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". He is also the arch-rival of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Shadow is an anthropomorphic 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 gold ring.
In the past, Shadow once tried to destroy Sonic, as well as an entire planet. However, he 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 crimes, and now actively seeks to protect the world.
After Dr. 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.
The Fate of Dr. Eggman
Approximately a month after the war between the Resistance and the Eggman Empire, Shadow and Rouge found a seemingly amnesiac Dr. Eggman in Windmill Village, dealing and becoming friendly with Sonic and the Chaotix. After Eggman mentioned Eggman Land however, Shadow revealed his and Rouge's presence and got ready to destroy the doctor.
Although Sonic tried telling Shadow that Eggman's amnesia was legit and that he was now a good man that did not deserve the punishment Shadow had planned, Shadow did not care. 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 Eggman, Shadow had Eggman show him Eggman Land, which turned out to be an amusement park for children that Eggman had made. Convinced that Eggman was now a good man who deserved to be forgiven and live in peace, Shadow took his leave with Rouge.
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.
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. In truth, Shadow had gone in search of the greatest threat on the island: Neo Metal Sonic.
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.
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.
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. 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, Shadow pushed him back against the truck.
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.
All or Nothing
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 grew to a giant size 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.
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. He was left angrily glaring at the ship flying away with a trembling clenched fist. 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 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.
Best summarized as a grim anti-hero, Shadow has a strong sense of purpose, practically to the point of stubbornness, and pursues his goals by any means necessary with a willingness to do whatever it takes to get what he wants, being willing to go as far as to take another person's life to ensure others' safety. This natural vehemence tends to make him launch himself into situations without fully thinking them through. Nonetheless, he is never shown to feel regret about his actions. He is also a lone wolf and is not big on team-ups; although he will go along with others for his own reasons, this does not guarantee that he is willing to follow orders.
Extremely sharp-witted, Shadow is brooding, arrogant, and always seems to be on the edge, and he usually acts with a cool and businesslike indifference. He is normally quiet and will not speak unless it is necessary to achieving his goals. When push comes to shove, however, Shadow can quickly become extremely aggressive and extensively ruthless. He is also not one to pull his punches for anyone, especially against those who get in his way. Additionally, he is stubborn to the point of foolhardiness, as while he and Sonic were fighting against a horde of Zombots, Sonic ran off to burn his infection into remission while advising Shadow to do the same should he get infected; Shadow, however, considered running to be a coward's tactic (and believed himself to be totally immune to the Metal Virus) and continued to fight, which sealed his fate upon being infected by the virus.
Despite his apathetic nature, Shadow is not completely heartless, although he tries to bury such feelings and thoughts 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. Shadow is also very proud of his status as the "Ultimate Lifeform", thus, when an event occurs that he deems out of character for a superior being (such as him mistaking Sonic's advice to run being cowardice rather than a warning), he takes it hard and broods more than he normally does; he is also willing to repay others for certain things (as seen when he states he owes Sonic for attempting to warn him).
Powers and abilities
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. He can also teleport wide distances at will. In addition, Shadow commands a number of Chaos Powers: he can warp space and time with Chaos Control, and he can form spears out of green energy called Chaos Spears. Shadow has impressive hand-to-hand combat skills as well, as he was able to beat up Neo Metal Sonic, albeit with a surprise attack.
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.
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, whereas others show symptoms after the slightest touch with the virus.
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. Alternatively, Shadow can use his rocket skates to produce fire to attack opponents with or achieve midair hovering.
Shadow has no known physical weaknesses. Due to his status as the Ultimate Lifeform, he does not get sick from any known diseases. However, he was infected by the Metal Virus, albeit in a delayed response compared to any other normal person who got infected. Additionally, Shadow's rash and headstrong nature has caused him to fall to dire situations before.
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. Sonic does find slight joy in their competitive nature with each other while Shadow finds it annoying if anything.
Rouge the Bat
Rouge 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 a mission. 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 in missions.
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. Though Omega feels the same way about Shadow, he will not hesitate to fight him should he become hostile.
- Blaze the Cat
- Cream the Rabbit
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Silver the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Team Dark
- Vanilla the Rabbit
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Sonic the Hedgehog #10, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 2"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #9, Roll Call
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Sonic the Hedgehog #19, "Crisis City, Part 1"
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Sonic the Hedgehog #6, "The Fate of Dr. Eggman, Part 2"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #12, "The Cost of the Battle for Angel Island"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Sonic the Hedgehog #5, "The Fate of Dr. Eggman, Part 1"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Sonic the Hedgehog #9, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 1"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #11, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 3"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #18, "Victims"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Sonic the Hedgehog #20, "Crisis City, Part 2"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #25, "A Sudden Shift"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #28, "All or Nothing, Part 3"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #29, "All or Nothing, Part 4"
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #30, "Cured, Part 1"