SuperFriends Comic Book Character
Ruby-Spears Character
Shadow Thief
Real name: MacFarlane
Species: Human
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Earth-1A
Base: Metropolis
Affiliations: Injustice Gang
Shadow Gang
Rogue of: Hawkman
Weaponry: Shadow Suit
Shadow Thief (JLA 111)

The Shadow Thief
Image from Justice League of America, #111 (May/June 1974).

Shadow Thief 2 (JLA 111)

Carl Sands
Image from Justice League of America, #111 (May/June 1974).


Image from Superman, TV Series (1988) episode: Night of the Living Shadows (December 3, 1988).

The 'Shadow-Thief' uses his 'extra-dimensional shadow powers' for unscrupulous gain.

Background Information

On the parallel-universe of Earth-One, the Shadow Thief is Carl Sands, who was a common burglar who was first arrested when a police officer noticed the well hidden criminal's shadow. During his subsequent time in prison, Sands felt mocked by his shadow. It appeared to leave the prison cell, while he could not. Upon his release, Sands vowed to use his shadow to his advantage and began to study shadow facts and legends. As he was conducting one of his many "shadow experiments", Sands accidentally managed to open a portal to the dimensional world of Xarapon, and there, he saved the life of Thar Dan, a scientist on that world. As a reward, the grateful Thar Dan presented Sands with a device called a "Dimensiometer." With this, Sands could shift his body to Xarapan, and appear on Earth as nothing but an intangible shadow. Nothing could touch Sands, although he could rob at will with the aid of special ebony gloves. The only drawback to this device was that every time Sands used it, the magnetic waves of the Earth were affected. Used too often, and the Earth could be thrown into another Ice-Age, although Sands appeared unconcerned about this dire possibility.[1]

He would soon come into conflict with the Hawkman, and many times after that. He would later become a member of the Injustice Gang which came into conflict with Hawkman and his allies, the Justice League.[2] Eventually, the Phantom Stranger had him permanently stripped of the Dimensiometer.[3]

Background from the 1988 Superman, TV Series


MacFarlane's apartment complex

On the 'Superman TV Series' from 1988, we are introduced to what appears to be completely different 'Shadow Thief.' This could be a completely different villain from the Earth-One villain or an alias the Shadow Thief used.

This version was also a low life criminal, who lived in Suicide Slum in an apartment he considered a "dump." He went by the name 'MacFarlane' and worked for Lex Luthor. After LexCorp developed the Shadow suit, Luthor gave it to him so that he could use it to commit crimes. Luthor, always the sceptic, wanted to be certain the suit worked so he tested it out himself and recruited a gang. Luthor gets away in the end, but the shadow gang is captured by Superman.[4]

Powers and Abilities







  • Dimensionmeter: a device which enables its wearer to shift his body into a two-dimensional, intangible "shadow" state. While the 'Dimensiometer-Vest' is activated, Sands can move quickly and silently across and through most surfaces and materials, all the while remaining impervious to physical contact and attack. The user would be transported to the realm of Xarapion, another dimensional world which is the same size as the Earth. Prolonged use of the Dimensionmeter risked throwing Earth into another ice age due to an unspecified flaw in the devices design.


The Shadow Theif did not appear in any episode of the Superfriends TV Show.

Earth-One Appearance:

  • Justice League of America, #111 (May-June 1974)

Earth-1A Appearances:


  • The 'Shadow Thief' first appeared in The Brave and the Bold, #36 (July 1961).[5]
  • He was created by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert.


  1. As revealed in Brave and the Bold, #36 (July 1961).
  2. As revealed in Justice League of America, #111 (May/June 1974).; JLA 80-Page Giant, #2/2 (November 1999); Justice League of America, #143 (June 1977) and #158 (September 1978).
  3. As revealed in Justice League of America, #139 (February, 1977).
  4. As seen inSuperman, TV Series (1988) episode: Night of the Living Shadows (December 3, 1988).
  5. Go to DC Database for more on The Brave and the Bold, Vol. 1 # 36, published in July 1961.
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