The Shade (Richard Swift) is a comic book character developed in the 1940s for National Comics. Debuted as a villain, the Shade was best known for fighting against two generations of superhero, most notably the Golden Age and Silver Age versions of the Flash. He eventually became a mentor for Jack Knight, the son of the Golden Age Starman Ted Knight, a character the Shade had also fought.
Though initially portrayed in the Golden Age comics as a thief with a cane that could manipulate shadows, the character was reinvented in 1994 as a morally ambiguous Victorian era immortal who gained the ability to manipulate shadows and his immortality from an unexplained mystical event. In 2009, Shade was ranked as IGN's 89th Greatest Villain of All Time.
The Shade was introduced in Flash Comics #33, as a villain for the original Golden Age Flash. He was portrayed as a thief who could manipulate the shadows with a magical cane. He fought both the Golden Age Flash and his Silver Age counterpart Barry Allen. He was a member of several supervillain teams, including the Injustice Society. Shade was one of three villains used for the first meeting of the two heroes in the famous Flash of Two Worlds story, which reintroduced the Golden Age Flash to the Silver Age.
Shade returned in print in 1986, as a member of the Wizard's new incarnation of the Injustice Society. The Shade's next appearance was in a flashback story in Secret Origins #50 (1989), which explained the story of the post-Crisis first meeting of Jay Garrick and Barry Allen.
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