The Shadow is a fictional character appearing in serialized dramas on radio in 1930 and later in pulp magazines beginning in 1931. Eventually the character appeared in a wide variety of other media. Details of the character have varied across various media, but is generally 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.
Over the years, the character evolved. On September 26, 1937, The Shadow radio drama officially premiered with the story "The Deathhouse Rescue", in which the character was characterized as having "the power to cloud men's minds so they cannot see him." This was a contrivance for the radio; 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!"
Other articles related to "the shadow, shadow, shadows":
... 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 ... writer Dennis O'Neil would have Batman and the Shadow meet in Batman #253 (November 1973) and Batman #259 (December 1974) to solve crimes ...
... The Shadow is an entity who serves as the main antagonist ... many snake-like tentacles, patched together with black shadows ... It is stated that The Shadow is actually Death ...
... An ominous and manipulative entity, the Shadow needs a body to control in order to live, in exchange for power or knowledge ... The Shadow controls the Government of the Nation in which Rat-Man lives, and is constantly trying to tighten its grip on its citizens, mainly through the ... The current body is Janus Valker, although the Shadow has tried to corrupt Rat-Man to use as vessel ...
Famous quotes containing the word shadow:
“No sooner is your ocean filled, than he grumbles that it might have been of better vintage. Try him with half of a Universe, of an Omnipotence, he sets to quarrelling with the proprietor of the other half, and declares himself the most maltreated of men. Always there is a black spot in our sunshine: it is even as I said, the Shadow of Ourselves.”
—Thomas Carlyle (17951881)