The Shadowlands is a dimension that features in DC Comics.
The Shadowlands were an extradimensional space consisting of shadows.
During his fight against the Golden Age superheroes, the villainous Ian Karkull was seemingly killed and his body torn to shreds. However, he survived as a creature of shadow within the realm of the Shadowlands where he became devoid of a physical form as he took the better part of a century to put himself back together. He drifted within the void of that realm as he sought to get his revenge against the members of the Justice Society. (JSA v1 #7)
Obsidian then killed Karkull and stole his power which he used to spread the darkness of the Shadowlands across the Earth causing a wave of fear in people whilst others were possessed by the shadows. Sentinel attempted to reason with his son but Obsidian battled him where he was ultimately defeated by his father. This caused the Shadowlands to recede back to its realm with it calling to Todd Rice who intended to take Alan Scott with him to trap him in that realm. However, his adoptive father jumped in the way and in the scuffle the two of them disappeared into the shadows. (JSA v1 #9)
Due to Mordru's machinations, the Lord of Chaos came to exchange his place with Doctor Fate where he unleashed his mystical might against the Justice Society. He was aided by Obsidian who summoned his shadows to absorb his father Alan Scott in order to claim the power of the Starheart. To stop him, Captain Marvel and Stargirl sought to save Scott but all three became trapped within the Shadowlands. Whilst there, Captain Marvel was cut off from the magic of the wizard Shazam thus reverting him to his mortal form of Billy Batson. (JSA v1 #47) Whilst within the Shadowlands, the pair had to content with the nightmares of Alan Scott that were given form with Billy having to rely on Stargirl's cosmic staff in fighting off the shadow constructs. The two eventually discovered Scott within a facsimile of the Statue of Liberty but he was pronounced dead by the Shade. (JSA v1 #48)
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of history was created with a different series of events.
This nightmarish realm was said to be a place that had been given many names and it was claimed by some that it was where God sent the Darkness after bringing the Light. (The Flash v5 #11)
Shade's emotions and troubled past led to the corruption forming in the Shadowlands with the shadows eventually openly revolting against him. They desired for him to embrace his evil nature and wanted to spread into the real world. Initially, they began to manifest on Earth and conduct criminal acts where they took the money back to Shade. Eventually, his love Hope came to believe that he had fallen back into his criminal ways and was distraught. Then the shadows abducted her as they believed she was a stabilizing influence in his life and attempted to remove her by taking her to the Shadowlands. They took her to the newly created Tower of Darkness where they intended to use it as a gateway to enter the real world. Shade went into the Shadowlands to find his love but his weakened state meant he could not combat the rebelling shadows who kept moving Hope. He then decided he needed help and create a shadow duplicate of himself in the real world at Central City in order to bring the Flash to him. Wally West as Kid Flash believed that this shadow Shade was a villain and was incidentally dragged into the Shadowlands. Afterwards, the Flash and Iris West both entered into the Shadowlands to find him but were separated. Barry Allen in his guise as the Flash found Kid Flash and Shade who explained the events that happened along with asking him for his help to find Hope. This led to the three fighting the shadows that were vulnerable to the power of the Speed Force in speedsters. (The Flash v5 #11)
During the Year of Villains, the Shadow Thief was empowered by Lex Luthor thus making his Shadow-Vest even more powerful. With this, he managed to steal the shadows of Hawkman and Shade whereupon he took control of the Shadowlands that he changed into a twisted copy of Midway City. To recover their shadows, Carter Hall and Richard Swift decided to take the fight to the supervillain by entering the Shadowlands where they could physically fight the shadow matter constructs. Shadow-Thief had a shadow dragon formed to attack the heroes but Hawkman defeated it and decided to confront Carl Sands directly. (Hawkman v5 #16) Sands was ultimately defeated thus returning every ones shadows back to them with Shade managing to stop Hawkman from killing the Shadow-Thief. (Hawkman v5 #17)
This realm was not inherently evil but subconscious feelings and emotions were able to corrupt the Shadowlands twisting it until it had a mind of its own. (The Flash v5 #11) As such, it was where the deepest fears of a person were realised and made manifest. This not only included places but people that were formed from the shadows. (JSA v1 #48)
Within the Shadowlands, constructs made of shadow matter were completely tangible making it possible to fight them when compared to the real world. (Hawkman v5 #16) Harming a persons shadow within the Shadowlands affected their owner. (Hawkman v5 #17)
- Ian Karkull :
- Obsidian :
- Shade :
- Shadow-Thief :
- Nightshade :
- The Shadowlands were created by David S. Goyer, Geoff Johns and Stephen Sadowski where it made its first appearance in JSA v1 #7 (February, 2000).
- JSA v1:
- The Flash v5:
- Hawkman v5: