximum security prison with lengthy sentences.[3]

Ash would still be incarcerated if not for an unexpected turn of events. During the infamous Utopia Park Riots, several Shadow Cabinet members disobeyed Dharma's explicit orders to not get involved in order to save endangered civilians and police.[5] Dharma considered this mutiny as proof that his Cabinet operatives had too much free will and thus were less effective in his eyes.[6] So, he declared that operatives could no longer leave the Cabinet's headquarters, the Shadowspire, except for missions.[6] Deeming Dharma insane, Donner, Blitzen and Iota fled the Shadowspire to form their own public superhero team, Heroes.[6] Perhaps anticipating such a rebellion, Dharma had earlier arranged for the release of the Star Chamber, who having no where else to go decided to rejoin the Cabinet.


  • Disintegration: Ash can mentally weaken the molecular bonds in any inorganic matter within her line of sight. As a result, any such matter affected by her power quickly crumbles into dust."[3] Ash often gestures at her intended target though this is not necessary for her power to work.
  • Telekinesis: Ash also has the telekinetic ability to manipulate particles of dust and ash in her vicinity.[1] Through this means, she can mentally gather a cloud of dust and then propel as a highly focused stream toward a target. These streams rapidly erode whatever they impact in a manner similar to a sandblaster. The amount of damage Ash can wreak with these dust streams in unknown though one such stream proved capable of shearing off the brick-like hair off Brickhouse.[1] Like her disintegration power, her telekinesis functions line of sight. Hence, an observer can erroneously believe that Ash's dust streams are generated by her eyes, which actually just guide the streams.[1]


  • As a Shadow Cabinet operative, Ash can teleport via the team's Shadowslide system.
  • As a member of the Star Chamber, Ash relied on Funyl's teleportation powers for transport.


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