By Steven S. Long
Illustrations by John Waltrip
The Masked Crimefighter
“Who knows… what evil… lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows….”
—introduction to The Shadow radio program
Perhaps the most popular type of Pulp hero, and the predecessor of today’s comic book heroes, the Masked Crimefighter combats crime in all its pulpish forms: from perfectly ordinary gangsters and gun molls, to macabre crimelords with masks and code names of their own, to villains who threaten the entire United States — or world! Examples of this archetype include the Shadow, the Spider, the Black Bat, the Whisperer, the Phantom Detective, the Crimson Mask, and countless others (most of them inspired by the phenomenal success of the Shadow).