Shades (comics)

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Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceLuke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 (June 1972)
Created byArchie Goodwin
George Tuska
In-story information
Full nameHernan Alvarez
AbilitiesHand-to-Hand Combat

Hernan "Shades" Alvarez is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is the father of Victor Alvarez and is frequently seen with Comanche, his partner in crime.

Theo Rossi portrayed Shades in the Netflix series Luke Cage, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Publication history[edit]

Shades first appeared in Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 and was created by Archie Goodwin and George Tuska.

Fictional character biography[edit]

The unnamed person who grew up to become Shades was raised in Harlem.[1] During his youth, Shades was involved with a woman named Reina Alvarez, with whom he had a son named Victor Alvarez.[2]

Shades was recruited into a gang called the Rivals which also consisted of Carl Lucas, Willis Stryker and Comanche. As a member of the Rivals, Shades engaged in a fight with a rival gang called the Diablos and many other gangs while also committing petty crimes and working for crime lord Sonny Caputo. Shades and Comanche were later arrested by the police and sentenced to Seagate Prison where they were tortured by the ruthless prison guard Albert "Billy Bob" Rackham.[1]

After suffering years of torture and abuse from Rackham, Shades and Comanche escape from Seagate, and decide that to get revenge on their former tormentor.[3] Shades and Comanche try to get Luke Cage to help them in their plot only to learn that he has gone straight.[4]

Shades and Comanche returned and became hoodlums-for-hire, often clashing with Luke Cage and his new partner Iron Fist.[5] Even though they had a past association with Luke Cage, Shades and Comanche indicated that they would kill him if they are ordered to.[6]

Sometime later, Shades and Comanche were hired by Ward Meachum where he gave Shades a visor that shoots energy blasts and gave Comanche some Trick Arrows. The two of them knocked out Ward Meachum where they have the bystanders tell Luke Cage that they have a score to settle when Ward Meachum regains consciousness. Luke Cage and Iron Fist tracked Shades and Comanche to the George Washington Bridge where they learned about their employer. Luke Cage and Iron Fist managed to defeat the two of them as the police arrive. When the police fail to remove Shades' visor, he used one more blast to knock Luke Cage and Iron Fist off the George Washington Bridge.[7] Shades and Comanche were later sprung from prison.[8] The two of them tried to hold off Luke Cage when he attacked the Meachum building only to be defeated when Luke Cage knocked a pillar on them.[9]

Shades was among the several gunmen that were employed by Viktor Smerdilovisc. He and the others came in conflict with the Marvel Knights. Shades was taken down by Cloak and Dagger.[10]

During the 2010 "Shadowland" storyline, Shades appears to have gone straight as he and Comanche have gone their separate ways. When in Hell's Kitchen, Shades became a community organizer. He worked with his son Victor where their relationship was strained upon Shades cheating on Reina. Upon Reina moving in with his brother Ignacio with Victor in his company, Shades remained in contact with them the best he could. When Bullseye had blown up a building during his fight with Daredevil on Norman Osborn's orders (as seen during the "Dark Reign" storyline), Shades was killed in the explosion while Victor survived upon absorbing the fragments of his father's visor. Upon Victor seeing the chi ghosts of the 107 victims of the explosion, Shades' chi ghost told him to open up and absorb more chi in the area which would give Victor enough power to fight back.[2]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Shades is an expert at hand-to-hand combat.[citation needed]

In other media[edit]


Theo Rossi as Shades in the television series Luke Cage.

Shades has appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where he is depicted as bisexual.[11]

  • Shades is a supporting antagonist in Luke Cage, portrayed by Theo Rossi.
    Shades is introduced in season 1 of Luke Cage.[12] His nickname comes from his signature pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses. A runaway as a child, Shades gets taken in by Cottonmouth and Mariah Dillard's grandmother Mamma Mabel, and spends his youth running with Cottonmouth's gang, going in and out of prison until he gets sent to Seagate with his best friend, Darius "Comanche" Jones.[13] In Seagate, Shades and Comanche become enforcers to corrupt warden Albert Rackham. They are responsible for Luke gaining his powers, after they give him a severe beating for plotting to expose Rackham.[14] In the first season, on his release from prison, Shades returns to New York City and becomes right-hand to Willis "Diamondback" Stryker, who later sends him to help out Cottonmouth and Mariah.[15] After Cottonmouth is killed, Shades works with Mariah to frame Luke for the crime by paying Harlem's Paradise waitress Candace Miller to give false testimony to the police. At the same time, Diamondback shows up seeking revenge against Luke.[16] As Diamondback's revenge campaign against Luke wears on, Shades becomes disillusioned with Diamondback, seeing his methods as detrimental to business,[17] and he and Mariah turn against him after he kills a police officer and stages a hostage situation at Harlem's Paradise.[18] Diamondback orders Zip to kill Shades, but Shades grabs a gun, kills both of Zip's accomplices, and then shoots Zip in the head after getting him to confess Diamondback's duplicity.[19] After Luke successfully defeats Diamondback in a fight outside Pop's Barbershop, Shades doctors evidence to frame Diamondback for Cottonmouth's murder, and swipes Misty Knight's cell phone in order to lure Candace out of hiding so he can shoot her in the head. By the end of the first season, Shades has become Mariah's lover and helps her take over her cousin's enterprise, operating out of Harlem's Paradise.[20]
  • Shades is referenced in The Defenders, set in between the first two seasons of Luke Cage. Turk mentions that he and Mariah have "ghosted" when Luke confronts him to ask him about a string of murders the Hand have been committing in Harlem, including Candace's brothers.[21]
  • In season 2 of Luke Cage, Shades and Mariah are seeking to retire from the gun business by investing in insider trading. He also is reunited with Comanche, who has just been released from Seagate. Shades inadvertently screws up their attempts to sell the gun business to other criminals when he kills furniture magnate Arturo Rey for badmouthing Mariah to his face during negotiations.[22] When sent to collect money from Nigel Garrison, who wants to buy their guns for the Brooklyn Yardies, he instead encounters Bushmaster, who gives him Nigel's severed head as a message.[23] When Bushmaster announces his move into Harlem by beating up Luke on camera, Shades is the only one to take serious the threat Bushmaster poses to Mariah. In the course of helping Mariah deal with Bushmaster's attacks on her, and Misty's investigation of them both, Shades finds out that Comanche has been secretly passing information on to Captain Thomas Ridenhour. Comanche kills Ridenhour and tries to deflect suspicions to Sugar, but Shades reluctantly shoots him with Ridenhour's gun and makes it look like the two men performed a mutual kill. However, he is unable to let Comanche bleed to death, so Shades shoots him again to give him a swifter death.[24] While Mariah is under Misty's watch, Shades finds out that Bushmaster frequents a restaurant owned by his aunt Ingrid and uncle Anansi, and kidnaps Anansi. He and Mariah then lead an attack on Gwen's to smoke Bushmaster out, but this leads to a falling out between them after Mariah needlessly guns down innocent civilians in the restaurant and burns Anansi alive.[25] Shades turns himself in to Misty and confesses to every crime he's committed on behalf of the Stokes gang, and agrees, in exchange for immunity from prosecution, and to act as a mole to incriminate Mariah. They succeed and arrest her.[26] Mariah orders a purge of her associates, including Shades, but he manages to overpower and kill the assassin sent for him. He later visits Mariah in jail to tell her that he's untouchable and express his disillusionment of her. After Mariah is poisoned in jail by Tilda, Shades is arrested by Misty for the murders of Candace and Comanche as his immunity deal that had him dependent on Mariah getting convicted has been voided by her death. He chuckles in defeat as Misty tells him that Mariah apparently had files released posthumously that mean he will also take the fall for all of her crimes.[27]


  1. ^ a b Luke Cage: Hero for Hire #1
  2. ^ a b Shadowland: Power Man #1
  3. ^ Luke Cage: Hero for Hire #14
  4. ^ Luke Cage: Hero for Hire #16
  5. ^ Power Man #48
  6. ^ Power Man #49
  7. ^ Power Man and Iron Fist #98
  8. ^ Power Man and Iron Fist #99
  9. ^ Power Man and Iron Fist #100
  10. ^ Marvel Knights #12
  11. ^
  12. ^ Nellie Andreeva. "Marvel's 'Luke Cage': Theo Rossi Cast, Rosario Dawson To Reprise 'Daredevil' Role | Deadline". Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  13. ^ Goddard, Andy (director); Akela Cooper (writer) (September 30, 2016). "Manifest". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 1. Episode 7. Netflix.
  14. ^ Natali, Vincenzo (director); Charles Murray (writer) (September 30, 2016). "Step in the Arena". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 1. Episode 4. Netflix.
  15. ^ McGuigan, Paul (director); Cheo Hodari Coker (writer) (September 30, 2016). "Moment of Truth". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 1. Episode 1. Netflix.
  16. ^ Martens, Magnus (director); Aida Mashaka Croal (writer) (September 30, 2016). "Blowin' Up the Spot". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 1. Episode 8. Netflix.
  17. ^ Shankland, Tom (director); Christian Taylor (writer) (September 30, 2016). "DWYCK". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 1. Episode 9. Netflix.
  18. ^ Tillman Jr., George (director); Christian Taylor (writer) (September 30, 2016). "Now You're Mine". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 1. Episode 11. Netflix.
  19. ^ Abraham, Phil (director); Akela Cooper & Charles Murray (writer) (September 30, 2016). "Soliloquy of Chaos". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 1. Episode 12. Netflix.
  20. ^ Johnson, Clark (director); Aida Mashaka Croal & Cheo Hodari Coker (writer) (September 30, 2016). "You Know My Steez". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 1. Episode 13. Netflix.
  21. ^ Clarkson, S.J. (director); Lauren Schmidt Hissrich & Marco Ramirez (writer) (August 18, 2017). "Mean Right Hook". Marvel's The Defenders. Season 1. Episode 2. Netflix.
  22. ^ Liu, Lucy (director); Cheo Hodari Coker (writer) (June 22, 2018). "Soul Brother #1". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 2. Episode 1. Netflix.
  23. ^ Jobst, Marc (director); Matt Owens (writer) (June 22, 2018). "Wig Out". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 2. Episode 3. Netflix.
  24. ^ Green, Rashaad Ernesto (director); Nicole Mirante Matthews (writer) (June 22, 2018). "On and On". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 2. Episode 7. Netflix.
  25. ^ Johnson, Clark (director); Matt Owens & Ian Stokes (writer) (June 22, 2018). "For Pete's Sake". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 2. Episode 9. Netflix.
  26. ^ Gout, Evarado (director); Aïda Mashaka Croal (writer) (June 22, 2018). "Can't Front On Me". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 2. Episode 12. Netflix.
  27. ^ Lopez, Alex Garcia (director); Cheo Hodari Coker (writer) (June 22, 2018). "They Reminisce Over You". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 2. Episode 13. Netflix.

External links[edit]