Kate (and Dan) Read THE SHADOW

Kate walks into the basement to find Dan lurking next to the furnace.

K: I’m willing to indulge a lot of your…quirks…Dan, but why on earth are you standing in the dark wearing a fedora and the scarf that my mom crocheted for you? Where did you get a cape? Why do you have a cape?

D: ::in his best creature-of-the-night voice:: The Shadow knows!

K: ::shakes head:: Now you’re talking to your shadow. I…oh, Lord…I need to call someone. You’ve gone off the deep end this time, Malmon.

D: ::takes out pocket flashlight and proceeds to use his hand to make a bunny shadow on the wall:: The Shadow knows!

K: No. Nope. Uh-uh. I am NOT talking to your stupid bunny hand shadow.

D: ::walks out from behind furnace:: Don’t you remember watching the Alec Baldwin movie The Shadow? You know, the movie based on the old timey radio show.

K: Yeah, yeah. Fun movie. But I also remember the complete and total lack of bunny hand shadows in said movie.

D: You’re right about that. I just like making animal shadows. Here, hold the light. See? It’s a butterfly!

K: Ok, that’s pretty slick. So how come we never saw more Shadow stuff after the Baldwin movie? I thought he was all “Master Of All Media” back in the day?

D: You’re right about that. Back in the Golden Age Of Radio The Shadow topped the charts. Along with Doc Savage, he had the best selling pulp magazine of all time. He was everywhere for decades. But like so many others, he just couldn’t compete with television. He’s had a few different comics by various publishers over the years as well. And now?

::Dan reaches into the folds of his voluminous bathrobe being used as a cloak and pulls out a comic book::

Now he’s back in publication by Dynamite Comics, with a brand new storyline by Victor Gischler!

The very cool Victor “The Gisch” Gischler signing a copy of The Shadow.

K: That sounds way more promising that the goofy Baldwin movie. I’m a big fan of Gischler’s novels! Gimme the comic!

K: Hmmm. There seems to be quite a lot of talking in this book and not a lot of people in latex. And there are guns. Lots of guns.

D: Damn straight. That’s good old pulp story telling. Gischler kicks off his arc by sending the Shadow to Nepal for a bit of a mystic tune up.

K: I don’t think the oil change is as easy on a mystic as it is on a Volkswagen. Eh? Eh? Get it?

D: ::rolls eyes:: You are so funny. The Shadow said that he couldn’t read or cloud a bad man’s mind. So he packs up his slouch hat, red scarf, and overcoat and heads to the Far East to meet with the Old Masters to make sure his mystic powers are firing on all cylinders.

K: And his one-eyed pilot flies him there! There is NO WAY IN HELL I would let a person with one eye drive or fly me anywhere. “Mystic powers” or not. NOT. HAPPENING.

D: Good point, but like usual, you’re missing overall picture. In his travels to Nepal, the Shadow learns about gunrunners mucking about with the Spanish Civil War. He follows their trail through Delhi, Istanbul…

K: Once Constantinople!

D: …Athens, Rome and he ends up in Paris.

K: This is where the story becomes to feel like an Indiana Jones story. It’s set just before the start of World War II. The Shadow travels to exotic areas of the world. He looks good in a tuxedo.

D: Great comparison! The Shadow’s even smooth like Dr. Jones! Did you see how the Spanish Major of Military Intelligence was all over him?

K: About that. Not keen on my heroes having sexy time in comic books. Little kids read these books!

D: Pfft. Remember, this is pulp. Not superheroes. Sex. Violence. Mash it up with a little Eastern Mysticism. It makes one very pulptastic milkshake. Like you said earlier, the book has a lot of talking and no spandex. This book isn’t aimed at the young ones.

Gischler’s storytelling keeps the pages turning. Aided by artist Jack Herbert on issue 7 and then Aaron Campbell takes over the art on the larger storyline beginning with issue 8. Campbell is no stranger with period pieces, having done amazing work on Dynamite’s GREEN HORNET: YEAR ONE.

K: So we’ve got a mystic pulp vigilante whose powers are in need of a tune up, the Spanish Civil War about to reach the boiling point, international gun-runners, and sexpot government officials. I can’t imagine where this adventure will take us!

D: ::throws scarf around neck:: Only The Shadow knows! Well, and Victor Gischler. But he ain’t telling.