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© Juke Box Productions


Status: Active
Earliest Appearance: 1982
Affiliation: partnered with Sunshrike (1980s)

partnered with Sunbird (1990s onward)

Base of Operations: Astro City

Personal Data


Appearances (in Publication Order): Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.1 #5

Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #1, 21
Astro City #44

Event Timeline


A dark and moody hero, Nightingale is rarely seen alone, either partnered in her early years with Sunshrike, and then later, with her new teammate, Sunbird.



Her dual partnerships are unique. She was the younger sidekick to Sunshrike, but seems to be the strong mentor and motherly companion to Sunbird.

In the early 1980s, a cat was also a part of their entourage, seen many times roaming the streets with them. Something not atypical of the species, but according to creator Kurt Busiek, the feline doesn't seem to be much of a team player.


In addition to being a skilled acrobat and martial artist, Nightingale can project a mist-like field of darkness, describing it as "shadow powers".

Speculations, Theories

  • It's speculated wildly that Nightingale and Sunbird are lesbians, but they neither confirm nor deny the allegations. It has also been speculated that they might be sisters, or perhaps a mother and daughter team of crime-fighters.
  • According to Sunshrike, there are only the two of them at any one time, the "bird of light" and the "bird of shadow". This suggests they're legacy characters, with new women taking the roles every so often. Nightingale is the younger in the 80s with Sunshrike, and the elder in the 90s with Sunbird. There is also speculation a familial connection might be in play with who takes up the legacies.
  • Sunshrike also thinks it wouldn't be allowed for them to have a cat as part of the team, hinting that some external agency may be involved with selecting the pair.
  • There seems to be an informal camaraderie among these street fighting superheroes. A common core of them associate with each other on many occasions. Crackerjack, Jack-in-the-Box, Quarrel, Sunbird, and Nightingale cross paths often. Depending on the time-range, you might also include Street Angel in the mix, along with the Irregulars.
  • A cat and a couple of birds don't seem to be the most compatible of partnerships, and shrikes, despite their small size, are known to be carnivorous.