Tuesday, November 15, 2011

THE BATMAN & THE SHADOW "Who Knows What Evil--?" Conclusion

Art by Mike Kaluta
While tracking a group of counterfeiters in Gotham City, The Batman is saved by an expert marksman who shoots a criminal (who was about to kill the Darknight Detective) in the hand!
The wounded criminal runs into a dead-end alley...and disappears...with only a mocking laugh to indicate anyone had been there!
The crook is later found tied to a lamppost near a police station, dazed and confused, as if...hypnotized.
A clue from the crime scene leads the Caped Crusader (as Bruce Wayne) to Tumbleweed Crossing, where he meets another visitor...Lamont Cranston, a scientist investigating the water supply, which is loaded with minerals and would be perfect for matching the government's formula for the ink used in printing...money!
Believing nearby long-abandoned native cliff-dwellings would be an ideal base of operations for the counterfeiters, The Batman is ambushed as he heads there, but an antique autogyro swoops down and distracts the gunmen long enough for the Cowled Crimebuster to capture them.
As he nears the ruins, The Batman speculates about the identity of the mysterious laughing marksman in the antique aircraft.
Could he be...?
Let's not tell The Shadow that The Batman thought his secret identity (Lamont Cranston) was the counterfeiter!  ;-)
This appearance in Batman #253 came between the first and second issues of The Shadow's bi-monthly Bronze Age run at DC, back when comics actually came out on schedule.
It was a nice tip-of-the-fedora to the long-believed idea that the pulp character was a primary influence on the creation of the Caped Crusader. (A fact confirmed by Shadow historian Anthony Tollin HERE.)
Denny O'Neil was also writing The Shadow comic, and this issue's cover artist Mike Kaluta, who had already done a number of wonderfully-moody Detective Comics and Batman covers, would come to be the definitive Shadow artist for all versions of He Who Knows What Evil Lurks... since. (much as James Bama's version of Doc Savage is the iconic one all others have been based upon.)

We'll be presenting the other Batman story featuring The Shadow in the near future!

for goodies featuring other Silver Age heroes, besides The Batman and The Shadow!

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