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Real Name: Darnell Wade

Identity/Class: Human mutant

Occupation: Drag queen, entertainer, retail

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Bernard the Poet, Christian Frost, Emma Frost, Hulkling (Teddy Altman), Iceman (Bobby Drake), Miss America (America Chavez), Morlocks (Madin and unidentified others), Wiccan (William Kaplan), X-Men (Bishop/Lucas Bishop, Dazzler/Alison Blaire, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde/ Storm/Ororo Munroe);
formerly Spillin' Tea-yana Taylor

Enemies: Mister Sinister (Nathaniel Essex) and his "makeshift Marauders"

Known Relatives: several foster-families

Aliases: Shade

Base of Operations: Brooklyn, New York;
&nsbp;  Plae of Birth: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York

First Appearance: Iceman IV#4 (December, 2018)

Powers/Abilities: Darkveil possesses the mutant ability to manipulate/control darkness and shadow, due to his connection to the Darkforce, a powerful extradimensional energy. This includes teleportation of self and others through this dimension using his fan. Aside from his powers Darkveil is a fierce performer, graced with an impeccable wit and is a lip-sync assassin.

Height: 6' (6'7" in heels!)
Weight: Never ask a lady!
Eyes: Brown, with purple contacts
Hair: Chartreuse

(Uncanny X-Men: Winters End - BTS) - While some kids saw their super heroes fighting the good fight on TV or on phones, Darnell heard it on his rooftops, saw it out his windows and felt them everywhere in New York City. Passed around Brooklyn's foster care system, Darnell always knew there were heroes everywhere, but none close enough to help save him from a world of hard knocks.

(Uncanny X-Men: Winters End - BTS) - In his mid 20s, the never-on-time and always-broke Darnell barely made ends meet working at a used clothing store while moonlighting as Shade, a drag queen inspired by New York's super heroes. She and BFF queen Spillin' Tea-yana Taylor ran a lip-sync night in Astoria, hoping to get on a drag competition show. However, it was Tea who was chosen to compete on the show without her partner and brought a reality crew to film her snubbing Shade while taking their duo show away from her. Darnell really hit rock bottom after coming home to find his electricity had been shut off. That night, disconsolate, Darnell wished he could just disappear after which his mutant powers began to manifest themselves. Darnell's fan was imbued with Darkforce, allowing him to create pocket voids.

(Uncanny X-Men: Winters End - BTS) - Out on a "shopping spree" with a fellow queen in a local makeup store the two were caught stealing products. But when the cops were chasing them Darnell accidentally lost his friend while escaping through the Darkforce. From that point on, Darnell vowed to never use the Darkforce unless he's bringing joy in drag. With a power so dark, choosing to use it only as a means of creating light in the world.

(Iceman IV#4 (fb) - BTS) - When Manhattan organized it's first ever Mutant Pride, Darnell was asked to emcee at the event's main stage as Shade.

(Iceman IV#4) - After a dazzling performance of X-Man Dazzler on the main stage of Mutant Pride, Shade entered the stage through his Darkforce imbued fan. Greeting the crowd, Shade complimented Dazzler on her set after which he introduced senior X-Men Shadowcat and Storm to the stage for an inspirational speech.

(Iceman IV#5) - While enjoying Mutant Pride, Shade suddenly noticed Emma Frost and her brother Christian running by, noting she'd recognized that diamond skin anywhere. Emma Frost, in fact, had sensed Mister Sinister's "makeshift Marauders" planning a terrorist attack on the Mutant Pride crowd. Shade decided to follow the Frosts and quickly used her fan to teleport away. Arriving in the midst of a fierce battle between Sinister's agents and a group of Morlocks led by their leader Madin, accompanied by X-Men Bishop, Nightcrawler and the Frosts. During the battle Shade used her Darkforce imbued fan to fight the "makeshift Marauders" alongside Christian Frost when they were suddenly struck by an ice-blast as several giant ice-golems sent by Sinister. Shade and those fighting the "makeshift Marauders" were unaware the ice-golems were in fact a group of missing Morlocks transformed and under Sinister's control. However, not long after Iceman arrived and used his abilities to absorb the ice-golems, thus freeing the missing Morlocks. He then and used the ice to trap the "makeshift Marauders", thus saving Mutant Pride.

(Uncanny X-Men: Winters End - BTS) - Darnell changed his dragname from Shade to Darkveil.

(Uncanny X-Men: Winters End) - When Iceman was to celebrate his birthday in the Java a Go-Go in Greenwich Village, Darkveil was asked to emcee the night. During the night she was seen inviting Bernard the Poet to the stage for a poetry session and later joined the X-Men to congratulate Iceman when he arrived to the party. Later during the night Darkveil was seen carrying a tray of cocktails when she was almost run over by Iceman's mother Madeline Drake who couldn't handle seeing Ice Master of Earth-13729, who was yet another extradimensional counterpart of her son.

(Marvel's Voices#1) - Darkveil and many other superhumans who belong to the LGBTQIA+ community answered Wiccan and Hulkling's call to attend a Gay Pride to create more visibility. During the pride, Darkveil and Miss America (America Chavez) held up posters of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera to pay tribute to those who paved the way.

Comments: Created by Sina Grace (writer), Nathan Stockman (pencils, inks).

In Iceman IV#5, Kitty Pryde called Sinister's agents the "makeshift Marauders".

Shade/Darkveil received a profile at the back of Uncanny X-Men: Winters End, this is where most information comes from.

Sina Grace, the out writer behind the Iceman comic series, and artist Nathan Stockman, have created Shade, the new drag queen superhero that sashayed onto comic store shelves in Iceman IV#4. Grace had the following to say about her creation in The Advocate: "I really wanted this series to push readers to new and better stories about the whole queer experience and how it applies to being both a mutant and a superhero. There's a million different queer perspectives and we're only scratching the surface." Grace told NewNowNext that his inspirations for Shade came from RuPaul's Drag Race queens like Shea Couleé, Monét X Change, The Vixen, and Dax ExclamationPoint.

In an essay on PopSugar, Sina provided some history of the character's creation: "There was no cinematic beauty to my conceiving Shade," Grace admitted, noting that he made a last-minute decision to write her into the issue where she first appeared. "I always toyed with the idea of a drag queen who becomes a reluctant hero, and I had an unused character in a Generation X proposal that never saw the light of day: a young girl named Shade who could create pocket voids (all for the "throwing shade" pun)." Building on this idea, Grace sent Iceman artist Nathan Stockman a sketch of the character, "a drag queen of color who had bold curves and a penchant for incorporating X-Men visual motifs into her 'lewk.' She'd have green hair like Polaris, the X emblem on any corner of her body, and more pouches than every '90s X-character combined."

Although Shade appeared in just one scene, as the emcee at a Mutant Pride parade, she quickly became a fan favorite. Grace admitted that no one at Marvel - including him - predicted the massive fan response: "Considering we were tackling stories that dealt with a survivor of conversion therapy, and used the underground Morlocks as subtext for the trans-slash-non-binary community, none of us spent much time thinking about the impact a visibly queer drag queen mutant would have on the audience." Grace also wrote: "Instead of shying away from the ardor, Marvel Comics requested that if we do this character, we do her right and make her a real Marvel hero, with a fresh name and compelling backstory to match. After some back and forth, the drag queen formerly known as Shade would like to be known from here on out as simply Darkveil. If Kitty Pryde can have multiple aliases like Shadowcat and Spryte, so can Darnell Wade aka. Darkveil."

Profile by MarvellousLuke

Shade/Darkveil has no known connections to

Spillin' Tea-yana Taylor

Spillin' Tea-yana Taylor was a Brooklyn-based drag queen who with her BFF queen Shade ran a lip-sync night in Astoria, hoping to get on a drag competition show. However, it was Tea who was chosen to compete on the show without her partner and brought a reality crew to film her snubbing Shade while taking their duo show away from her.

--Uncanny X-Men: Winters End - BTS

Comments: For those who don't understand drag lingo, "Spilling the Tea" is when someone tells an especially juicy bit of gossip.

images: (without ads)
Uncanny X-Men: Winters End, p32 (main image)
Iceman IV#4, p8, pan4 (first appearance)
Sina Grace sketch color
Sina Grace sketch greyscale

Iceman IV#4 (December, 2018) - Sina Grace (writer), Nathan Stockman (pencils, inks), Darren Shan, Danny Khazem, Jordan D. White (editors)
Iceman IV#5 (January, 2019) - Sina Grace (writer), Nathan Stockman (pencils, inks), Darren Shan, Danny Khazem, Jordan D. White (editors)
Uncanny X-Men: Winters End (March, 2019) - Sina Grace (writer), Nathan Stockman (pencils, inks), Darren Shan, Danny Khazem, Jordan D. White (editors)
Marvel's Voices I#1/5 (April, 2020) - Luciano Vecchio (writer/artist), Chris Robinson (editor)

First Posted: 06/09/2019
Last Updated: 02/24/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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