Invaders, Rowlf's Journey "A Journey to the Center of the Earth Story" Sometimes it's hard to know the real monster, even when you're one.
"A Journey to the Center of the Earth Story"
By John Pirillo
Maybe it was the never ending trek into the bowels of the earth that caught Rowlf's fancy, or perhaps it was these strange creatures who demonstrated such extremes of emotion. Emotion was not new to Rowlf. All his people had it, but jut not so extreme! His people were not nomadic by nature. Once they found a cavern or large protected area with access to water and food, they seldom left that area to adventure about.
There were some, like Rowlf though, who while tolerated, and put a stress and strain on the society they were born to, because their minds were curious. Always looking to explore one more thing. Learn one more thing.
Such had Rowlf been as an egg and such was he now as a fully grown Therm...The description his people gave themselves. It meant hard shell, soft heart.
Of course not all Therms were as reasonable as Rowlf's had been. He still remembered when their quarters were invaded by a variation of Therm that used strange weapons that sent beams of light, blistering the shells of loved ones and friends. Rowlf had been but little over an egg in size at that time, so he had been hidden in the back, protected by the Warrior Mothers, those who gave up egg lying to protect the young. More often than not, they also laid eggs, but they never had the privilege of raising and nourishing them as a mother might. Their sights were upon the overall communal protection.
They had thrown off that invasion, not because of superior weapons, but because they cared for each other. None were afraid to die for the other. And many had perished. It take many long periods of egg laying to even begin to get back into the numbers of population they had before the battle with the evil Therms.
Evil is a loosely translated word for the emotion they felt from the invading Therms. No one of Rowlf's tribe would ever have said that word. They didn't believe that creatures were made of one thing or another, but a blend. They believed in shades of gray, not black.
Rowlf had awakened the night of the invasion with a frightening vision. He saw these short white skinned creatures invading their home with weapons that could pierce their armored skin and explode them from the inside out. It had terrified him.
His mother had tried to calm him down and it might have worked, had not the invasion begun shortly thereafter. Rowlf remembered little of those moments in retrospect, because his mind was still forming. Therm brains aren't fully developed in the second area of the head until they reach ten terms. Which are about twenty earth years as measured by surface dwellers.
Rowlf had scrambled on his legs and arms like an insect. Children did that. Not adults, though they might in a warlike situation, which this was, though few at the time could believe such was happening.
Rowlf had been taken the long path, not the short, for the invaders were camped at the edge of the short path and were using their strange weapons to pick off anyone that came within range. Which in the beginning had been pretty much dozens of Therms who couldn't believe that the strange lights would harm them, let alone the invaders. It was unheard of for Therm to harm Therm. That illusion was quickly broken by the fight that ensued.
Hundreds died in the first fatal hours, before the invading Therms ran out of light throwing weapons. Their beams of light might have killed Therms, but not always on the first blow or the next. Even dying, Therms took a long time to realize they were dead and kept on fighting until their brains were fried, or their multiple hearts broke.
Rowlf's heart broke at least twice during the battle, for his mother and father were among the first to fall as they strove to protect him and the other children from the invading Therms. It had been their goal to rob the colony of the babies. Later, after they had scattered the foe, and captured a few. The majority they swiftly killed once their light weapons failed.
They learned about the goals of the invaders from one especially tall one. He had been captured and kept from biting his own body in two by four of their own. He had been interrogated and found out to have led roughly a thousand of the Therm invaders. Only fifty of them survived. He had told them that there were more waiting to invade and with even more powerful weapons, but none believed him. The cells in his eyes lied. They glowed the wrong way.
The Therms of the colony knew bitterness and sorrow for the first time in a long time. They did not feel for vengeance, so they allowed the captured leader to choose his method of death. The leader had chosen the Molten Falls. A series of volcanic rivers that burned up anything that touched them within the blink of multiple eyes.
He had marched to the edge of the precipice he would jump from, then turned back and faced his captors. "You have won this war. But there will be another. And it will be led by the White Ones."
And then he had given them a brittle smile. The only kind their sort could make and fallen backwards from the edge of the precipice, laughing.
Rowlf remembered breaking free from the others and running to the edge of the precipice. He should have seen the leader burning in the molten lava, but he saw nothing for a long time, but then he saw this mottled shell of color moving sideways about halfway down the precipice. It stopped a moment, and then a face looked up at him. One he would never forget.
Rowlf woke up with a nerve grinding roar of anger, startling both Russ...a Midwestern man with a quirky sense of humor and his friend, Everett, a British genius with an even stranger sense of humor. Rowlf never thought much about what brought their humor to life. Had he done so, he might have realized it was their way of coping with all the death they'd seen and near deaths of them during their journey beneath the earth.
"Bloody Hell! Rowlf!" Everett hollered at him. "A man's trying to sleep here!"
Russ grimaced. "Where?"
Everett glared at him. "Ha-ha. Very funny."
Everett, finally coming back to his senses from the very deep sleep of exhaustion, arose and began stretching his limbs, just in case. Rowlf had proven more than once to be a valuable friend and very much like a good watchdog when it came to danger. He clasped his stone spear and surveyed the pocket of tunnel they had put themselves in so nothing could attack from behind. It was the same bland rock with a few clutches of glow moss on its sides and ceiling. Outside their pocket the cavern was lit by thousands of glow moss, which gave it an eerie look. One that was never comfortable to wake to, because while intensely beautiful, it could also be incredibly dangerous because of the monsters that hid in the depths.
"Nothing wrong I can see." Everett muttered finally, settling down beside Russ, who hadn't bothered to open his eyes even.
Russ yawned. "Rowlfie had a bad dream."
Rowlf, who had levered himself up from the floor into a position of defense nodded. "Dweam!"
Rowlf looked at the two men. "Was dweam?"
Russ finally opened his eyes when Everett refused to speak.
He gave Everett a glare, and then patted his friend Rowlf on his armored shoulder. "Pal, it has to do with seeing things that aren't there."
Everett tensed again. "Saw what?"
That brought Russ fully awake. He grabbed his own stone spear and sat with his back to the next to Everett, but opposite Rowlf. "What kind of danger?"
Rowlf considered that a long time, then shrugged. "Wusual."
Everett and Russ both groaned.
They had no water or food and had stopped to rest and sleep because their bodies were groaning for both. But now they realized they had to get on with it again. They struggled to their feet and Rowlf followed them from the pocket cave.
The path before them split and ran in two directions. North and South.
Everett made a fist. Russ did also.
"The Big One." Everett said with a satisfied look on his face.
Russ groaned. "Cheater."
"You saying it don't beat the others?"
Russ just glared at him, and then went the right path.
"Aren't you forgetting something, old man?"
Russ stopped and turned around. "What?"
"This way." Everett smiled, stepping on the left path. "I won."
"Yeah. By cheating." Russ grumbled, following Everett anyway.
Rowlf watched them a moment with amusement.
"Whomens!" He said in a voice that sounded like garbled metal clashing together.
He followed his human friends, contemplating what they would find this day. He was as hungry, if not more so, as them. He didn't tell them, but usually he ate much more. But he hadn't the hearts to take all the food. That wouldn't be Therman of him.
Russ got lucky first. He found a patch pod of moss eggs. The humans didn't know why eggs were always nested in the patch pods, but they were. It was almost like an Easter egg hunt, finding the spoils that way. But they didn't complain, nor did they flinch when they broke the egg shells and sucked them dry.
Only Rowlf would not eat them. He knew where the eggs really came from. And while the eggs would not grow up to be Therms, they were sentient and he respected them anyway. He did not interfere because he also knew these eggs had been lost or abandoned. The owners, he could tell by is olfactory nerves located along his jaw and nostril areas, were long gone and would not care at this point. Eggs if not kept warm...died.
So sad for the loss of the life, but happy for his friends. He watched them fill their empty stomachs. Finally, after they offered him for the last time a share of the eggs, they greedily split those up and sucked them down as well.
"Hey!" Everett called out, stumbling to his feet. He belched, and then made his way to a new pocket cave. "Anyone for a nap?"
He started to enter, and then paused. "Russ. Look at this."
Russ was so groggy from sleep loss and a full stomach, he had almost missed it.
They both stood and stared at the strange marking on the entrance to the pocket cave. It looked like a series of stars with long arms.
Everett nodded. "It's almost like they're some kind of territorial marking. Except that they're incredibly detailed and well done."
Russ glanced around the cavern a long time, and then sighed. "Worry about whom later. I'm beat."
He and Everett found the best spots they could to be comfortable and instantly knocked out. But Rowlf did not sleep. Rowlf stood guard. He considered his friends for a long time. Such a strange group of creatures. And then he remembered his dream. The leader screaming about the coming of the White Ones. He shook his head, making a rattling, raspy sound which disturbed Russ and Everett's sleep for a moment, then they settled back to sleep.
He didn't tell them he had also seen the symbol before. And he just might know what it meant. It was for wiser ones than him to go there. And since there were no wiser ones with them...Rowlf sighed in a gravely tone, and then locked his joints so he didn't have to worry about falling. He preferred to sleep in that position. It gave any likely invaders second thoughts about attacking, but also gave him the advantage of striking first. Therms were extremely light sleepers, even if in the middle of what had they called his experience..."Dweams?"
Buck Rogers 1939 Chapters 9 & 10 Killer Kane will not rest unless he has it all, including Buck's life!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For other uses, see Shadow (disambiguation). "Lamont Cranston" redirects here. For the musical group, see The Lamont Cranston Band. This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (March 2012) The Shadow "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"
The Shadow as depicted on the cover of the July 15, 1939, issue of The Shadow Magazine. The story, "Death from Nowhere," was one of the magazine plots adapted for the legendary radio drama. Publication information Publisher Street & Smith
Condé Nast First appearance Detective Story Hour
(July 31, 1930) (radio)
"The Living Shadow"
(April 1, 1931) (print) Created by Walter B. Gibson In-story information Alter ego Kent Allard (print)
Lamont Cranston (radio and film) Notable aliases Lamont Cranston (print) Abilities In print, radio, and film:
Peak mental and physical conditioning
Skilled marksman and martial artist
Master of disguise
Master of stealth
In radio and film only:
Able to make himself nearly invisible to the naked eye
Can alter and control a person's thoughts and perceptions The Shadow is a fictional superhero appearing in serialized dramas, originally in 1930s pulp magazines, and then in a wide variety of other media. Details of the character differ across various media, but he is frequently depicted as a crime-fighting vigilante with psychic powers posing as a "wealthy, young man about town". One of the most famous adventure heroes of the twentieth century, The Shadow has been featured on the radio, in a long-running pulp magazine series, in comic books, comic strips, television, serials, video games, and at least five motion pictures. The radio drama is well-remembered for those episodes voiced by Orson Welles.
Introduced as a mysterious radio narrator by David Chrisman, William Sweets, and Harry Engman Charlot for Street and Smith Publications, The Shadow was developed fully and transformed into a pop culture icon by pulp writer Walter B. Gibson. The character would go on to become a major influence on the subsequent evolution of comic book superheroes, in particular, Batman.
The Shadow debuted on July 31, 1930, as the mysterious narrator of the Street and Smith radio program Detective Story Hour. After gaining popularity among the show's listeners, the narrator became the star of The Shadow Magazine on April 1, 1931, a pulp series created and primarily written by the prolific Gibson.
On September 26, 1937, The Shadow radio drama premiered with the story "The Deathhouse Rescue", in which The Shadow was characterized as having "the power to cloud men's minds so they cannot see him." As in the magazine stories, The Shadow was not given the literal ability to become invisible.
The introduction from The Shadow radio program "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!", spoken by actor Frank Readick Jr., has earned a place in the American idiom. These words were accompanied by an ominous laugh and a musical theme, Camille Saint-Saëns' Le Rouet d'Omphale ("Omphale's Spinning Wheel", composed in 1872). At the end of each episode The Shadow reminded listeners that, "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay... The Shadow knows!"
Thus, beginning on July 31, 1930, "The Shadow" was the name given to the mysterious narrator of the Detective Story Hour. The narrator was voiced by James LaCurto and, later, Frank Readick. The episodes were drawn from the Detective Story Magazine issued by Street and Smith, "the nation's oldest and largest publisher of pulp magazines." Although the latter company had hoped the radio broadcasts would boost the declining sales of the Detective Story Magazine, the result was quite different. Listeners found the sinister announcer much more compelling than the unrelated stories. They soon began asking newsdealers for copies of "that Shadow detective magazine," even though it did not exist.
Development Recognizing the demand and responding promptly, circulation manager Henry William Ralston of Street & Smith commissioned Walter B. Gibson to begin writing stories about "The Shadow." Using the pen name of Maxwell Grant and claiming the stories were "from The Shadow's private annals as told to" him, Gibson wrote 282 out of 325 tales over the next 20 years: a novel-length story twice a month (1st and 15th). The first story produced was "The Living Shadow", published April 1, 1931.
Gibson initially fashioned the character as a man with villainous characteristics, who used them to battle crime, and in this was archetypal of the superhero, complete with a stylized imagery, a stylized name, sidekicks, supervillains, and a secret identity. Clad in black, The Shadow operated mainly after dark, burglarizing in the name of justice, and terrifying criminals into vulnerability before he or someone else gunned them down. The character was a film noir antihero in every sense; Gibson himself claimed the literary inspirations were Bram Stoker's Dracula and Edward Bulwer-Lytton's "The House and the Brain".
Because of the great effort involved in writing two full-length novels every month, several guest writers were hired to write occasional installments in order to lighten Gibson's work load. These guest writers included Lester Dent — who penned the Doc Savage stories — and Theodore Tinsley. In the late 1940s, mystery novelist Bruce Elliott (also a magician) would temporarily replace Gibson as the primary author of the pulp series. Richard Edward Wormser, a reader for Street & Smith, wrote two Shadow stories.
The Shadow Magazine ceased publication with the Summer 1949 issue, but Walter B. Gibson wrote three new "official" stories between 1963 and 1980. The first of these began a new series of nine updated Shadow novels from Belmont Books, starting with Return of The Shadow under his own by-line. But the remaining eight, The Shadow Strikes, Beware Shadow, Cry Shadow, The Shadow's Revenge, Mark of The Shadow, Shadow Go Mad, Night of The Shadow, and The Shadow, Destination: Moon, were not penned by Gibson but by Dennis Lynds under the "Maxwell Grant" byline. In these last eight novels, The Shadow was given psychic powers, including the radio character's ability "to cloud men's minds" so that he effectively became invisible, and was more of a spymaster than crime fighter.
Publications See List of The Shadow stories
Character development The character and look of The Shadow gradually evolved over his lengthy fictional existence:
As depicted in the pulps, The Shadow wore a wide brimmed black hat and a black, crimson-lined cloak with an upturned collar over a standard black business suit. In the 1940s comic books, the later comic book series, and the 1994 film starring Alec Baldwin, he wore either the black hat or a wide-brimmed, black fedora and a crimson scarf just below his nose and across his mouth and chin. Both the cloak and scarf covered either a black double-breasted trench coat or a regular black suit. As seen in some of the later comics series, The Shadow would also wear his hat and scarf with either a black Inverness coat or Inverness cape.
In the radio drama, which debuted in 1930, The Shadow was an invisible avenger who had learned, while "traveling through East Asia," "the mysterious power to cloud men's minds, so they could not see him." This feature of the character was born out of necessity: time constraints of 1930s radio made it difficult to explain to listeners where The Shadow was hiding and how he was remaining concealed. Thus, the character was given the power to escape human sight. Voice effects were added to suggest The Shadow's seeming omnipresence. In order to explain this power, The Shadow was described as a master of hypnotism, as explicitly stated in several radio episodes.
Background "The Living Shadow" from The Shadow #1 (April 7, 1931) In print, The Shadow's real name is Kent Allard, and he was a famed aviator who fought for the French during World War I. He became known by the alias the Black Eagle, according to "The Shadow's Shadow" (1933), although later stories revised this alias as the Dark Eagle, beginning with "The Shadow Unmasks" ( 1937). After the war, Allard finds a new challenge in waging war on criminals. Allard fakes his death in the South American jungles, then returns to the United States. Arriving in New York City, he adopts numerous identities to conceal his existence.
One of these identities—indeed, the best known—is that of Lamont Cranston, a "wealthy young man about town." In the pulps, Cranston is a separate character; Allard frequently disguises himself as Cranston and adopts his identity (The Shadow Laughs, 1931). While Cranston travels the world, Allard assumes his identity in New York. In their first meeting, Allard, as The Shadow, threatens Cranston, saying he has arranged to switch signatures on various documents and other means that will allow him to take over the Lamont Cranston identity entirely unless Cranston agrees to allow Allard to impersonate him when he is abroad. Terrified, Cranston agrees. The two men sometimes meet in order to impersonate each other (Crime over Miami, 1940). The disguise works well because Allard and Cranston resemble each other (Dictator of Crime, 1941).
His other disguises include businessman Henry Arnaud, who first appeared in The Black Master (March 1, 1932), which issue revealed that like Cranston, there is a real Henry Arnaud; elderly Isaac Twambley, who first appeared in No Time For Murder; and Fritz, who first appeared in "The Living Shadow" (April 1931); in this last disguise, he pretends to be a doddering old slow-witted, uncommunicative janitor who works at Police Headquarters in order to listen in on conversations.
For the first half of The Shadow's tenure in the pulps, his past and identity are ambiguous, supposedly[weasel words] an intentional decision on Gibson's part. In The Living Shadow, a thug claims to have seen the Shadow's face, and thought he saw "a piece of white that looked like a bandage." In The Black Master and The Shadow's Shadow, the villains both see The Shadow's true face and remark that The Shadow is a man of many faces with no face of his own. It was not until the August 1937 issue, The Shadow Unmasks, that The Shadow's real name is revealed.
In the radio drama, the Allard secret identity was dropped for simplicity's sake. On the radio, The Shadow was only Lamont Cranston; he had no other aliases or disguises.
Supporting characters The Shadow has a network of agents who assist him in his war on crime. These include:
Margo Lane (Penelope Ann Miller) in The Shadow.
In contrast to the pulps, The Shadow radio drama limited the cast of major characters to the Shadow, Commissioner Weston, and Margo Lane, the last of whom was created specifically for the radio series, as it was believed the abundance of agents would make it difficult to distinguish between characters. Harry Vincent appeared as an agent of the Shadow in the first episode, "The Death House Escape". Clyde Burke and Moe Shrevnitz (identified only as "Shrevvy") made occasional appearances, but not as agents of the Shadow. Lt. Cardona was a minor character in several episodes. Shrevvy was merely an acquaintance of Cranston and Lane, and occasionally Cranston's chauffeur.
Enemies The Shadow also faces a wide variety of enemies, ranging from kingpins and mad scientists to international spies and "super-villains," many of whom were predecessors to the rogues galleries of comic super-heroes. Among The Shadow's recurring foes are Shiwan Khan, seen in The Golden Master, Shiwan Khan Returns, Invincible Shiwan Khan, and Masters of Death (in the 1994 film, John Lone portrayed the character); The Voodoo Master (The Voodoo Master, The City of Doom, and Voodoo Trail); The Prince of Evil (The Prince of Evil, The Murder Genius, The Man Who Died Twice, and The Devil's Paymaster, all written by Theodore Tinsley); and The Wasp (The Wasp and The Wasp Returns).
The series also featured a myriad of one-shot villains, including The Red Envoy, The Death Giver, Gray Fist, The Black Dragon, Silver Skull, The Red Blot, The Black Falcon, The Cobra, Gaspard Zemba, The Black Master, Five-Face, The Gray Ghost, and Dr. Z.
The Shadow also battles collectives of criminals, such as The Silent Seven (his targets in an adventure all their own), The Hand, The Salamanders, and The Hydra.
Radio program Orson Welles was the voice of The Shadow from September 1937 to October 1938. He was succeeded by Bill Johnstone. In early 1930, Street & Smith Publications hired David Chrisman and Bill Sweets to adapt the Detective Story Magazine to radio format. Chrisman and Sweets felt the program should be introduced by a mysterious storyteller. A young scriptwriter, Harry Charlot, suggested the name of "The Shadow." Thus, "The Shadow" premiered over CBS airwaves on July 31, 1930, as the host of the Detective Story Hour, narrating "tales of mystery and suspense from the pages of the premier detective fiction magazine." The narrator was first voiced by James LaCurto, but became a national sensation when radio veteran Frank Readick, Jr. assumed the role and gave it "a hauntingly sibilant quality that thrilled radio listeners."
Early years Following a brief tenure as narrator of Street & Smith's Detective Story Hour, "The Shadow" character was used to host segments of The Blue Coal Radio Revue, playing on Sundays at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. This marked the beginning of a long association between the radio persona and sponsor Blue Coal.
While functioning as a narrator of The Blue Coal Radio Revue, the character was recycled by Street & Smith in October 1931, to oddly serve as the storyteller of Love Story Hour.
In October 1932, the radio persona temporarily moved to NBC. Frank Readick again played the role of the sinister-voiced host on Mondays and Wednesdays, both at 6:30 p.m., with LaCurto taking occasional turns as the title character.
Readick returned as The Shadow to host a final CBS mystery anthology that fall. The series disappeared from CBS airwaves on March 27, 1935, due to Street & Smith's insistence that the radio storyteller be completely replaced by the master crime-fighter described in Walter B. Gibson's ongoing pulps.
Radio drama This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2014) Street & Smith entered into a new broadcasting agreement with Blue Coal in 1937, and that summer Gibson teamed with scriptwriter Edward Hale Bierstadt to develop the new series. The Shadow returned to network airwaves on September 26, 1937, over the new Mutual Broadcasting System. Thus began the "official" radio drama, with 22-year-old Orson Welles starring as Lamont Cranston, a "wealthy young man about town." Once The Shadow joined Mutual as a half-hour series on Sunday evenings, the program did not leave the air until December 26, 1954.
Welles did not speak the signature line, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?" Instead, Readick did, using a water glass next to his mouth for the echo effect. The famous catch phrase was accompanied by the strains of an excerpt from Opus 31 of the Camille Saint-Saëns classical composition, Le Rouet d'Omphale.
After Welles departed the show in 1938, Bill Johnstone was chosen to replace him and voiced the character for five seasons. Following Johnstone's departure, The Shadow was portrayed by such actors as Bret Morrison (the longest tenure, with 10 years in two separate runs), John Archer, and Steve Courtleigh.
The Shadow also inspired another radio hit, The Whistler, with a similarly mysterious narrator.
Margo Lane Main article: Margo Lane The radio drama also introduced female characters into The Shadow's realm, most notably Margo Lane (played by Agnes Moorehead, among others) as Cranston's love interest, crime-solving partner and the only person who knows his identity as The Shadow. Four years later, the character was introduced into the pulp novels. Her sudden, unexplained appearance in the pulps annoyed readers and generated a flurry of hate mail printed in The Shadow Magazine's letters page.
Lane was described as Cranston's "friend and companion" in later episodes, although the exact nature of their relationship was unclear. In the early scripts of the radio drama the character's name was spelled "Margot." The name itself was originally inspired by Margot Stevenson, the Broadway ingénue who would later be chosen to voice Lane opposite Welles' Shadow during "the 1938 Goodrich summer season of the radio drama." In the 1994 film in which Penelope Ann Miller portrayed the character, she is characterized as a telepath.
Comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels Walter Gibson's and Vernon Greene's The Shadow (August 12, 1940). The Shadow has been adapted for the comics quite a few times during his long history; his first comics appearance was on June 17, 1940 as a syndicated daily newspaper comic strip offered through the Ledger Syndicate. The strip's story continuity was written by Walter B. Gibson, with plot lines adapted from the Shadow pulps, and the strip was illustrated by Vernon Greene. Due to pulp paper shortages during World War II and the growing amount of space required for war news from both the European and Pacific fronts, the strip was canceled on June 13, 1942, after two years and nine adventures had been published. The Shadow daily was collected decades later in two comic book series from two different publishers (see below), first in 1988 and then in 1999.
To both cross-promote The Shadow and attract a younger audience to their other pulp magazines, Street & Smith published 101 issues of the comic book Shadow Comics from Vol. 1, #1 - Vol. 9, #5 (March 1940 - Sept. 1949). A Shadow story led off each issue, with the remainder of the stories being strips based on other Street & Smith pulp heroes.
In Mad #4 (April–May 1953), The Shadow was spoofed by Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder. Their character was called the Shadow' (with an apostrophe), which is short for Lamont Shadowskeedeeboomboom. In this satire, Margo Pain gets Shad, as she calls him, into various predicaments, including fights with gangsters and a piano falling on him from above. At the conclusion of the tale, after Margo is tricked into going inside an outhouse surrounded by wired-up dynamite, Shad is seen gleefully pushing down a detonator's plunger.
During the superhero revival of the 1960s, Archie Comics published an eight-issue series, The Shadow (Aug. 1964 - Sept. 1965), under the company's Mighty Comics imprint. In the first issue, The Shadow depicted was loosely based on the radio version, but with blond hair. In issue #2 (Sept. 1964), the character was transformed into a campy, heavily muscled, green and blue costume-wearing superhero by writer Robert Bernstein and artist John Rosenberger. Later issues of this eight-issue series were written by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel.
During the mid-1970s, DC Comics published an "atmospheric interpretation" of the character by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Michael Kaluta in a 12-issue series (Nov. 1973 - Sept. 1975). Kaluta drew issues 1-4 and 6 and was followed by Frank Robbins and then E. R. Cruz. Faithful to both the pulp-magazine and radio-drama character, the series guest-starred fellow pulp fiction hero The Avenger in issue #11. The Shadow also appeared in DC's Batman #253 (Nov. 1973), in which Batman teams with an aging Shadow and calls the famous crime fighter his "greatest inspiration". In Batman #259 (Dec. 1974), Batman again meets The Shadow, and we learn The Shadow saved Bruce Wayne's life when the future Batman was a boy.
DC Comics' The Shadow #1 (Nov. 1973). Cover art by Michael Kaluta. The Shadow is also referenced in DC's Detective Comics #446 (1975), page 4, panel 2: Batman, out of costume and in disguise as an older night janitor, makes a crime fighting acknowledgement, in a thought balloon, to the Shadow.
In 1986, another DC incarnation was created by Howard Chaykin. This four issue mini-series, also collected as a one-shot graphic novel (Shadow: Blood and Judgement), brought The Shadow into modern-day New York. While initially successful, this version proved unpopular with traditional Shadow fans because it depicted The Shadow using Uzi submachine guns and rocket launchers, as well as featuring a strong strain of black comedy and extreme violence throughout.
The Shadow, set in our modern era, was continued the following year, in 1987, as a monthly DC comics series by writer Andy Helfer (editor of the mini-series); it was drawn primarily by artists Bill Sienkiewicz (issues 1-6) and Kyle Baker (issues 8-19 and two Shadow Annuals).
In 1988 O'Neil and Kaluta, with inker Russ Heath, returned to The Shadow with the Marvel Comics graphic novel The Shadow 1941: Hitler's Astrologer, set during World War II. This one-shot appeared in both hardcover and trade paperback editions.
The Vernon Greene/Walter Gibson Shadow newspaper comic strip from the early 1940s was finally collected by Malibu Graphics (Malibu Comics) under their Eternity Comics imprint, beginning with the first issue of Crime Classics dated July, 1988. Each cover was illustrated by Greene and colored by one of Eternity's colorists. A total of 13 issues appeared featuring just the black-and-white daily until the final issue, dated November, 1989. Some of the Shadow story lines were contained in one issue, while others were continued over into the next. When a Shadow story ended, another tale would begin in the same issue. This back-to-back format continued until the final 13th issue, when the strip story lines ended.
Dave Stevens' nostalgic comics series The Rocketeer contains a great number of pop culture references to the 1930s. Various characters from the Shadow pulps make appearances in the story line published in the Rocketeer Adventure Magazine, including The Shadow's famous alter ego Lamont Cranston. Two issues were published by Comico Comics in 1988 and 1989, but the third and final installment did not appear until years later, finally appearing in 1995 from Dark Horse Comics. All three issues were then collected by Dark Horse into a slick trade paperback titled The Rocketeer: Cliff's New York Adventure (ISBN 1-56971-092-9).
A year later, in 1989, DC released in graphic novel hardcover reprinting five issues (#1-4 and 6 by Dennis O'Neil and Michael Kaluta) of their 1970s series as The Private Files of The Shadow. The volume also featured a new Shadow adventure drawn by Kaluta.
From 1989 to 1992, DC published a new Shadow series, The Shadow Strikes, written by Gerard Jones and Eduardo Barreto. This series was set in the 1930s and returned The Shadow to his pulp origins. During its run, it featured The Shadow's first team-up with Doc Savage, another very popular hero of the pulp magazine era. Both characters appeared together in a four-issue story line that crossed back and forth between each character's DC comic series. "The Shadow Strikes" often led The Shadow into encounters with well-known celebrities of the 1930s, such as Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, union organizer John L. Lewis, and Chicago gangsters Frank Nitti and Jake Guzik. In issue #7, The Shadow meets a radio announcer named Grover Mills, a character based on the young Orson Welles, who has been impersonating The Shadow on the radio. The character's name is taken from Grover's Mill, New Jersey, the name of the small town where the Martians land in Welles' famous 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds. When Shadow rights holder Conde Nast increased its licensing fee, DC concluded the series after 31 issues and one annual; it became the longest running Shadow comic series since Street and Smith's original 1940s series.
During the early-to-mid-1990s, Dark Horse Comics acquired the comics rights to the Shadow from Conde Nast. It published the Shadow miniseries In The Coils of Leviathan (four issues) in 1993, and Hell's Heat Wave (three issues) in 1995. In the Coils of the Leviathan was later collected and issued by Dark Horse in 1994 as a trade paperback graphic novel. Both series were written by Joel Goss and Michael Kaluta, and drawn by Gary Gianni. A one-shot Shadow issue The Shadow and the Mysterious Three was also published by Dark Horse in 1994, again written by Joel Goss and Michael Kaluta, with Stan Manoukian and Vince Roucher taking over the illustration duties but working over Kaluta's layouts. A comics adaptation of the 1994 film The Shadow was published in two issues by Dark Horse as part of the movie's merchandising campaign. The script was by Goss and Kaluta and once again drawn from cover to cover by Kaluta. It was collected and published in England by Boxtree as a graphic novel tie-in for the film's British release. Emulating DC's earlier team-up, Dark Horse also published a two-issue mini-series in 1995 called The Shadow and Doc Savage: The Case of the Shrieking Skeletons. It was written by Steve Vance, and illustrated once again by Manoukian and Roucher. Of special note, both issues' covers were drawn by Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens. The final Dark Horse Shadow team-up was published in 1995. It was a single issue of Ghost and the Shadow, written by Doug Moench, pencilled by H. M. Baker, and inked by Bernard Kolle.
The Shadow made an uncredited cameo appearance in issue #2 of DC's 1996 four issue mini-series Kingdom Come. Those four issues were then collected into a single graphic novel in 1997. The Shadow appears in the nightclub scene standing in the background next to The Question and Rorschach.
The early 1940s Shadow newspaper daily strip was again put back into print, this time by Avalon Communications under their ACG Classix imprint. The Shadow daily began appearing in the first issue of Pulp Action comics. It carries no monthly date or issue number on the cover, only a 1999 copyright and a "Pulp Action #1" notation at the bottom of the inside cover. Each issue's cover is a colorized, partial comics panel blow-up, taken from one of the reprinted strips. The eighth issue uses for its cover a partial Shadow serial black-and-white movie still, with several hand-drawn alterations added. The first issue of Pulp Action is devoted entirely to reprinting the Shadow daily, but subsequent issues began offering back-up, non-Shadow stories of various page lengths in every issue. These Shadow strip reprints stopped with Pulp Action 's eighth issue, never completing the daily's story lines; that last issue carries a 2000 copyright date.
Writer Garth Ennis signing copies of Dynamite Entertainment's The Shadow (volume 5) #1 at an April 19, 2012 signing at Midtown Comics Downtown in Manhattan. In August 2011 Dynamite licensed The Shadow from Conde Nast for both on-going comic book series and several limited run miniseries. Their first on-going series was written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Aaron Campbell and debuted on April 19, 2012 in comics shops. This series ran for 25 issues, ending in May 2014 (overall 26 issues, with issue #0 published July 2014 shortly after the ongoing series ended). Dynamite then followed with the release an eight-issue miniseries, Masks, teaming the 1930s Shadow with Dynamite's other pulp hero-based comic book characters, the Spider, The Green Hornet and Kato, and a 1930s Zorro (plus four other heroes of the pulp era from Dynamite's comics line up); Dynamite then offered a second Shadow eight-issue miniseries, Shadow Year One, followed by the team-up miniseries The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights, and a Shadow miniseries set in the modern era, The Shadow Now. Additional Dynamite Entertainment Shadow and Shadow team-up series and miniseries continue to follow in their wake.
Films The Shadow character has been adapted for film shorts and motion pictures.
Shadow film shorts (1931–1932) In 1931 Universal Pictures created a series of six film shorts based on the popular Detective Story Hour radio program, narrated by The Shadow. The first short, A Burglar to the Rescue, was filmed in New York City and features the voice of The Shadow on radio, Frank Readick. (When the viewer closes his or her eyes and just listens to the DVD release of these early films, they get a close facsimile of what the lost 1930-31 Shadow radio broadcasts must have been like; none of those early Shadow-introduced radio broadcasts exist in any recorded form). Beginning with the second short, The House of Mystery, the series was produced in Hollywood without the voice of Readick as The Shadow; it was followed by The Circus Show-Up and three additional shorts the following year with other voice actors portraying The Shadow.
The Shadow Strikes (1937) The film The Shadow Strikes was released in 1937, starring Rod La Rocque in the title role. Lamont Cranston assumes the secret identity of "The Shadow" in order to thwart an attempted robbery at an attorney's office. Both The Shadow Strikes (1937) and its sequel, International Crime (1938), were released by Grand National Pictures.
International Crime (1938) La Rocque returned the following year in International Crime. In this version, reporter Lamont Cranston is an amateur criminologist and detective who uses the name of "The Shadow" as a radio gimmick. Thomas Jackson portrayed Police Commissioner Weston, and Astrid Allwyn was cast as Phoebe Lane, Cranston's assistant.
The Shadow (1940) The Shadow, a 15-chapter movie serial produced by Columbia Pictures and starring Victor Jory, premiered in theaters in 1940. The serial's villain, The Black Tiger, is a criminal mastermind who sabotages rail lines and factories across the United States. Lamont Cranston must become his shadowy alter ego in order to unmask the criminal and halt his fiendish crime spree. As The Shadow, Jory wears an all-black suit and cape, as well as a black bandana that helps conceal his facial features.
The Shadow Returns, etc. (1946) Low-budget motion picture studio Monogram Pictures produced a trio of quickie Shadow B-movie features in 1946 starring Kane Richmond: The Shadow Returns, Behind the Mask and The Missing Lady. Richmond's Shadow wore all black, including a trench coat, a wide-brimmed fedora, and a full face-mask similar to the type worn by movie serial hero The Masked Marvel, instead of the character's signature black cape with red lining and red scarf.
Invisible Avenger (1958) Episodes of a television pilot shot in 1957 were edited into the 1958 theatrical feature Invisible Avenger, rereleased in 1962 as Bourbon Street Shadows.
The Shadow (1994) Poster for The Shadow Main article: The Shadow (1994 film) In 1994 the character was adapted once again into a feature film, The Shadow, starring Alec Baldwin as Lamont Cranston and Penelope Ann Miller as Margo Lane. As the film opens, Cranston has become the evil and corrupt Ying-Ko (literally "Eagle's Beak"), a brutal warlord and opium smuggler in early 1930s Mongolia. Ying Ko is kidnapped by agents of the mysterious Tulku, who begins to reform the warlord using the psychic power of his evolved mind to restore Cranston's humanity. The Tulku also teaches him the ability to "cloud men's minds" using psychic power in order to fight evil in the world. Cranston eventually returns to his native New York City and takes up the guise of the mysterious crime fighter "The Shadow", in payment to humanity for his past evil misdeeds: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows..."
His nemesis in the film is adapted from the pulp series' long-running Asian villain (and for the film, a fellow telepath), the evil Shiwan Khan (John Lone), the last descendant of Genghis Khan. He seeks to finish his ancestors's legacy of conquering the world by first destroying New York City, using a newly developed atomic bomb, in a show of his power. Khan nearly succeeds in this, but he is thwarted by The Shadow in a final psychic duel of death: Cranston, as The Shadow, imposes his will on, and defeats, Khan during a psychokinetically enhanced battle in a mirrored room, which has exploded into thousands of flying mirror shards. Focusing his mind's psychokinetic power, The Shadow flips a flying piece of jagged mirror in mid-air and then hurls it directly at a spot on Khan's forehead; this does not kill him, it only renders him unconscious. To save both the warlord and the world, The Shadow secretly arranges with one of his agents, an administrative doctor at an unidentified New York asylum for the criminally insane, to have Khan locked away permanently in a padded cell; Khan's badly-injured frontal lobe, which controlled his psychic powers, had been surgically removed, defusing—perhaps permanently—the threat he had once posed to humanity...and The Shadow.
The film combines elements from The Shadow pulp novels and comic books with the aforementioned ability to cloud minds described only on the radio show. In the film Alec Baldwin, as The Shadow, wears a red-lined black cloak and a long red scarf that covers his mouth and chin; he also wears a black, double-breasted trench coat and a wide-brimmed, black slouch hat; as in the pulp novels, he is armed with a pair of Browning .45-caliber semi-automatic pistols that for the film have longer barrels, are nickel-plated, and have ivory handles. The film also displays a first: Cranston's ability to conjure a false face whenever he is in his guise as The Shadow, in keeping with his physical portrayal in the pulps and the comics.
Sam Raimi Shadow feature film On December 11, 2006, the website SuperHero Hype reported that director Sam Raimi and Michael Uslan would co-produce a new Shadow film for Columbia Pictures.
On October 16, 2007, Raimi stated, "I don't have any news on The Shadow at this time, except that the company that I have with Josh Donen, my producing partner, we've got the rights to The Shadow. I love the character very much and we're trying to work on a story that'll do justice to the character."
On August 23, 2012, the website ShadowFan reported that during a Q&A session at San Diego's 2012 Comic-Con, director Sam Raimi, when asked about the status of his Shadow film project, stated they had not been able to develop a good script and the film would not be produced as planned.
TV series Two attempts were made to make a television series based on the character. The first, in 1954, was called The Shadow, and starred Tom Helmore as Lamont Cranston.
The second attempt, in 1958, was called The Invisible Avenger, which compiled the first two unaired episodes and was released theatrically instead. This film was later re-released in 1962 as Bourbon Street Shadows, with additional footage. Starring Richard Derr as The Shadow, The Invisible Avenger centers upon Lamont Cranston investigating the murder of a New Orleans bandleader. The film is notable as the second directorial effort of James Wong Howe (one of the two episodes only).
Influence on superheroes & other comics When Bob Kane and Bill Finger first conceived of the "Bat-Man," Finger suggested they pattern the character after pulp mystery men such as The Shadow. Finger then used "Partners of Peril"—a Shadow pulp written by Theodore Tinsley—as the basis for Batman's debut story, "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate." Finger later publicly acknowledged that "my first Batman script was a take-off on a Shadow story" and that "Batman was originally written in the style of the pulps." This influence was further evident with Batman showing little remorse over killing or maiming criminals and not being above using firearms. Decades later, noted comic book writer Dennis O'Neil would have Batman and The Shadow meet in Batman #253 (November 1973) and Batman #259 (December 1974) to solve crimes. In the former, Batman acknowledged that The Shadow was his biggest influence.
Additionally, characters such as Batman resemble Lamont Cranston's alter ego.
The Shadow is also mentioned by science fiction author Philip Jose Farmer as being a member of his widespread and hero-filled Wold-Newton family.
Welles' sinister laughter and Shadow opening dialog line is parodied in the January, 1946 Heckle & Jeckle debut cartoon, The Talking Magpies.
Alan Moore has credited The Shadow as one of the key influences for the creation of V, the title character in his DC Comics miniseries V for Vendetta, that later became a Warner Bros. feature film released in 2006.
See also Novels portal
The Shadow Radio Show, The Man Who Murdered Time, an audio only play of mystery, terror and suspense.
Imagine yourself seated in the living room of your home.The lights are out. Maybe a flickering candle in the far corner of the room casting dancing ghosts across your lap. Other shadows sit about you, showing wide round eyes that only the whites are visible in.
A huge box sits in the middle of you. It shakes as sound emits from it, causing the silence in the room to be filled with trembling and anxiety.
Then this voice cuts through the building fear in the room and you hear, "Who knows what goes on in the hearts of men? The Shadow Knows!"
Then this insane laughter that makes you want to dive under your chair, or the nearest hiding place, trembling with terror.
It's the weekly broadcast of "The Shadow."
Such were the delights of my child hood. May yours be filled with such awe Full ness as well.
My latest batch of fun filled carnival colors and festival swirls. A slideshow of sweet proportions.
My latest batch of fun filled carnival colors and festival swirls.
I'm now working on pumping them up in Photoshop. Getting some really nice variations. Who says I have to stick with just one render output?
Experimenting is fun to do.
Enjoy this batch meanwhile.
Fighting Nazi Monsters! "Storming the Future" A Rocketman Story by John Pirillo. Would he ever be able to return to the woman he loved?
Storming the Future
"A Rocketman Story"
by John Pirillo
Harry stood before the Rocketman suit, which was hanging by its arms in a clench of metal clamps that held it at a perpetual 12 inches above the pressed concrete flooring that covered the interior Swiss base of the Resistance. Behind it hung a second version, and behind that a third and so on through about ten versions. Each version was smaller than the last, but still far too big.
He then looked at the smaller jump suit, as he called it, that was slung casually over a work bench where Einstein and Tesla were clucking like mother hens over their new babies. It looked similar to the old movie serial he had seen in the States before he had been transferred to the Allied front in Britain It was, however, powered differently, and modular. Each part of it could be replaced by simply removing the entanglement field that kept it in place.
The entanglement field was something that Edison had come up with on a whim. He had been researching electromagnetics in hopes of finding a way to automate the building of his cars...and now the war effort's weaponized vehicles more rapidly, with them being easier to fix when things blew up. Which was often. It was based on some law that Harry didn't have the slightest comprehension of. Science was not his forte. Flying was. He frowned, but flying a ticking bomb had never been on his list of flying objects when he woke up in the future, or in the past and was drafted into the war on the Nazi regime.
"Don't worry, Harry, they'll work it out." Jet told him from the side.
Harry, startled from his reverie, and turned to eye his friend. "It's getting worse."
Jet put a comforting hand on his friend's shoulder. "I know, brother. Believe me I know. I'm the one that has to listen to you scream at night, remember?"
Harry sighed, then dug his hands into his uniform pockets, letting his frustration drain away. Jet was right. He always was. It just fretted at him that he had so little control over what was happening.
Al, perked up, probably feeling Harry's upset and nodded to Tesla, who gave Harry a wave, then returned to probing the jump suit with a tiny tool that had headlights on it. Al brushed his hands off, wiped them carefully on a dirty cloth, then on a cleaner one, and came over, all smiles and perky. "Harry, my boy. So good to see you. And so bright and early."
Jet gave Al a cockeyed grin. "As if anyone could sleep in this hole in the wall anyway."
Al clapped a hand on Jet's right arm. "Always shooting from the hip."
"Just be glad you're not the one in my sights."
Al laughed, patted Jet's arm, then gave Harry a more serious look. "You had them again?"
Harry adjusted his flight attitude and zoomed in a descending arc towards the newly reconstructed Eiffel Tower. It was late at night and only a few guards stood there, but they were Sturmgiganten. The giant, genetically enhanced soldiers cooked in Hitler's massive genetics labs buried somewhere in Asia and out of the reach of the Resistance.
For now. Harry thought grimly. One day. He let the thought subside as he dropped lightly onto the semi-lit platform at the top of the tower. It was similar to the one he remembered from his youth, when his father and mother had taken him to Paris for part of an European vacation. Those had been happier days. For Harry. But they had ended badly for his parents. His mother had contracted cancer and went through what seemed like an endless series of tests and remedies, which left her weaker and weaker over time.
A stomping of a boot.
Harry snapped out of the past to the present. This present. Not the one he had been born to. Which was in late twenties. Not this one which was a thousand years later and the hollow shell of the world it had once been. Its peoples decimated by a constantly warring faction of Nazi soldiers and Eastern Global warriors and weapons. The Second World War had ended with nuclear strikes at all the major western capitals of the world. The Eastern Block and Nazi Germany had divided the planet into two zones. They lived an uneasy peace between them, which was enforced locally by zombie soldiers...citizens whose minds were preempted by electronics...and Sturmgiganten...huge genetically modified soldiers that stood over eight feet tall, had muscles as thick as tree trunks and fists the size of hams. No, it wasn't a pretty future, or past as he remembered it.
Harry slid in a sliding curve with his left foot and the other one jacked up and caught the Nazi giant in its right kneecap. It grunted in pain. They had no voice like normal, but spoke in a kind of apelike grunt. Harry knew the one on the opposite side would be coming fast. For some reason these creatures always knew what was going on with the other. Knowing that, he swiftly followed the kneecap kick with a double punch into the giant's privates. The giant grunted even louder, the pain of its crushed testicles...thank God it had something normal...being so excruciating that it doubled over. That brought its chin into Harry's reach. He slammed his right elbow into its throat, then shoved with all his strength and sent the giant tumbling against the railing, where its giant yellowed eyes glared at him angrily, promising hideous torture. It wasn't going to happen. Harry drop kicked the giant in its stomach and it flew head over heels from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Its grunts grew louder and louder with pain as it fell into the large metal struts holding up the massive tower.
Harry never got to listen to it strike the bottom, because even if he could have heard it, the second giant was on him. He spun around powered his suit and flew like an arrow of destruction into its chest, sending it falling back against the railing. Harry didn't wait to struggle with it. He clasped one of its arms, gave his suit a power surge and lifted it off the platform, dangled it over the ground below and let go. He didn't listen for any grunts. He had a mission to do. He lit on the platform again and went to the strange device that topped the tower. It was, according to the Resistance informants, a death ray, that once activated. That one and a score of them about the city. That once activated, would create a lethal dome of blazing energies which no living thing could survive.
His mission. It's not going to happen.
He set the charges he carried in his side flaps, planted the timers carefully on all of them, set them for sixty seconds and leaped from the tower.
He flipped on his jump suit and waited for the rockets to kick in.
Harry's face was flushed and sweating by the time he had completed the retelling of his dream. Jet looked at him, his jaw hanging down. "God, Harry, I never knew. Man!"
Al took out his pipe, which he always did when he was considering something weighty, or something that bothered him deeply, proceeded to tamp tobacco in it, then light it. He took several puffs, then said. "We're going to find out what is causing these time loops, Harry. I promise it."
He said nothing more, but he gave Harry a quick side hug, then stepped back to rejoin Tesla, who looked up then, saw Harry's face, gave him a worried look, then returned to his work, with Al whispering words to him so Harry and Jet couldn't over listen.
Harry slumped against the work table behind him and wiped the sweat from his face. He felt like crap. Probably looked like it too.
He and Jet went to the small eating area that was allowed the base, took out two mugs and filled them steaming black java. They plugged the liquid with dabs of sugar and milk, then sat down, eyeing the activity going on, even at such an early hour.
A platoon of Resistance Forces were training in one corner, their Squad Leader, hollering at them to stay trim, stay in line, be quiet, get down and all the other nasty things those guys did to save the lives of those in their command.
"It's like I'm unhinged in time, Jet." Harry finally said, lifting his eyes from the activity in the base, to Jet's.
Jet nodded. He waited for Harry to go on.
"I never feel the death, but it always ends up that way. Why do I only remember the deaths?"
Jet laughed. "God's keeping you humble, man. God knows you need it, Flyboy."
Harry laughed despite the sadness and dismay he felt. He took a long sip of the hot java, the coffee streaming down his throat and igniting the nerve endings in his body, bringing some semblance of reality back to him again as he got further away from the dream.
Then he remembered. "Jet, it's been happening to me when I fly the suit."
"Yeah, man, we knew that."
"Yes, but it only happens after I've been in battle."
Harry jumped to his feet and dashed off.
Jet set his coffee down. "Now, I know why they call him Rocketman. He never keeps his feet on the ground long."
Jet sighed, threw the rest of his drink down his throat, then ran after Harry.
Harry struggled into the Rocketman suit while the Techs helped him lockdown. It was like squeezing a soft tomato through the top of a wine bottle. It had to get inside without bursting. At least that's what it always felt like to Harry at first. He eyed the jump suit and wished it were stable. He needed the flexibility it provided. No use living in the past, he thought, then stuffed his arms into the arms of the Rocketman suit and waited as he was closed inside.
Jet tapped on his faceplate. "Reading me, Harry?"
"Only too loud and clear, pal."
"Good, next time you run out on me like that I'm charging for the time."
The Techs about them laughed too.
Harry and Jet were base favorites. Their humor and stamina were well known, as was their battle readiness.
Harry activated the controls in his suit with his chin, tongue and nose, then dropped lightly to the floor as the overhead clamps released him. He turned towards the rising hanger door. He twisted slightly to look at Jet. "Make sure Al and Tes are monitoring my flight this time. It's important."
"Not telling me why, pal!" Jet exclaimed in aggravation.
Harry smiled through the face plate. "No time. Just tell them. Please!"
"Gotcha!" Jet dashed off.
Harry turned the Rocketman suit towards the opening to the Swiss air, then ignited his suit's rockets. He kept them tuned low so the radiations didn't backwash into the crew scrambling to clear his path, then punched them into full gear when he reached the opening. They could never leave it open more than a few seconds for fear of the Nazi Fume Fighters catching wind of them. So far they'd been lucky.
Harry launched into the clear blue skies of the Swiss Alps, Lake Lucerne below him as he angled towards the clouds. He checked his radar and spotted a Fume Fighter. They had won that name from the ugly black smoke they emitted as they tore through the atmosphere, leaving a smoking trail of black fumes and stench.
"Closing." Harry said into his communicator.
"Gotcha, Harry." Jet said.
"Be careful, Harry." Al told him.
"My middle name." Harry chuckled. "Except when it's he who drops like a rock."
Jet whooped with laughter. "That was good, brother. Really good."
"Here goes!" Harry warned, then accelerated the suit, closing in rapidly on the Fume Fighter which was high above. Obviously, the pilot had his attention forward, instead of below, for Harry was able to launch a series of rockets into its exhausts before the pilot awoke to the Rocketman behind him.
Harry didn't give him a chance to warn anyone, not even himself. He launched a deadly one, two whammy salvo of rockets which sent the Nazi pilot back to Valhalla.
Harry circled the area he had struck the Fume Fighter in, waiting for his theory to be proved. Nothing happened.
"Well, Harry?" Al finally said, his voice sounding a bit worried.
"Nothing. Not a damned thing." Harry groaned.
Realizing he had just shot down his own theory, he headed back to base. He shot through the entrance, backed off on his rockets, then lit like a dandelion on his favorite spot. He waited impatiently for the Techs to unlatch him, then thanked them, and raced to the back where Al, Tesla and Jet were standing next to the jump suit, which was still in pieces.
Al gave Harry a searching look.
"I thought the weapons somehow triggered the response that threw me between timelines."
Al nodded and turned to Tesla, who had been jotting notes in a small tablet in his hands. "I think you're wrong, Harry. "
He held the tablet up. Harry squinted at the mathematical symbols on it.
"What's it mean?"
But the words that left his lips seemed hollow, empty, as if he were in some kind of deep echo chamber. He jerked his eyes towards Jet, who was reaching for him and then...
Harry was falling and falling. The rockets had failed. He would die if he couldn't fire up the engines. Finally, he did the only thing he had left for him to do, if he hoped to survive. He jettisoned himself.
He watched the jump suit smash into a building and explode, sending scores of storm troopers from their quarters to see what was going on.
And there Harry was, dangling from a parachute high above their heads, but plainly visible if any of them looked up.
"Harry!" Jet screamed.
Harry shook his head. Jet shook his body.
Harry snapped out of the vision he had been experiencing and realized he wasn't falling anymore.
Tesla wrote more notes in his tablet. "You were gone for..." He looked at his pocket watch. "Three seconds."
Harry let out a whoop of joy. He hugged Jet. "It worked. It worked!"
Al smiled comfortingly. "Yes. It did. Now..." He sighed, as he and Tesla exchanged glances. "We have to figure out why you are disobeying every law of physics known to man."
Jet patted Harry on his back. "That's because he's Rocketman."
Everyone laughed, except for Harry, who secretly wandered if someday he would be able to use the new knowledge and return. Return to the woman he had left behind. He had loved and was stricken from his life forever by a quirk in time.
Brigands of the Moon, Audio book, Part One. Embroiled in a deadly game of cat and mouse on the moon!
The Brigands of the Moon is science fiction novel by Ray Cummings that echoes the classic tales of years past. In this planet hopping journey, we tag along with Gregg Haljan and his crew, on their colossal spaceship The Planetara, as they dock off the bandit infested Moon to pick up valuable Moon Ore cargo.
Moon Ore has been the main sources of energy since Earth has run out of all natural resources making it a precious commodity. Regrettably for Haljan, he did not foresee the play that the Martian brigands had in store for them and in a flash his crew and ship are in the hands of the bandits. There is only one way for Gregg Haljan to get out of this predicament alive and that is by turning into a space pirate himself. Now he is embroiled in a deadly game of cat and mouse and he must use all his skills and instinct to escape with his head and cargo intact.
Ray Cummings the author
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaCover of a 1958 Ace Booksreprint of Brigands of the Moon, by Ray Cummings.Ray Cummings (byname of Raymond King Cummings; August 30, 1887 – January 23, 1957) was an American author of science fiction, rated one of the "founding fathers of the science fiction pulp genre". He was born in New York and died in Mount Vernon, New York.
Cummings worked with Thomas Edison as a personal assistant and technical writer from 1914 to 1919. His most highly regarded work was the novel The Girl in the Golden Atom published in 1922, which was a consolidation of a short story by the same name published in 1919 (where Cummings combined the idea of Fitz James O'Brien's The Diamond Lens with H. G. Wells's The Time Machine) and a sequel, The People of the Golden Atom, published in 1920. His career resulted in some 750 novels and short stories, using also the pen names Ray King, Gabrielle Cummings, and Gabriel Wilson.
During the 1940s, with his fiction career in eclipse, Cummings anonymously scripted comic book stories for Timely Comics, the predecessor to Marvel Comics. He recycled the plot of The Girl in the Golden Atom, for a two-part Captain America tale, "Princess of the Atom". (Captain America #25 & 26) He also contributed to the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner, which his daughter Betty Cummings also wrote.
Ray Cummings wrote in 1922, "Time... is what keeps everything from happening at once", a sentence repeated by scientists such as C. J. Overbeck, and John Archibald Wheeler.
Selected WorksThe Man Who Mastered Time was republished inFantastic Novels in 1950.
If fractal flames were style conscious, they'd be considered flashy dressers because they are so incredibly colorful. New slideshow!
Some more goodies from my fractal flame bag of colors. You may notice I run in certain color ranges at times, and that's because I try to get as much coverage as possible from the gradients I am using. Slight tweaks can explode the image into an entirely different direction.
And that's what the fun of it is.
Robot zombies. Buck Rogers Chapters 7 and 8. Buster Crabbe Golden Age serial filled with fun and fantasy!
The Baker Street Universe Book Store