|Citizen of the 19th Century with a criminal record.|
|Nation or Planet of Origin|
|Europe of the 19th Century.|
|Base of Operations|
Normal human using a device of unknown origin capable of projecting darkness and opening a portal to a pocket dimension known as the Dark Zone from which he can telepathically control demonic creatures.
Apparently immortal human of unknown origin capable of projecting darkness and opening a portal to a pocket dimension known as the Dark Zone from which he can telepathically control demonic creatures.
Ebony Cane:Walking stick capable of projecting darkness and opening a portal to a pocket dimension known as the Dark Zone from which the wielder can telepathically control demonic creatures.
Contact Lens or Eye Glasses: Eye-wear enabling the wearer of seeing in total darkness.
Note: According to current lore the Shade only used these devices to deceive his opponents into thinking he was a normal human.
Flash Vol. 1
Starman Vol. 2
|Flash Comics #35 (Sept. 1942)|
|Gardner Fox & E. E. Hibbard|
The origin of the criminal mastermind known as the Shade is unknown. His first major crime recorded using the powers darkness were during the second world war in Keystone City. Using a device of unknown origin he plunged the city into total darkness, not even electrical lights worked. Only the intervention of the first Flash restored light to the city.
He would return to menace the Flash on several occasions allied with the Fiddler and the Thinker, requiring the power of the original Flash and his successor Barry Allen. The two speedsters would defeat the trio of villains.
When the Shade returned from his defeat he had added new tricks to his repertoire. Using his cane he created vibrations which opened a pocket dimension inhabited with shadow creatures which would commit crimes at his command, adding to his reputation as the dark deadly Shade.
The true origin of Richard Swift is unknown before he appeared wandering the streets of London in early 1800's.
Taken in by the Ludlow family he recovered his health, but not his memory. Swift discovered his ability to control darkness, when the patriarch of the Ludlow family attempted to murder him, and he instinctively lashed out in defense. The surviving members of the Ludlow family would pursue him for generations to come.
Desiring excitement and a purpose Swift began a tradition of challenging the world's superheroes starting with the first Flash. Although his actions would not reveal this fact, Swift is not truly evil, and as been known to show a true sense of justice proving that there are many grays to the man called the Shade.