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The Shadow is the name of a collection of serialized dramas, originally in 1930s pulp novels, and then in a wide variety of Shadow media. One of the most famous adventure heroes of 20th century North America, the Shadow has been featured on the radio, in a long-running pulp magazine series, in
Originally a mysterious radio show narrator, The Shadow was developed into a distinctive literary character in 1931, later to become a pop culture icon, by writer
On September 26, 1937, The Shadow
The introduction from The Shadow radio program "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!", spoken by actor
In order to boost the sales of their
Thus, beginning on July 31, 1930, "The Shadow" was the name given to the mysterious narrator of the Detective Story Hour. The narrator was initially voiced by James LaCurto, who was replaced after four months by prolific character actor Frank Readick Jr. The episodes were drawn from the Detective Story Magazine issued by Street and Smith, "the nation's oldest and largest publisher of pulp magazines". Although the latter company had hoped the radio broadcasts would boost the declining sales of Detective Story Magazine, the result was quite different. Listeners found the sinister announcer much more compelling than the unrelated stories. They soon began asking newsdealers for copies of "that Shadow detective magazine", even though it did not exist.
Recognizing the demand and responding promptly, circulation manager Henry William Ralston of Street & Smith commissioned
Gibson's characterization of The Shadow laid the foundations for the
Because of the great effort involved in writing two full-length novels every month, several guest writers were hired to write occasional installments in order to lighten Gibson's workload. These guest writers included
The Shadow Magazine ceased publication with the Summer 1949 issue, but Walter B. Gibson wrote three new "official" stories between 1963 and 1980. The first began a new series of nine updated Shadow novels from
The Shadow returned in 2015 in the authorized novel The Sinister Shadow, an entry in the Wild Adventures of Doc Savage series from Altus Press. The novel, written by Will Murray, used unpublished material originally written in 1932 by Doc Savage originator Lester Dent and published under the pen name "Kenneth Robeson". Set in 1933, the story details the conflict between the two pulp magazine icons.
A sequel, Empire of Doom, was published in 2016 and takes place seven years later in 1940. The Shadow's old enemy, Shiwan Khan, attacks his hated adversary. Doc Savage joins forces with The Shadow to vanquish Khan in a Doc Savage novel written by Will Murray, from a concept by Lester Dent.