Friday, August 30, 2013

Pulp Heroes: The Shadow

The Shadow is without a doubt one of the most well-known of the various heroes of the Pulp era. The radio serial's catch phrase, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?" has found its way into popular culture, so deeply in fact that many don't even know where it originated.

Like many pulp heroes, the Shadow began in a series of pulp novels, and then branched out into other media, from radio and serials to comic strips and even to a 1994 film starring Alec Baldwin as the titular hero. There is a new film rumored to be in the works, with such names as Sam Raimi and Quentin Tarantino (two luminaries of modern pulp) whispered to be attached.

Originally the narrator of a detective story radio hour, eventually the popularity and mystique of the character led to him being developed as a hero in his own right, the star of a series of pulp novels penned by Walter B. Gibson using the pen name of Maxwell Grant and claiming the stories were "from The Shadow's private annals as told to" him.

A wealthy businessman trained by eastern mystics as a master of disguise and super sleuth with the power "to cloud men's minds," the Shadow could be viewed as something of a prototype of Batman, who debuted 9 years later.

In Amazing Adventures, the Shadow would be a multiclassed Gumshoe/Mentalist.

No comments: