Tye is a teenage Mescalero Apache boy with long black hair. He initially had brown eyes, but after the Reach's testing, they became blue. His attire consists of an orange headband on his head, tags around his neck, black pants and red sneakers. He also wears an orange jumper covered by a brown hooded shirt, an orange hankerchief around his right leg and a black wristband around his left wrist with metal studs on it.
Tye lived in El Paso with his mother, Shelly, and her boyfriend Maurice Bodaway. He did not like Maurice, and the two would have aggressive altercations. He threatened to run away from home several times, and had occasionally done so, but would soon return.
Tye knew for sure this time that he would run off. He planned to take the bus to Houston, and called his friend Jaime to inform him. Jaime tried to get him to reconsider, asking for Tye's promise to meet him at the statue of Cochise near the bus depot. Tye refused to promise but then reluctantly started toward the statue. He was immediately abducted. He dropped his skateboard, which rolled out of sight.
For a little under a week, Tye was experimented upon in the Reach base in the western Pacific. They wanted to see if his Meta-Gene could be triggered.
When the Team infiltrated the base, Robin, Batgirl and Bumblebee liberated the kids and brought them back to the Bio-Ship. Tye made it safely aboard the ship, but several heroes and one abductee were trapped on the ship, delaying their escape. They eventually managed to get all their people aboard, and set off.
The abducted teens and Team members were brought to STAR Labs, where they were being debriefed by Black Canary. After Tye finished his session, Blue Beetle addressed him by name, but quickly changed it because the Scarab informed him Tye didn't know he was Blue Beetle. Tye appeared annoyed with Beetle.
Tye was with the other abducted teens at STAR Labs where they were having their newfound powers tested. After Virgil Hawkins pressed the issue, Dr. David Wilcox granted the teens a 20-minute break. As Tye and the others walked past Eduardo Dorado Sr.'s office, they overheard an argument between him and his son, Eduardo Dorado Jr. After Ed left the room, Tye complained to the others that the situation was worse than when they were held captive by the Reach and he could not take more. Virgil told the others that they were going to break out tonight.
Back at the testing room, Wilcox told the teens that testing was done for the day. Despite Nathaniel Tyron's protests, Virgil planned to join Tye and Ed in escaping, with a confused Asami Koizumi joining them, prompting Neut to sound the alarm. The other four ran to the nearest fire exit but found it locked. Virgil admitted he didn't have an escape plan but suggested Ed or Tye's powers could work, but Tye reminded Virgil he didn't know how to control his powers. They were confronted by several STAR guards but Ed distracted them with his teleportation, allowing Sam and Virgil to take down the guards. The power then went out, with Virgil wondering if his powers caused the outage. Tye disagreed, but Sam noticed the fire exit was now unlocked.
The four fled to a bus station, where Virgil called his parents. Tye said he was not going to return home but Virgil said he was close with his family and everyone could stay with them in Dakota City. Virgil used his powers to get a drink from a soda machine, but Tye stopped him because it was a Reach drink. Tye then curled up to sleep, but the STAR guards approached. Virgil tried to wake Tye up, but Tye suddenly manifested a large astral form, breaking through the bus station's roof. Blue Beetle arrived and told the guards to stay calm but Tye slammed Beetle into the ground, then picked up his friends and ran away with them.
Out in the woodlands, Tye stopped running, set his friends down and dissipated his astral form, waking up as he did. He asked what happened, but then realized it himself, saying he thought he was dreaming. Blue Beetle caught up with the four and told them they needed to return STAR Labs. Tye refused, saying Beetle didn't understand the situation, but Beetle said he did, then revealed himself to Tye and the others as Jaime Reyes and explained about the Scarab. Tye and the others weren't convinced they should return to STAR so Jaime suggested they meet with the nearby Green Beetle.
As the five walked along a deserted road, Jaime took a phone call, with the others able to hear his conversation with Nightwing—who notified Jaime about Red Volcano attacking STAR Labs in Taos—because Jaime had excessively turned up the volume on his phone. Jaime told the four to stay put and he would deal with the attack. As Beetle flew off, Ed and Virgil said they wanted to return, but Tye asked if they really wanted to return to the place they fled. He then dismissed his question and said he would go as well. Sam agreed to join them.
When they returned to STAR Labs, they found Red Volcano battling Blue Beetle and trapping him in a sinkhole. Tye told the others to go after Volcano and he would help Jaime. Using lessons his grandfather taught him, Tye was able to control his astral power and plunge his hands into the ground to rescue Beetle. Later, Tye intervened as Volcano was battling his friends, reaching into STAR Labs to grab Volcano and toss him into the air, allowing Beetle to use his plasma cannon against Volcano. Volcano, though, created two spikes from the ground to impale Tye's astral form and cause it to dissipate.
As Beetle continued battling Volcano, Virgil noticed his attacks were causing the STAR building to crumble, asked Tye how well he knew Jaime, and Tye said to give Jaime a break. The two joined Ed and Sam in getting people out of the building. After they did, Volcano trapped them in fists of earth and demanded Beetle stand down and not sacrifice his friends. Beetle continued his assault, though, forcing the four to free themselves and leaving Tye speechless at his friend's actions. After Beetle defeated Volcano, he demanded the four come with him to meet Green Beetle, refusing to listen to Tye's protest. When reporters showed up to talk to Beetle, Tye and the others took the opportunity to escape.
They headed back to the bus station. There, Lex Luthor arrived, telling Tye and the others he was suspicious of the Reach and that he could give the runaways the ability to control their own decisions.
Tye joined the other runaways in destroying things related to the Reach. He grabbed a water tower promoting Blue Beetle as Earth's new hero and tore it down. Tye told the others he wanted to make the Reach pay for what they did to his friend Jaime. The runaways were contacted by Lex Luthor via cellphone, who told them he had a way to help them hit the Reach where it hurts.
Taos May 29, 20:36MDT
At a safehouse, Luthor communicated via a laptop and told the runaways about the Fatherbox and how they could use it to transport themselves to the Warworld to rescue the captured Team members. Tye was reluctant at first but Virgil convinced everyone to go. Asami took the Fatherbox and used it to open a boom tube.
The runaways were transported into the midst of patrolling Reach soldiers. They feigned a surrender, then took the soldiers down with a surprise attack. As reinforcements arrived, Tye and the others retreated. In another section of the Warworld, the four took out a number of Reach soldiers. Virgil complemented Tye's "long shadow" being laser proof but Tye said it was actually laser resistant and the beams still stung him.
The four located the captured Team members, but were confronted by Black Beetle. Tye advanced on him but a single shot from Beetle took him down. Not until Arsenal showed up were the four able to keep Beetle off balance. Arsenal released Mongul to keep Beetle occupied and allow Tye and the others to free the captured Team members. They ultimately regrouped with Nightwing, Miss Martian and Sphere and retreated to the Bio-Ship.
Back at the Bio-Ship, Nightwing congratulated Tye and the others on their success and said there might be a place for them on the Team. Tye was skeptical of the offer, given his previous experience at STAR Labs, but Virgil told him to relax. But when Nightwing dismissed Arsenal from the Team, Tye and the other runaways objected, given that Arsenal's advice had allowed them to successfully hold off Black Beetle. They offered Arsenal to join them, he accepted and the five used the Fatherbox to return to the safehouse.
Taos May 30, 00:33MDT
At the safehouse, Lex Luthor congratulated them on their success, but Arsenal realized that Luthor had been using the runaways. He told them about what Luthor had done to him, prompting Asami to destroy the Fatherbox and laptop. Tye and the others departed their own way.
When magnetic field disruptors planted by the Reach threatened the Earth, Tye Longshadow joined 39 other heroes of Earth in a briefing in Metropolis City. The heroes would use a computer virus provided by Lex Luthor to safely disable the devices. The heroes were paired off with another into twenty squads: one member would run interference against Beetle-tech Drones guarding the disruptors, allowing the other to get close enough to plant the virus.Tye was assigned to Omicron Squad, and worked alongside the Atom.
Within thirty minutes, all squads had succeeded in their mission.
After the Invasion ended, Tye Longshadow received an invitation to join the Team. He declined the honor,preferring to return home to live with his mother. Asami also went to stay with him, the pair having secretly started a relationship.
Astral form projection: As a result of the Reach's experimentation, Tye's Meta-Gene was triggered. His gene allows him to create a translucent orange astral form in the shape of a muscular body, of varying size. He can only create this while in a relaxed state, and must remain calm and focused to use it at will.
Super strength: Via his astral form, Tye's strength is enhanced to superhuman levels. Because of this, Tye is able to tear roofs off buildings, punch through walls, lift the ground, as well as break through rock.
Tye Longshadow's physical appearance, ethnic background, and surname allude to Apache Chief, a character in Super Friends, and the Justice League Unlimited character Long Shadow, who was based on Apache Chief. Long Shadow was voiced by Gregg Rainwater, who also voices Tye.