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The Shadow series MEGATHREAD!

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  • Originally posted by Britt68 View Post
    I am not as familiar with the original Shadow as you guys are. I am gathering that in the original, the Shadow is more than just an alter ego whom Cranston becomes (ie Batman to Bruce Wayne). rather, the Shadow is more of a different entity that takes over Cranston (ie the Hulk to Bruce Banner or Mr Hyde to Dr Jeckyll)? Interesting.
    No, the Shadow is someone altogether different (Kent Allard) who takes on the identity of Cranston (among others). Cranston is actually a completely separate -- living -- person.

    Edit: Tulku beat me to it. And much better I might add.

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    • The DC O'Neil-Kaluta run is short enough. If DE is going to reprint it in a nice hardcover or trade paperback, they should include the Marvel Graphic Novel as well, which looked even better than the DC stuff because it had inks by the legendary Russ Heath.
      DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

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      • Originally posted by Tulku View Post
        There is a funny scene in one of the novels just after Margo Lane was introduced to the novels (she was on the radio show long before she made it to the books): Apparently the real Cranston is the one who first made Margo's acquaintance while on a ship. But she then stayed in NY and attached herself to the person she thought was "Cranston"--resulting in the Shadow grumbling (somewhat jokingly) about how Cranston had saddled him with Lane!

        [edited for typos]
        Might be a sly grumble from Walter Gibson about being saddled with the character, too. There was also the comment made by the Shadow (as Cranston, I think) that "Whenever trouble is coming up, I know it from the way Margo gets into it".
        Last edited by positronic; 06-05-2012, 03:12 AM. Reason: correcting quote
        DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

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        • Really enjoyed this book. Waited to buy it digitally until the price dropped, and it was worth it...#2 might be worth full price.

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          • Thanks for the info, guys. This is much more complex than I thought. My exposure to the Shadow is mainly through the Alec Baldwin movie. Should be interesting to see how Ennis weaves this all together.

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            • Anybody interested in learning the complex, fascinating history of The Shadow in all media could do a lot worse than watching this fan-produced (but very authoritative) 2-hour documentary:

              [Click on the picture to order from Amazon.com]

              Click image for larger version

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              Last edited by positronic; 06-05-2012, 03:33 AM.
              DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

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              • The Shadow #3

                So, who here read The Shadow #3? I'm surprised we didn't get a thread for the book yet since it's been out almost a week and it's such a popular series, but I guess it's time we got one!

                What did you guys think of the story and the overall package?

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                • i read it and liked it a lot, especially the old school looking art which fits this comic PERFECTLY. I laughed out loud at The Buffalo, lol, great character.

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                  • I just re-read this issue yesterday as I'm getting primed for the Masks series from Dynamite, and man.....what an issue! Why is NOBODY on here talking about this book anymore? Did everyone already jump off the ship or something? Well, I sure as heck haven't and I plan on sticking with The Shadow for a good long time to come thanks to the FUN story we've been getting. The art.....well, its not the best, but it's good and gives the book an old flare to it that other books based on pulps sometimes lack.

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                    • Oh, I still read and like this title. It is just that issue #3 struck me as an issue that was more setting things up for the future than actually advancing the plot itself all that much. So I don't have much to say about it.

                      I mentioned before that I am not comfortable with the depiction of the Shadow as shooting a zillion bullets (his guns are not limitless). At the end of issue #3, I realize he is using a machine gun, but still...! One guy is depicted as having been shot 7 times! Really, he is a much better shot than that. He doesn't need 7 bullets to kill one opponent. But that is a minor quibble.

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                      • I have to agree, Tulku. This is the kind of thing I could nit-pick to death if I let myself. But I have to take the longer view and consider that a Shadow comic could be much worse. Even if it isn't perfect, I'm glad to have a Shadow comic back, even if to me it isn't "THE" Shadow.
                        DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

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                        • Oh no... the dreaded "origin story"... The Shadow #4

                          Walter Gibson, The Shadow's original raconteur, wisely steered clear of ever doing an origin story, because it robs The Shadow of much of his power and mystery. Instead, he left tantalizing clues, some of which fit together, and some which did not, like a trail of breadcrumbs to tease the reader. A major chunk of the Shadow's background was finally revealed when the reader discovers he was once Kent Allard, WWI aviator and spy, later an explorer-adventurer who went missing suddenly. But these are things the reader knows, that remain unknown to characters in the story, even the Shadow's own agents. For reasons of his own, The Shadow decides to resurrect the missing and presumed-dead Allard. But we are never really privvy to the how and why of Allard's transformation into The Shadow. Prior to the revelation of Allard, all we knew was that he was NOT Lamont Cranston, but had only assumed the real Cranston's identity for his own purposes. Earlier, there had been several red herrings alluding to The Shadow's true face being somehow horribly disfigured, but after a while these references ceased.

                          When Howard Chaykin did his origin in the 1980s it was by way of modernizing the character for a new audience, and while to me it was never "The" Shadow, merely an Elseworlds Shadow (even though Elseworlds didn't exist back then), I could accept it as merely one creator's idiosyncratic take on a classic character. Who knew that Chaykin's miniseries would lead to an even more bizarre ongoing series (by Andy Helfer and Kyle Baker)? And who would have guessed at the time that Chaykin's origin story would be mined by the producers of the 1990s movie Shadow? Didn't like it then, don't like it now. As with the 1989 Batman movie's attempt to make everything dovetail neatly into a circle that ties Batman's origins to The Joker's (where it is Jack Napier/Joker who was the Waynes' killer, rather than Joe Chill), this idea of The Shadow "knowing what evil lurks in the hearts of men" because he was once evil himself never really sat well with me -- the idea that he wasn't self-made, but was somehow the product of some mysterious Tibetan masters' redemption and instrument of their retribution let loose on the world for reasons of their own never defined. It always struck me as reminiscent of Jack Kirby's Demon, Etrigan, a force of evil harnessed in the service of good by the sorcerer Merlin. It frankly makes The Shadow seem too weak, too ordinary, too human, instead of a primal, nearly unstoppable force of justice that transcends mere humanity to become almost a force of nature in himself. The Shadow of the pulps didn't waste a lot of words explaining himself to anybody, keeping his methods and motives to himself while he manipulated allies and enemies alike, whereas this Shadow seems positively loquacious. Too little mystery remains to the character when even the villains have him pegged for exactly what he is. I'm sure there will be many who will disagree, perhaps vehemently, with this assessment, but I just had to say my piece.
                          Last edited by positronic; 08-02-2012, 10:17 AM.
                          DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

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                          • I do not disagree. In fact, I was tempted to respond by simply saying "ditto," but that would be cheap. But I really don't have anything to add. You captured my own concerns perfectly.

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                            • I can be cheap and superficial so . . . ditto
                              Always remember, Murphy was an optimist
                              Munchkin 1, 2, 4, 7 Super Munchkin 1&2, Munchkin Bites 1&2, Munchkin Fu, Star Munchkin Deluxe and Star 2
                              http://ghornet.deviantart.com/

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                              • Now that that is out of the way, the Shadow should remain a weird figure of the dark (to borrow a phrase). It suits the character so much better than knowing his origin. I do some champion's RPG and have a character that is constantly changing thier origin for that reason. Not to mention it's fun to come with a new origin every time I play the character.
                                Always remember, Murphy was an optimist
                                Munchkin 1, 2, 4, 7 Super Munchkin 1&2, Munchkin Bites 1&2, Munchkin Fu, Star Munchkin Deluxe and Star 2
                                http://ghornet.deviantart.com/

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