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"I had rather be a canker in his hedge than a rose in his grace. And
it better fits my blood to be disdained of all than to fashion a carriage
to rob love from any. In this, though I cannot be said to be a flattering
honest man, it must not be denied that I am a plain dealing villain.
--- Tom-John The Bastard, From Much Ado About Nothing
Real name: Richard Swift (possible alias)
Codename: The Shade.
Species: Human (?).
Age: Somewhere between 175 and 200.
Character Alignment: Ammoral.
Team Affiliatons: None.
Shadow Manipulation: This is The Shade's main power. Similar to how a Green Lantern can fashion objects from the light generated by their rings, The Shade can magically fashion creatures from shadows by sheer force of will. These "shadows" usually manifest as the creatures of nightmare... dragons.. bats... bogeymen and such. Although Shade has been known to create shadow creatures of a specific signifigance (a demon with a bow to fight an archer for example) so he seems to be able to somewhat control how these creatures will form. Aside from the form, he is definitly able to control who and how they attack. While this power is similar in nature to that of a Green Lantern, and while The Shade can presumably create anything he wills out of the shadows, provided there are enough shadows in the area... the shadows are, by their very nature insubstantial and are not as strong as the light constructs of a Green Lantern. One of The Shade's constructs, if he took all the shadows in a typical dark alley might be able to life a normal size car. Usually however, The Shade uses several much faster shadow creatures which are capable of lifting a very large human male.
Teleportation: The Shade can enter the shadows himself and hide in them. What's more, he can go from one Shadow to another. Using this power, The Shade can teleport long distances by walking through the shadows. He prefers to use more conventional means of travel for long trips, as it would tire him immensely to use his powers to teleport from say, New York to Tokyo but he can comfortably travel across the space of a large metropolitan city.
Immortal/Healing: The Shade's blood is made of shadows. When wounded, he bleeds shadows. Since Shade is able to control shadows, he can will his shadow blood to flow black into him and heal his wounds. He can only heal himself with this power though. Also, this power is also limited to wounds. He can heal stab wounds in a matter of seconds, gun shots within minutes. However, his powers are useless for treating a broken arm, a cold, cancer, etc. In addition to this power of healing himself, Shade is ageless. As in, he does not age and cannot die unless killed in a violent means. Coupled with his healing powers, this makes The Shade very near immortal. Still, some things do effect him. Poisons have a slowing effect upon Shade, making him feel sick until he can purge it from his system. Also, if he were made to bleed in such a manner as to loose his shadow blood before he could start to heal himself or his mind was altered (with a drug or psionic attack) to the point where he is not coherent enough to heal himself, he would die. And finally, crushing all his bones, cutting his head off or doing anything that would destroy his body in one shot would more than likely kill him.
Combat Skills: The Shade is, while not by any means Olympic caliber, an accomplished fencer, particuarly with his odd cane. He is also a decent enough boxer, knowing all the Marquis De Queensberry Rules and following them to the letter. Of course being a perfect gentleman he prefers to avoid physical conflict or dirtying his fists if at all possible; not only because such things are unseemly, but because a skilled swordsman, boxer or martial artist could easily mop the floor with him in a direct physical confrintation.
Strength: The Shade, by himself, is only as strong as an average 35 year old man. He's always been the bookish sort and doesn't do anything even vaugely resembling weight-training.
Agility: While not being a Nightwing, The Shade is still pretty light on his feet. Finding yourself in danger for nearly 200 years gives you an amazingly good sense of when to jump for cover. His main method of keeping fit is fencing, where staying fast on your feet and dodging is a must.
Endurance: Shade's fencing has given him a considerable ammount of staying power in an outright physical conflict. He could concievable run short distances without getting winded... but that's not likely seeing as how Shade moreoften has things running from him than the other way around.
Speed: With the exception of using his Shadow form to teleport, Shade can move as fast as a reasonably fit, fairly agile 35 year old man who enjoys the occasional (re: nightly) glass of wine with dinner.
Intelligence: Shade is above average in base intelligence. In terms of stored knowledge, he is exceptionally above average, simply because he's been alive long enough to have learned four lifetimes worth of knowledge.
Durability: Shade is virtually immortal and invulnerable. His body, while being mostly solid, retains some of the nature of a pure shadow. His blood, for example, is nearly pure liquid shadow. As such, if Shade is wounded, he can use the shadows around him to patch the holes and stop the bleeding. Poisons, while able to slow him down, eventually become purged from his system. Shade doesn't age and his powers can only be neutralized by surrounding him with fire, which distorts the natural shadows his power controls.
Wealth: Shade is reasonably well-off. Aside from a few million, made from several lifetimes of thieving he also owns a good portion of the real estate of Opal City.
Techs: Shade is a realatively simple man. Aside from electric lights, he lives very much as a man 100 years ago might. He has no televison, a newspaper giving him all the news he needs. He doesn't have a car, his powers providing him with all the transportation he requires. He doesn't have a computer, prefering to write on paper.
Contacts: The Shade has an alliance of sorts with Starman (Jack Knight). He also is close to the O'Dare family of police officers, particuarly Matt O'Dare. He has numerous underworld connections from his life of crime and still talks on occasion to several retired Supervillians.
History/Literature: Born in Victorian London, he is an expert upon that time period having lived in it (and sitll living there to a degree). Should he choose to go for the needed degrees, he could easily teach a class upon the subject of Victorian History. For that matter, having been close friends With Oscar Wilde and Charles Dickens, he could just as easily teach a British literature course, having met most of the greatest British authors and playwrights and discussed their works with them. This interest in history and literature has extended beyond Victorian England however, and while The Shade is an expert upon the history and literature of that era, he is also well versed with history in general and is very well read of all the classic novels. He holds a great fondness for Shakespeare in fact, nearly as much as he does for Wilde and Dickens.
Philosophy: The Shade has always been a philospoher of sorts, having lived during the time of Queen Victoria and having argued the meaning of life with such minds as Wilde, Shaw, Dickens and man other great thinkers. Aside from his personal experience, he is familar with the works of the more famous philosphers, particuarlly ones who speak of morality and the rights of man such as Locke, Hobbes and Kant. He has a special fondness for Nietzsche
Gentleman: Shade is a classicly trained Gentleman. He knows his P's and Q's, what fork to use at dinner and not to wear white after Labor Day (Well, not that he ever wears white...) Regardless, he is well versed in manners and acting mannerly.
Gourmet Chef: The Shade is an exellent chef, knowing how to prepare several gourmet dishes and find the perfect wine to match it. Not that he entertains much, mind you, but he does know He has however become a master of the "soup for one, main course for one, wine for two" school of cooking.
Jonathan Pryce (pictured left) is what I picture The Shade looking and sounding like if he were real. Aside from being immaculate, polite and very very British, he does a lot of likeable villain parts. He is also one of those few actors who can play a completely serious character in an otherwise insane situation; something very important for anyone who would play The Shade.
More to come...
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