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Author Topic: Batman based on the Shadow  (Read 11205 times)
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2007, 05:34:56 AM »

In some cases, I agree.

As a fan of all things radio and TV from the 30s through the 60s, I have always known of "The Shadow" equally to Superman or Batman.
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2007, 08:49:21 AM »

I liked Chaykin's mini from the 80s.  I wonder if Greenberger was editor?
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2007, 12:20:25 PM »

I knew who The Shadow was growing up, so he was pretty famous. There was even a film made.
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2007, 12:57:57 PM »

I liked Chaykin's mini from the 80s.  I wonder if Greenberger was editor?

Dont think so - he was at Marvel prior to DC.
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2007, 02:45:49 PM »

Ciradoman writes:


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This might be somewhat unpopular as a thought - but I wonder who really benefited after everything was said and done.  I mean, Superman and Batman are pretty much the defining characters of the comic genre.  You might as well throw Wonder Woman right in there - but I don't know whether her origins are as heavily tied to established pulp creations as the former two.

It would seem to me that Doc Savage benefited greatly from Superman, as did the Gladiator novel.  Very seldomly do you find historians fail to mention Superman's fathers in pulp - thus Superman could be said to have kept interest in the pulp fathers alive.

The same for Bats.  I would never have heard of the Bat, Shadow, etc. if I didn't discover them through a historian pointing out that Bats had his genesis in those earlier pulps.

Ultimately there could be argument made simply on the basis that those archetypes were redefined or redeveloped by their progeny in their own new genres and the old ones died away.


I agree that without books like Steranko's History of the Comics I, for one, would never have discovered the joy of pulps.  What's more, it wasn't plagiarism that killed the pulps, it was a case of new media usurping an old one in popularity; pulps lost the kids to comics and the older readers to paperback thrillers, and sputtered to a whimpering end by the early 50s.

I'm also not one of those folks who's overly concerned with notions that Superman and Batman were the products of theft and plagiarism.  Pop culture is cannibalistic by nature and always will be.  And it should always be remembered that comics, at their inception, were regarded by their publishers as a fad to be exploited as thoroughly as possible before it died out, probably in less than five years.  No one back then imagined that comic books would still be around in the 21st century or that characters created to sell them would become American institutions.  They weren't interested in creating wholly original mythologies, they just wanted to sell as many books as possible using every strategy known to be successful at the time.

I enjoy Will Murray's investigations into what came from where but I don't get the sense he's trying to point fingers and call people thieves or con men.  He's just filling in the blanks of history.

That said, "benefited" is a relative term.  The comics killed pulps before they resurrected them. 

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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2007, 09:35:23 PM »

I liked Chaykin's mini from the 80s.  I wonder if Greenberger was editor?

I'm going to have to dig that out now just because you reminded me; even better than the mini was the ongoing series written by Andrew Helfer with art by Bill Sienkewicz first, then Kyle Baker. I still have the originals, but I wish they'd reprint that in TPB (or have they?). It was a great series that got rudely cancelled. The Avenger mini that followed, also by Helfer and Baker, was gold too.

Can't remember what happened to that Shadow series - was it a copyright issue or were they just not selling enough?
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2007, 10:58:31 PM »

That said, "benefited" is a relative term.  The comics killed pulps before they resurrected them. 

I agree with everything you said til this point, only because I'm not buying so much that comics killed pulps as much as publishers figured people would rather look at pictures than read.  I believe the "exploitive money machine" philosophy had at least as much if not more to do with the death of pulps.

Fortunately for us, there are paperback novels reprinting those gems.
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2007, 02:21:39 AM »

even better than the mini was the ongoing series written by Andrew Helfer with art by Bill Sienkewicz first, then Kyle Baker. I still have the originals, but I wish they'd reprint that in TPB (or have they?). It was a great series that got rudely cancelled. The Avenger mini that followed, also by Helfer and Baker, was gold too.

Can't remember what happened to that Shadow series - was it a copyright issue or were they just not selling enough?

I never bought the series except a few quarter-bin issues.  I like both Baker and Sienkiewicz but the series was too glib and fantastic for me and seemed to pick up a; the wrong cues from Chaykin --I liked the pulp-y extremes of Chaykin but not the 80s irony of the others, for some reason (this at the same time I was enjoying things like Lloyd Llewellyn).  Go figure.  Maybe it was the writing?

Didn't know of the Avenger series.



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