Shadow the Hedgehog is the end result of Project Shadow, a project to create the Ultimate Lifeform. Created by Professor Gerald 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 50 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 by the raid on Space Colony ARK where they had both lived. However, Sonic the Hedgehog and Rouge the Bat were able to convince Shadow that Maria would not have wanted such a result, and Shadow joined forces with Sonic to save the planet. Saved by aliens, he would return to join with Sonic and others against the evil Xorda. He would eventually rejoin Eggman, only to turn against him and join the special forces of the United Federation after learning the true purpose Gerald created him for. He exists in both the Pre-and Post-Super Genesis Wave timeline.
History (Pre-Super Genesis Wave)
50 Years Ago
Shadow was created by Professor Gerald as part of Project Shadow, Gerald hoping that through Shadow he could find a cure for his granddaughter Maria's Neuro-Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Failing to develop a successful Ultimate Lifeform on his own, he turned to Black Doom, leader of the Black Arms alien species. Using Doom's blood, he was able to complete his process and create Shadow, at the same time granting Shadow some measure of Doom's immense powers. However, when the experiment failed to produce Maria's cure and Gerald learned of Black Doom's malicious intentions for Mobius, Shadow was modified so that when the Black Arms eventually returned, he would be waiting to defend Mobius from them. (StH: #98, #171)
However, tragedy struck soon afterwards, as a government task force raided Space Colony ARK, the space station where Shadow was created and lived with Maria and Gerald. With Maria's death and Gerald's arrest, Shadow was left bitter and angry. Reuniting with Gerald by some means, he was put into stasis and given a new purpose: to avenge Maria's death by destroying the inhabitants of Mobius. (StH: #98, CSE)
Awakening and "Death"
When Shadow was awakened from stasis 50 years later, it was by Gerald's grandson, Dr. Eggman. Coveting Shadow's power so that he could take over the world, Eggman enlisted Shadow's aid in acquiring the Chaos Emerals. Shadow proceeded to steal Station Square's Chaos Emerald, after facing off against the city's protector Silver Sonic II. Due to his similar appearance to Sonic, Station Square's army believed the theft to have been Sonic the Hedgehog, and thus sent their military after him instead. (StH: #98)
Shadow was later confronted by Sonic on Prison Island during his mission to steal six Chaos Emeralds with the assistance of Rouge the Bat. While he and Sonic fought in the forest, Eggman informed Shadow that he had set charges on the island and it was about to explode. Rouge then called in saying that she was trapped in the vault where the Chaos Emeralds where being held. Eggman merely told Shadow to meet him at the rendezvous point after the explosion, saying that they would dig the emeralds out of the ashes later. Sonic, overhearing this, proposed a temporary truce with Shadow in order to save Rouge. The two were successful in finding Rouge - with the emeralds - and Shadow teleported them all off of the island to Eggman's pyramid base using Chaos Control. Shadow then teleported away with the emeralds, leaving the two in the desert. Sonic and Rouge, realizing the danger of Eggman taking the emeralds aboard the ARK, broke into the base and stole a shuttle. Sonic eventually confronted Shadow, who planned to use the emeralds to activate the Eclipse Cannon as per Gerald's revenge.
Just after Shadow landed a Chaos Spear attack on Sonic, Rouge informed him via intercom that she'd found a video she believed Shadow needed to see. Thanks to the video, Shadow realized that he had been misled by false memories, and that Maria would have not wanted the planet destroyed. Shadow and Sonic went to recover the emeralds and found them in a shrine within the ARK; however, they were guarded by the failed Ultimate Life-form Prototype, which would not allow Gerald's plans to go astray. The monster merged itself with the ARK's Eclipse Cannon using Chaos Control in order to crash the entire structure into the planet itself; in response, the two hedgehogs used the emeralds to transform into Super Sonic and Super Shadow. After they defeated the beast, they used Chaos Control to send the ARK back into orbit; Shadow, however, was so exhausted that he began to fall into space, seemingly lost. (SU: #2, CSE)
Return and Interactions With the Freedom Fighters
Shadow was believed to have been killed, though in actuality he was saved by the benevolent Bem as they investigated Mobius from orbit. Upon awakening, the Bem transformed Shadow into his super form to combat the arriving Xorda warship. Despite his powers, the Xorda ship managed to shoot down the Ultimate Lifeform, hurling him into Mobius' gravitation pull. After landing on the planet's surface, Shadow was discovered by the Knothole Freedom Fighters and formed a temporary alliance with them. Together, they learned that the Xorda were intent on destroying Mobius for crimes committed by its inhabitants made back when the planet was known as Earth. Together with a veritable army of other Mobians, Shadow charged the Xorda Quantum Dial weapon, seeking to destroy it before it wiped out Mobius. Thanks to the efforts of Sonic, who seemingly imitated Shadow in sacrificing his life, the weapon was destroyed. (StH: #124, #125)
Shadow spent the time of Sonic's absence searching for meaning in his life (although Bunnie Rabbot mentioned that he spent little time with the Freedom Fighters), eventually confronting Dr. Eggman with the intention of killing him. Eggman escaped, and Shadow then found himself drawn to Hope Kintobor, Eggman's niece and a girl who reminded Shadow strangely of Maria. While watching over her, Shadow was abducted by Locke, the father of Knuckles the Echidna, who believed that Shadow's strange nature (somehow alive despite being neither animal, vegetable, or mineral) could somehow help him to locate his missing family, the members of the Brotherhood of Guardians. Not taking kindly to Locke's interrogations, then suffering from a flashback, Shadow attacked him, only to be halted in his vengeance by Hope, who had been pulled along as Locke teleported Shadow to a hidden location. (StH: #132, #133, #145)
Wandering once more, Shadow found a hidden laboratory that had existed since before the Xorda attack on Earth, meeting a robot named Isaac with detailed knowledge of Mobius' history. The two eventually became involved in a three way battle with Sonic and a new Metal Sonic built by Dr. Eggman. When the trio discovered that the base harbored an ancient and powerful missile, Shadow aided Sonic in preventing the missile from launching. Shadow assisted in getting Sonic to safety after the latter's ankle was wounded, then disappeared once again. (StH: #146, #147, #148, #149)
Allegiance with Eggman
With the battle ended, Shadow went out on his own once more, eventually locating Gerald's lost diary. However, Shadow was once again engaged by Metal Sonic, the two being rendered unconscious during the ensuing battle and brought back to Eggman by Mecha. Once in Eggman's presence, the mad-scientist was able to convince Shadow to work with him by informing Shadow that Maria was his half-sister. (StH: #157, #158)
When A.D.A.M. secretly seized control of Knothole's Metal Sonic Troopers and directed them to attack first Eggman and then their creators, Shadow joined Sonic, the Freedom Fighters, and the Chaotix in resisting the enemy. Hope was harmed during this conflict as she lived in Knothole, and Shadow became motivated by fury over her coming to harm. Using his link to the Chaos Force, he defeated the Troopers with Chaos Control, intriguing Knuckles in the process. Grateful for Sonic helping Hope, Shadow chose not to antagonize him but instead departed, returning to Eggman. (StH: #157, #158, #159)
He would later return on Sonic's birthday to express his thanks, joining in battle with him against Scourge the Hedgehog and Croctobot. The latter, another servant of Eggman, threatened to tell Eggman of Shadow's treachery, but all three Hedgehogs put aside their rivalry to destroy the robot together. Scourge angered Shadow by attacking him, then found that Shadow was considerably more aggressive than Sonic or his usual allies, and fled from the enraged hedgehog. Shadow pursued them, but they escaped with the assistance of an Echidna mad scientist named Dr. Finitevus. (StH: #160, #161)
A.D.A.M. would later divert Shadow's attention by releasing Mammoth Mogul and Ixis Naugus, both of them recently taken prisoner by Eggman in the Egg Grape Chamber, and forcing Eggman to send Shadow after them. Shadow was then lured into a trap by A.D.A.M., who used his ability to sense and absorb Chaos energies in conjunction with Tails' power as the 'Chosen One', to summon all the Chaos Emeralds from across the universe to Mobius, agonizingly forcing both into their Super forms in the process. While Sonic faced A.D.A.M., Shadow (in Super form) joined with Turbo Tails to send all the gathered Chaos Emeralds to the Zone of Silence, getting them out of reach of both A.D.A.M. and Eggman. (StH: #168, #169) This resulted in all Chaos Emeralds being merged by the panda-god Feist.
Shadow would then depart with Eggman, but soon their alliance would end. After taking Professor Gerald's diary from Eggman and yanking out his nephew Snively's hairs in the process, Shadow sought the Freedom Fighters for help deciphering it, only to have it damaged on his way to Knothole. Taken into the disk by NICOLE, the artificial intelligence member of the Freedom Fighters, Shadow made contact with virtual duplicates of Gerald and Maria and learned of his purpose in fighting Black Doom. Afterwards, Shadow went his own way, leaving Eggman behind to prepare for his eventual destiny. (StH: #171)
Agent of G.U.N.
Not long after his desertion of Eggman, Shadow joined the special forces the United Federation along with Rouge the Bat. Responding to a distress call from New Mobotropolis, the city to which the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Acorn relocated after Knothole was destroyed. They had come under assault from Enerjak, a brainwashed Knuckles with the power of the Master Emerald infused within him by Dr. Finitevus. With his typical confidence, Shadow confronted Enerjak in a battle of Chaos powers, but soon realized that he had met his match. Removing his inhibitor rings to boost his power, he attacked Enerjak with increased strength, but soon burned himself out without much success against the super-powered Echidna. Shadow and the rest of the people of New Mobotropolis were only saved by the arrival of the Egg Fleet, which hit Enerjak with teleportation beams to send him to New Megaopolis to have his power drained. Shadow, his obligation fulfilled, departed to return to the United Federation. (StH: #182, CSE)
Mobius and Beyond
In an attempt to find the Special Zone using Chaos Control, Shadow accidentally transported himself to Moebius, where he discovered Sonic was fighting Scourge the Hedgehog. When Sonic asked if Shadow wanted to help him beat up Scourge, Shadow replied "Sure". However, the fight was interrupted yet again by the arrival of Metal Sonic, Silver the Hedgehog, Rob O' the Hedge, Amy Rose and finally Rosy the Rascal. (StH: #195)
Silver briefly incapacitated them all with his psychokinesis, attempting to find out which one of them was Sonic, before they were all attacked by Scourge. Scourge used the Anarchy Beryl to transform into a stronger form, Super Scourge, in which form he was able to defeat the others, including Shadow. (StH: #195, #196)
Shadow was later transported to another location along with Metal Sonic when he tried to override his zone teleporter engine with Chaos Control. Shadow and Metal Sonic arrived in an alternate universe (the Sonic X universe, as seen in issue 40 the Sonic X comic), where the local version of Sonic went on to explain the differences between their worlds, such as how their version of Shadow was dead. (Although it was later revealed that Eggman had in fact rescued the Sonic X version of Shadow.) After being offered a chance to remain in this universe, Shadow declined as he felt it was his duty to defend his own world. Following this he teleported himself and Metal Sonic away once again. (StH: #196, SX: #40, SU: #4, CSE)
The two reappeared in Blaze the Cat's universe, floating above an ocean. Shadow tried to convince Metal Sonic to no longer obey Dr. Eggman, but Metal Sonic completely ignored Shadow's words and kicked him into the water before flying off to look for the zone's version of Eggman. Shadow struggled to keep himself from drowning until he was rescued by Blaze the Cat and Marine the Raccoon, who happened to be passing aboard the Ocean Tornado. On returning to Southern Island, they discovered that Metal Sonic was attacking the inhabitants in a desperate attempt to find that world's Doctor Eggman. After a short battle and another attempt by Shadow to reason with it, Metal Sonic was destroyed by a blast from the Ocean Tornado's cannon. (SU: #1)
Still, with no way to travel through the universes, Shadow appeared to be stranded. He was then given the green Chaos Emerald by Blaze, which was given to her by Sonic to help her find the Sol Emeralds. With the Emerald, Shadow used Chaos Control to return to G.U.N. Headquarters on Mobius Prime, where Hope Kintobor and Commander Abraham Tower were waiting. Shadow delivered the Emerald, and was informed he had a new mission. (SU: #1)
The Doom Laser and Search for Gamma
Later, he was deployed along with Rouge to sabotage Eggman's base. The main mission was to deactivate a turret that was modified from an observatory, otherwise it would destroy not only the Freedom Fighters, it would eviscerate half the Eggdome. Instead of moving on directly, he contacted Sonic after the battle from #198, asking him to join the mission. Sonic agreed, and followed the duo to the target. Sonic wondered why Eggman would go overkill, with Shadow answering that he must have been losing his sanity. After accidentally turning the laser on, Shadow released his inhibitor rings and destroyed the gun, he voiced his encouragement towards Sonic and his mission, saying that "This is YOUR fight", at the same time, thanking Sonic for saving his life, and much more. After Sonic ran off, Rouge remarked that Shadow's relationship with Sonic was more mutual now, to which Shadow replies, "He has my respect, that's all." Rouge shrugged and said sarcastically, "Of course. Far too scandalous for you two to be friends." (SU: #2)The next day, Shadow took on a mission from G.U.N to recruit E-102 Gamma. Dr Eggman sent out E-123 Omega to destroy Gamma. During the battle, Shadow, launched away by Omega's cannon, left the robots by themselves. Gamma saw Omega as a worthy agent for G.U.N instead of himself, so he transferred a scan to Omega to get rid of his loyalty to Dr Eggman before he was destroyed. When Shadow arrived on the scene, Omega has been given the feelings that Gamma had. Shadow provided Omega a place in G.U.N to discover his true purpose. (SU: #3)
Member of Team Dark
Later, Shadow and Rouge journeyed to the Special Zone with Omega to retrieve another Chaos Emerald but were no match for the challenge Feist had given them. Upset at failing his mission, Shadow was comforted by Hope and headed back to the Special Zone with Rouge and Omega as Team Dark. Failing the next task that Feist had given him, Shadow chose plan B and ordered Omega to attack Feist while Rouge and Shadow retrieved the Chaos Emerald. Teleporting back to G.U.N. headquarters, Shadow gave the Chaos Emerald to the commander. (SU: #4)
Sol SearchingShadow and Omega were later called upon to assist their teammate, Rouge, in locating the source of a mysterious energy reading; namely, a Sol Emerald. The emerald was difficult to track due to irregularities in their readings and Rouge eventually stumbled across Amy, Cream, Blaze the Cat and NICOLE in her handheld form. The two power members of Team Dark then tailed Rouge as she earned the trust of the others searching for the Sol Emerald, ready to assist when she needed back-up. That moment came right after Rouge stole the Sol Emerald and got herself cornered by Blaze. Omega and Shadow blasted through rock to land behind Rouge, who delivered a warning to them to stay back or else the robot and hedgehog would strike. (SU: #21)
Despite Rouge's threats, Blaze coldly addressed Shadow, saying he should've known that she needed the Sol Emeralds and asking him if this was how he would repay her generosity (as, when they had previously met, she had given him a Chaos Emerald in order to return home). To the surprise of his team, Shadow hesitated and averted his eyes; however, he eventually replied, "That was then. This is now." Rouge then ordered Omega to open fire, scattering their opposition, but Blaze created a wall of flame, rendering the barrage completely ineffective. Rouge and Omega were dumbfounded by this; Shadow, incredulous, asked Rouge if she had lost her mind. Rouge insisted she only intended for Omega to scare the girls rather than hurt them; no one noticed Blaze concentrating, and thus Shadow and Rouge were caught by surprise when the cat enveloped Omega in a spiral of flame. When the Sol Emerald was finally recovered (after a rather rougeful collection of characters tried to steal it) Rouge again demanded Blaze hand over the Sol. Shadow made up his mind and stepped in, after previous urging from Amy to make the right choice, and forced her to leave the Sol with Blaze. Grossly outnumbered, Rouge agreed asking Shadow how he'd have to explain this to the Commander, but Shadow simply told Rouge she'll think of something. (SU: #22, #23, #24)
Trouble on Two Worlds
- Due to Eggman and Wily rewriting the history of Sonic's world, Shadow's history and memories were changed to be nearly identical to that of his game counterpart's.
Some time later, after Mobius 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. The group were immediately confronted by Proto Man, but 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 Mobius 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. (WC: #1, #2, #3)
Later, Shadow Man and the other Roboticized Masters battled Sonic and Mega Man in a tournament-style event. After the Chaotix were returned to normal, this Shadow Man teamed up with another Shadow Man to ambush the heroes. When the two robots ambushed Sonic and Mega Man, this Shadow Man used his Chaos Cannon to trap Sonic in a stasis bubble. In order to beat him, Mega Man used Espio Man's Chroma Camo to sneak up on him, and used Tails Man's Tail Wind to stun him, and used the Sonic Shot to turn him back to normal. After quickly destroying the other Shadow Man, he teleported back to GUN. He was later found by Sonic and Amy, and picked up Omega so they could help fight the Robot Masters. (WC: #5, #6, #7, #8, #9)
During the fight, when Shadow was dealing with Napalm Man, Omega took care of the Robot Master for Shadow, and both of the Team Dark members realized Rouge had been roboticized. Later, Shadow and Top Man were racing while Sonic single-handedly took down Hard Man, Spark Man, and Bright Man, which helped Shadow take down Top Man. Shadow yelled at Sonic that he didn't need his help, but Sonic stated that he just liked to steal his fun. He left Shadow and Clown Man to fight, though. After beating Clown Man, Shadow defeated Shade Man. Later, Shadow and Proto Man told Sonic and Mega Man to go to the Wily Egg and save Dr. Light and leave their friends to battle their enemies. (WC: #9)
When Dr. Light fell to his intended death, Shadow used Chaos Control to teleport in to grab him and bring him to safety. (WC: #10) 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. However, Eggman attacked Sonic in the process, resulting in something shattering happening to Mobius...
History (Post-Super Genesis Wave)
Taking on a New Black Comet
- From a reader's point of view, everything from here on takes place after the end of the original Pre-Super Genesis Wave timeline.
Shadow is arrogant, aloof, doesn't take kindly to others interfering in his business, and maintains a very small circle of close companions. He lacks many of Sonic's inhibitions, being perfectly willing to eliminate a foe rather than merely subduing them. However, he maintains a strong sense of honour, based on the idea that he would rather prove himself strong by defeating an enemy fair and square, rather than appearing weak through using low techniques. At times he has behaved with almost a mercenary attitude, joining forces with others only to further his own goals, but in the end he usually ends up picking the side of moral right. When Shadow has a goal, he sticks to it without hesitation, not resting until it is fulfilled.
Shadow is an extremely conflicted individual, often struggling with duty and self-gain verses moral right. Shadow has made it a personal mission to reform other living weapons such as himself, understanding their desire for isolation but helping them see the benefits of working with GUN (which will in time help them evolve their personalities for working towards good causes). He can be very hard on himself when he fails; in the Universe comics he reaches a point of self-doubt when he fails to save E-102 Gamma and collect a Chaos Emerald from the Special Zone, where his powers do not work.
In one alternate future, Shadow's morality gave way to possible madness. Turning Maria into a symbol of worship and ruling with an iron fist, he tried ruling his kingdom justly at first, but the continued violence of society despite his best efforts drove him to take drastic measures. However, since the Genesis Wave hit, many of the factors present in this 'bad future' no longer exist, making it likely that this will not happen.
Powers and Abilities
Possessing speed equal to Sonic (with the use of his rocket shoes), Shadow also commands Chaos powers through a direct link to the Chaos Force, which unlike that of the Brotherhood of Guardians doesn't require tapping into the energies of the Master Emerald. With a Chaos Emerald, Shadow can utilize these powers in a variety of ways, most commonly in the form of Chaos Control, and he doesn't need an Emerald for offensive and defensive variants of Chaos Control, specifically Chaos Spear and Chaos Blast. Shadow has also shown to have superhuman strength, like Sonic and Knuckles, by punching laser guns and robots, even being able to lift objects and people several times his weight. Despite his power, Shadow has his limits, and does not possess the same level of energy Knuckles once wielded. He can temporarily increase his powers by removing his Inhibitor Rings, to a level of power greater than that of even Scourge's, but after the effects wear off he is left weakened. His rocket shoes also allow him to hover for an undetermined amount of time. In SU#59, Shadow has an unknown ability to sense the location of the black aliens, because of his loose connection by Black Arms DNA.
- The picture of Shadow on the cover of the issue titled, "Shadow Returns" looks similar to one of his promotional images for the game Shadow the Hedgehog, except the eyes aren't as wide, and he doesn't have his handgun.
- In some issues, the fur on his chest was miscolored yellow.
- In Sonic Universe #4, Shadow is the one who starts up Team Dark but in Sonic Heroes, Rouge starts it up.
- Shadow and Omega are sparring partners, as shown in Sonic Universe Arc 1.
- Shadow is so far, the only one of the four Hedgehogs from the games who is not a member of any Freedom Fighter groups.
- In the Archie comics, Shadow wears Rocket Skates but in the game franchise, Shadow wears Hover Shoes.