And the problem is with many of the comic book writers when they don't bother to go back to the characters original roots and try to be true to them. Too often they base them on their memories (usually faulty) or secondary sources/versions.
Too many seem to think the Shadow and Spider are more or less the same: suits, hats, guns, laughter. The Spider WAS created as a sort-of Shadow clone. But they are VERY different.
As noted, The Shadow went after crook/thieves/gangsters. Later he dealt with more dangerous 'supercrooks', sometimes ones who took bizarre names and the like (The Wasp, the Cobra, etc). For variety, he sometimes dealt with international issues of spying and the like.
As a character, the Shadow was a spymaster/detective/magician (stage magician). He built up a group of agents, who were that: agents. Not buddies or pals or the like (compare this to Doc and his men, or the Avenger and Justice, Inc. the dynamics of the main characters and the secondary characters are different in these 3 groups). Some agents just gathered information, or passed in along. Others brought special talents as needed. Others were 'in-bedded' with the crooks, others served as 'advance agents' or almost 'proxy heroes'. The Shadow moved them around as needed (like pieces on a chess board), sometimes stepping in to help or rescue that agent. He was NOT lurking around in alleys mowing down bad guys. And the Shadow and his agents did NOT pal around. Only in rare occasions did the agents met one another.
The Shadow used disguises, and stage-magic tricks to give him an edge (his creator, Walter Gibson was a magician and wrote for magicians). There are no mystical powers. In a few stories, these magician tricks played a big part.
The Spider and his world were very different. The Spider deal with "weird menaces" usually (that was the term of this genre of writing). He didn't bother with the average crook/thief/gangster. The people he was usually dealing with were trying to take over the world or wipe people out (or both), but in bizarre and horrifying ways (just read the titles: City Destroyer, Pain Emperor, Death Reign of the Vampire King, The City that Dared Not Eat).
The Spider didn't bother with disguises as an attempt to blend in, but frighten his foes: he developed a look with fangs, fright mask, hunchback and the like. He had loyal assistants like Ram Singh and Jackson who fought by his side at times. With the Spider, the emotional stuff was turned up to 11. And its the Spider who had no qualms about mowing down his foes, which he did often. And just to make sure everyone knew who did it, put his spider stamp on their foreheads. (Like the Lobster does)
The Shadow might laugh to throw off his opponents. I think the Spider laughed because he was enjoying himself. There was a manic quality about him.
I really wish people would read the original stories and discover the REAL Shadow and Spider, and demand this in their comics.
[edited to fix my typos]
Last edited by emb021; 12-07-2012 at 07:31 AM.
A very good first issue, with a great interest for painting characters : the Shadow, the Green Hornet, Kato... they are very credible, with convincing interaction. A must have.
So I'm reading that Masks #1 cracked the top 300 comics list according to a couple different news sites and Dynamite retweeted a tweet from the issues letterer that it was indeed a top 25 book. Congrats!
The issue was really good, everything from the way Green Hornet ran into The Shadow and the awesome introduction of The Spider was handled so well. I'm not even going to go into the amazing interior art, we all know how amazing it was.