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The Shadow Monthly Poll

Do you think that The Shadow will still be remembered 100 years down the road?

Want to add your own opinion? Email me! Don't forget to read the rules, though.

I believe he will, as long as there are fans in the world. It doesn't matter if you have award winning movies, or a billion comics, or even if you are in the news today. Legends are ALWAYS remembered for the deeds they did.

—Corey C
I believe he will be, because not only was he a down-to-earth hero, he wasn't too full of himself. Plus with classic but true lines like "Who knows that evil lurks in the hearts of men" and "The sun his shinning...but the ice is slippery", I think it will be a while before anyone forgets The Shadow. Plus he's an amazing telepath; he ranks up there next to Professor X and Jean Grey from X-men.

—Chris R.
Will The Shadow be remembered in a hundred years from now? It depends on the dominate culture. If, say, that Western (read American/Anglo culture) should crumble and fall, then probably not. The Shadow lives on largely due to white nostalgia. Millions love this character, but billions more never heard of him. What significance will any twentieth century icon (Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Bugs Bunny, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, the recently deceased playwright Arthur Miller) have when the culture that they were apart of no longer exists? Cultural influence fades with time. Kids refer to things two or three years ago as "old school".

When faced with the prospect of reading a book (or listening to a piece of music) over playing a video game, young people go for the video game. Reading anything (from bestsellers to the return policy on a store's receipt) is not a big priority with most people of any age in this over-stimulated and forgetful modern day. If, in 2105, there are still people who enjoy comics and their roots in the pulps and the early paperbacks, folks who haunt thrift stores, flea markets, and amateur cultural anthropologists, The Shadow may have a stab at immortality. He's hung on seventy-five years so far, who knows? Most importantly, let's enjoy him now, shall we?

How will Shadow be remembered in a 100 years? Well, if trends keep up the way they are, he won't be remembered. Why? Fewer and fewer young people know anything about the "Golden Age" of comics, let alone radio. And let's face it people, most "conservatives" have issues with "shoot first and ask questions later". However, as a dedicated Shadow fan, all I want to see is whoever has the rights [to The Shadow], get off their butts and do something about it! Or if they won't, all the rights [will] become public domain and the many Shadow fans worldwide [can] bring back this "godfather" of superheroes back into the light where he belongs, instead of the shadowy abyss where he continues to remain.

To ask the question whether or not The Shadow will be around and remembered 100 years ago is difficult to answer. While as an avid enthusiast of the Shadow's exploits I would love to say, "yes he will be!" But first I must think of what the current trend seems to be for poor Lamont Cranston and the rest of the Shadow world. In the 30's they were the superstars: radio, books, movie serials — nothing was beyond their reach! By the 60's the radio and the books and the movie serials were gone, replaced by comic books that held on to the legacy for as long as they could but eventually those died off as well.

Then in the 90's, in a desperate attempt to keep it alive, they made a movie about The Shadow's exploits and adventures. But while The Shadow's loyal fans praised it, very few people actually saw it. Nostalgia doesn't sell movie tickets. And while I myself loved the movie, had I known nothing about The Shadow other than what I saw in theaters I would most likely not have gone either. 100 years from now, people will not remember who the president was, same as we don't know off the top of our heads who was president in 1905. The same is true of The Shadow. The Shadow's loyal fans will still be there, but The Shadow itself will fall into the background more so than it already has — in the way that the Scarlet Pimpernell has fallen, or any other of the other popular books and characters of the late 1800s early 1900s.

There are still followers and avid lovers, but they are few and far between. The Shadow will be remembered, but by a select few. Those that knew him originally will be gone, as will its original comic book followers and those old enough to remember the movie, myself included. But mainstream media has already (to a large extent) forgotten him and will keep on forgetting him unless something can be done to bring him back into the spotlight he so richly deserves.



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