Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Shadowcast: Season 1, Episode 4 - 'THE SHADOW STRIKES' and 'DEATH HOUSE RESCUE'

"What's your game, mister?"

"Well, it's a... form of Solitaire."

-The Shadow Strikes (1937)

This week's Shadowcast continues to explore the Birth of a Dark Legend with The Shadow's
first, flawed feature-length film appearance: THE SHADOW STRIKES! (starring Rod La Rocque)


Followed by a full review of Orson Welles' debut on radio with the classic, DEATH HOUSE RESCUE!
A young Orson Welles

Friday, November 15, 2019

The Shadowcast: Season 1, Episode 3 - 'LINGO' and 'DEATH TO THE SHADOW'

"Rook stopped abruptly. Bart and Prexy had released their victim. 
Trembling, the henchmen were raising hands above their shoulders as they
stared toward the door. Rook saw terror in their bulging eyes. 
He wheeled, then became rigid also. 

Weird against the glow, reflected from the white walls of the hotel across the street
stood a blackened shape that the big shot recognized. 
Mammoth automatics projected from gloved fists. 
Burning eyes surveyed the villains from beneath the brim of a slouch hat.

"The Shadow!"

Walter B. Gibson (1935)

The Shadowcast returns with a review of two pioneering works
in the history of The Knight of Darkness!

First, we review the memorable Walter B. Gibson novelette "Lingo" - featuring
the birth of the BATARANG!

Artwork by Tom Lovell

Second, we revisit a classic episode of The Shadow radio drama dealing with 
prescient issues of mass surveillance and CCTV: "Death to the Shadow!"

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Season 1, Episode 2 - 'THE SHADOW/GREEN HORNET: Dark Nights'


"I've never told anyone this... but you were my biggest inspiration!"

(Batman #253: 'Who Knows What Evil Lurks', 1973)
Denny O'Neil/Dick Giordano

From the mists of mystery re-emerges The Shadowcast!
In our continuing exploration of The Birth of a Dark Legend, we discuss two other prominent firsts: The Shadow's first-ever crossover with THE GREEN HORNET in DARK KNIGHTS (2013) 

Artwork by Keith Burns

...and a detailed review of The Shadow's first encounter with BATMAN in BATMAN #253! 

Artwork by Dick Giordano

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Shadowcast Season 1: 'Birth of a Dark Legend'

"The Shadow!" he exclaimed. "I have heard of him. 
I have listened to his voice over the radio. They say that his identity is unknown,
even when in the broadcasting studio.
Some have said he is a supercriminal. Others have claimed that he is
a great detective. Which is true?"

"I don't know," replied Harry frankly.

-The Death Tower (Jan, 1932)

Artwork by Michael Kaluta

Welcome to the inaugural season of The Shadowcast!
As most of you know (and the rest soon will) The Shadow has a rich mythology, with over 300 pulp magazines published, along with hundreds of comics, multiple films, TV pilots, serials and so on. Having a history stretching back nearly 90 years can prove daunting, so to keep things coherent, each season will represent a specific theme. Albeit a loosely enforced one. 

Season 1 is entitled 'Birth of a Dark Legend'. As the title suggests, it will introduce fans young and old to the exploits of Knight of Darkness, by exploring prominent 'firsts' in his publication history. The first issue of The Shadow magazine. The first film. The first radio program. The first appearance of ______. This criteria will be liberally applied, and certain episodes may contain more origin information than others, but hopefully by doing this, we can keep the show interesting for all of you for seasons to come!

I thank everyone who's sent an encouraging message my way after episode 1. The Shadowcast is a labor of love, and it's a privilege to present it to you. As for next episode?

We'll explore a more recent 'first'.
The first crossover between The Shadow... and another pioneering pulp-era character.

"The sun is shining..."

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Season 1, Episode 1 - 'THE LIVING SHADOW'

"Your life," said the stranger's voice slowly, "is no longer your own. It belongs to me now. But you are still free to destroy it. Shall we return to the bridge?"
"I don't know," blurted Vincent. "This is all like a dream; I don't understand it. Perhaps I did fall from the bridge, and this is death that I am now experiencing. Yet it seems real, after all. What good is my life to anyone? What will you do with it?"
"I shall improve it," replied the voice form the darkness. "I shall make it useful. But I shall risk it, too. Perhaps I shall lose it, for I have lost lives, just as I have saved them. This is my promise; life, with enjoyment, with danger, with excitement, and— with money. Life, above all, with honor. If I give it, I demand obedience. Absolute obedience. You may accept my terms, or your may refuse. I shall wait for you to choose."
"I accept," he said.
Illustration by George H. Wert

Artwork by Eduardo Barreto

From the mists of mystery emerges episode 1 of The Shadowcast
In this first episode, we explore the origins of the Dark Avenger with the very first pulp story: THE LIVING SHADOW, and review The Knight of Darkness's first film appearance in the rare 1931 DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE Film Shorts!

Frank Readick, Jr. as The Shadow