Luke Cage: 10 Things Marvel Changed About Shades For The Show

Luke Cage was a stellar Marvel adaptation on Netflix before it got canceled, and here are some of the changes it made to the villain Shades.

Luke Cage was one of the best Marvel shows that Netflix had produced. It had some truly compelling episodes, and while it wasn't without its flaws, it certainly didn't deserve to be cancelled along with the other shows.

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Shades was an integral character in the series. As one of the core villains, Shades was heavily featured throughout. While he carried over his trademark sunglasses from the comics, there were a lot of things that Netflix changed about the character. Here are 10 things Marvel changed about Shades for the show.


In the comics Luke Cage and Shades have a shared past. They were both at the same prison together and for some time were actually friends. The show managed to carry over some of those elements. Indeed, Shades and Cage actually know each other after jail.

Their positions in the show are a lot different though. Whereas in the comics they could almost be seen as partners, the TV show firmly placed Cage as an enemy of Shades even early on, as he organised the fights within Seagate Prison.


In fact, their friendship in the comics was more than just that. They were actually part of a group known as the Rivals. This team of criminals which included Comanche, a friend to Shades in the show as well, was not replicated on the Netflix series.

In the comics the Rivals later offer Luke a place amongst them again but by this time he is on the straight and narrow with the heroes for hire. He wanted to turn away from crime, although of course in the TV show he wasn't as much of a criminal as he was in the comics.


Even after Shades had been caught again in the original source material he refused to snitch on Luke Cage. Despite their differences the two had a bond that couldn't be broken and Shades wouldn't betray him based on a code.

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The show would portray the character quite differently. This version of Shades would likely snitch on Cage in a heartbeat if it was going to benefit him in some way. In fact, in the show he actually snitched in Dillard ultimately helping to bring her down.


Harlem may have the Heroes for Hire but they also have the Hoodlums for Hire. This short lived group was partially the idea of Shades who was a member. They would essentially be a hired gang or would carry out dirty work for much larger criminals.

This is a pretty interesting idea but never made it to the show. The Heroes for Hire never really became a concept so it was difficult to create the Hoodlums as well. Although Shades was the leader of a gang, he was still under Cottonmouth rather than being a freelancer.


Shades isn't that big of a player in the comics if we're being completely honest. While he's certainly interesting in small bouts, overall he's probably underused and not written to well. A lot of his career has been about him being a forgettable thug.

However, the TV show completely reinvented how important he is to the universe. While in the comics he just went from job to job, the TV show portrays him as an influencer, a manipulator and perhaps one of the most dangerous criminals Luke has to face.


We'd love to see more of Shades in the MCU for one simple reason. He never got his super powered glasses! In the comics Shades is known for his visor. It is powered so that he can actually shoot energy blasts from it. It's the most dangerous thing about him.

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The show makes his business abilities and leadership qualities the most dangerous thing about him. Because the show is gritty we never get to play with the over the top glasses he has in the comics. But we'd love to know what that would look like on the small screen!


Shades has a relationship in the comics but it isn't the same one that we see in the TV show. In fact, the romantic partner that he chooses may be surprising, as its the same woman that he eventually betrays and snitches on.

Shades and Mariah Dillard certainly have chemistry and were actually quite the power couple together. In fact, it's Shades that helped her after she'd murdered Cottenmouth and Dillard that really made Shades more dangerous than ever before.


In the comics Shades actually has a son as well. Because we never see his relationship develop much further with Mariah they definitely don't have a kid. Unless a son is introduced for Shades later in the show, from his past, we'd never see this play out.

The version of Shades in the comics though has a son that actually becomes the new Power Man. He's clearly influenced by his father's friend and it's a great legacy that Shades is leaving, with this new version of Power Man keeping the streets safe.


At some stage in his life Shades turned over a new leaf and became a community organizer. He absolutely loved Harlem so it's not that surprising that he would try to contribute something to it once again, especially with a son living there.

The show also showed his love for Harlem and even a tiny bit of a turn to the good side, however, we will never see this level of involvement. If one character would have gone this path it was Mariah who tried to open up many different community projects.


Shades in Luke Cage

The TV show had Shades end his story very much alive. While he was back in prison, probably where he belongs, there was an implication that he could return at any time to bring his own brand of criminality and manipulation back to the streets.

In the comics he actually died during the Shadowland story after Bullseye collapsed a building. Shades' son was the only one who survived and he actually got his powers from this event, gifted to him by the smashing visor of Shades.

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