Old Time RadioAudiobookseBooksPulp Fiction Books
Newsletter
eMail
Call
(Your shopping cart is empty)

 

  Shadow Volume 9 [Pulp Reprint] #5024



 
Alternative Views:


Our Price: $12.95

Availability: Usually Ships in 24 Hours
Product Code: 5024
Qty:

Description
 
The Shadow
Volume 9

The Knight of Darkness returns in three historic novels that gave birth to Batman. First, a powerful new underworld kingpin crosses swords with The Shadow in "Lingo", one of Walter Gibson's all-time masterpieces, which introduces The Shadow's customized boomerang that inspired the Batarang. Then, in "Partners of Peril", Theodore Tinsley's startlingly bat-haunted tale reprinted here for the first time, Lamont Cranston investigates chemical syndicate murders in the crime thriller that served as the model for Batman's debut adventure in Detective Comics #27. This extra-length volume also reprints Tinsley's "The Grim Joker", a 1936 tale featuring a clown-faced crime boss called The Joker. Popular culture historian Will Murray documents the Shadowy origins of Batman, while series editor Anthony Tollin chronicles how "Partners of Peril" was adapted as the first Batman story. This classic pulp collection also features George Rozen's arresting pulp covers and all the original interior art by acclaimed illustrator Tom Lovell - including a lost double-page "Partners of Peril" spread.
Special Feature:
John Olsen Reviews the Stories in The Shadow #9
Review written and copyrighted by John Olsen; used with permission

"Lingo" was published in the April 1, 1935 issue of The Shadow Magazine. So just who is this Lingo of the story's title? He's Lingo Queed, an opportunist who is poised to take over the reins of the underworld criminal empire. He is called "Lingo" because of his ability to handle various languages. Lingo can speak Greek, Italian and Chinese. And probably others that aren't mentioned.

Currently, the head of all gangdom is Rook Hollister. But the underworld is in turmoil. Lately, his every efforts have been thwarted by forces of the law. Planned crimes are being broken up in the act; henchmen are either captured or killed by the police. And this continual failure of leadership has Rook Hollister's lieutenants preparing for a coup. Yes, Rook's on the way out. He's scheduled for "the bump." (Meaning, they are going to bump him off.)

All of Rook Hollister's chieftains meet in secret at Kow Doy's shop "The Silver Dragon" in Chinatown. They plan an overthrow of their current leadership. Rook Hollister must die! But unbeknownst to the gangleaders, Rook has a spy in their midst. A spy who reports back to Rook, and warns him of the impending danger.

Rook Hollister, kingpin of the underworld, decides to escape the wrath of his underlings by faking his own death. He hires an unknown actor named Donald Manthell who bears a striking resemblance to him. Then he sets up Manthell to be killed in his stead. And sure enough, Manthell dies from a thug's bullet. And Rook Hollister goes into hiding, waiting until the time is ripe to retake his criminal empire.

Sliding into place as the new boss of the underworld is Lingo Queed. He claims credit for the killing of Rook Hollister, and takes over the reins of leadership. A new wave of crime is planned. It will take The Shadow to thwart those plans! It will take The Shadow to defeat Lingo Queed. And it will take The Shadow to reveal the hiding place of Rook Hollister and bring him to final justice.

The Shadow makes effective use of all of his aides in this story. Appearing are Clyde Burke, enterprising reporter on the staff of the Classic, Harry Vincent, the clean-cut chap who has long served The Shadow, Moe Shrevnitz, shrewd-faced cab driver whose taxi is actually owned by The Shadow, Cliff Marsland, alleged member of the underworld who is actually in The Shadow's employ, Hawkeye, the hunchy little trailer, Jericho, one of The Shadow's lesser agents who gets to play bodyguard for Lingo Queed, Burbank, vital communications man for The Shadow and Rutledge Mann, investment broker and contact man for The Shadow's organization. Whew; the gang's all here!

Representing the forces of law and order are acting inspector Joe Cardona and Deputy Police Commissioner Wainwright Barth. Previous commissioner Ralph Weston is still on leave, taking a vacation in Garauca, South America. He went there in the Sept. 15, 1934 story "The Garaucan Swindle," to become acting head of the national police, helping clean up the country. He'll return to New York in the story "The Dark Death" which would be published in Feb. 15, 1936.

In the meantime, Wainwright Barth is currently acting commissioner. We're told that Barth is a past police commissioner, although in "The Garaucan Swindle" we were told he was a previous banker. Maybe he was both? Either way, there is definite tension between Joe Cardona and Wainwright Barth. Their dislike for each other is obvious, here, and it gives the story a bit more edge.

The Shadow's famous girasol ring, the purplish, translucent gem that glows from The Shadow's third finger, appears in this story. In this story, it is worn only by The Shadow and is used as a means of identification. Agents seeing this ring secretly revealed on his finger, know that regardless of his disguise that this is their master. In later years, the ring was worn openly when disguised as Lamont Cranston (who, by the way, makes no appearance, here).

Once again, as is typical of many pulp stories of the 1930's, racial stereotypes are rampant. Jericho, one of The Shadow's agents, speaks enough "de's, dat's and yassah's" to make you cringe. And Koy Dow's speech isn't that much better, laced with "No shootee gunee - gunee bringee cops!" Please consider this a historical document that is reproduced accurately, and don't blame me!

It's a real classic and a thrilling Shadow mystery novel.
 


"Partners of Peril" was originally published in the November 1, 1936 issue of The Shadow Magazine. A new and deadly poison gas has been invented for the United States chemical warfare service. And the ex-partners in the company producing the gas have now become "Partners of Peril." One by one, they are being murdered. And only The Shadow can determine why.

Reed Harrington was the first man to die. And he knew in advance that his life was in peril. He had been receiving threats for a fortnight. He changed his residence three times, but the threats followed him to his new abodes. Finally, in desperation, he turns to New York Police Commissioner Ralph Weston. The vicious voice over the phone has promised he will die before midnight.

Commissioner Weston is not too concerned, but promises to send Detective Joe Cardona to Harrington's apartment to guard him through the night. But just as predicted, death strikes before midnight. Right in front of Cardona, Harrington falls dead while taking a phone call. The time, two minutes before midnight.

How was Reed Harrington killed? There's no clue. Who will be next? Arnold Kling will be the next victim. He rushes into the Harrington crime scene and claims that he, too, has been receiving death threats. He and Harrington were business partners, and now death promises to strike again this very same night. And strike again, it does.

Arnold Kling holes up in his large home in Tuckahoe. He is guarded by the police. But all the police presence is futile. Arnold Kling dies, a victim of a sinister death trap that sends thousands of volts of electricity coursing through his body. As promised by the hidden murder master, death has struck again.

The Shadow races to find others who were previously partners in a chemical plant, in attempt to thwart further deaths. Reed Harrington, Arnold Kling, Simon Todd, Thomas Porter and his son Ray Porter had all been partners in the Millcote Chemical Corporation, a huge industrial plant in lower New Jersey. Even though Simon Todd is the sole owner of the chemical plant, now, this is the one thing that ties the strange deaths together. And it's The Shadow's job to reveal the source of the peril to those remaining alive.

What's behind it all? Why, a deadly new poison gas, that's what! The nation that owns this secret will be impregnable in the next war. And in 1936, World War II was looming ominously on the horizon. So the United States had good reason to want to keep that gas a secret. There are some who would steal the formula for a foreign nation. Are they responsible for the deaths? There are others who would kill to gain control of the wealth generated by this government contract. Perhaps one of them is the strange and sinister dealer in death. It will take all the cunning of The Shadow to discover the evil power behind the conspiracy of murder.

The Shadow gets to don a few disguises in this story. He appears as Lamont Cranston, of course. And he glides invisibly through the night in his outfit of black. But he also appears at the chemical plant in two other disguises. He appears in the character of a harmless old workman, while surveying the plant. And later, is a tall young workman dressed in overalls.

Assisting The Shadow here is his trusty contact man Burbank, reporter Clyde Burke and long-time agent Harry Vincent. Burke's job is finished before the story is half over and we see no more of him, and Burbank gets his usual brief appearances. But Harry Vincent plays a fairly large role in the story.

Harry Vincent assists The Shadow in watching some of the ex-partners and guarding them from harm. In the line of duty, poor Harry really gets beat around in this story. He's captured and strapped to a table connected to a strange electrical mechanism. It's a truth machine, complete with wires, dials, electrodes and glowing lights. And before he knows it, Harry is blabbing all he knows. Including the name of his master!

Harry is rescued by The Shadow in a thrilling gun battle in the underground laboratory. But later, poor Harry is captured once again. This time, he's thrown into a deep pit and the villain's intention is to blow him to smithereens in an explosion that will rock the countryside. Yes, Harry Vincent really gets bounced around in this story. Oh, and shot through the left wrist, as well! He really earned his paycheck this time around.

Other familiar characters in this Shadow novel are Commissioner Ralph Weston and Detective Joe Cardona. Weston appears only at the beginning, and by the end of chapter four, he's no longer involved in the plot. Cardona, on the other hand, gets to assist The Shadow throughout the entire story, right up to the very end.

This Shadow pulp novel wasn't written by Walter Gibson. It was written by Theodore Tinsley, who was brought in by the publishers to help assist in the writing chores. The reading public would be none the wiser, since the pen name of Maxwell Grant was still used on all the stories, regardless of the actual author. Tinsley would go on to pen a total of twenty seven Shadow novels until his final one "The Golden Doom" in 1943.

The general reading audience for The Shadow magazine probably never realized that a different author was at work. Theodore Tinsley tried to follow in the same style as Walter Gibson. He attempted to be faithful to the situations and characters created by Gibson. And by and large, he was quite successful in his attempt. There were a few signs that a different author was at work, but they were subtle. To most readers, it was a Shadow story that was just a little more "pulpy" than the rest.

Theodore Tinsley got a few things wrong in this novel, but luckily they weren't things that stood out starkly. In one scene, he gives Lamont Cranston a pleasant smile. Gibson would have put a "slight smile on his masklike countenance." In another scene, Tinsley has The Shadow with a "shrouded head." This harkens back to the very early days of the magazine, when The Shadow was drawn wearing a cowl rather than a slouch hat. Later, The Shadow pulls out a ring of skeleton keys. Gibson had abandoned using skeleton keys years earlier, preferring to have The Shadow use a blackened metal lock pick. These examples, as you can see, are minor. Most readers probably passed over them without notice.

If readers noticed any difference, they might have noticed that the story was bit more lurid than the others they had read. That was one of the telltale marks of Tinsley's work on The Shadow. Learned from his days writing for Black Mask, Tinsley gave his Shadow stories a little edge that Gibson's lacked.

Tinsley had a flair for unusual deaths. While guns and knives were in evidence aplenty, in this story Tinsley also introduced deaths by electrocution, by poison gas and by massive explosion. And let's not forget being dissolved alive in a vat of acid. A little something for everybody to keep the action going.

Tinsley also had an affinity for tunnels, caverns and underground lairs. We find a perfectly equipped chemical laboratory built in the solid earth under a private garage. And remember the deep pit that Harry Vincent is thrown into. Whenever you read a Tinsley story, you can expect underground action.

Tinsley brought sex into The Shadow novels. There was no sign of sex in Gibson's Shadow stories. Tinsley loved to titillate. Typical is this exchange from our story: "Do you hand it over, baby - or do I rip your clothes off and find it myself?" Of course, it went no further than that. But Walter Gibson wouldn't even have gone that far.

Tinsley emphasized, a bit more, the violence in his Shadow tales. Whereas in Gibson's stories, a thug might take a bullet and slump to the floor, in Tinsley's descriptions, blood would gush. In "Partners of Peril" we get descriptions like these: "A bullet from Dorgan ripped through his neck and severed the jugular vein. Blood poured from the wound." The additional gore wasn't blatant, in a Tinsley novel, but it was noticeable.

Tinsley's version of The Shadow was a bit more powerful and infallible. When he shot his revolvers, he never missed. "The Shadow had moved out of a dark corner alcove and was gliding toward them with guns that never missed when his gloved fingers pressed the triggers." Gibson's Shadow might miss, but Tinsley's, only rarely.

At the same time, Tinsley's version of The Shadow got injured more. Gibson's Shadow rarely received minor injuries. If he was injured in a story, it was a serious injury. Gibson didn't give The Shadow many minor wounds. Tinsley, however, routinely had his Shadow receive various small injuries. In this story: "A knife slashed down the flesh of his forearm." And later: "Bullets whistled past him, pierced his loose cloak in a dozen places. He felt a sharp pain in his shoulder." And during the catastrophic explosion, "Something smaller struck his extended body and he felt the warm flow of his blood." In Tinsley's stories, The Shadow rarely ended an adventure without several non-life-threatening wounds.

Tinsley liked to inject a little torture into his stories. And he wasn't adverse to using it on women and men alike. Gibson, by comparison, rarely used torture on men, and never on women. This Shadow novel, being Tinsley's first, has only one vague reference to torture. "The Shadow had means of making gunmen talk, even a vicious killer like Dorgan." In later stories, Tinsley would go into more graphic detail when it came to torture. And no one was spared.

Theodore Tinsley's stories of The Shadow thrilled readers, who were not even aware that they were reading stories by a different author. All they knew was that they were reading a rip-roaring pulp adventure of their favorite hero. It was a bit edgier and more lurid than the usual Shadow fare, but the action carried readers along and they would rarely stop to examine the writing style. It was very similar to Gibsonís, just a little "pulpier."

Sometimes when Tinsley wrote a story, in an effort to make the situations especially unique, dangerous and exciting, he would throw in little things that he forgot to wrap up at story's end. In one scene of this story, he has two thugs breaking into Reed Harrington's wall safe. They inexplicably know the combination, which makes readers wonder what secret contacts these two men have that gave them this knowledge. But we never find out. In the end, when Tinsley explains everything for the reader, he overlooks their knowledge of the safe combination. Loose ends like these are usually minor, but they can be found in most Tinsley stories. Gibson, generally kept tighter reins on his plots, and nearly always tied up the little loose ends.

Sometime, parts of Tinsley's plots don't make sense. At the time you read them, they sound cool. And you assume they'll be explained later. But they aren't. Of course, so much action has taken place that you have usually forgotten about them. In this story, for example, both Reed Harrington and Arnold Kling are repeatedly warned in advance that they are going to die. But when all is explained at the end, we realize that it served no purpose. There was no reason to warn the men in advance. Logically, the men should have been killed without any warning. It would have promoted the evil genius's plans more efficiently. But logic often takes a back seat in Tinsley's Shadow stories.

There is a wonderful death trap in this story that Tinsley deals with illogically, as well. A powerful bomb is rigged to explode when triggered by an electric eye. When light falls on a mechanism attached to the door jam, everything will go up in flames. Then he has The Shadow rushing through the doorway to rescue the kidnap victims before the master criminal can shine a searchlight onto the electric eye. The logic escapes me. Why the rush? The Shadow could easily have covered the electric eye as he passed through the door, and then there would have been no hurry. He could have covered it with a piece of tape, with his cloak, or he could have just disconnected the wires. But instead, he leaves it intact and has to feverishly make haste, and cut it very close, to escape with the victims before the big bang. Some things, like this, just don't make a lot of sense in a Tinsley story. They are exiting to read at the moment, but they don't withstand close scrutiny after you have finished the novel.

A couple final points of interest. At the end of the story, the master villain lives. Usually, in both Tinsley's and Gibson's stories, the bad guy is killed in the final act. This time, he lives and is in police custody. Not a really rare occurrence, but one worthy of note.

Also, this story ends with a plug for the next issue's story, "The Strange Disappearance of Joe Cardona." This was standard practice in Street & Smith's other big pulp seller, Doc Savage. Every story ended with mention of what would be coming up next month. But it only happened rarely in The Shadow stories. It would seem that Street & Smith was experimenting, here.

Another point of interest is that apparently in Theodore Tinsley's version of 1936 New York, the street lights had no yellow. It's mentioned that a taxi and sedan pass a green traffic light which immediately turns to red. Manhattan had completed the switch-over to three-color lights by the mid-1920's. Makes me wonder if Tinsley wasn't a native New Yorker, and wasn't familiar with the newfangled traffic lights in the big city. (And I'll make no comment about how yellow lights are often still ignored today.)

In this story, The Shadow uses his girasol ring to cut glass. He does this in order to escape a death trap and avoid that poison gas, around which the entire plot revolves. In case you're wondering, yes, a girasol can actually cut glass. It's not as hard as a diamond, but it is still slightly harder than glass. Glass has a hardness of about 5.5 and a girasol's hardness ranges between 6 and 7. So, it could theoretically be used as described here. Tinsley liked the concept so much that he used it again in his very next Shadow story, "Foxhound." And again in 1940's "City of Fear." Walter Gibson never had The Shadow use his girasol ring to cut glass; that was strictly Tinsley's invention.

I got a laugh, unintentional I'm sure, when The Shadow cut through the glass to escape the gas trap. We're told that "under his evenly applied pressure, the circle of glass fell outward and smashed on the floor." Yet four sentences later, The Shadow quiets his recently-released victims because, "He wanted no betraying noise to warn men outside the room that living victims still breathed unhurt in that chamber of horror." Like someone would hear their whispers, but couldn't hear that huge circle of glass smashing on the floor mere seconds before? Ha! Ya gotta love the logic of the pulp!

One final point of interest. This is the Shadow story that inspired the very first Batman story. You can read all about it in Anthony Tollin's article "Foreshadowing The Batman" which appears in The Shadow #9 pulp reprint. The paperback reprints "Lingo" and "Partners of Peril." As Anthony explains in his article, the Batman story was lifted intact from Tinsley's Shadow story being reviewed here. Interesting reading!

This is a fun and pulpy story that I recommend you read. Plenty of death traps, from vats of acid to exploding munitions stores. Plenty of fast and furious action and thrills aplenty in this special Shadow pulp treat. I really enjoyed it.
 


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.


Share your knowledge of this product with other customers... Be the first to write a review
RadioArchives.com

 About Us
 Privacy Policy
 Send Us Feedback