Originating in DC Comics, The Shade was a teased but ultimately almost entirely unseen character throughout Season 1 of DC’s Stargirl. Find out more about who will be playing the part in the upcoming second season.
As led by charismatic Jordan Mahkent/Icicle (Neil Jackson), the Injustice Society of America (ISA) was a thorn in Courtney Whitmore’s side during Season 1 of DC’s Stargirl. While several other members were introduced on-screen, one who did not partake in the group’s present-day schemes was exiled former member The Shade.
Shown in flashback sequences for the ISA’a earlier battles, The Shade was somewhat of an enigma throughout Season 1. Very little was known about the character, other than the fact that a disagreement between himself and Jordan Mahkent led to the former’s departure from the ISA.
After making a brief appearance in DC’s Stargirl first season finale, it would appear The Shade will have a larger role to play in Season 2.
In October 2020, a few months after Season 1 ended, Deadline and other outlets reported that English actor Jonathan Cake had been cast as The Shade and will be a recurring cast member. Cake is the third Brit to land a major role in the series, following Jackson and Mark Ashworth, who plays Justin/Shining Knight.
Cake graduated from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1989 and played rugby for the university. Later, he attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
A theatrically trained performer, Cake has made several television appearances on shows including Desperate Housewives, Law & Order, Chuck, Criminal Minds, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and Grey’s Anatomy. Originally hailing from Sussex, his UK television roles range from detective dramas (Jonathan Creek, Death in Paradise, Agatha Christie’s Poirot), to more comedic fare in Extras, created by and starring Ricky Gervais.
In addition to these roles, Cake guest-starred for one episode as notorious pirate Edward “Blackbeard” Teach on The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, another DC Comics property.
The Shade, real name Richard Swift, was created by Gardner Fox and Harold Wilson Sharp. In 1942, The Shade debuted in Flash Comics #33. Cake’s upcoming portrayal of the character comes follows Mike McLeod’s performance in season three of The Flash.
DC’s Stargirl airs on The CW.