This Article Contains Spoilers -
WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.
|“||I'll say it for the last time: Stay out of my way!||„|
|~ The Shade warns the young JSA|
|“||Your poor deluded... child! Don't you know there is a difference between bad and evil? I've been called wicked more than once; a law broken here, rule bent there, the odd life taken... but nobody ever didn't deserve it!||„|
|~ Shade to Courtney|
Richard Swift, known as The Shade, is a major antagonist in the CW series Stargirl. The Shade is a mentioned antagonist in the first season and a supporting antagonist in the second season.
The Shade is an English immortal who is tall and slim man with an elegant 19th century way to his speech and manners, he masks the horrors he’s experienced and people he’s lost in all the time alive with wry, witty retorts and a false sense that nothing really matters. He is a former member of the Injustice Society and the former mentor of Starman.
He is portrayed by Jonathan Cake.
Richard Swift was born at an unknown time in the past; his first known appearance traces back to the 1800s. Wielding powers that allow him to control and travel through shadows, he adopted the moniker The Shade and turned to villainy, eventually joining the Injustice Society of America when their goals alligned. However, Swift had great distaste for his comrades and considered their plans for Project New America to be folly. On Christmas Eve 2010, the Shade participated in the ISA's attack on the headquarters of the Justice Society where his shadows consumed the Hero Dr. Mid-Nite.
Although it appeared that Mid-Nite had been killed, he was instead ripped into the Shadowlands where he remained stranded ever since. Some time after the attack on the JSA, Shade parted ways with the ISA, which its leader Icicle considered to be a betrayal. However, ten years later, Shade returns to Blue Valley after he learns that the ISA has fallen and that their plans have been thwarted. Claiming to be bored after his unnatural long lifetime, he plans to find the black diamond which houses the demonic and corrupting entity Eclipso, intending to hurl the diamond into the deepest depths of the ocean in order to prevent Eclipso from ever influencing any human being again.
Search for Eclipso
After his arrival at Blue Valley, Shade visits The American Dream, believing the black diamond to be in the possession of the recently deceased William Zarick. He introduces himself as an antiques collector interested in Zarick's collection and makes contact with Barbara Whitmore. Later, while having tea in a restaurant, Shade is met by Pat Dugan, who was a sidekick of JSA member Starman and recognizes him as his former enemy. After confirming his suspicions, Pat alerts the new JSA – consisting of his step daughter Courtney and her friends – to Shade's arrival.
Having recognized Pat as Stripsey, Shade expects the arrival of the young heroes. When they eventually turn up, he surprisingly welcomes them with tea and biscuits, claiming they should have a conversation. When the team sits down, Shade reveals that he has no sinister intentions and that he will leave Blue Valley once his business is done. The team does not believe him, however, and when the impulsive Mike frees the Thunderbolt, chaos erupts. However, the JSA has no chance and Shade procures his shadows, taking all of the enemies down in seconds. He refrains from causing any wounds and instead merely pins the enemies down. Annoyed by their stubbornness and unruliness, he warns them once more to stay out of his way before vanishing into the Shadows.
Only when Courtney keeps investigating the Shade's plans and starts connecting him to Eclipso does the Shade reveal himself to her once more. Having found out that Eclipso's diamond is gone, he warns Courtney to stop her investigation. Courtney defiantly accuses him of planning to conspire with Eclipso, which Shade takes as an insult. He instead reveals his true intentions to the dumbfounded Courtney – also revealing that Eclipso murdered Dr. Mid-Nites ten year old daughter – and once more disappears leaving more questions than answers.
- Shade identifies as a Reasonable Evil; in that he considers himself "bad", not evil.