Shade (Character) – Comic Vine


Born and raised in London, England in the early 1800s, Richard Swift was a affluent importer. In the naturally of his business he came into contact with Simon Culp, who hired Swift to import a lion for him. The copulate became friends while awaiting the arrival of the leo. It was soon revealed that Culp was merely using Swift in an feat to enact an arcane ritual ; he captured Swift and attempted to use him as a sacrifice to the goddess Scathach. however, for reasons unknown, Swift was gifted with the powers that Culp had intended entirely for himself. The vector sum mystic happening resulted in the deaths of over a hundred people. Bereft of all memories of who he had been, Swift departed his previous animation and was reborn as the Shade. immediately after the events that gave him his powers, the confused Shade was taken in by Piers Ludlow, who attempted to take advantage of Shade ‘s state by framing him for murder. Shade lashed out instinctively with his powers, making an enemy of the Ludlow family when he killed about the entire family. Following this he embarked on a career of questionable legality, exploring the worldly concern and occasionally taking work as an assassin .


The Shade was originally created by EE Hibbard. He was re-imagined by James Robinson .

Character Evolution

Golden Age

In his original Golden Age appearances, the Shade was portrayed as a nefarious character. chiefly a thief, he utilized a cane that allowed him to manipulate shadows. He retained this characterization throughout the Golden, Silver and Bronze Ages .

Modern Age

Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Shade remained a villain for a few more years. Following Zero Hour his quality was significantly rewrite. He was re-imagined as an deity of victorian origin, and given a more morally equivocal, anti-heroic flex. much of his previous villainy was retconned as the influence of Culp. This translation of the character no longer needed the charming cane to manipulate shadows, this trait became implicit in.


Following the universal boot, the powers of the Darklands, previously merely semi-sentient, became in full sentient and autonomous. Shade himself became importantly less competent .

Major Story Arcs

Flash of Two Worlds

Working with the Fiddler and the Thinker, Shade takes separate in shifting Keystone City out of phase, trapping the inhabitants and causing the rest of the world to forget the city ever existed. They use this world power to loot the city with impunity. They are confronted by both Jay Garrick and Barry Allen, and the heroes finally defeat the Shade and his companions .


Shade first comes into contact with Starman when he abducts the champion ‘s father, Ted Knight, at the behest of Mist. He soon turns against Mist and sides with Starman, late forming close ties with the O’Dare family, particularly Matt O’Dare. During their association Shade frequently engages in expansive behavior to assist Jack and Matt. At one charge he agrees to altruistically sell his soul to save those trapped in a curse poster. Around this fourth dimension he makes an foe of Neron by refusing to accept the monster ‘s deal to increase his own exponent. During the events of the Godwave his powers are completely unaffected by the consequence that depowered most power individuals. slowly but surely Culp is able to take manipulate of Shade ‘s consistency, culminating in an attempt to destroy Opal City, carried out with the sole purpose of destroying the city that Shade loves. Joining Culp ‘s efforts are Neron, one of the last leftover Ludlows, and Mist ‘s daughter. Shade is able to expel Culp, but in so doing loses his powers. Despite this, he is able to use a shadow demon to engage in a conflict of wills with Culp, which he ultimately wins. Stripping Culp of his powers and adding them to his own, Shade is victorious .

Infinite Crisis

still in Opal City and acting as the city ‘s heroic, if cynical, defender, Shade spends the Crisis defending the city and its inhabitants .

Cry For Justice

Shade tells Jay Garrick of Prometheus ‘ plan to distract the heroes from his master plan, and travels with the hero to the Watchtower. There, they encounter Prometheus, who is attempting to flee the ship. As he is not a hero, Prometheus has no file on how to defeat Shade, and is confounded by how to deal with him. Donna Troy takes the opportunity to attack Prometheus and beats him closely to death. shade prevents her from killing the villain. He belated aids green Arrow in travelling to Prometheus ‘ lair, where green Arrow kills the villain.

Blackest Night

now in a kinship with Hope O’Dare, Shade is attacked by Black Lantern David Knight. Due to his immortality, Shade is not killed when Knight rips his heart from his breast, and is able to resist the Black Lantern ring that attempts to attach itself to him. He traps Knight in the Darklands when Knight threatens to kill Jack and O’Dare. Using his own heart he traps Knight and banishes him permanently. He is found soon afterwards by Barry Allen and Hal Jordan, who ask for department of transportation to the Ghost Zone. He agrees to help, and they locate the rotting body of Prometheus in the Ghost Zone .

Brightest Day

Shade is sought by Jay Garrick, Doctor Mid-Nite, Sebastian Faust, and Wildcat, all of whom seek his aid in locating obsidian. He is found in his base in a comatose submit, obviously placed there by the Starheart -possessed Obsidian, who wanted to stop Shade from revealing “ secrets ”. Soon afterwards Shade is captured by Eclipso, who brainwashes him. At the behest of Saint Walker he is sought and rescued by Starman and Atom, who manage to free him of the brainwash. He turns on his once captor, helping the heroes defeat Eclipso .

The Shade

Attacked at his home in Opal City, Shade sets off on a world-spanning pursuit to discover the lineage of the character assassination attack. At the lapp meter he explores his by, and encounters numerous figures that have been crucial in his long life, american samoa well as exploring the extent of his own powers. It finally becomes clear that the character assassination was ordered by a member of his own family, Dudley, Lord Caldecott, acting in concert with an ancient cult. The cult incidentally unleash ancient divine beings on London, whom Shade is able to defeat by trapping them in a pocket dimension and transporting them back to their home dimension .

The Speed of Darkness

As Shade grows increasingly worry that he will return to his life of crime and jeopardize his kinship with Hope, his shadow powers take it upon themselves to begin committing crimes on his behalf. When this is discovered by Hope, who believes that Shade has relapsed, the shadows kidnap and brainwash her, and trap Shade in the Darklands. He is able to push some apparition into Central City, where it attracts the attention of Kid Flash and the Flash, who come to his aid. They help him rescue Hope and regain command of the Darklands .

Powers and Abilities

shade is the strongest know channeller of the shadow powers of the Darklands, a dimension of sentient dark that he can channel to a assortment of effects. He can besides use this proportion to teleport himself and others, with no known limits to the distance he can travel ; it can besides be used to travel through clock. He is functionally deity and much durable. He is intelligent and resourceful.


  • Immortality
  • Darkness Manipulation
  • Time Manipulation
  • Teleportation


  • Real Name: Richard Swift
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Hair Color: Black
  • Eyes Color: Gray
  • Occupation: Criminal (retired)

Alternate Versions

Unknown Alternate Earth

A female character based on Shade and Nightshade appears on this earth ; she shares Shade ‘s powers and wears clothing alike to his traditional outfit. She is killed by Eve of the Shadows


Shade is a magician and extremity of the League of Shamans .

Other Media


tad makes his first appearance in the bipartite Justice League episode “ Injustice for All ”. The DCAU interpretation of the character bears many similarities to his pre-Zero Hour portrayal : he is a villain, a extremity of the Injustice Gang, and carries a “ truncheon ” preferably than possessing implicit in apparition powers. He appears in several other episodes, each meter as a villain, broadly as a member of respective villain gangs. He late appears in respective episodes of Justice League Unlimited. In the episode “ alert ” he joins the mutiny against Lex Luthor, and is ultimately killed by the revive Darkseid. He is voiced by Stephen McHattie .

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