Nothing is known of Cain Van Zant's past. He is a human character, a murderer, and is clearly psychotic.
Cain Van Zant was created by Len Kaminski, Andy Lanning and Anthony Williams.
Cain appears in Scare Tactics #5 as part of a special Valentine's issue, as a love interest for Scream Queen (the cover depicts the pair embracing on top of a pile of skulls, a heart made of thorns in the background). He steals the Scare Tactics van (known as the Scaremobile), with Nina still asleep in her coffin inside. The race is then on for the rest of the group to catch up with them before sunrise.
Cain is one of the very few humans that Nina likes, as she dislikes "breathers" intensely. She is initially very wary of him, since he is a stranger, a human, and a thief. However, he wins Nina's heart with a piece of artwork crafted from the remains of his latest victim. She later explains to the rest of the group: "Okay, so yeah, humans aren't my favorite animals. But once in a while one shows up that almost gives you hope for the whole stinking species."
The rest of the Scare Tactics gang are far less impressed by his "art" (with the exception of Jimmy). They are furious with him for stealing the van, and disgusted that he could murder someone, and then show them such disrespect. Grossout is angriest, about it, and in a rare moment of eloquence, claims that Cain is a different kind of thief, stealing the meaning of his art from his victims. He is so revolted that he threatens to leave the group if Cain stays. This is a moot point though, as he has already stolen their rental car, and is gone.
Powers and Abilities
Though Cain is referred to as human for the majority of the issue, there is some doubt as to whether he is or not. Scream Queen even asks Burnsteel what makes him so sure Cain is human, as he seems to have unexplainable abilities. She tells the rest of the group that Cain can hear the voices of souls, and only takes the lives of those who cry out for him to do so. This is confirmed in an earlier scene - when Cain is at the diner, he appears to hear the thoughts of the waitress he later kills.