Triple Novel Special
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! The Knight of Darkness battles diabolical supervillains in classic pulp thrillers by all three "Maxwell Grants." First, the Master of Darkness confronts his greatest superfoe, Shiwan Khan, "The Golden Master," in Walter Gibson's landmark novel that inspired the blockbuster 1994 movie. Then, The Shadow battles The Light in "Death's Bright Finger," a violent thriller by Theodore Tinsley. Finally, The Shadow and his agents are faced with a "Reign of Terror" in Bruce Elliott's final (and best) pulp novel. This instant collector's item showcases the classic color pulp covers by George Rozen and Graves Gladney and the original interior illustrations by Edd Cartier and Paul Orban, with commentary by popular culture historian Will Murray.
John Olsen Reviews the Stories in The Shadow #75
Review written and copyrighted by John Olsen; used with permission
"The Golden Master" was published in the September 15, 1939 issue of The Shadow Magazine. The Shadow’s ultimate foe, the powerful Shiwan Khan, makes his first appearance in this story. The Golden Master is a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, and like his formidable ancestor, Shiwan Khan is bent upon world domination. Only one power on earth has a chance of thwarting his evil plans - The Shadow!
Yes, this is where it all started. But not where it would end. No, there would be three more pulp stories featuring Shiwan Khan before the mighty warlord met a most gristly fate. For those wanting to read all four novels in their proper order, they are:
09/15/39 The Golden Master
12/01/39 Shiwan Khan Returns
03/01/40 The Invincible Shiwan Khan
05/15/40 Masters Of Death
We are introduced to Shiwan Khan by way of this story’s proxy hero, young Paul Brent. Brent works for Globe Aircraft as a technical expert and has just returned to Manhattan from South America. Outside his hotel window is a strange electric sign. As he watches it, he is fascinated by the whirling lights that spin and dance. Gradually, he is lulled into a deep trance and hears the voice of Shiwan Khan.
Paul Brent is under the hypnotic control of a master whose power is unshakable. Brent becomes a mental zombie who does whatever Shiwan Khan desires. He makes changes to aircraft order forms. These changes allow a large shipment of military planes to be sold and shipped overseas. All for the use of Shiwan Khan.
Shiwan Khan is in the US to obtain military planes and ammunition for his campaign for world domination. Paul Brent is just one of many who have fallen under the spell of the evil Shiwan Khan. There are others, as well, each doing his unwilling part to further the sinister schemes of the Oriental master who plans to conquer the globe. Some are in charge of the ammunition sales. Others take care of the shipping concerns. And yet others are involved in raising money to fund the diabolical plans of Shiwan Khan.
All of this is taking place without the knowledge of The Shadow. But luckily our black-clad crime fighter stumbles upon a murder that has been committed by one of Shiwan Khan’s minions. The crime was intended to implicate Paul Brent, now that Shiwan Khan no longer needs him. But The Shadow’s timely intervention thwarts that portion of Shiwan Khan’s game.
The story follows The Shadow as he assists Paul Brent and gradually follows the threads that lead toward the master plotter, Shiwan Khan. It’s a formidable process that Shiwan Khan’s mental powers made even more difficult. Only the power of The Shadow is a possible match for the unbelievable strength of Shiwan Khan.
It’s not until near the very end of the story that the two superfoes actually meet. In chapter nineteen, The Shadow finally comes face to face with Shiwan Khan. The final few chapters are an amazing race as The Shadow tracks down Shiwan Khan and finally defeats him in an explosion that rocks the harbor. Shiwan Khan goes to a watery death... or does he? That’s what readers were asking, at the time. But thanks to our historical perspective, we know that Shiwan Khan returned again, and again and again. But it makes this story no less thrilling.
So, exactly who is Shiwan Khan, anyway? What’s his background? Where did he come from? How did he acquire such mental powers that he could overcome The Shadow? This first pulp novel in the four-story series answers those questions very satisfactorily.
Shiwan Khan is the direct descendant of Genghis Khan, the ancient conqueror who nearly ruled all the world. He is powerful, both in terms of wealth (he holds the fantastic treasures of Kubla Khan) and in terms of mystical mental abilities (he trained with the lamas of Tibet). He lives in a far corner of China, in the hidden underground city of Xanadu, originally built by Kubla Khan. A kingdom where the sacred River Alph runs through measureless caverns, into a sea where the sun never shines, beneath the barren reaches of Sinkiang, between Mongolia and Tibet.
We are told that Shiwan Khan had not always dreamed of power. As a youth, he had been meditative, studious, while he dwelt in the wilds of Sinkiang. He had considered which way his future lay: whether in Tibet to the south where the mind rules supreme, or Mongolia to the north where brute force rules all.
He had chosen Tibet. Reaching the forbidden city of Lhasa, he had studied under the lamas, learned their mystic ways. He had gained an amazing mental power, similar to that learned by a young Shadow, which his teachers had informed him he should use to accomplish good. Thus gifted, Shiwan Khan had set out for Mongolia.
In that land where brawn and cruelty reigned, Shiwan Khan had experienced his ancestral urge for power. His mental mastery over the Mongolians had caused him to foresee the rise of another Kha Khan, or Great Ruler - himself. He had gone back to his birthplace, Sinkiang, the dividing land that suited his complex nature. There, he had used his powers to gain wealth and position. And what of these powers?
He controls the power of near-invisibility. This is a power of which The Shadow is aware. But we don’t see The Shadow demonstrate it. Perhaps he has not yet mastered it. Could it be that is the reason he prefers to achieve his near-invisibility by using the magician’s trick of dressing in black, so as to blend into the darkness? Shiwan Khan has not only mastered this power, he uses it as well. As he explains it:
“The human form that remains motionless is seldom seen. When the brain behind that form can suspend its action of thought, it gives off no impressions. That accomplished, the bodily form is never seen.”
Shiwan Khan also controls the telepathic ability to mentally influence others. The Shadow never possessed this power, in the pulp stories. The radio version of The Shadow could control others’ actions with his mind, at least during the first 1937 season. After that, the radio character’s hypnotic ability was limited to clouding their minds, so as to render himself invisible. In the pulp stories, only Shiwan Khan possessed such powers.
Among the various people who fall under the mental control of Shiwan Khan is beautiful young Beatrice Chadbury. Shiwan Khan convinces her that she is a Chinese maiden named Lana Luan, and it is as such that she meets Paul Brent. Even though she’s in a trance, Paul is immediately smitten. And that brings in a minor romantic sub-plot. So we are not only rooting for The Shadow to bring destruction to Shiwan Khan, but we are also hoping the two lovebirds will get together by story’s end.
The Shadow lacks the power to control the actions of others. In fact, he can’t even communicate with them mentally. Shiwan Khan, however, is constantly in touch with his minions by way of thought transference. This power is also beyond that of The Shadow. We are told: “The Shadow, however great his prowess, had not yet acquired the skill to project thoughts, with his agents as receivers.” All this makes Shiwan Khan a most formidable adversary.
As for familiar characters, just about everyone is present in this pulp adventure. The whole gang shows up. Dr. Rupert Sayre. Dr. Roy Tam. Commissioner Weston and Inspector Cardona. Burbank. Rutledge Mann. Cliff Marsland. Clyde Burke. Hawkeye. Moe Shrevnitz. Harry Vincent. It’s a virtual cornucopia of characters familiar to all Shadow fans. About the only one missing is Myra Reldon.
Myra Reldon doesn’t show up, and she seems to be a natural in her Ming Dwan disguise. But she isn’t necessary, since Beatrice Chadbury, alias Lana Luan, fills her role, this time out. Myra Reldon would, however, get a major role in the third novel in the series, “The Invincible Shiwan Khan.”
There are a few things in this tale that deserve special mention. Just as The Shadow has his own sanctum, so does Shiwan Khan have a special headquarters. Whereas The Shadow’s hidden lair is all black, Shiwan Khan’s is all gold. The walls of his sanctuary are hung with a dull gold cloth, the same color of the ornate robes that Shiwan Khan wears. And the room contains a chair of gold, a small throne for the master mentalist.
Shiwan Khan’s secret headquarters also contains some interesting scientific apparatus. The supervillain uses modern technology combined with the telepathy he learned in Tibet. He uses moving, colored lights to attract the attention of his subjects and put them into a receptive mood for his mental control. They could be the moving lights on an electrical sign, on a console radio, etc. But they are all controlled from Shiwan Khan’s own sanctum.
Also of interest, we get a more detailed look at that strange office where Rutledge Mann often delivers reports to The Shadow. It’s on the second floor of an old office building on Twenty-third Street. Usually, all we are told of this office is that it is unoccupied and the name “B. Jonas” is stenciled on the glass. In this story, we actually get to go inside.
It’s always been a mystery as to how The Shadow receives his agents’ reports, since the door is cobwebbed and no one is ever seen to enter or leave. This story, though, describes a closet in that abandoned office:
“There was an opening at the rear of the closet, where a specially constructed panel formed The Shadow’s usual route to and from the dingy office, instead of the cobwebbed door.”
And we are also told that The Shadow keeps an extra set of black cloak and slouch hat in the closet. In that way, if anyone should penetrate to the interior of the office, they would mistakenly think that they had found The Shadow’s actual headquarters, instead of a mere way-station. It was just one more way to keep the true location of his sanctum hidden.
One of the coolest scenes in the story is where long-time agent Harry Vincent accidentally stares at the flashing lights of the Green Pagoda sign just a bit too long, and falls under the hypnotic spell of Shiwan Khan. Poor Harry becomes a slave to the will of the golden master. He travels into the Green Pagoda restaurant, down beneath the Buddha statue to the passageways below, and finally to Shiwan Khan’s actual presence. There he is given instructions to kill his master. While under Shiwan Khan’s control, Harry Vincent travels to the “B. Jonas” office to meet his chief, and shoots him dead! I won’t spoil the resolution to that cliffhanger, but needless to say, it’s a pip!
The 1994 theatrical motion picture “The Shadow” was based on the four Shiwan Khan novels. As you read this story, you’ll recognize bits and pieces that made it into the movie. The background of Shiwan Khan is taken from this first story. And one scene in particular resonated with me. A many-colored sign advertising a brand of cigarettes, catches the attention of a gray-haired man who is pacing the veranda of a nearby penthouse. He falls under the mental control of Shiwan Khan as he watches that cigarette sign.
In the movie, the gray-haired man was the father of Margo Lane. And Margo herself also fell under the influence of Shiwan Khan, due to the strange sign board. Margo Lane, it should be pointed out, never appeared in any of the four Shiwan Khan pulp stories. She didn’t appear in any Shadow stories until a year or so after the final Shiwan Khan pulp novel was published.
Most Shadow fans consider the four Shiwan Khan novels to be the very best of the entire eighteen-year run of The Shadow Magazine. And for good reason. It’s a very well crafted story. Everything carries its own logic with no flaws or hanging threads. We get to see The Shadow at his most powerful battle a foe that is even more powerful. It’s a wonderful story that gets my hearty recommendation.
Using his mental zombies, Shiwan Khan’s goal is to rule the world! Can Ying Ko, The Shadow, balk his plans of world-wide conquest? Yes, but not without a battle that will leave you breathless. This one is a must-read!
"Death’s Bright Finger" was published in the May 15, 1942 issue of The Shadow Magazine. This story has all the earmarks of a Shadow novel authored by Theodore Tinsley, and indeed it is such. It’s the same Shadow that you know and love, but just a bit more lurid. A bit more violence; a touch more sex. The characters and settings are the same as in Walter Gibson novels. They behave the same. But things are a shade more... extreme.
Our story opens as racketeer Flash Snark surrenders himself to Inspector Joe Cardona at police headquarters. He says he has decided to go straight, and confesses to a crime which will put him away for five years. Why would the undisputed boss of the numbers racket turn himself in? Cardona feels that Flash Snark is trying to avoid something. Escape from some threat. And he’s right.
The Light! A mysterious character known as The Light has threatened Flash Snark. And such a terrible threat is The Light, that Snark decides to turn himself over to the law rather than face The Light. For The Light is a supernatural force that wields a strange glowing weapon capable of turning a human being into a small pile of blue-gray soot in an instant. Guns cannot stop him. Hoards of gangland thugs cannot stop him. He’s a threat of unimaginable proportions.
Just who is The Light? No one knows. All that is known of The Light is that he’s a tall, hunchbacked figure whose eyes glow; whose teeth glow. From his glowing finger exudes a silvery streak of light; a light that can dissolve huge steel vault doors. A horrible heat ray that can instantaneously cremate a human being. A brilliant ray from which even The Shadow runs for his life!
The Light has decided to take over the underworld. And take it over, he does! Penn Station and Grand Central are filled with crooks buying tickets out of town. All are on the lam, running from the terror of The Light. His goal is to become the supreme ruler of the New York underworld. No mobs will operate except the ones he licenses. Not a penny of criminal profit will be made unless he receives his cut.
Flash Snark isn’t the only one deciding to hide within the protection of the law. Tony Bedlow, powerful slot machine boss, also decides to give himself up. Although the police have never been able to pin a thing on him, Bedlow would rather confess to crime and live securely in jail than face the wrath of The Light.
How can The Shadow overcome this power beyond nature? What is the source of his strange and mysterous abilities? Who is the driving force behind The Light? Yes, there are questions galore in this thrillng Shadow mystery novel. Questions that only The Shadow can answer. And answers that will amaze and astound you as you read “Death’s Bright Finger.”
Assisting The Shadow in this exciting tale is his aide and companion, the lovely Margo Lane. As written by Theodore Tinsley, she’s a capable agent who knows that Lamont Cranston is in reality The Shadow, but never discusses the matter with him. She also conveniently falls into the hands of minions of The Light, for a little sadistic torture.
Yes, Theodore Tinsley’s penchant for a little sex and sadism shows up as Margo undergoes some torture. The frail material of her frock is ripped, and a glowing-hot poker is applied to the ivory-white flesh of her back. “Margo screamed as she felt the red-hot metal searing the flesh of her shoulder.” That’s something that Walter Gibson never would have written.
And Margo isn’t the only one to suffer. Harry Vincent is also put at risk when he’s assisting The Shadow. Harry’s been shot before in many of his adventures with The Shadow, but rarely does the slug shatter the bone. In this one, Harry feels the smashing impact of a bullet in his arm. But he carries on, although swimming in pain. Eventually he’s rescued and rushed secretly to the private hospital of Dr. Rupert Sayre, physician to The Shadow.
Vincent’s place is then taken by Clyde Burke, ace newspaper reporter for the Daily Classic. And Clyde gets to encounter his own share of pain when he’s electrocuted, dropped through a trapdoor into a cement-lined pit, and left bound in an underground prison cell. Oh, and did I mention being threatened by sharks? Or threatened with being shot out of a huge gun as a human bullet? That plus the obvious threat of incineration from the strange heat ray of The Light himself. Whew! Being an agent of The Shadow takes a lot of fortitude!
Also assisting The Shadow in this amazing tale are investment broker Rutledge Mann, contact man Burbank, hackie Moe Shrevnitz (who is occasionally called “Shrevvy,” now) and pilot Miles Crofton. The law is represented by Joe Cardona; there is no mention of Commissioner Weston. The Shadow himself appears in disguise as Lamont Cranston several times, but is usually seen only in his usual garb of black.
This story was written only two months before the United States entered World War II. Brief mention is made of the fact that the rest of the world was already at war, affecting the shipments of some of Lamont Cranston’s favorite tobacco. Other than that, there are no references to the war. Although written before the attack on Pearl Harbor and entry into the war, the story saw publication six months after America officially entered the conflict.
Among Margo Lane’s various accomplishments mentioned in this novel is her ability to make men fall in love with her. The story tells us that she has contrived to make blackmailer Ron Dexter fall in love with her so as to assist The Shadow in uncovering his vicious secrets. This must be some gal!
In another interesting note from this novel, a shopping card is mentioned. Apparently this was the early precursor to today’s credit cards. This shopping card was issued by a ritzy department store and used only by the wealthy to save them time, and to keep them from having to carry money around with them. Today’s credit cards aren’t limited to just the wealthy, or to just a single store. But apparently it all started here!
You know The Shadow is an accomplished pilot, since his true identity is that of famed aviator Kent Allard. You know he owns an autogiro. You know he owns an airplane. But did you know he owns a seaplane? Yes, in this story it’s moored beyond a river float in the East River. It’s piloted by Miles Crofton so that The Shadow can parachute to the rescue of his agents. We are told that The Shadow is an experienced parachute jumper. The parachute itself is black silk to blend with the darkness of the sky. Pretty cool, eh?
Remember The Shadow’s curious rubber discs that help him to scale the sheer outside stone walls of mansions in the various stories? They appeared as early as 1932 in the Shadow stories. But in this one, The Shadow climbs the steep front of a house using a small hard-rubber hammer, small sharp-pointed spikes and a rope. Makes me wonder why Tinsley didn’t use the suction cups. He used them in his 1941 Shadow novel “The Green Terror” so he wasn’t ignorant of their existance. But for some reason he chose not to use them. Personally, I’ve always found them a pretty nifty way to scale the outside of a building, and I would have thought he would have put them into use.
In Tinsley’s other Shadow stories, he would occasionally vaguely mention the methods used by The Shadow to question his prisoners. This is something that Walter Gibson never seemed to address. But Tinsley, with his fondness for torture, mentioned on more than one occasion how The Shadow could obtain information from thugs he had captured. In this story, the method is described as a torture of light and sound; the torture of mental suggestion. Torture of a kind the gangsters had never dreamed of would unlock their unwilling lips. We are told no more, just given enough to whet our thirst.
This is definitely a Tinsley-written Shadow novel. All the tell-tale signs are there. The sliding panels, the secret passages, the underground chambers, the fascination with fire, the titilation of sex and the heightened violence. A hypodermic needle is jammed into a man’s throat. Another’s throat is cut from ear to ear. A beautiful songstress is graphically murdered before our eyes. Margo Lane tortured with a white-hot poker. Seminude girls on a nightclub stage. It’s lurid. It’s Theodore Tinsley. It’s pulp!
"Reign of Terror" was originally published in the June-July 1948 issue of The Shadow Magazine. A wave of terror had fallen over Manhattan. Intimidation and threats are mounting as crime hauls in the extortion loot. Organized law protection agencies are baffled. It will take The Shadow to sift through the murderous maze of clues to... where?
This story is bad, bad, bad. It’s bad on so many levels and in so many ways that this review can only touch on the largest and most egregious ones. Let’s get it right out in the open, at the beginning. This is one of those “infamous” Shadow pulp novels written, not by Walter Gibson; not by Theodore Tinsley; not even by Lester Dent. That’s right, it was from the low point in the history of The Shadow when the stories were being written by Bruce Elliott.
As Shadow fans know, the fifteen Shadow novels written by Bruce Elliott between 1946 and 1948 are the worst of the entire 325 issues published. Five of them didn’t even contain the character of The Shadow in them! This one does; The Shadow is present, here. So, you see, it could have been worse; much worse! Actually, this one is probably the “best” of the Bruce Elliott stories, if the word “best” can be used properly in this context.
There’s a gang out there into all kinds of nasty stuff. Ed Corre, who has a reputation for fixing fights, has expanded. Drugs. Torture. Murder. Crime is running rampant, and Ed Corre is the man behind it. It’s a real reign of terror. Only The Shadow can stop it all.
Drugs are more prevalent in this story than most non-Elliott stories. Not only is there a gang of drug runners to be caught, but one of the gangsters himself is a hophead. In one scene, he’s told to go into the bathroom and take his shot, so he’ll be ready for the upcoming action.
The Shadow appears in this story only as himself. There is no mention of Lamont Cranston, Henry Arnaud, or any of his other disguises. Also appearing are Hawkeye, Burbank, and Shrevvie. But they aren’t exactly as we remember them.
It’s clear from reading Bruce Elliott’s Shadow stories that he just didn’t get The Shadow. He didn’t understand the character and his behavior; he didn’t understand the agents and The Shadow’s relationship with them. It was as though he wrote these fifteen stories without ever looking at a series bible or even reading one of the earlier pulp stories.
Let’s take The Shadow. He is changed beyond recognition. He no longer wears a cloak; now he wears a short cape. He still wears his slouch hat, though. He talks way too much; pages and pages of dialog. The Shadow we knew from Walter Gibson’s creation would call Burbank and hiss a single command: “Report.” But now this new guy, whoever he is, just speaks conversationally, “Any news from Hawkeye?”
In the old stories — the good ones — if an agent fluffed an assignment, he was given a chance to redeem himself, and nothing further was said about it. But in this new version of The Shadow responds in a warm voice, “Just keep doing your best. I can’t ask for more than that.” What’s with all this familiarity?!
The Shadow we all know and love could move through total darkness by just sheer touch alone. Not the guy in this story, though. He rips the tape off his flashlight to give him more light, so he can make his way through an underground passage.
The Shadow in this story hesitates when confronting criminals. Knowing he only has two bullets in his gun, he agonizes over whether to challenge them or not. Now The Shadow of old wouldn’t have hesitated for a moment. He would have expelled those two bullets immediately, then grabbed up one of the fallen thug’s guns and continued spraying the scenery with gunfire.
This Shadow is a wimp!
Let’s also consider how Bruce Elliott treats the agents of The Shadow. Shrevvie (he’s no longer Moe Shrevnitz) now talks with a Brooklyn accent (referring to “skirts” as “skoits”). And he knows where The Shadow’s sanctum is; he even drives him there. Heresy! This would never, never, never have happened in a Gibson authored story. Or in a Tinsley novel. In their stories, no one knew even vaguely the whereabouts of the sanctum. Oh well, chalk it up to Bruce Elliott...
Burbank doesn’t seem to have much to do. In the old stories, he would accept reports from the agents and give them to The Shadow. In this one, he just forwards their calls, so they can talk directly to The Shadow. Burbank runs a telephone answering service for The Shadow. And those conversations with the agents are much more casual than before; The Shadow reassures them that they are doing fine, and thanks them for their work. Quite different from the short-clipped reports of facts in the others stories.
And as for Hawkeye, he’s gone downhill appreciably. He can no longer trail a suspected gang member without losing him. And when we discover exactly how the crook shook his tail, it wasn’t all that clever. The Hawkeye we all know from the other novels would never have lost that trail!
The Shadow’s sanctum seems to have moved. It’s on the top of a high office building, a room whose windows have been blacked out. The sanctum I remember never had any windows, blacked out or not!
When The Shadow needs to go to a newspaper office to check their records, he goes to a paper called the Clarion. This is proof positive that Bruce Elliott never read any of the previous Shadow pulps. If he had, he would have known to use the Classic, instead. The Classic (also known as The New York Classic, The Evening Classic, The Morning Classic and The Daily Classic) appeared in over a hundred of the old pulp novels. How could Elliott not have gotten that simple thing right?!
One of the thing that annoyed me most about this story was the kitchen recipes. In one scene, the reader must suffer through a detailed description of how to make hollandaise sauce. Six full paragraphs go into the careful preparation by our villain Ed Corre. Do we really care that he adds melted butter a drop at a time? Or that he ads a half teaspoon of salt and a speck of cayenne pepper? Give us a break! This is supposed to be a rip-roaring pulp adventure, not a cooking show!
Like I said earlier, Bruce Elliott just didn’t get The Shadow. His blatant lack of understanding is so glaring that only the most diehard fan will shudder and force himself to read this tripe. And apparently the publisher finally caught on, as well.
This story marks an editorial change at Street and Smith, publishers of The Shadow Magazine. They realized that things were doing downhill fast. They were losing readers; losing Shadow fans. Circulation was down. The last five Shadow stories didn’t even feature The Shadow. So they directed Bruce Elliott to return The Shadow character to The Shadow Magazine. And so he did, for this, his final Shadow story.
After that, they got Walter Gibson to come back and take over the writing of the stories again. Smart move!
Yes, this was Elliott’s last Shadow story. And surprisingly as it may seem, this may have been one of his better ones. Believe it or not, the others were even worse! Elliott’s final Shadow story went out on a high note. Well... a very low note, actually... but a higher low note than normal. By Bruce Elliott standards the story was above average. How can you tell? Because I didn’t have to rip out any fingernails to force myself to finish reading it. Usually, when reading a Bruce Elliott novel, I lose either nails or hair.
It’s a pivotal issue; the mark of the end of the Bruce Elliott run. And that’s about all it has going for it.
Stay away from this one. If you read it, you’ll be sorry. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, “This is not the Shadow story you are looking for.” I’m waving my hand in a gesture intended to make you forget. I wish I could forget.
John Olsen was first introduced to The Shadow in the early 1960's, tuning in to rebroadcasts of his adventures on KEX radio in Portland, Oregon. Several years later, John was drawn to a hardback book entitled "The Weird Adventures of The Shadow," containing three Shadow novels reprinted from the old pulp magazines. The pulp Shadow was a far different character from the beloved radio version, but the stories drew him in and opened his eyes to a richer version of the hero. Today, John is retired in Sherwood, Oregon. He has read all 325 of the old Shadow pulp mysteries and enjoys them so much that, as of this writing, he is well over half way through reading them all again for a second time.