skjam: (gasgun)
[personal profile] skjam posting in [community profile] scans_daily
I just found my copy of "The Shadow Strikes!" #7, March 1990, which is a tribute to another Shadow incarnation, the radio show.

Eight pages of twenty-four of the lead story, one page of three of the backup feature.

We open backstage at a Federal Theater Project production of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", masterminded by the brilliant young actor and showman, Grover Mills. He thinks this play is important, and could advance everyone involved's careers. Unfortunately, he gets the word that Washington's pulled the plug, and ordered the theater closed because someone thinks the script supports Communism.

Rather than give back the audience's money (it's a very good house), Mills announces that another theater will be hosting the production tonight and that the audience should follow him there. In an aside, he asks an usher to phone around and find such a theater, then tell him where to lead the audience.

Meanwhile, the Shadow has been parked on a rooftop nearby Times Square, and seen nothing out of the ordinary...

But the Shadow isn't here for performance art--he's on the outlook for box office thieves. Grover Mills catches only a glimpse of something dark fluttering away.

The next day, Mills is called to Station WOW, part of the Combined Broadcasting Network. There he's introduced to Mr. Greene, of the Greene Coal Company. Grover's aesthetic qualifications are listed, but Mr. Greene needs "somebody who can knock out a puppet!" Seems that the rival network has put a ventriloquist on the radio, and it's drawing audiences away from the coal-sponsored show.

"Even if the Shadow actually does exist, he wouldn't be the sort to hit us with a lawsuit." Oh Grover, you have no idea what you're getting into.

The station manager worries that a crime show will be bad for the kiddies, and will get hassles from the Legion of Decency. But Mr. Greene likes it, and he has the money.

Mr. Mills needs to be ready by Sunday, and decides to skip the research step. Instead, he will just make stuff up about the mysterious Shadow, giving him a constant female companion (a part for Grover's girlfriend) and what the heck, an actual superpower!

The box office robbers have started striking in the Catskills region, so the Shadow follows them out of New York City.

Ferret gets angry at Tiny, who tends to believe everything he hears on the radio. Change of plans! Instead of going further into the Catskills, they will instead rob the radio station on the night of the broadcast. When no invisible crimefighter appears, it will prover there is no Shadow, and they can get on with their criminal lives. Then Ferret switches stations to that nice soothing puppet.

With this change of plans, the Shadow is unable to pick up the robbers' trail and returns to NYC to learn of the radio show. Soon, it's Sunday night.

Hee! The answer is yes, by the way. Masters of disguise have to learn that early on.

The robbery goes off as planned, but Martha happens to be standing in the robbers' way and is taken hostage. Mills emerges from the theater to see them shooting into the darkness, and then at him. When Grover ducks, the crooks haul Martha into a car and take off.

The Shadow gives Grover Mills directions for following, but Ferret is pretty good at running and hiding, and manages to stay out front all the way to Coney Island. The robbers take Martha into the hall of mirrors.

The idea is that the Shadow won't be able to tell what's real and what's a reflection, but Ferret's memorized the layout and will be able to spot anyone coming. And it seems to be working. For once, the Shadow is too easily seen!

But then an eerie voice reveals that the Shadow is about to play his trump card...invisibility!

The spooked criminals wind up shooting enough of the mirrors out for the real Shadow to get the jump on them.

But Mr. Mills' next exploit is a story for another day.

Anthony Tollin, in addition to being a colorist for DC for many years, is also an expert on the Shadow and other pulp heroes, and currently is the licensed publisher of the Shadow novel reprints. Here's the first page of the article he wrote to go with this story.

I've had the good luck to be on convention panels with Mr. Tollin a couple of times now; he has a lot of great stories.

Your thoughts and comments?

Remember, the weed of crime bears bitter fruit! The Shadow knows!

Date: 2012-02-20 04:45 am (UTC)
featheredserpent: (BEES)
From: [personal profile] featheredserpent
"Invasion from Mars" on the radio? by "Grover Mills"? HAHAHA I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE

Date: 2012-02-20 05:41 am (UTC)
citygod: (Default)
From: [personal profile] citygod
nicely played
*golf clap*

Date: 2012-02-20 01:53 pm (UTC)
bewareofgeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bewareofgeek
In particular since Orson Welles PLAYED the Shadow on radio, which suggests he was the model for Mr. Mills.

Particularly since one of the sponsors of the radio show was Blue Coal.

Date: 2012-02-20 01:58 pm (UTC)
khaosworks: (Default)
From: [personal profile] khaosworks
And Walter Thatcher and Susan Alexander are both characters from "Citizen Kane".

Date: 2012-02-20 02:34 pm (UTC)
citygod: (Default)
From: [personal profile] citygod
Ever heard his "apology" for the hysteria over War of the Worlds? It's worth finding - the snark dripping of his delivery is hilarious.
I love 30's Orson. Haven't managed to watch Orson and me yet (Zac is off-putting) but I probably should. Any opinions?

Date: 2012-02-20 07:03 am (UTC)
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (comics → the goddamn coffee)
From: [personal profile] moetushie
I squeaked in delight.

Date: 2012-02-20 09:03 am (UTC)
lissa_quon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lissa_quon
I really enjoyed this. Thanks for posting it.

Date: 2012-02-20 01:46 pm (UTC)
pallas_athena: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pallas_athena
Yeah-- this was excellent!

Date: 2012-02-20 10:26 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (TheBlackCat Happy Terry)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I love old time radio shows (listen to them on the way to work), so this was a hoot and a half! Thanks! :)

Date: 2012-02-21 12:52 am (UTC)
junipepper: (jumplines)
From: [personal profile] junipepper
Cool. My dad used to have -- may still have, in fact -- recordings of a lot of old radio shows. So much great stuff; so much terrible stuff. So much fun.

Lamont Cranston... *nostalgic sigh*


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