Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at the mad mod originally created by a quirky comic artist: Shade the Changing Man
Appearances in Heroclix: Justice League 52
First Appearance: Shade the Changing Man #1
Team Affiliations: Suicide Squad
Powers/Abilities: The M(adness) Vest can warp reality at Shade’s command or to protect him
Created By: Steve Ditko (Re-imagined by Peter Milligan and Chris Bachalo)
Rac Shade is a secret agent of the world in the Meta-Zone and is framed for treason; the punishment is the death sentence. Shade, through mysterious means, makes his way to Earth and attempts to clear his name. Though he is able to find evidence of his innocence over time, it is not enough and Shade eventually jumps into the Zero-Zone, allowing himself to be consumed by the Area of Madness.
This leads to his meeting with the Suicide Squad, who become stranded in the Area after leaving Nightshade’s home dimension. Using his M-Vest, Shade transports himself and the Squad to Earth. Shade eventually begins helping the Squad in exchange for help in returning to the Meta-Zone. He eventually betrays his teammate’s to Darkseid’s followers in exchange for a trip to his home. Though he comes to regret this decision, Darkseid does send Shade to his home dimension.
Another man using the name Rac Shade appears, or perhaps he is the original, though he is drastically different from the first. He appears as a red headed poet trying to save Earth from the American Scream. This Shade is so insecure, he creates an alter-ego in the form of Hades: not an evil twin, but a more malicious version prone to giving in to his own whims and desires.
Shade is killed but unable to pass onto the next realm and ends up inhabiting the body of a recently murdered red-headed woman. Though Shade tries to reform the body into his more familiar form, the woman’s body resists until he can solve her murder. Once Shade and his friends do so, the spirit passed on and Rac Shade returns to his more familiar form.
Shade dies…again. This time, the angels themselves intervene and form Shade into a host body absent a soul or mind so that he can return to Earth and do their bidding. This plan backfires, however, as Shade’s multiple deaths has caused his mind to reabsorb his Hades personality and result in a much more bi-polar Shade.
After the loss of his love, Shade becomes a red-head once more but with a short mod cut. As he tries to escape the sorrow of his mourning he only finds more suffering and eventually removes his heart and locks it in a metal box. As a result, he becomes much more apathetic to the events swirling around him.
Shade eventually loses control of the Madness power in his vest, resulting in it feeding on his subconscious and hurting innocents. Shocked back into caring, Shade gathers his remaining friends and builds a time machine where he is reunited with the love of his life.