The Shade

The Shade

(pop culture)
The criminal motivations of the master of the darkness, the Shade (not to be confused with the superhero Shade, the Changing Man), have been predicated not upon avarice but instead boredom. “The Man Who Commanded the Night” crept into view in Flash Comics #33 (1942), courtesy of scribe Gardner Fox and artist Hal Sharp. A slender, top-hat-wearing figure attired in a black, the Shade slinked in and out of the shadows, stealing merely to engage the Fastest Man Alive, the original Flash, in contests just for fun. Carrying a walking stick that was presumably the conduit of his superpowers, which included the manipulation of “shadowmatter”—creating shapes, weapons, objects, and creatures from the dark— the Shade, whose smirking visage often glowed like a maleficent moon face from within his dark garb, jumped from comics' Golden (1938–1954) to Silver (1956–1969) ages when his co-creator, writer Fox, and penciler Carmine Infantino resurrected the villain in “Flash of Two Worlds!” in The Flash vol. 1 #123 (1961), the landmark tale that united the Scarlet Speedsters of two generations and defined DC Comics' multiple-earth concept. For the next three decades the Shade occasionally resurfaced in Flash and, along with other Golden Age supervillains, as one of the Injustice Society in Justice League of America and Infinity, Inc. The Shade might have wafted into obscurity were it not for writer James Robinson, who transformed the supervillain from a gimmicky felon to a complex ne'er-do-well in the critically acclaimed comic book Starman (vol. 2, 1994–2001) and its spin-off four-issue miniseries, The Shade (1997). Robinson revealed that the Shade was actually Londoner Richard Swift, an immortal from the nineteenth century, who inexplicably became connected to the dimension known as the Dark Zone along with a dwarfish troublemaker named Simon Culp. Swift and Culp clashed on several occasions, and for a time their personalities shared Swift's body after a bizarre explosion welded their souls together. The Shade's other enemy was Victorian businessman Piers Ludlow, whose descendants continued to assault Swift for decades. His wanderlust and agelessness allowed the Shade to meander through the centuries, and over time his motivations have proved ambiguous, as he has on occasion aided some of the superheroes he has also fought against. The Shade was unmistakably sinister, however, in his adaptation to animation, in “The Secret Society,” a two-part 2003 episode of the Cartoon Network's Justice League (2001–2004); Stephen McHattie voiced the villain in his television incarnation. DC Direct produced a Shade action figure and a Pocket Super Heroes miniature in 2002.
References in classic literature ?
The shade of the trees fell heavily upon the water, and seemed to bury itself therein, impregnating the depths of the element with darkness.
A shade, this time carrying no light, just a shade in the shade, passed.
O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feet Hasting this way, and now by glimps discerne ITHURIEL and ZEPHON through the shade, And with them comes a third of Regal port, But faded splendor wan; who by his gate And fierce demeanour seems the Prince of Hell, Not likely to part hence without contest; Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours.
While he lay sound asleep in the shade, other people were wide awake, and passed to and fro, afoot, on horseback, and in all sorts of vehicles, along the sunny road by his bedchamber.
But because the alley will be long, and, in great heat of the year or day, you ought not to buy the shade in the garden, by going in the sun through the green, therefore you are, of either side the green, to plant a covert alley upon carpenter's work, about twelve foot in height, by which you may go in shade into the garden.
And, pushing up the shade, Mac stared at her with startled eyes, that soon blinked and fell before the one ray of light.
It was a pleasant walk, sometimes along the sea-beach and sometimes under the shade of the many beautiful trees.
And just think of having both the lamp and the shade for one day's work
Why--he was standing over the whey-tub to let off the whey, and the shade of his face came upon the wall behind, close to Izz, who was standing there filling a vat.
We are to walk about your gardens, and gather the strawberries ourselves, and sit under trees;and whatever else you may like to provide, it is to be all out of doorsa table spread in the shade, you know.
Under the shade of a wild rose sat the Queen and her little Maids of Honor, beside the silvery mushroom where the feast was spread.
ONE pleasant day in the latter part of eternity, as the Shades of all the great writers were reposing upon beds of asphodel and moly in the Elysian fields, each happy in hearing from the lips of the others nothing but copious quotation from his own works (for so Jove had kindly bedeviled their ears), there came in among them with triumphant mien a Shade whom none knew.