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This character exists primarily or exclusively within the IDW Publishing continuity.
Information in this article may not be canonical to the storyline of the games or any other Sonic continuity.

Cowards run. I win.

— Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog #19

Shadow the Hedgehog is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing. He is an anthropomorphic hedgehog who is regarded as the "Ultimate Lifeform."[2] He is also the arch-rival of Sonic the Hedgehog.


Shadow the Hedgehog, from Sonic the Hedgehog #33.

Shadow is a black-furred anthropomorphic hedgehog. He has red eyes, a patch of white fur on his chest, a black nose, a tan muzzle, and small, triangular ears with tan canals. He also has six quills on his head, four of which curve upwards while the other two curve downwards, two spines on his back, and a short, pointy tail. He has red stripes on each of his head quills, around the edges of his eyes, and on his arms and legs.

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. Shadow also wears golden rings, one on each of his wrists and ankles.



In the past, Shadow once tried to destroy Sonic, as well as the entire planet, but was eventually reformed. This led to Shadow teaming up with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Rouge, and even Dr. Eggman himself to save the world. After that, he played a part in the war against the invading Black Arms. Eventually, Shadow was forgiven for his misdeeds and now actively seeks to protect the world.[5]

Shortly before the Eggman War, Shadow encountered and defeated the Jackal Squad.[6]

After Eggman went missing in the aftermath of the Eggman War between the Resistance and the Eggman Empire, Shadow began searching for the doctor to eliminate him before he could launch a counterattack. Eventually, Rouge "helped" Shadow by leading him to Eggman.[5]

The Fate of Dr. Eggman

Shadow ignores Sonic's claims about the reformed Eggman, from Sonic the Hedgehog #6.

Approximately a month after the Eggman War, Shadow and Rouge found Dr. Eggman, who had lost his memory and taken up the identity as "Mr. Tinker," in Windmill Village, dealing and becoming friendly with Sonic and the Chaotix. After Tinker mentioned Eggman Land however, Shadow revealed his and Rouge's presence and got ready to destroy the doctor.[7]

Although Sonic tried telling Shadow that Eggman's amnesia was legitimate and that he was now a good man that did not deserve the punishment Shadow had planned, Shadow did not care, as he believed the doctor was still highly dangerous even without his memory. Eventually, their disagreement came to blows. While they raced around and fought however, Sonic convinced Shadow that Eggman was not beyond forgiveness, just like Shadow was in spite of his past attempt to destroy the world. As Shadow began discussing with Sonic about what to do with Eggman though, he realized that Sonic had intentionally led him away. Returning to the village and slipping past the Chaotix, Shadow assured Rouge that he had talked it over with Sonic when she tried getting in-between him and Eggman. As such, instead of eliminating Tinker, Shadow had him show him Eggman Land, which turned out to be a small amusement park he had made for children. Convinced that Eggman was now a good man who deserved to be forgiven and live in peace, Shadow took his leave with Rouge.[5]

Battle For Angel Island

Eventually, Shadow was called to Resistance HQ. There, he and the Resistance's other allies were informed that the Resistance needed their help to liberate Angel Island, which had been conquered by Neo Metal Sonic and turned into a flying fortress. To make matters worse, Neo had also secured the Master Emerald for himself on the island. Eventually, Shadow was assigned to help two of the assembled group's factions with breaking the Egg Fleet's control over Angel Island while Sonic and Knuckles confronted Neo.[8]

While heading for Angel Island in a Resistance Battleship, Rouge would inquire Shadow about why he went along with this team-up, to which Shadow replied that he was "here for [his] own reasons". As soon as their ship approached Angel Island however, the Egg Fleet shot it down. By the time everyone had evacuated the ship and made it to Angel Island though, Shadow had already left the group to do his own thing.[8] In truth, Shadow had gone in search of the greatest threat on the island: Neo Metal Sonic.[1]

Shadow defeating Super Neo Metal Sonic, from Sonic the Hedgehog #10.

Appearing inside Neo Metal Sonic's stronghold on Angel Island where Super Neo Metal Sonic had Sonic and Knuckles at his mercy, Shadow attacked Super Neo Metal Sonic by stabbing a Chaos Spear through his torso, forcing him to revert back to his previous form. Shadow then laid the smackdown on Neo Metal Sonic until he was held back by Sonic, who was concerned that Neo Metal Sonic would copy his bio-data. It was then that Neo Metal Sonic revealed that Eggman had removed the limitation that kept him from achieving his final form. To achieve his full power, all he needed was Sonic and Shadow's bio-data in addition to the Master Emerald's power. As Neo Metal Sonic grew in power, Shadow and Knuckles tried in vain to attack him. However, Shadow was forced to evacuate the stronghold along with Sonic and Knuckles once the structure started to fold into Neo Metal Sonic. The ground soon after began to rumble and Knuckles noted that the Master Emerald had been cut off from Angel Island―without its power, the island would fall. Meanwhile, Neo Metal Sonic grew into a form more monstrous than the last―dubbing it Master Overlord―and demanded that Sonic bowed to him.[1]

After tangling briefly with Master Overlord, Shadow, Sonic and Knuckles got grabbed and flown away by the giant robot, who wanted them to see him destroy their allies, who were onboard an Egg Fleet battleship. It was then that Sonic came up with a plan: if they could drive Master Overlord closer to Angel Island and rip the Master Emerald out of him, they could deprive the robot of his power source and save the island. When the trio finally escaped Master Overlord's grasp, Shadow and Sonic focused on attacking Master Overlord's wings while Knuckles went for the Master Emerald. Soon after, Shadow was joined in his efforts by the rest of his allies, and together they forced Master Overlord back towards Angel Island. During the battle, Shadow got shaken off Master Overlord, but was rescued by Silver with his psychokinesis. Knuckles subsequently got the Master Emerald away from Master Overlord and brought it back to Angel Island, returning the island to the sky while Master Overlord powered down to normal. With the battle over, Shadow was brought down on Angel Island where he promptly took his leave.[9]

Crisis City

Shadow as a Zombot, from Sonic the Hedgehog #19.

When Dr. Eggman (who had regained his memories and gone back to his old ways) headed towards Sunset City in his Faceship to create a Zombot outbreak in the city, Shadow began heading there to intercept Eggman with the aid of his team.[10] When a Zombot outbreak occurred in the city anyway, Shadow took it upon himself to find a transport for the uninfected citizens. Shadow eventually arrived at the Grand Gold Flicky Hotel with a truck but not before ramming several Zombots on the east side out of the way for Sonic and Omega. Shadow soon after entered an argument with Sonic, who had arrived to help with the evacuation after getting infected with the Metal Virus, and reminded him that if he had eliminated Eggman, the Metal Virus would not be a problem for them in the first place. Before Sonic took off to burn off his infection by running, Shadow told him that he deserved to be infected. As he left, Sonic also told Shadow that he should be able to run his infection into remission if he got infected. While Shadow was aware of this, he noted that he was not going to run away. Shadow then got Omega to safeguard the truck while Rouge oversaw evacuation of the uninfected citizens. In the meantime, Shadow began fighting the Zombots, intending to eliminate them. While fighting the Zombots, Shadow claimed that, as the Ultimate Lifeform, he could not get infected by the Metal Virus. After fighting the Zombots for a while though, Shadow was surprised to see that the Metal Virus had infected him too. Ignoring Rouge's request to fall back, Shadow opted to continue fighting the Zombots. Unfortunately, Shadow was soon overwhelmed by the sheer number of Zombots, which completed his transformation into a Zombot. When Sonic later arrived on the scene once again, the zombified Shadow pushed him back against the truck.[3]

Shadow fiercely fought Sonic until the latter kicked him back into the crowd of Zombots. Once Shadow spotted Rouge taking off in the truck, he chased after it. As Shadow in his Zombot form did not know how to properly use his rocket skates, Sonic easily caught up to his rival. Shadow threw him back and attempted to lunge at him. He was instead grabbed by Omega and slammed into the ground. When Shadow got up, he climbed onto Omega and ripped his chest open. Sonic Spin Attacked Shadow and tried to reason to him but to no avail. Shadow continued to fight Sonic back until he and the Zombots were lifted into the air by Silver's psychokinesis. After Silver released them, Shadow immediately lunged at Silver. The hedgehog narrowly dodged his attack and escaped with Tails, leaving Shadow in Sunset City.[11]

All or Nothing

Knuckles fights Shadow but is stopped, from Sonic the Hedgehog #29.

After the Deadly Six had taken over Eggman's plans, Zavok used his powers to lead a large horde of Zombots to Angel Island, which included Shadow. After the Faceship was effectively destroyed by Rouge, Zavok became Giant Zavok to attack the survivors on Angel Island. From this, he grabbed a handful of Zombots, including Shadow, and threw them onto the island's surface to face the survivors there. Knuckles directly confronted the Zombot Shadow by punching him. Unfazed, Shadow retaliated by hitting him back. Knuckles proceeded to punch Shadow into the ground until the echidna fully succumbed to his infection and became a Zombot himself. Shadow and Knuckles then turned to Tails, who was being infected by Cheese and Chocola. Eventually, with the combined efforts of Super Sonic and Super Silver, they were able to warp the entirety of the Metal Virus away from the world and to the sun. This act turned both Shadow and Knuckles back to normal. The duo acknowledged each other before both angrily turning to Rouge, who wanted to selfishly spend her final moments lying down on the Master Emerald before being inevitably infected.[12][13][14]

Out of the Blue

Shadow went down to the surface with the others but did not help them in securing Zavok, who wanted to wreak more havoc. Later on, when Metal Sonic critically injured Gemerl in order to retrieve Orbot and Cubot, Shadow quickly took off after him. Eggman was attempting to make his getaway via a Rescue Shuttle but landed on a cliff. As Shadow skated up the cliff to get closer, Metal Sonic hits him back down with an elbow. The two struggled with each other, prompting Shadow to deliver a strike with the fire from his rocket skates. Metal Sonic was slightly burned by this but still charged at Shadow. The hedgehog did the same and hit the robot with a Spin Attack. Metal Sonic locked in on Shadow approaching him again and countered his Spin Attacks with his own Spin Attacks. Shadow attempted one more Spin Attack against Metal Sonic, only for the robot to charge up and use the Ring Spark Field to create a burst of energy and push Shadow back down. Shadow lay down in the debris of trees but quickly came to and saw the Rescue Shuttle taking off again. The hedgehog tried to catch up to the ship but failed to reach it in time, much to his dismay.[15] Some time later, Shadow went to Forest Hill alone. He was later found by Rouge, who told him that he was hard to track. She told him that the Deadly Six were laying low and not causing much trouble. Additionally, she could not find Sonic or Omega anywhere. Rouge questioned if Shadow was actually listening, to which he stated that he was. She then asked him why he was brooding more. Thinking to himself, Shadow said that he believed that Sonic telling him to run was cowardice, not a warning. His mistake took him out of the fight and he was in disbelief at himself, the Ultimate Lifeform, miscalculating like that. When Rouge said that if he could not talk about it she would leave it be, Shadow turned to her and said that he owed Sonic, but now he was gone and that was all to it. Rouge smirked and touched Shadow's shoulder. As she began to leave, she told Shadow of the party that was going to be hosted at Spiral Hill Village that night but he passed on it.[16]

Chao Races and Badnik Bases

Shadow is knocked off the White Park Grand Chateau, from Sonic the Hedgehog #33.

Having heard a rumor about a bot-trader in White Park Zone that could have a connection to Eggman, Shadow went there. On the road, he came across Amy, Rouge, Cream, Cheese and Gemerl all of whom had to swerve off the road in order to avoid running into him. Amy tried to convince Shadow to stay with them because they wanted to rebuild Omega, but Shadow declined and left. Later on, on the roof of White Park Grand Chateau, Shadow decided that he had hit a dead end. He also considered for a moment to help out Amy and Rouge. Suddenly though, he saw a hooded figure running away across the roof. Shadow chased after the figure, thinking that person could be working for Eggman. For a moment though, he was surprised when the figure managed to evade him. When he finally caught the figure though, the figure knocked him off the roof with a log they pulled out of the building. As he fell, Shadow held onto a card from the mysterious figure's cloak.[17] Falling into a lake below, Shadow recovered and saw that the card he had grabbed was the business card of Clutch the Opossum, the local Eggman tech trader. Shadow thus decided to pay him a visit, believing that he would find nothing useful in the crowd at the White Park Grand Chateau. When he got into Clutch's suite, his suspicions were confirmed when he found Eggman tech everywhere. He also found a group of Chao that Clutch was holding in a cage, leaving him with a silent and angry response towards Clutch's poor treatment towards them. A moment later, he heard the voice of Omega, whom Rouge had left with Clutch to carry out a plan to turn the tables on Clutch later. Shadow, however made some changes, and as soon as Rouge and her allies showed up in the suite, he knocked out Clutch. He then showed them the group the caged Chao, before going out to find a "real challenge."[18]

Shadow eventually found the hooded figure who hit him earlier on a moving roller coaster in White Park Zone. During his chase after the figure, he saved Sonic when he got knocked off the rails by the hooded figure. As the two hedgehogs then chased after the figure together, he revealed himself to be Dr. Starline, who was in the process of kidnapping Tails and Rouge. To make matters worse, he also triggered some explosives above the White Park Grand Chateau, causing an avalanche. He then gave the two hedgehogs a choice: save their friends from him, or save the hotel guests at White Park Grand Chateau from the avalanche.[19] Ultimately, Shadow decided to ignore the guests at the White Park Grand Chateau and went to fight Starline instead, ignoring Tails and Rouge along the way. However, when Shadow was about to fight Starline, Rouge gave Omega his codeword, who scared Starline with a loud alarm, which made Starline fall off the roller coaster. Starline then ran away, which displeased Shadow. Shadow did not want to listen to Rouge, but Rouge convinced him that he would have to live with the choice he made. Shadow thus decided to help Sonic stop the avalanche and joined up with him at the mountain, saying that he was paying off his debt for Sunset City. The two then felled nearby trees to form a barricade. Despite this though, the avalanche broke through their barricade, prompting the hedgehogs to chase after the avalanche. After the avalanche collided with the chateau, which withstood the impact, the guests had made it to safety. Shadow and Sonic had been buried by the snow however, but they managed to quickly dig themselves out. Afterward, they received congratulations from their friends. However, Shadow saw it as a waste of time. Going then to Tails' Workshop afterward, Sonic told Shadow that though things got dicey, he was glad that he helped. In response, Shadow told Sonic not to think too much about it. He then threw an apple he was holding to Clutch's formerly imprisoned Dark Chao.[4]


Best described as a grim anti-hero, Shadow has a strong sense of purpose and pursues his goals by any means necessary. He possesses a willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve these goals once he has set his sights on them, including using lethal force. This natural vehemence, however, tends to blind him with anger and make him prone to reckless decisions.[1][7] It can also cause him to hold grudges, to the point where, if the object of his grudge is in sight, he is blinded to everything else; after being bested by Starline at the White Park Grand Chateau, Shadow decided to chase after him while ignoring not only Rouge and Tails being captured, but also an avalanche that would have injured or even killed everyone else.[4] He also does not tend to take others into consideration, and sometimes his desire for revenge overwhelms his own sense of safety. Being an anti-social lone wolf, Shadow is generally not in favor of team-ups either; although he may occasionally cooperate with others, it is typically for his own reasons and does not guarantee that he is willing to follow orders.[1][8] He also often leaves without saying goodbye or thanks.[5][9]

Shadow talking with Rouge, from Sonic the Hedgehog #9.

Shadow is sharp-witted, brooding, arrogant, and always seems to be on edge. He usually acts with a cool and businesslike indifference, preferring to stay quiet and only speak when it is necessary to achieving his goals without opening up to anyone while staying focused on his intended target. When push comes to shove, however, Shadow can quickly become enormously aggressive and extensively ruthless. He also does not tend to hold back against anyone, especially against those who get in his way.[7] Additionally, he is stubborn and prideful to the point of foolhardiness and never runs away from a fight; while he and Sonic were defending Sunset City from a horde of Zombots, Sonic ran off to burn his Metal Virus infection into remission while advising Shadow to do the same should he get infected, only for Shadow, who considered running to be a coward's tactic (and believed himself to be wholly immune to the Metal Virus), to continue fighting, which sealed his fate upon being infected by the virus.[3]

Despite his apathetic nature, Shadow is not completely heartless, although he tries to keep such feelings and thoughts buried inside of him. For example, when out to kill a seemingly reformed Dr. Eggman, Shadow ultimately choose to give the doctor a chance to prove his benevolence after being reminded of how he himself had turned over a new leaf after trying to destroy Sonic and the world at large.[5] Additionally, while in the penthouse of Clutch the Opossum, Shadow declared him to be "utter scum" for keeping Chao locked in cages.[18] He also always has good intentions when it comes to his actions, as he disapproves of anything foolish and evil, although his ruthlessness make him come off as somewhat antagonistic.

Shadow is very proud of his status as the "Ultimate Lifeform", believing himself to not be easily defeated; thus, when an event occurs that he deems out of character for someone like him, he is hard on himself and broods more than usual.[16] He is also willing to repay others for certain things.[4]

Powers and abilities

Shadow using the Spin Attack against Sonic, from Sonic the Hedgehog #6.

Shadow is an extremely powerful individual and combatant, capable of going toe-to-toe and sometimes overwhelm even Sonic in fierce combat.[5]

Like Sonic, Shadow is very agile and has reflexes to match his rocket skate-induced speed, being able to act accordingly to even Sonic's split-second movements.[5] Likewise, although he can only keep up with Sonic's level of super speed using his rocket skates, he is still faster than the average person, enough to chase after a speeding truck.[11] In addition, Shadow commands a number of Chaos Powers: he can warp space and time with Chaos Control, which allows him to teleport himself and others instantaneously over wide distances at will without the need of a Chaos Emeralds, and he can form spears out of green energy called Chaos Spears that he can either throw at opponents or wield as a solid melee weapon.[1][5][3] Shadow has impressive hand-to-hand combat skills as well, being able to utilize a mix of brutal punches and kicks, as he was able to beat up even Neo Metal Sonic, albeit with a surprise attack.[1]

Like Sonic, Shadow can perform the Spin Attack, a technique where he curls into a concussive ball or cutting disk and directs himself at his targets. With it, Shadow can shred or burrow through just about any substance given enough speed.[5]

Owing to his "ultimate lifeform" physiology, Shadow evidently possesses a powerful immune system. When he fought Zombots in Sunset City, he was able to make physical contact with the Metal Virus several times before showing any sign of infection on his body, whereas others showed symptoms after the slightest touch with the virus. Shadow can also drive vehicles such as trucks.[3]


Shadow wears a pair of specialized shoes. These footwear are the primary source of Shadow's speed, producing small jet streams that lets him hover-skate at speeds rivaling Sonic's supersonic running speed.[5][11] Alternatively, Shadow can use his rocket skates to produce fire to attack opponents with or achieve midair hovering.[1][3]


While Shadow has no known physical weaknesses, his rash and headstrong nature has caused him to fall to dire situations before. Also, despite the fact that his immune system is indeed more powerful than many others and cannot leave him sick from any known diseases, it is not immune to everything as he still got infected by the Metal Virus, albeit in a more delayed response compared to other people.[3]


Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog is perhaps Shadow's most intense rival to date. Their relationship was antagonistic before as Shadow had threatened to destroy the planet. However, they gradually became respectable allies. Nonetheless, Shadow and Sonic can easily enter arguments with each other over minor indifferences and this can result in them fighting each other. While Sonic does find slight joy in their competitive nature with each other, Shadow finds it annoying if anything.[3][5] Shadow also often rebukes Sonic for his mistakes and criticizes his decisions. As such, their relationship is quite dry at best.[3]

Despite their uneasy relationship, Shadow is willing to put aside his dislike for Sonic in some situations and help him; he just does not want to dwell on his motivations for doing so later on. Shadow has also been known to listen to Sonic's advises and arguments, and even ponders about them more deeply at times, knowing that as the ultimate lifeform, he cannot allow himself to make mistakes.[5][16]

Rouge the Bat

Rouge the Bat is one of Shadow's trusted team members on Team Dark. Even though they would be considered closer than any of Shadow's other allies, he rarely spends time with her outside of their missions. Rouge has come to understand Shadow's dislike for wasting time, but becomes annoyed by his often disregard for caution and lack of planning when handling situations on his own. Shadow also has a habit of not always listening to Rouge while on missions in spite of Rouge's good intentions for him.[3][5][6][8][11] Sometimes, however, Rouge is the only one who can reason with him.[4]

E-123 Omega

E-123 Omega is another one of Shadow's trusted team members on Team Dark. He knows he can count on Omega to do his job to the best of his ability, leaving the two on good terms allowing them get along quite well and coordinate in the fight. Though Omega feels the same way about Shadow however, he will not hesitate to fight him should he become hostile; when Shadow got turned into a Zombot, Omega was ready to destroy him just because he had become one of Dr. Eggman's robots.[3][11] Their relationship, however, does not go beyond a formal bond, as Shadow himself once openly declared that he was not interested in helping repair Omega after he got damaged during the Zombot apocalypse.[17]



See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Head writer Ian Flynn has revealed on Twitter that Shadow's measurements are the same as those of his game counterpart.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Sonic the Hedgehog #10, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 2"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #9, "Roll Call"
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Sonic the Hedgehog #19, "Crisis City, Part 1"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Sonic the Hedgehog #36, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 4"
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 Sonic the Hedgehog #6, "The Fate of Dr. Eggman, Part 2"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #12, "The Cost of the Battle for Angel Island"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Sonic the Hedgehog #5, "The Fate of Dr. Eggman, Part 1"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Sonic the Hedgehog #9, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 1"
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #11, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 3"
  10. Sonic the Hedgehog #18, "Victims"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Sonic the Hedgehog #20, "Crisis City, Part 2"
  12. Sonic the Hedgehog #25, "A Sudden Shift"
  13. Sonic the Hedgehog #28, "All or Nothing, Part 3"
  14. Sonic the Hedgehog #29, "All or Nothing, Part 4"
  15. Sonic the Hedgehog #30, "Cured"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Sonic the Hedgehog #31, "Recovery, Part 1"
  17. 17.0 17.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #33, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 1"
  18. 18.0 18.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #34, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 2"
  19. Sonic the Hedgehog #35, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 3"

External links