Friday, January 6, 2023


Yep, it’s another issue of The Shadowed Circle, and it continues to amaze. Within this always-professional package are seven meaty articles exploring subjects of Shadowy interest.

First up is a remarkable piece penned fifty years ago by the late Dick Myers and published here for the first time here. For purposes of the article, Myers adopted a pose similar to that among some Sherlock Holmes fans that the Shadow and his agents were real people, and that Walter Gibson was a reporter recounting tales based on interviews with Shadow agents. This article, Part 1 of 3, theorizes on how the Shadow’s operation may have been financed. It’s fascinating stuff. Myers considers the cost of every aspect of the operation, right down to the number of bullets, abandoned automatics and lost or damaged cloaks and slouch hats. These musing force us to think of the whole operation in a new light, and I look forward what Part 2 will bring.

Will Murray, in “Shadowy Secrets,” then ponders a number of mysteries that have plagued him (and no doubt others) over the years, and, in the case of two of them—the Shadow’s fire opal ring, and Lamont Cranston’s Cobalt Club—posits likely solutions.

Ever wondered where the name “B. Jonas” came from. Tim King reports on some beyond-the-call-of-duty investigative work, with surprising results.

 I found Todd D. Severin’s deep dive into the Shadow comic strip and Street & Smith comic books particularly interesting. The comic strip has been reprinted a couple of times, and is not too hard to come by, but the run of Golden Age comics (which lasted 101 issues!) constitutes the most elusive area of Shadow scholarship, remaining beyond the reach of most ordinary mortals. And as Mr. Severin points out, the artwork for the final two years of the book (1947-1949) was handled by Bob Powell, one of the most stylish of Golden Age artists. The good news is that—if you can put up with a little fooling around and a few pop-up ads—all but a few of those issues can be read online, here:

Did you know the Shadow and Doc once met in one of those comics? I sure didn’t. Daryl Morrissey reveals all, followed by a blow-by-blow analysis of the pair’s 1990 “Double Danger Stories” meeting in DC comics.

Following up on his interview with Michael Uslan from issue 3, Darby Kern focuses on Uslan’s Shadow work for Dynamite comics. I wasn’t paying attention to them at the time – when Uslan brought our hero into meetings with the Green Hornet, the Avenger and Doc—but I will be now. We also get the inside scoop on a Shadow film that almost came to be.

For the finale, John Olsen delves into the script of the final Shadow radio broadcast (for which no recording is known to exist), putting period to our hero’s radio career.

Jeez, another great issue, with the promise of more to come!

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