It is done. I'm sorry, Maria. I tried to lead by example, but they did not see. I tried to lead by force, and I was rejected. I promised you I'd bring peace to the world and the world demands only anarchy--chaos.
— Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe #8
King 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 the Light Mobius counterpart of Mobius Prime's Shadow the Hedgehog. In his reality, Shadow rose to power in the absence of Sonic the Hedgehog, who had vanished after the fall of Dr. Eggman. Conquering all of Mobius within one year's time, he brought about unity and peace, though at the cost of brutal enforcement by the Dark Presence. He married Sally Acorn, who managed to bring some ease to his brutal leadership. Ruling for roughly two decades, his brutal rule came to an end after Lara-Su used her knowledge of Chaos Control to place him in suspended animation. However, five years later, after the Dark Presence successfully invaded Castle Mobius and drove King Sonic out, Lien-Da revived the former king from his imprisonment by using a Chaos Syphon. Shortly after removing Lien-Da from existence by destroying her armband, he proceeded to enact his plan: releasing Tikhaos upon the world as punishment for its inaction, but his plan was thwarted by the Future Freedom Fighters.
Uprising and rule of Mobius
When the timeline of the Light Mobius universe was changed, it altered events and made Shadow the ruler in Sonic the Hedgehog's place, as the blue hero had disappeared from the scene following the end of the Second Robotnik War. Shadow then conquered Mobius, bringing peace in the form of a hard regime. Queen Sally then married him in the hopes that she could tame him, bringing a measure of relief to Mobius's people and legitimacy to Shadow's rule. During his tenure as king, Shadow made Knuckles his "legitimate" chief enforcer of both the E.S.T. and Chaotix, while making Lien-Da his informal chief enforcer as well as leader of the Dark Presence.
Return of King Sonic and defeat
After King Sonic had returned from his excursions to the past, he was located by Tails and joined forces with him and Lara-Su to take down King Shadow. Due to his Chaos Force-derived reality warping abilities, Shadow was fully aware that history had been altered, and was determined to keep anyone from acting on it. Thus, Shadow had enforcer Knuckles arrest the three for "treason".
Sonic and the others then escaped from Castle Mobius's dungeon thanks to Knuckles, who had only been working under Shadow to help defeat him. Shortly afterwards, Shadow found himself facing up against the aged and former King Sonic, and managed to defeat him with almost no effort, as Sonic had physically aged and grown weak while Shadow had not. Lara-Su soon joined the battle however, and after a brief fight, she used her own knowledge of Chaos Control to place King Shadow in suspended animation, joking that she did not think her great-great-great-great-great grandchildren would have to worry about him becoming mobile again.
From the ashes
King Shadow was then imprisoned in a pod in the catacombs beneath Castle Mobius to make sure that Lara-Su's power kept him frozen. Five years later, Lien-Da and the Dark Presence successfully laid siege to the castle and used a Chaos Syphon to restore the deposed king. The Syphon drained away the energy field and Lara-Su's Chaos Control, reviving King Shadow who was shocked to learn he had been frozen for five years, as he could remember battling the Guardian's daughter mere moments ago. He quickly overcame the shock and angrily ordered Lien-Da to brief him on all that had occurred in his absence. Deciding quickly on a course of action, he surprised Lien-Da by revealing his intentions to release the monstrous Tikhaos, to which she objected as she believed in his efforts to control the planet, not destroy it. He promptly snapped her protective armband, causing her to disappear, and then carried out his plan.
He then explained why he did this: leading by example did not work, and using force did not work either. Perfect Tikhaos would destroy Mobius, then he would rise again to lead the planet anew to the peace that Maria so desperately wanted. While Perfect Tikhaos was defeated, Shadow's fate was unknown.
Unlike his Mobius Prime counterpart, King Shadow is excessively brutal when it comes to doing what he feels should be done. His high opinion of himself as the Ultimate Lifeform has expanded to the point where he seems convinced of his invulnerability and superiority to others. He is vicious and direct, controlling the planet by either forcing compliance or eliminating anything he deems a potential threat to his order. He is somewhat sadistic in his justice, but as he believes his intentions are ultimately good, he has established Maria as a figure of worship. He also demonstrates a desire to control all aspect of Mobius, and will do what is necessary to punish those who do not respect his rule. Knuckles, however, admitted that, regardless of how bad things were under Shadow's rule, he "knew how to keep the warmongers in line."
- It is implied that Shadow took over the planet as a means of controlling it for what he perceived as protecting it.
- It was hinted at that Shadow took down Eggman before becoming king. When writer Ian Flynn was asked how Eggman died in the Light Mobius universe, he said "Any events happening between the present and the maybe-future will be teased at best. That said, the original M25YL revealed that Knuckles vaporized Eggman and had to be stopped by Sonic. I figure the same events unfolded but with Shadow replacing Sonic."
- When Shadow is defeated by Lara-Su, he is not wearing his cape, but when he reawakens from Chaos Control he is wearing it.
- The symbol associated with Shadow's regime is the same as the logo from the Shadow the Hedgehog game.
- After taking off his Inhibitor Rings to charge Perfect Tikhaos and appearing to be unaffected, its possible that King Shadow is no longer left weakened after using his full power without his rings.
- Ian Flynn revealed in an Ask Ian podcast that Shadow's knowledge of events in the previous timeline was due to Lien-Da's information.
- Ian has stated that there is no official reason for why Shadow became a tyrannical ruler after killing Eggman and destroying his empire.
- Sonic Universe #5, "Mobius: 30 Years Later: Five Years of Peace"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #166, "Mobius 25 Years Later Part One: Tempus Fugit"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #167, "Mobius 25 Years Later Part One: Tempus Aeternus"
- Sonic Universe #6, "Mobius: 30 Years Later: Dark Siege"
- Sonic Universe #7, "Mobius: 30 Years Later: What's Old is New Again"
- Sonic Universe #8, "Mobius: 30 Years Later: The Freedom Fighters of the Future"
- Ian Flynn (8 March 2009). Ask Ian for MAR'09 - I Stop Talking to Myself. BumbleKing Comics. Archived from the original on 2 November 2015.
- Ask Ian February Marathon - Part Seven. YouTube. Ian Flynn (4 February 2011). Retrieved on 9 January 2016.
- BumbleKast Q&A for August 10th, 2020. YouTube. BumbleKing Videos (10 August 2020). Retrieved on 16 August 2020.