Real Name: Alvarez

Identity/Class: Human spirit; former technology user (sometimes), street criminal

Occupation: Criminal, racketeer

Group Membership: None; former member of the Rivals (Commanche, Carl Lucas, Willis Stryker)

Affiliations: Unidentified woman;
   formerly Bengal, Bullet (Buck Cashman), Deadly Nightshade, "Big Ben" Donovan, Tombstone;
   former partner Commanche;
   former employers Bushmaster, Ward Meachum, Viktor Smerdilovisc;
   loose alliance Fera, Flea, Master Khan

Enemies: Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Dagger (Tandy Bowen), Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Moon Knight (Marc Spector), Power Man (Luke Cage/Carl Lucas), Billy Bob Rackham, Shang-Chi, Stiletto

Known Relatives: Reina Alvarez (wife), Victor Alvarez (son), unidentified mother-in-law, Ignacio Alvarez (brother), unidentified sister, Sofia Alvarez (niece), unidentified nephew or nieces

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: New York City, USA;

formerly Club C'losco, New Jersey; Rand-Meachum Industries' Long Island facility, New York; Harlem, New York; Seagate prison

First Appearance: Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1 (June, 1972)

Powers: Shades was originally a street criminal, with no specialized skills. He was a reasonably skilled street-fighter, and was familiar with knives and various types of guns. He briefly wore a visor from which he could fire force blasts by pulling in bioelectric energy from the environment.




(Shadowland: Power Man#2 (fb) ) - Stryker joined the Rivals alongside Lucas, Comanche and Shades.

(Shadowland: Power Man#3 (fb) - BTS) - Shades got married to Reina. When she was pregnant with his son...

(Shadowland: Power Man#2 (fb) - BTS) - ...Commanche and Shades as members of the Rivals got sent to Seagate Prison for the first time.

(Shadowland: Power Man#3 (fb) - BTS) - Reina raised their son Victor without Shades with her mother's help.

(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1) - Shades and Commanche were prisoners in Seagate alongside Carl Lucas. They tried to recruit him to sway all of the brothers to follow them, but Lucas knew they were just talkin' jive, and refused to work with them. Commanche pulled a knife to persuade him, and Lucas sucker-punched him, dropping him to the ground with a single blow. Shades knew enough to not start anything himself.

(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#14 (fb) ) - A corrupt prison guard, Rackham, who had abused Lucas (and who was partly responsible for his mutation), took out his frustrations on Shades, Commanche, and any others he could get his hands on after Lucas' escape. Eventually Rackham was fired for his brutality, but Shades and Commanche wanted revenge, so they slowly dug a tunnel under the prison and escaped.



(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#14-15, 16 (fb), 16) - Shades and Commanche arrived in Manhattan, where they heisted a couple of costumes, so that Rackham wouldn't recognize them when they approached him. While they searched for Rackham, they continued their old, racketeering ways, and in the process they encountered and allied themselves with Flea, another man who knew that Luke Cage was actually the wanted man Carl Lucas. The three men attempted to convince Cage to join their racketeering outfit, in exchange for leading him to Rackham (who had killed reporter Phil Fox and could prove the innocence of Dr. Claire Temple, who had blamed for the murder). Cage went along with them initially to locate Rackham, but he had also had his lawyer friend, "Big Ben" Donovan, have someone tail him. After the group located Rackham, another man, Stiletto, caused the roof to collapse on them. Cage pulled Shades and Commanche to safety and fought off Stiletto. Shades and Commanche were arrested and returned to prison.

(Power Man#49 (fb) ) - Now employed by Bushmaster, Shades and Commanche were assigned to follow Cage on a mission to capture Misty Knight for him, to insure that he proceeded as planned.

(Power Man#48) - Shades and Commanche observed from their car as Cage went after Misty Knight. They saw Cage get knocked from the building and crash into another building, which collapsed on him. They assumed Cage had been killed, and they left to report back to Bushmaster.

(Power Man#49) - Back at Bushmaster's base in the now-closed Seagate Prison, Shades and Commanche tried to ambush Iron Fist, who had accompanied Cage. Iron Fist easily outwitted and overpowered the two.

(Power Man and Iron Fist I#98 - BTS) - Shades and Commanche were hired by Ward Meachum, who had them outfitted with advanced weaponry. Commanche was given a bow and arrow with an arsenal of specialized arrows.

(Shadowland: Power Man#3 (fb) - BTS) - When Shades and Commanche decided to step up their game they came to Deadly Nightshade for new weapons. She gave Shades a visor, which could shoot energy blasts.

(Power Man and Iron Fist I#98) - Shades and Commanche ambushed Luke Cage, who was caught unprepared for their new weapons, and quickly knocked out. They left him unconscious, figuring they had showed him who was in charge. However, when he woke up, Cage wanted a rematch and tracked them down. Iron Fist had come with Cage, and they fought the two criminals. Shades blasted out the bottom of a telephone pole, dropping it on top of Cage. However, Cage tossed the pole off and came back for more. Shades and Commanche fled, but Power Man and Iron Fist chased after and defeated them. As they were being taken away, Shades, whose visor had unwisely left on, blasted the two heroes off the bridge. Shades was excited, claiming he had killed them, but they survived.

(BTS) - Shades and Commanche were sprung on bail by agents of Meachum

(Power Man and Iron Fist I#99) - Shades and Commanche were sent to steal the film of David "D. W." Griffith, who had unwittingly captured on film Meachum meeting with the two of them. They raided his office at the Diamond, and stole every piece of film in his office, except the one they had sought, which was still in the film dryer.

(Power Man and Iron Fist I#100) - Shades and Commanche again fought Cage, as he was part of a raid on Meachum's facility, to gain back the soul of Iron Fist, which had been stolen by Master Khan, who as Meachum's silent partner. Cage cracked a large pillar and dropped it on them, taking them out of the fight.








BTS - Shades and Commanche apparently parted company at some point.

(Marvel Knights I#11-12) - Shades (no longer wearing his special visor) was one of several gunmen in the employ of Viktor Smerdilovisc, working with several other criminals: Bengal, Bullet, Big Ben Donovan, and Tombstone. They came into conflict with Cage, who was hired to work alongside the heroes Black Widow, Dagger, Daredevil, Moon Knight, and Shang-Chi. Shades was taken out by a blast from Dagger. Later, Shades and all of the other criminals were sucked into the pocket realm normally accessed by Cloak, but then contained within Dagger.

(Shadowland: Power Man#2 (fb) - BTS) - Shades' bad conscience resulted in him quitting his criminal career and becoming a community organizer in Hell's Kitchen. This ended his long friendship with Commanche.

(Shadowland: Power Man#3 (fb) - BTS) - While he had gone straight he was finally with his family, but Shades cheated on his wife with a woman from the community group. When she found out it was the final straw for her and decied to split up with him.

(Shadowland: Power Man#2 (fb) ) - Victor didn't understand why his father had to leave again and wanted to leave as well. Victor was angry at Reina for forbidding him to fight for the community with his father and how she always kept watching him and didn't believe Shades had ever changed. Shades defended Reina because she was a good woman and told Victor to stay with her after the problems with their landlord were solved. He was not able to look Victor in the eyes when he told him the reason he and Reina split up was because they had grown tired of each other. Victor got angry at him because it seemed to him like Shades only fought for others and never for his family. A moment later the building was blown up by Bullseye. Shades died in the explosion.

(Shadowland: Power Man#4 (fb) - BTS) - Not enough of Shades' body was found to bury him.

(Shadowland: Power Man#4) - Power Man (Victor Alvarez) encountered his father's spirit under Shadowland, which had been built on top of their old building. The spirits of Shades and the other deceased residents gave their energies to Power Man. Absorbing their chi and the chi of many others throughout New York Power Man was able to defeat the Hand's demon Retainer.

Comments: Created by Archie Goodwin (writer) and George Tuska (artist).

Shades was definitely the idea man of the two, while Commanche was more of a follower.

In Marvel Knights I#9, Dagger absorbed the darkness powers (and their associated taint) from Cloak. It was with this power that she pulled Shades in others into the dimension normaly accessed by Cloak. In Marvel Knights Double Shots#3, Cloak is back in action, although its possible it is an out-of-continuity tale. Nonetheless, it is unclear if Shades (or Bengal, Bullet, Big Ben Donovan, Tombstone, or the other criminals have been freed). I think its most likely that it will be forgotten and Tombstone, the biggest name of the bunch, will just show up again, without any explanation.

Shades has no known connection to:

Bushmaster, John McIver, aka Powermaster, is related to, but distinguished from:

images: (without ads)
Power Man#14, p16, pan3 (main image)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1, p3, pan3 (in Seagate Prison)
Power Man & Iron Fist I#98, p3, pan2 (Commanche & Shades)
Power Man & Iron Fist I#98, p3, pan3 (Commanche arrow, Shades laser blasts wall)
Marvel Knights I#10, p20, pan3 (bald)
Shadowland: Power Man#4, p15, pan4 (Shades' spirit)

Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1 (June, 1972) –Archie Goodwin (script), George Tuska (pencils), Billy Graham (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#14 (October, 1973) - Billy Graham & Steve Englehart (writers), Billy Graham (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#15 (November, 1973) - Steve Englehart, Billy Graham & Tony Isabella (writers), Billy Graham (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#16 (December, 1973) - Steve Englehart, Billy Graham & Tony Isabella (writers), Billy Graham (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Power Man#48-49 (December, 1977 - February, 1978) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Power Man / Iron Fist#98 (October, 1983) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Ernie Chan (pencils), Andy Mushynsky (inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Marvel Knights I#11-12 (May-June, 2001) - Chuck Dixon (writer), Ed Barreto (pencils), Nelson (inks), Stuart Moore & Nanci Dakesian (editors)
Shadowland: Power Man#2-4 (November, 2010 - January, 2011) - Fred Van Lente (writer), Mahmud Asrar (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)

First Posted: 06/13/2002
Last updated: 12/01/2016

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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