Obsessed with reaching the astral plane, Richard Cranston killed the owner Soccora's Occult Books during a robbery six years ago in which he obtained a book containing secrets of the astral plane. Cranston was imprisoned for his crime, but continued studying the next so he could create the icon and incantation needed for the ritual that would open a gateway to the astral plane. Just as his preparations neared completion, his cellmate, Jake attacked him and performed the ritual, but Jake's unpreparedness and Cranston's interference with the spell caused a disruption in the gateway that trapped jake in the astral plane, only able to return to Earth in ghost-like astral form.[2] Operating as "the Shade," Jake discovered that he could fully solidify on Earth for the length of one Earth day for every human he imprisoned in the astral plane. Learning of the disappearances from his student, Jennifer Hardesty, Spider-Man entered the astral plane with Dr. Strange's Hand of the Vishanti and threw the Shade into the prison he used to drain his victims' energy causing a large explosion. Whether the Shade survived remains to be seen.[3]


On Earth, the Shade is an intangible astral projection. For every human he traps within the astral plane, he can solidify on Earth for one Earth day and turn intangible again by touching the brand on his neck that he received during the gateway ritual. The Shade can be superhumanly strong and durable on the astral plane.

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