Blog: Commentary from the den of a pulp super-fan

Pulp comics: Dynamite’s ‘The Shadow’ mini-series

Posted by at 10:10 am Friday, March 3, 2017 in Comics, Review, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Pulp comics: Dynamite’s ‘The Shadow’ mini-series
'The Shadow: Year One' #3

The Shadow: Year One #3

Since 2012, Dynamite Entertainment has had the rights to do The Shadow comics. In addition to an on-going series (now ended), they have had several mini-series and one-shots with The Shadow. This is the second of three articles looking at what they have produced.

Here I will be looking at the several mini-series staring The Shadow: Year One, Shadow Now, Midnight in Moscow, and Death of Margo Lane. Masks and other minis that have The Shadow with other characters will be covered in other postings.

The Shadow: Year One (2013-14, 10 issues) is written by Matt Wagner, and as the title indicates, is meant to show The Shadow’s first year of operating in New York. It actually starts in Asia, with The Shadow on the trail of another man. We will learn The Shadow’s background as the aviator-spy The Dark Eagle, and sadly adds in that in Asia he became a drug lord (an element I never cared for) and later would be taught by masters in Shamballah in the psychic disciplines.

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Pulp comics: ‘The Chimera Brigade’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, December 23, 2016 in Comics, Doc Savage, Foreign Pulps, Harry Dickson, Nyctalope, Pastiche, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Pulp comics: ‘The Chimera Brigade’

'The Chimera Brigade'An interesting pulp-inspired comic-book series is The Chimera Brigade. Mainly because unlike making use of American pulp characters, it mainly makes use of European pulp characters, many of whom have been used in the Tales of the Shadowmen series (the author of this series writes for it, so if you’re read Tales, that will help). It originally appeared in France and has only recently been published in English.

Written by Serge Lehman with Fabrice Colin, and art by Gess, it first appeared in 2009. Recently Titan Comics reprinted it in three slim hardback volumes and is reprinting that in comic book form (two issues per volume) that should lead to further stories. I’m told there have been some changes in the comic from the books, but I can’t see that after comparing the first two comic books with the first volume.

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Pulp comics: Dynamite’s ‘The Shadow’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, December 2, 2016 in Comics, Pulps, Review, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Pulp comics: Dynamite’s ‘The Shadow’

Dynamite's 'The Shadow' No. 1Since 2012, Dynamite Entertainment has had the rights to do The Shadow comics. In addition to an on-going series (now ended), they have had several mini-series and one-shots with The Shadow. This is the first of three articles looking at what Dynamite has produced.

From 2012-14 they had an on-going series that ran 25 issues, broken up into several stories. They then did an issue #0 that lead into a volume two that lasted only five issues. These has since been collected into five volumes, so we’ll look at each of the story-lines.

The series kicked off with “The Fires of Creation” in issues #1-6. Written by Garth Ennis, this storyline had a version of The Shadow that in my opinion does not match with the pulp version. For me, the right way to view The Shadow is from the pulps: a spymaster now confronting crime and evil, making use of stage magic and disguise skills, along with a cadre of agents. And this is what they are: agents in play in his war on crime, not aides or associates or comrades in arm. If The Shadow picked up anything in the Orient, it would be martial arts and mental skills, but no occult skills like some try to give him.

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‘The Shadow in Review’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016 in Non-fiction, Review, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘The Shadow in Review’

'The Shadow in Review'A new guide to The Shadow pulp series is out: The Shadow in Review. It’s written by John Olsen, who writes the companion blog That’s Pulp!, and published by Pulplandia Press (through Lulu).

This massive work (over 500 pages) has a review of each Shadow story from the pulp series, plus a few more. It’s a labor of love that the author spent nearly 20 years reading every story twice and writing a review for each one.

Each review runs about a page or two. We are told the volume and issue number, publication date, and the submission date, and the submitted title if different from the final title. Who wrote each story is noted. And each stories rated from zero to five guns.

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Pulp comics: ‘The Gloom’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, August 26, 2016 in Comics, Doc Savage, Pastiche, Review, Tarzan, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Pulp comics: ‘The Gloom’

'The Gloom'In going through my comic book collection, I came across two issues of a pulp-inspired comic, The Gloom. Clearly a parody of pulp heroes, it appeared in 2005 from U.K. publisher APComics. Writer Tony Lee and artist Dan Boultwood clearly took inspiration from The Shadow and other pulp heroes.

I looked to see if there were any more issues published, as the 2nd issue ended on a cliffhanger, but it didn’t appear so. I did find a graphic novel that collected the five issues of the miniseries and got it. So was able to read the whole storyline.

We meet The Gloom right off the bat. Chasing bad guys, he is very much in the mold of The Shadow: wide brimmed hat, cloak and two .45 automatics blasting away. But, we soon see there are differences. His guns shoot hellfire, and only fire on bad people. Really rich industrialist Carson Kane, he is assisted by his burly manservant Tiny, and The Professor, who has had his brain put in the body of a monkey.

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Altered States: Doc Savage, The Shadow

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, June 3, 2016 in Comics, Doc Savage, Review, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Altered States: Doc Savage, The Shadow

"Altered State: Doc Savage"“In Altered States, the familiar becomes the unfamiliar and the known becomes the unknown. Heroes from across the ages are transported from the worlds and identities they recognize, to strange and terrifying new worlds and identities.”

With those words, Dynamite Comics launched a set of four one-shot comics with some of their licensed characters: Red Sonja, Vampirella, The Shadow, and Doc Savage in early 2015. All four had covers by Billy Tan, but different writers and artists, though David Avallone wrote both the Doc and Shadow titles.

This series reminded me of the old DC Elseworlds. I have no idea if we will see more of these.

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