- For this version of the character before the Super Genesis Wave, see Shadow the Hedgehog (Pre-Super Genesis Wave).
Shadow the Hedgehog is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. He is a mobian hedgehog and the end result of Project: Shadow, an effort to create the Ultimate Lifeform. Created by Professor Gerald Robotnik in his efforts to find a cure to a rare disease known as NIDS that was affecting his granddaughter Maria, Shadow was gifted with the powers of the alien Black Doom through that entity's blood.
After the project was forcibly shut down by the government, Shadow was put into stasis for fifty years and then awakened by Dr. Eggman, Gerald's grandson, to help him take over the world. Shadow sought instead to destroy the world to avenge Maria, who had been killed during the raid onboard the Space Colony ARK, where they both had lived. However, after realizing he had been led astray by false memories, Shadow would join forces with Sonic the Hedgehog and his allies to save the world, afterwards becoming a hero who helped to save the planet on multiple more occasions.
Shadow is a mobian black hedgehog with red stripes on his quills, around the edges of his eyes and on his arms and legs. He has red eyes, a patch of white fur on his chest, and his muzzle is tan. He has six quills on his head, four of which curve upwards, and two that curve downwards, has two spines on his back and a small tail. For attire, Shadow wears white gloves with black cuffs and red tongues, and Rocket-skates which, like his gloves, have black cuffs and red tongues. On each of his wrists and ankles he wears a single Inhibitor Ring.
Shadow was created by Professor Gerald Robotnik fifty years ago aboard the Space Colony ARK, with the help of the Black Arms leader, Black Doom, who contributed his own blood to the "Ultimate Lifeform". However, the two creators envisioned two contrasting purposes for their creation: Gerald wanted Shadow to one day protect the world, whereas Black Doom was intent on having Shadow as his chief agent in conquering the world. Regardless, Shadow swore to Maria Robotnik, the professor's granddaughter of whom he was very close, to protect the planet she loved. Shadow's stay aboard the ARK ended when G.U.N. Soldiers raiding the space station, apprehending the professor and killing Maria, the death of whom Shadow witnessed moments before being ejected from the ARK. He was soon recovered and put into stasis somewhere on Prison Island.
Fifty years later, Shadow was awakened by his creator's grandson, Dr. Eggman, who had recently stumbled upon the professors diary. Filled with anger at the death of his close friend, Shadow sought revenge on the people of the world. Aided by the Doctor, who agreed to collaborate with the ultimate life form to achieve his own plan to take over the world, Shadow and his new master gathered Chaos Emeralds to be used for the powerful Eclipse Cannon. During his quest, he ran afoul of Sonic the Hedgehog, who had been blamed for Shadow's crime of stealing an Emerald from the bank. After a number of battles, Shadow saw his vengeance approaching fulfillment, but was moved to help save the planet he sought to destroy. Thought lost after he became Super Shadow and joined Super Sonic in battling the Finalhazard, Shadow was later found by his old ally Rouge the Bat in one of Eggman's bases. Awakened with no memory of his past, the black Hedgehog joined Rouge and unlikely new ally E-123 Omega to form Team Dark. This group fought alongside-and against-Team Sonic, Team Rose and Team Chaotix to battle the evil Metal Overlord, a monstrous form taken by Metal Sonic.
Soon, Shadow found himself dealing with the Black Arms invasion of the planet. As the Black Arms descended from the sky to invade, Black Doom appeared before Shadow and told him to bring him the Chaos Emeralds "as promised" before disappearing. Fueled with desire to seek out his past and find the truth behind Black Doom's words, Shadow sped off to obtain the emeralds. During his adventure, he provided some level of assistance to the invaders, which resulted in feelings of mistrust towards him from some citizens of the planet. After successfully gathering all of the emeralds, Shadow was confronted by Black Doom, who commanded him to give up the emeralds so that they can begin the 'Ritual Of Prosperity'. Sonic and the others, including Dr. Eggman, then arrived and told Shadow not to listen to the alien leader. After it was revealed that Black Doom wished to harvest humans as an energy source, he took the Chaos Emeralds from Shadow and used Chaos Control to warp the Black Comet down to the surface of the planet. Black Doom then explained that he helped Professor Gerald create Shadow but only in return for the Chaos Emeralds, which were needed to bring the comet down to the surface. This revealed that Shadow was actually created using Black Doom's DNA. As Eggman was in disbelief that his grandfather would betray the planet, Black Doom paralyzed everyone with a special gas and left them to be devoured by his alien offspring. As the end seemed near, Shadow suddenly heard Maria asking for help and he broke through the paralysis.
Black Doom fled, leaving behind Shadow, the only hope for the planet. Shadow caught up with Black Doom, only to suddenly be attacked by the alien's mind control. Black Doom told him that he could control him as they had the same blood running through their veins, but Shadow refused to believe it. Just then, the Chaotix activated a film showing a sane Professor Gerald Robotnik. In the video he referred to Shadow as his "son" and told him that he was the only hope for the planet. It was revealed that the only way to defeat the Black Arms was to destroy the Black Comet using the Eclipse Cannon, a powerful weapon built into the ARK. As the video ended, Maria stepped into the frame and gave Shadow the inspiration he needed to break through Black Doom's control. Black Doom escaped and prompted Shadow to use the Chaos Emeralds to become Super Shadow and fight the alien leader. Black Doom, now in his Devil Doom form, fought Shadow but was defeated. Shadow then used a super-powered Chaos Control to warp the Black Comet back into the planet's orbit and tear it apart with a blast from the Eclipse Cannon. Everyone cheered in joy as the alien threat was destroyed seemingly forever. On board the ARK, Shadow looked at a picture of Maria and Gerald before tossing it away, remarking "Goodbye forever... Shadow the Hedgehog".
In the events of a timeline that was later aborted, Shadow and the other members of Team Dark became involved in a series of time-traveling battles with a villain known as Mephiles. After possessing Shadow's shadow in order to take on a form resembling the Ultimate Lifeform, Mephiles led them on a chase that ended with a horrible revelation. In the future resulting from that timeline, Shadow had been blamed for the catastrophe that had befallen the planet, and hunted down by his own reprogrammed comrade Omega and imprisoned. However, Rouge vowed to stand by Shadow no matter what, and after working with Silver the Hedgehog and Sonic to defeat Mephiles' ultimate form of Solaris, these events were erased from history. Shadow and Rouge later took part in an Extreme Gear competition with a disguised Metal Sonic, and also became involved in Eggman's efforts to abuse the power of the Wisps. He and Sonic's other friends and allies were later captured by the Time Eater, and Shadow faced off with Sonic prior to the blue Hedgehog's defeat of their foe.
- Due to Eggman and Wily rewriting the history of Shadow's world, Shadow's history and memories were changed to be nearly identical to that of his game counterpart's.
Later, after Sonic's World had been reset by the second Genesis Wave, Shadow was somehow captured by Doctor Eggman and his new partner Dr. Wily, and was turned into the Roboticized Master, Shadow Man. He was sent with his fellow Roboticized Masters, Tails Man, Knuckles Man and Rose Woman to steal a Chaos Emerald from the Mega City Bank in Dr. Wily's world, where the group weas immediately confronted by Proto Man. However, Shadow Man's teammates quickly overpowered him before Mega Man joined the battle. After a brief skirmish-which featured Shadow Man being stunned by Mega Man's Mega Buster and the intervention of Metal Sonic-the group traveled to Sonic's World through a Warp Ring. Pursued by Mega Man, they split up, with Shadow Man returning to the Wily Egg with Knuckles Man and Rose Woman in the Skull Egg Zone. Their task of collecting the Chaos Emeralds completed, Shadow Man and the other Masters-which included Vector Man, Charmy Man, Espio Man, Silver Man, and Blaze Woman-were sent by the doctors to attack Sonic and Mega Man, who had joined forces.
The battle between the Robians and the heroes was interrupted as Proto Man broke away from the fight to locate Dr. Light deeper in the Skull Egg Zone. Shadow Man and four of his fellow Masters were sent to pursue him, leaving the Chaotix to deal with the other heroes. After the three were restored to normal, the evil doctors recalled Shadow Man from the hunt and decided to send him against the heroes, aided by another Shadow Man-one of Wily's Robot Masters. The pair proved a formidable challenge to the heroes, but Mega Man managed to restore Shadow, who out of rage at his humiliation destroyed his one-time partner. Still sore over his capture, he declined Sonic's invitation to either join them or meet up with Proto Man and the Chaotix, and teleported away using Chaos Control. In the process, he awoke Mega Man, Sonic, and Tails' memories of the unaltered realities, and also disrupted the Skull Egg Zone. Shortly thereafter, the restored Amy and Sonic set out to find him in order to have him join their alliance against the doctors.
In the interlude, Shadow met up with Omega, who had accompanied Rouge into the zone to look for him after his capture. Upon arriving at the heroes' meeting point beneath the halted Wily Egg, Shadow learned of Rouge's fate: she had been captured and transformed into the Roboticized Master Rouge Woman. Shadow joined the battle and was attacked by Napalm Man, only to be saved by Omega. Omega claimed that Rouge had been foolish to leave him behind to guard their return portal, but Shadow suggested he take the matter up with her once she was rescued. Sonic proved an irritant to Shadow as usual during the fight, claiming that he had "teleported off in a huff", complimenting him for finding Omega, and assuring him that they would rescue Rouge. Shadow ended up racing Top Man, only for him to be crushed as Sonic rammed Hard Man into him, much to Shadow's annoyance. Sonic then left him to contend with Clown Man, after which Shadow noticed Rouge Woman and expressed his wish that she hadn't come to find him. He was then set upon by Shade Man, but eventually met up with Proto Man and came up with a new strategy. Realizing that the battle with the Robot Masters was keeping them from getting at the doctors, they convinced Sonic and Mega Man to board the Wily Egg with Tails and Rush while the rest of them held off the army. The blue heroes reluctantly agreed, but as they were heading towards the Wily Egg, Mega Man's kidnapped creator Dr. Light was dropped from the battleship.
As Dr. Light fell to his intended death, Shadow used Chaos Control to teleport in to grab him and bring him to safety. Despite the fact that Rouge (who had been de-roboticized by Mega Man earlier) and Dr. Light were now fighting with them, the exhausted heroes (now joined by Tails and Rush after the former was injured aboard the Wily Egg) eventually found themselves surrounded by the Robot Masters. Luckily, help arrived in the form of the original Robot Masters from Light Labs, allowing Knuckles, Proto Man, Dr. Light, and Rush to board the Wily Egg and rescue Mega Man and Sonic, who had been captured by Eggman and Wily. Shadow then watched with the others as the blue heroes defeated the doctors and used Chaos Control to restore their worlds, but Dr. Eggman interrupted Sonic's attempt, resulting in their respective multiverse undergoing a massive change.
Shattered World Crisis
- Note: From the readers point of view, this picks up from where Shadow's original timeline ended.
Shortly after the beginning of the Shattered World Crisis, G.U.N. discovered that a second Black Comet, hosting a small colony of surviving Black Arms, was heading toward the planet. Team Dark was dispatched alongside Spider Troupe to plant a nuclear explosive on the new comet in order to destroy it. Along the way, Shadow found himself dealing the uncomfortable realities of his hive connection to the Black Arms and his previous actions for and against them. To make matters worse, after leaving his team to scout ahead, he found his Chaos Control abilities halted by a surprising new foe: Eclipse the Darkling, an elite Black Arms created to destroy him.
To Shadow's surprise, Eclipse attempted to win Shadow over to the Black Arms' cause, due to the fact that the alien race was now on the verge of extinction. Shadow refused to cooperate, and Eclipse attempted to win him over with a mental assault. However, Shadow's resistance only fell when Black Death, the new hive mind of the species, added his mental powers to those of Eclipse. The brainwashed Shadow was thus dispatched against his own teammates, but was fortunately brought out of it due to the efforts of Rouge and Omega. Thus freed, Shadow set out to bring an end to the Black Arms once and for all by challenging Black Death to single combat.
As Shadow and Black Death fought, the alien warlord attempted to win Shadow over again, claiming that he had no right to condemn their race to extinction. However, Shadow remained firm in his conviction of the Black Arms' evil, particularly given the threat they posed to the world's billions of inhabitants. Removing his Inhibitor Rings, he dealt the final blow, destroying Black Death with his Chaos Blast attack. With the success of his teammates and Spider Troupe, the New Black Comet was destroyed, and the G.U.N. force returned to the surface. However, their task was not yet finished, as Eclipse also survived the destruction of the comet by fleeing in an escape ship carrying the larva of the Dark Arms.
With G.U.N. having tracked the site of Eclipse's crash landing, Team Dark and Snively arrived on Angel Island to put an end to the alien. Landing in Launch Base Zone, they made their way through several of the island's regions in order to reach the Master Emerald. Upon encountering Knuckles the Echidna, Team Dark informed him of their situation, and asked him to guide them to find Eclipse's whereabouts. Knuckles reluctantly agreed, and Shadow stayed behind to guard the Master Emerald while Knuckles departed with his teammates. As he waited, he began seeing strange visions of the Black Arms. Shadow realized the culprit was Eclipse and demanded that he come out and fight. Eclipse complied and teleported in to attack from above.
Shadow and Eclipse battled each at last, though Eclipse attempted to convince Shadow to join his side, appealing to him to help him revive the Black Arms. Shadow coldly refused, to Eclipse's disappointment and rage. Shadow gained the upper hand in the fight, but Eclipse retaliated by using his monster transformation to overpower Shadow. Shadow was nearly defeated until he used the Master Emerald to override Eclipse's ability to block his Chaos Control. Shadow used this moment to unleash a barrage of attacks and used Chaos Blast to send Eclipse flying out of his monster form and into the horizon. Once Knuckles' group returned, Shadow informed them that he take the Master Emerald to a secure G.U.N. facility so that they could protect it from Eclipse. Ignoring Knuckles' objections, he ordered his teammates to escort Knuckles, Relic the Pika, and Fixit to their shuttle while he used Chaos Control to transport the Master Emerald to a G.U.N. base. His argument that Angel Island would be spared harm due to the current crisis failed to convince Knuckles, who attacked Shadow and demanded that he and his teammates leave.
Knuckles and Shadow soon became embroiled in a fight that took them across multiple Angel Island Zones, with Shadow finding his speed and Chaos power countered by Knuckles' strength and skill as a fighter. Unfortunately, their feud allowed Eclipse and his Dark Arms to attack Shrine Isle, injuring Shadow's teammates and seizing the Master Emerald. Upon sensing this occurrence and being chastised by Rouge, the pair put aside their fight in order to track down Eclipse. Knuckles' knowledge of the island allowed them to reach Launch Base at roughly the same time as Eclipse, who had been delayed by the efforts of the others. Knuckles and Shadow's combined might proved too much for Eclipse and his Dark Arms, though Rhygenta's Sonic Cannon prevented them from finishing the job. Knuckles then defied both Shadow and his nemesis by shattering the Emerald and scattering its fragments across the planet, ensuring that neither surviving representative of the Black Arms could claim it. Eclipse managed to escape, and Shadow and his teammates left the island, though Rouge was later instructed by Knuckles to inform the black Hedgehog that "He's a jerk."
Shadow and his teammates later watched the Chaos Emerald Championship on television, with Shadow showing little interest in the program while his teammates enjoyed the spectacle of Knuckles facing Bark the Polar Bear.
Team Dark later accompanied Commander Abraham Tower aboard the Letter of Gabriel, and were present when the Unity Engines of Sigma began fusing it with a building from Mega Man's World in the year 20XX. Regrettably, the process caused an explosion that seemingly killed the agents, Captain Amanda Tower, and everyone present, leaving behind only one of Shadow's Inhibitor Rings. Luckily, this event was later undone when the time paradox caused by Xander Payne made it so Sigma's conquest never happened, leaving Shadow with no memories of his death. When Sonic awoke from said paradox, Shadow got a call from him, who was relieved to see Shadow was alive.
Later, Shadow and his team arrived at Castle Acorn to ask King Acorn for permission to find the Master Emerald shards. There, he met Knuckles and Amy, and reluctantly teamed up with them to search for the shards. Arriving at the Mystic Cave Zone, the team of five split up, with Shadow paired with Knuckles. Soon, the duo came across Nixus, an echidna who claimed to be searching for the shards himself. While Knuckles went on with Nixus to reassemble the Master Emerald, Shadow headed to Amy and Rouge's rescue, both of whom were under attack by a crystallized version of Omega. After being informed by Amy that Nixus was actually Walter Naugus in disguise, the three set off and found Knuckles, only for Crystal Omega to suddenly attack them all. After much fighting and struggling, Shadow and his allies finally broke Walter's magical grip on Omega and were about to confront the vile wizard himself when he, having fully restored the Master Emerald, encased them in solid crystal. Delighted with himself, Walter fled with Amy and the Master Emerald in tow, although Shadow and his teammates were broken free by Knuckles, who had freed himself. The four caught up to Naugus and directly engaged him, while also keeping him away from the Master Emerald.
Eventually, Shadow and his team parted ways with Knuckles and Amy when the two returned the Master Emerald to Shrine Isle, successfully defeating Walter Naugus and having him imprisoned in the process, too.
Very much convinced of the belief that he is the Ultimate Lifeform, Shadow has been described by Rouge as an "arrogant so-and-so," and upon making a decision is slow to change his mind or let anyone stand in the way. Beneath his gruff exterior, however, lies a heart with a genuine desire to protect the world, though at times he seems convinced that his is the only voice that matters in accomplishing this task, which can make for stubborn behavior and poor decisions. Very sure of his powers and abilities, he has the tendency to go off on his own or challenge forces he hasn't yet become acquainted with, and this often gets him into trouble. However, he is not above receiving correction, particularly from his closest friends, when the situation calls for it.
Shadow was previously consumed with his past, specifically during a period of his life in which he had amnesia, and recognizes his kinship with the alien Black Arms. However, Shadow is also wise enough to recognize the Black Arms as a race of predators and monsters, and is determined to see them wiped out. While slow to smile or exude warmth, Shadow does care for his friends and allies, even with the knowledge that his longevity may allow him to outlive them all. Most often, however, he puts on an attitude of cool indifference or businesslike precision, very rarely showing his more vulnerable side.
Powers and abilities
In combat, Shadow is a formidable foe. He is capable of fighting through Black Arms hordes single-handed, simultaneously fighting both Rouge and E-123 Omega to a standstill, going toe-to-toe with Eclipse the Darkling and Sonic the Hedgehog, and battling on par with Knuckles the Echidna, while sustaining injuries from a previous fight.
Thanks to the natural speed bestowed unto him and his footwear, Shadow is capable of matching Sonic's natural speed, dodging bullets, run along the surface of water and activate devices at high speed. He can as well match many of Sonic's other abilities, including the Spin Dash.
Shadow possesses higher strength than most of his species, and is incredibly resilient, capable of taking a great deal of punishment but staying in a fight. As the Ultimate Lifeform, Shadow is also thought to be ageless and immune to disease. Being part Black Arms, Shadow can also tap into the Black Arms' hive-mind, though it makes him an easy prey for mind-control.
Shadow possesses an inherent connection to Chaos energy lacked by many of his allies, and can utilize Chaos Powers without the use of a Chaos Emerald or the Master Emerald, though using either heightens his abilities. Shadow possesses absolute mastery over his Chaos energies, enough to channel it through his fist to increase the force of his punches. His Chaos powers include the Chaos Spear which lets him shoot or grab arrow-shaped energy spears, Chaos Control which allows him to warp across space and slow down time, and Chaos Blast where he either creates an intense explosion or land punches with explosive power.
Shadow wears a pair of specialized shoes called rocket-skates. These footwear are the primary source of Shadow's speed, producing small jet streams that lets him hover-skate at speeds nearing Sonic's. Alternatively, Shadow can use his Rocket-skates to produce fire to attack opponents with, assist his jumps or achieve midair hovering.
Shadow wears two Inhibitor Rings on his wrists that limit the amount of power he uses during combat and other situations. By removing them, Shadow is able to use his full power, turning him into a nigh-unstoppable force.
If he removes his Inhibitor Rings, Shadow can transform into Chaos Shadow. In this form, Shadow becomes a dynamo of raw power with all of his abilities greatly enhanced and energy pouring out of him.
By harnessing all the power of the Chaos Emeralds, Shadow can transform into Super Shadow. In this form, Shadow is capable of flight, invulnerability, and nearly limitless Chaos power.
- Fixit the Robot
- Freedom Fighters
- Gerald Robotnik
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Maria Robotnik
- Nigel Acorn
- Relic the Pika
- Black Arms
- Eggman Empire
- Walter Naugus
- Shadow the Hedgehog is one of the few SEGA characters from the comics to have a biological family introduced in the video games.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Head writer Ian Flynn has revealed on Twitter that Shadow's measurements are the same as those of his game counterpart.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Sonic Adventure 2
- ↑ Sonic Heroes
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Shadow the Hedgehog
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Sonic Universe #59, "Shadow Fall Part One: Into the Unknown"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
- ↑ Sonic Free Riders
- ↑ Sonic Colors
- ↑ Sonic Generations
- ↑ Mega Man #24, "When Worlds Collide Part One: Kindred Spirits"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #51, "When Worlds Collide Part Two: Mistaken Identities"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #248, "When Worlds Collide Part Three: No Holds Barred"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #52, "When Worlds Collide Part Five: The Advance Guard"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #249, "When Worlds Collide Part Six: Friends or Foes"
- ↑ Mega Man #26, "When Worlds Collide Part Seven: Evening The Odds"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #53, "When Worlds Collide Part Eight: Liberation"
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #250, "When Worlds Collide Part Nine: All-Out War!"
- ↑ Mega Man #27, "When Worlds Collide Part Ten: No Holds Barred"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #54, "When Worlds Collide Part Eleven: Worst of the Worst"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #251, "When Worlds Collide Finale: Best of the Best"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #60, "Shadow Fall Part Two: A Shadow in the Dark"
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 Sonic Universe #61, "Shadow Fall Part Three: A Matter of Trust"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #62, "Shadow Fall Part Four: A Matter of Survival"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #67, "Total Eclipse Part One: Uninvited Guests"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #68, "Total Eclipse Part Two: Tipping Point"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #69, "Total Eclipse Part Three: Shadow Boxing"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #70, "Total Eclipse Final: Last Resort"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #269, "Champions Part Two: Climbing the Brackets"
- ↑ Mega Man #50, "Worlds Unite Part Four: Death and Destruction"
- ↑ Mega Man #52, "Worlds Unite Part Twelve: Last Rights"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #87, "Shattered Part One: Closing In"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #88, "Shattered Part Two: Lies & Half-Truths"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #89, "Shattered Part Three: Lost & Found"
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 Sonic Universe #90, "Shattered Finale: Restoration"