One of the many costumed vigilantes of Metropolis, the Shadow is a reclusive figure who works in and around the neighborhood of Hob's Bay ( aka "Suicide Slum" ). Not fond of public appearances, the Shadow remains a vague image or haunting silhouette to the media. While the public at large is not convinced he is real, locals of Hob's Bay know the vigilante is quite real and come to rely on his help in times of need. Criminals likewise know the Shadow is quite real and an ever present threat to their activities.
Andru Vandevik was born in Puerto Rico to an American father and Mayan mother. While his childhood was hard, it wasn't unbearable. Though the fact that Andru's parents both worked to make ends meet, allowed him far too much time on his own as a child. His father worked for Star Labs as a research assistant and his mother for the University of Puerto Rico. Andru is a metahuman, one gifted with psychic ability of telepathy that allows him to project illusions into recipient's minds for a short time. Unlike a mutant, who's abilities emerge at or around puberty, his developed at a much younger age, not long after his father began work with Star Labs. Growing up as a 'latch key kid', Andru fell in with the wrong crowd, becoming involved with a local street gang that terrorized the local neighborhood at the bidding of the infamous international criminal and terrorist, the Red Skull. This was compounded with Andru's own developing natural mental powers. That was until a man named Kent Allard ( aka Lamont Cranston ), the original Shadow, came to the island. After an ugly run in with Andru's gang, Lamont recognized the potential in the young man. He slowly began to work to earn Andru's trust, and the trust of Andru's parents. Through this, Lamont guided the young man away from his bloody life of crime to a path of redemption. Along the way, he began training Andru in how to use his abilities and in the ancient skill of Hypnosis and mesmerization. With Lamont's help, Andru was able to go to college and get a degree in journalism and business at the University of Chicago. At the same time, Andru completed his training under Lamont's guidance, and took up the mantle of The Shadow. After reading a piece in the Daily Planet about a crime ridden area called Hob's Bay or "Suicide Slum", Andru felt a calling to go there. It was a place to start to root out the weed of crime and atone for his earlier life of crime. He is assisted in this by his roommate, a young woman named Lila whom Andru is convinced is a mutant with a dimensional phase ability, moderately strong regeneration powers, and PTSD. Lila herself believes she is a ghost of someone who died when her heart was removed by a madman. This is despite the fact that her heart is slowly regenerating on its own.
University of Chicago
Andru works by day running his own courier business, usually working contracts for legal firms in Metropolis. Through this he is able to set his own hours and makes a good wage.