Shade (Spider-Man enemy) (Marvel Comics)


(Spider-Man enemy)


Shade is a minor Spider-Man enemy. He appeared in a 2002 storyline, during the JMS run.


  • Real Name: Jake (last name unrevealed).
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: New York.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 170 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Shade exists more on the astral  plane than on the material world. His pact with unnamed entities requires him to provide a human prisoner in exchange for a day of remaining solid in the material world.

Shade ignoring Spider-Man

As a result, he can be impossible to affect physically if he doesn’t want to be. Shade becomes immaterial and/or invisible, at will. And he can switch quickly between solid and immaterial in a fight.

He can travel at will between Earth and the Astral Plane. He can transport his victims there either by dragging them, or by forming a kind of whirlwind out of his arm which sucks them in. On the Astral Plane Shade is notably more physically powerful than on Earth.



Jake was a minor criminal. He learned of his cellmate, Richard Cranston’s, intentions to perform a ritual which would give him the power to escape prison. Jake interrupted the ceremony, knocking Cranston out. He then stepped into the pentagram to gain the powers.

Cranston recovered consciousness before the ceremony was complete, and defaced the pentagram, causing the process to be incomplete, stranding Jake on the Astral Plane.

Missing persons

Making a deal with entities on the Astral Plane, Jake gained the promise of a day of solidity in the material world for each soul he brought across to the Astral Plane. Offering his powers as enforcer to some low level drug pushers, he got them to abduct those who wouldn’t be missed in exchange for his services.

Shade vs. Spider-Man

Shade transported them to the Astral Plane, where he gathered them in some kind of giant container.

The missing people turned out not to go unnoticed, drawing Spider-Man (Peter Parker)’s attention. But when he confronted Jake, now calling himself Shade, Spider-Man was unable to stop him.

However, with Dr. Strange’s help, Spider-Man ambushed Shade on the Astral Plane. There he managed to subdue him, free the prisoners and leave Jake trapped in their place.


Smart and ruthless. Shade also is an opportunist who cares little for others apart from what they can get for him.

He’s confident that little can hurt him, and has little hesitance about using violence to get what he wants.

Frustrated by being unable to retain solidity when he wants, he’s fixated on gathering enough victims to enable him to return to his old life.

Shade's prisoners escaping


[Spider-Man’s fist passes through him] “Sorry. You can’t connect with what isn’t solid. And I’m not solid unless I want to be. Like now.” [Punches Spider-Man]

Spider-Man: “What’re you doing to these guys ?”
Shade: “Taking ’em someplace… else. Kind of a tit-for-tat thing. Not that you’d understand.”
Spider-Man: “Why ? Why do it ?”
Shade: “Why ? Same reason I’m standing here having a little chin-wag with a moron like you. For the kicks, man. It’s just for the kicks.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 05 Str: 06 Bod: 07 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 011 HP: 020

Dimensional Travel: 04, Invisibility: 04, Power Reserve: 06, Self-Link (Spirit Travel): 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Dimensional Travel only allows access to the Astral Plane (-1), and can’t be used for Summoning (-1).
  • Power Reserve is split evenly between Physical Attributes, and only works on the Astral Plane (-1).
  • Self-Link (Spirit Travel) is Always On unless he can supply a living being to the Astral Plane (-1).

Thief: 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 04

None demonstrated.

Street (Low).

None demonstrated.

Design Notes

  • Since he has knocked Spider-Man about a bit (although he could have just caught him off balance), and because he took a few hits from Spidey but stayed conscious, I’ve given him low level super strength and durability. But these are highly speculative.
  • His Skills are also speculative, but seem reasonable for the type of criminal he appears to be.
  • Some of the scenes in which he appears seem to have him being slightly invisible. But the art is unclear on the point, and it isn’t specifically stated.

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics (Amazing Spider-Man #40-42 [481-483]).

Writeup completed on the 24th of December, 2009.