365 Reasons to Love Comics #33

Seems like it's The Busiest Day Ever here at CSBG. So when you're done paging through our most popular post ever down below from Joe, or maybe the other half-dozen cool entries that've popped up today, feel free to give a quick browse to this one. You might get a cheap laugh out of it. I'll be sad if we don't get at least 350 comments, though. Bring the love!

Anyway, today, as you know, is Groundhog Day. I searched and searched for a cool groundhog-related character, but the best I could find was Guerrilla Groundhog, and I don't think that's going to cut it, cool as it sounds.

No, I had to go a bit abstract for today. Looks like six more weeks of winter...


33. The Shadow

...'cause I saw a Shadow! (This joke would be funnier if this year wasn't one of the very few where bloody Phil didn't see a shadow. Bah!)

WHO KNOWS what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The SHADOW knows! Lamont Cranston (though that's but an assumed identity), the dark avenger of the night, with the ability to become invisible in darkness and cloud men's minds!

You may say I'm cheating a bit. After all, the Shadow first appeared in the pulps, precursors to comics, and became famous because of the radio show. The Shadow, however, has starred in numerous comic series, some quite good, some quite bizarre. He's had a comic strip, a pulp magazine, a series of novels, and a dreadful movie starring Alec Baldwin. Comics have given him his strongest home in years.

"Shadow Comics" was published by a company called Street & Smith in the 1940's, and lasted 101 issues, overall, which is the Shadow's longest run in comics. He later moved to Archie, but they quickly turned him into a superhero character, and that series bombed. It just ain't the Shadow without the bitchin' hat and scarf, or twin pistols.

Then he moved to DC, where the majority of his comics appearances have been since; I do know there was series that reprinted the daily strip, I believe, but I've forgotten who published it, and don't have my issues handy. It was awesome, though. I think I have one where he fights a shark, and stuff. Coolness.

With the Shadow, you've got his neat supporting cast. My favorite's Moe, the cab driver who ferries him about from place to place. You can't forget Harry Vincent, though, or love interest Margo Lane. And his archnemesis? None other than Shiwan Khan!

Yeah, that's the Shadow's head on a robot body, drawn by our friend from yesterday, Kyle Baker. Sweet.

The Shadow's drifted out of the public consciousness, but never forget; if it wasn't for the Shadow, we might not have Batman, or Green Hornet, or any similar superheroes. Yeah, Crimson Avenger got there first, but it's the Shadow who will be remembered most by history, and who had the most influence on the crimefighter genre.

Yeah, so the Alec Baldwin movie didn't go over so well. Sam Raimi, however, has finally gotten the rights to produce a new Shadow movie! He tried to get them years back and couldn't, which is why we got Darkman. Unfortunately, Bruce Campbell's a little too old to play the Shadow (probably), so who do you think can fill the scarf? I think Adrien Brody's got the nose for it, myself...

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