Coming Soon. Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Hall of Darkness. They met their death when they decided to deceive themselves.
Just a tentative cover for the new story.
But the story is complete.
Will publish before the week is over.
Working now on a second Sherlock Holmes tale as well.
Let you know what the title is once I have the story where I want it to be.
Also, in the editing phase of an exciting series of novelettes/novels about a team of scientists that have devised a way to travel to different points in time and space, but accidentally discover that all the points in time and space are not necessarily as real as they would like them to be.
Golden Age Movie Serial. The Crimson Ghost. Chapter 4: The Laughing Skull. Who who laughs last is not dead.
The Shadow 1933 film Crime Thriller. Very different from the radio series, but in those days no special efx like now.
Thought I'd take a little time to post this old piece. It's so different from the Radio drama series I've been posting.
When I was a kid posted in front of our old RCA radio, The Shadow was the most scary and horrifying thing, besides Inner Sanctum and Weird Tales, I'd heard.
I remember the creepy voice of the Shadow and all the action that drew me into it.
The movie has everything in black and white pictures. Literally, unlike today's modern color films. It depends more on the suspense and the dynamics of the actors, since they just didn't have the budgets or the techniques to do effects like today.
1933 was bout the time that King Kong came out, and Willis O'Brien knocked the socks off movie goers with that splendid feast for the eyes special effects laden movie using the technique of stop motion.
The Death Bringers "A Shadow Man Story" By John Pirillo. Sometimes things just go from bad to worse! He rides the shadows to save lives!
The Death Bringers
"A Shadow Man Story"
By John Pirillo
He stood there frozen in time and space, the shadow streams whirring past him, his arms outstretched, a pistol in each one. The classic two fisted gun slinging detective poses from the old Golden Age Detective Stories. Except. Except he was real. He wasn't really a detective. And he wasn't trying to stop a crime. Least not the kind that most people might think of as a crime. No, he was the Shadow Man, prepared for...
The shadow streams opened up and he slipped into the one on his right and into the middle of hell. He had no choice. He began firing his weapons over and over and over.
By the time he was through. There was smoke from the weapons curling through the air, like snakes of smoke with lives of their own. Death stank. All around him. Not the kind of clean death you might smell in a mortuary, or a hospital. But a foul death. Of something that had no right to exist in norm space. The world of humans.
He kicked at the lifeless blotch of red and fur at his feet. It rolled over, revealing tusks the size of razor blades and equally as sharp. There were multiple eyes, all wide open in the shock of its sudden death. To its right and left were four more of the Death Bringers, as he preferred to call them. Because that's what they did in our world. Brought death. Death and destruction. They were invisible to everyone, but whom they were killing or him.
Sobbing caught his attention.
He swung around, snapping in fresh clips into each weapon without thinking as he did so, prepared for a new siege if necessary. It wasn't.
Huddled in a fetal position in a corner of the sealed room was a small child. Her hair was golden brown...once. Not anymore. His eyes saw the goodness of her soul. She was bright on the inside, just a bit cooked on the outside by the Death Bringers.
"It's okay." He finally said, stepping towards her. "I'm here to bring you home."
She kept sobbing.
He finally stopped next to her. He put his weapons back into their shoulder slings in front of his chest, and then stooped to gently turn her face to look at him.
Her eyes were filled with tears.
"Please don't hurt me." She begged.
"I would never, never, never hurt you." He promised, and then gently lifted her into his arms. She was a bit too old to carry, but this once he'd make an exception. She was crushed by what had happened to her and around her. "Close your eyes and don't open them until I tell you too." He told her.
"Will it hurt?"
He laughed gently. Hurt?
She looked into his face. "Will it?"
"Trust me. Just close your eyes."
And what she saw in his eyes at that moment must have met her need for security, because she pulled tighter against him and shut her eyes. He slipped back into the shadow planes that same moment, not wasting a second of the precious time he had. They flew like the wind, except there was no wind in this void of shadows. Only currents that ran throughout time and space, throughout the universe.
His eyes narrowed a moment, and then he caught the thread he had been sensing. He slipped into that and lit on a nice and clean shag rug, complete with a huge shaggy dog, which jumped up and began barking at him. He set the girl down and the dog, which had been targeting him, leaped on her instead and began licking her face happily. She was solemn at first, then she let go and began to laugh like the child she was.
An adult woman, her eyes blood red from weeping, saw him standing over the dog and girl. "Who are you? Get out of my house!"
He smiled at her. "My pleasure."
"Mommy, he saved me!" The girl yelled.
"Who are you?" The mother asked before he left.
He smiled at her again and tipped his hat. "The Shadow Man."
Then he slipped back into the shadows and vanished.
He'd leave it up to the mother to figure out a way to explain it to the little girl. She would probably have a tougher time accepting it, than her daughter who had experienced it. When he had time later on, he would slip back into the child's room and help her forget. It was part of the gift he had been given as a child, along with the ability to move swiftly and with certainty through the shadows.
He stepped to his right and into his living room. He threw off his overcoat, unslung his weapons and tossed them both on his sofa, then went into his bathroom to take a long, hot shower. The needles of hot water massaged the cramps from his muscles. There were a lot. He had saved two people this night. More than usual.
The Shadows were being stirred up by something. Something that didn't belong in the Shadow Realms. The fields of light and dark were ripe for something. But he never thought it would happen in his life. The balance had always been so perfect. Even his excursions made very few rippling effects on the fields. But this time, something was moving through the balances, disturbing them, breaking them up.
In the greater view of things, had he been a yogi, or a saint, he might have suspected that some kind of huge karmic event were in the making. Were he an avatar, maybe he would be preparing the masses for some kind of world event. But he was just a kid really. Hardly in his twenties. And a Shadow Man. A protector of those lost to the darkness, or about to be harmed by it. He wasn't a bringer of Light like Buddha or Jesus, but he didn't disturb the Light, he didn't avoid it or compromise it. He was its friend. Just not out in the open like the big guys. And he preferred it that way. No one would believe what he did unless he showed them and most who saw the shadow fields for the first time went mad or into total denial. He wasn't the one to try and shake up anyone's beliefs.
Let them believe that life was just getting up, making breakfast, going to work, coming home to dinner and going to bed. He knew better. Life was so much more. If his life was any indication, then a hell of a lot more.
His phone rang. He never used cells. They burned out around him, began receiving every text message ever sent. By the time he could scramble to stop it, his phone would overload and explode. Not literally, just kind of sag there, overheated, its plastic and glass fusing together. He had burned himself badly the first two times he had tried to use on in the shadow streams. Never three times. He'd learned his lessons.
"Hey!" He answered, his face lighting up. Even though he was beat, he always had time for family. He wiped himself further with his towel and sat down next to his overcoat and weapons. "Kind of late."
"Never too late for a brother."
He heard her laugh too.
"So what's up?"
"Is your TV turned on?"
He grabbed the remote and flicked the TV on. "Which station?"
Immediately, he saw a commentator with images of the White House burning. He flicked through channel after channel and saw the same thing. "God!" He exclaimed.
"They're all gone." She said, making choking sounds, no mistaking crying there.
"No one knows for sure. One of the President's men was outside on the main lawn, smoking when he turned around and saw the sky open up."
"Skies don't open up, Sis." He scalded her.
"This time it did."
"So what came out of it, big hairy monsters?"
He sat up hard, banging his head on the picture frame above him. "Damn!"
"You all right?"
"Just beat. Hard day."
"Loud and clear. Talk to you tomorrow."
"Love you too, you big oaf."
She hung up and he listened to the dial tone for several long moments, then slung the wet towel from him, rushed into his bedroom and hurriedly began throwing on fresh clothing. He ran into the living room, slung on his shoulder holsters and weapons, then his overcoat. He double checked the clips in his weapons were full, and then slipped into the shadows.
No rest for the wicked, he thought as time and space shot past him. No time for the good either. He thought next.
Then he stepped from the shadows into the burning hell of the White House, his weapons were out in both his fists.
"Ready or not, here I come!" He hollered and stepped from the shadows into the burning white hot hell of the White House.
Death Bringers. Everywhere!
He wasn't going to get much rest this night either.
He ran and fired as he did, sending the beasts flying to their deaths.
He had a vague idea of where the President's bedroom was and stepped into the shadow of a doorway, where the fires hadn't reached yet and slipped through the shadow streams into the President's room.
The very tall man turned from the door to his room, nursing his right hand which had touched the burning knob. "Who are you?"
"Right now, I'm your best friend."
"Did you cause this?"
He shook his head. "No, but I intend to end it."
He approached the President, who backed away.
"Don't worry; I'm not going to hurt you." The President looked into his eyes and what he saw calmed his fears.
"I know you?"
"No. This will only take a second. Close your eyes, Mister President."
The President hesitated.
"Please, it's for your own safety."
The President nodded and shut his eyes. "I hope I'm not going to..."
The Shadow Man touched him and they both slipped into the shadows, and then exited across the street from the White House. Reporters were there with camera men, commenting and taking photo coverage. One of them spotted the President as he stumbled onto the sidewalk. Dazed and confused.
"Thank you, young man." He said. But the young man was gone.
He had returned to the White House. There were a lot more souls in there that needed saving and time was running out.
He had thrown fresh clips into his weapons and he stepped from the shadows back into the White House and began firing, clearing his path of the Death Bringers, who leaped and clawed at him. But he was too quick. Faster. Smarter. And more importantly. He could see them.
It was going to be a long, long night, he thought as he found a Maid and headed towards her to save her. A very long night indeed.
He had left his TV on in his rush to save those in the White House.
He hadn't been able to save everyone, but he had saved a lot. But he didn't care at that moment, because as the TV commentator droned on about a mysterious man who had rescued the President and much of the staff, he was laying on the sofa, fast asleep. It had been a long, long, long night.
And even Shadow Men have to rest.
There's no explaining the appetites of some men. A Matter of Taste "A Sherlock Holmes Story" by John Pirillo. Sometimes we must just rise up in anger.
A Matter of Taste
"A Sherlock Holmes Story"
by John Pirillo
"Merely a matter of proper observation, Watson." Sherlock said, as he lowered his binoculars to look at his best friend and companion. They had left Baker Street before dawn, heavy overcoats, mufflers and caps. Watson wore a more stylish Slavic style, which was the rage of Her Majesty Good Queen May's court at the time. It started quite high at the back of the head and raked forward over the eyebrows, drooping like a kitten sleeping at rest over a counter. Sherlock hated it, but wouldn't comment directly for fear of hurting his friend's feelings. He had been quite testy lately since Mrs. Hudson had departed to the Whiteshores to visit some relative.
"Indubitably." Watson agreed, taking the binoculars and fixing his own eyes on the eyrie that's roost was high above the raging sea waters below.
"I suspect our man hasn't the least idea that we are on his trail."
Watson nodded. "I agree. Look."
He handed back the binoculars and Sherlock looked at the eyrie again, but this time focused on the right edge of it where an older man sat with his legs perched over the drop below. He seemed to be peeling something.
Sherlock turned to Watson, lowering the binoculars. "He is peeling an apple."
"How can you tell at this at this distance?"
"For one thing, he needs only one hand to hold the fruit, or object if you will. Two, it is round, as he is easily able to rotate it in the one hand, and three it is small enough to fit in one hand."
"That describes a potato, a tomato and a round of cheese equally well."
Sherlock took it with a grain of salt. "A potato would be unlikely, as the man is from Dublin and is known to hate potatoes because of their symbol of slavery to the Britains. The tomato is out of season and unavailable and a round of cheese would be too soft and cling to his hand, therefore not rotating easily, nor peeling so effortlessly."
Sherlock looked to Watson to come up with a counter argument. But instead he said. "That's brilliant, Holmes!"
Sherlock didn't honor the compliment with a reply. In fact he was pretty sure it wasn't an apple at all, for he had seen the clump of scalp the man had discarded before he began carving the head of the baby dog.
It was a foul deed. Eating babies of anything. Sherlock grimaced. And this man had eaten the babies of far worse. This brought him and Watson to why they were observing the man.
"There appears to be a path." Watson noted, making a series of quick notes in his notebook, before carefully inserting it back into his black bag, which he was never without.
A sudden surge of brisk, freezing sea wind blew across their hiding place and Watson's teeth began to chatter.
Sherlock began sliding away from the sparse shrubbery and log they had been peering from behind. "Come. A warm fire awaits us."
"But we haven't caught the bugger yet." Protested Watson.
"Ah, but we have."
No sooner did the words exit his mouth than Inspector Bloodstone and his son, Constable Evans showed up along with about twenty Constables.
Sherlock stood up, brushing off his overcoat, and replacing his deerstalker cap on his head, adjusting it slightly so it wouldn't catch the surging wind. "Good to see you, Inspector."
"And you, Holmes. And our guest?"
"Comfortable." Sherlock answered with the hint of a smile.
The Inspector nodded and his men spread out.
Watson looked back at the cliff again and saw a horde of dark cloaked men descending the side of the cliff where the eyrie was, rappelling down knotted ropes. "Our men should have him in no time."
They heard a man's scream and turned to see the old man, arms akimbo, swinging like windmill blades as he tumbled from his hiding place towards the sea far below. They couldn't see him land.
Inspector Bloodstone crossed himself, and then turned to Sherlock. "It would appear our guest h as refused our offer of companionship."
"Indeed." Sherlock acknowledged. "But do not call your men off just yet."
He rushed for the edge of the drop they had been near and as he did so, he and the others saw a very strange thing occur. The old man was not lying on the rocks below, but instead was soaring away on a strange device that hung from his back and that he clung to and guided with his arms and hands.
"The DaVinci!" Inspector Bloodstone cursed.
"The bloody cannibal has escaped us again, father."
Inspector Bloodstone eyed his son thoughtfully a moment.
"I mean, Inspector." Constable Evans hurriedly corrected himself.
"Yes." The Inspector finally replied, then folding his hands behind his back, headed back down the rise where the Constable wagons awaited. It had been a long dreary drive to the God-forsaken stretch of cliff and rock, and now it would be an even longer one home. He would order his men to search the area, but he knew well enough the range of the blasted DaVinci and considered the matter no longer in his hands to control.
Watson and Sherlock watched the sullen Inspector march off.
"I gather he's having a worse day than I." Watson remarked, gripping his muffler and tightening it about his throat more as an even stronger gust of wind blew in from the sea.
"Our man appears to know the routes of the air currents, as well as the sea." Sherlock observed, turning to eye Constable Evans, who looked a bit strained.
"Constable, I would suggest you return with your...uh...the Inspector dutifully. He will need as much support as possible."
Constable Evans nodded and started to follow his father, then stopped and looked back. "Sherlock."
"What if that wasn't the old man on the DaVinci?"
Sherlock's right eyebrow cocked upwards at a peculiar anger.
"By Jove, Holmes, he's got you!"
Sherlock didn't answer. He ran for the Constable Wagons.
He leaped in beside the Inspector, who was signaling his driver to leave. "The game's still afoot, Inspector."
Constable Evans and Watson barely leaped into the back, before the wagon leaped into action. It lit up its lights and sirens and blasted towards the only road that led to the cliff eyrie.
It took them a bit over an hour to reach the overhang where the Constable's men had rappelled down and the ropes still hung over the cliff's edge. Sherlock went to the edge, and immediately took hold of a rope and began scrambling down, hand over hand, but Watson backed off, shaking his head.
Constable Evans had a rope in his hand and eyed Watson questioningly. "Go ahead, Constable, I'll bring up the rear...from here." He said with a cough of embarrassment.
Inspector Bloodstone gave Watson a sly smile. "Still afraid of heights, Doctor?"
"I am not...afraid of heights, sir!" Watson argued, his face turning a bright red. "Merely respectful of them."'
Inspector Bloodstone laughed, and then hurled himself over the edge like a professional mountain climber, gripping the rope between his gloved hands and sliding down, intermittently slowing himself. Constable Evans looked to Watson. "I can stay here, sir, if you like."
Watson exploded. "Do I look like a blasted child to you who needs someone to hold their hands because they're afraid of the dark?"
"No sir!" Constable Evans exclaimed, shocked at the response.
Watson brushed him aside, then grabbed a rope and lowered himself over the edge. "Afraid of heights, really!"
He lowered himself down, but as soon as Constable Evans was safe from view, he said. "Mother Mary protect me."
Sherlock reached the overhang and dropped lightly to his feet. Inspector Bloodstone came next and dropped effortlessly beside him. He eyed Sherlock questioningly. "This spot is well known. No known exit exists from it. Except..." He indicated the drop to the sea.
Sherlock didn't reply. Instead he stepped into the cave's mouth. The Inspector followed. They went into the depths of the shadows, light vanishing behind them, until Sherlock struck a match and lit it. He held it up, lighting their way. He walked several paces until a dead-end wall appeared before them.
"I was right, was I not?" The Inspector noted, with a bit too much glee. "Now we can go home and get a decent rest."
"I'm afraid not, Inspector." Sherlock replied. He dropped the match which had just burnt to his gloves, then lit a new one. He stood there with the match held high. As he did so the flames began to draw to the left. He slowly turned and the flames drew straight forward. He continued in that direction about five yards then stopped.
"Here." He said. Stopping abruptly.
The Inspector gave Sherlock a look like he'd gone mad. "Here? Here! Have you gone mad, Holmes. This is nothing but a blank wall of rock!"
"See." He pounded on it. "Nothing but..." The rock began to move aside. As it did so an older man stood revealed. He held an odd pipe shaped device to his right ear, which he quickly tossed aside and reached for a weapon on a small shelf on the inside wall of the small compartment that had been revealed.
Behind him was a man's corpse strung up on the wall by his palms. He was naked and dripping blood. Chunks of his flesh were missing around the ribs.
He held the gun aimed at the Inspector and Holmes, who did not move, thinking that might trigger a hasty firing of the hand gun.
"Very clever, Holmes."
"Your reign of terror is at an end, Sir Guiles."
The nobleman gave Holmes the briefest of smiles. "Does the Queen know?"
"She has her suspicions."
Inspector Bloodstone suddenly moved. Sir Guiles fired.
Inspector Bloodstone fell to the right and collapsed, clutching at his stomach.
Sir Guiles smiled. "The worst shot. Gut shot is the choice of men at war who wish to punish their captives as much as possible without actually killing them. It can be healed effortlessly enough, and then repeated again to greater effect, thus also making it a great tool of torture as well."
"Which you certainly are a master of." Sherlock noted casually, not moving an inch, except to glance at the fallen Inspector, who groaned on the floor, clutching at his stomach.
"I suppose you shall now elude us with the second DaVinci I see in the corner of your secret room."
Sir Guiles smiled broadly this time. "Brilliant deduction. Except you're wrong!"
He aimed his pistol at Sherlock's chest. "The heart, many foolish people believe, is on the left side of the chest, but we know, don't we, Mister Holmes, that the heart is in the center of the chest, not to the right or the left."
"So you intend to kill me?"
"No. I intend to eat you!"
His finger tightened on the trigger and the sound of two pistols firing came at the same time.
Sir Guiles face registered shock a long time, before he fell. He had a bullet hole between his eyes and one directly in his chest. Before he collapsed, his weapon fell to the floor and lay there unmoving, and then his eyes looked past Sherlock to where Doctor Watson and Constable Evans both had smoking weapons in their hands, their eyes filled with dreadful purpose.
Sir Guiles in a huge surge of will, even though dead on his feet, laughed. He plunged past Sherlock, who stepped aside from his path, and towards Watson and Constable Evans, who also stepped from his path.
They watched as he reached the edge of the hangover and lifted his arms to the skies, then fell from view.
Constable Evans ran into the room and dropped to his father's side. "Father!"
The Inspector looked up at his son. "Remind me to stop saying you upset my stomach. This gunshot hurts like bloody hell warmed over! Bollocks!" He cursed.
Watson and Sherlock went to the edge of the drop and looked down. Below lay the figure of Sir Guiles.
"Well, I guess that solves this spot of soiled humanity."
"Yes. But what of the other?"
"The one who got away."
Then Watson remembered the vision of the dead man hanging by his palms from the inside cave compartment. He was missing chunks of both sides of his body. Watson felt the blood drain from his face. "Dear God, Holmes, that man on the wall...the teeth marks were different on both sides."
"Yes. I'm afraid so, dear Watson. I'm afraid so."
"Then the other man who escaped."
"His twin brother."
"I didn't know he had a twin brother."
"You wouldn't, Watson, he kept the secret close to his chest, just like his...um...unusual tastes. If not for the Queen, I would never have known myself."
But that means we haven't stopped the killings at all. "This is precisely why Sir Guiles laughed at his own death. He knew precisely that."
Sherlock looked off into the distance as Doctor Watson rushed back inside to tend to the Inspector. It meant more horrible deaths. And yet another monster loose on the innocent of London.
He shook his head, and then returned inside to assist his friends in carrying the Inspector out of the cave. He helped rig a carry for him, and then he and Constable Evans climbed to the top, where other Constables were just arriving. They hauled the Inspector up and then Watson, who, when he reached the top, fell to the ground and kissed it.
"Watson, whatever are you doing?" Sherlock asked him.
"I lost my spyglass." Watson hurriedly said, getting back to his feet.
Watson turned on Sherlock. Sternly. "I...lost...my...spyglass!"
Like a spurned lover he walked stiffly to the nearest Constable wagon and climbed inside. Constable Evans passed Sherlock, his father stretched on a length of wood carried by two Constables. "He and my father have much in common."
"Indeed, they do, Constable Evans. Indeed they do." Sherlock answered with the slightest hint of a smile.
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.
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