I wish I could lay claim to the excellent wallpaper above. I don't even know where I found it online, but it's a work of love.
The Shadow is probably my favorite character of all time, not least in part to his mystery, which has never been adequately solved. Who the Shadow truly is, his true identity, remains a mystery. His author, Walter Gibson, claimed his worst mistake was trying to definitively provide the Shadow with an origin. Instead of being the alter ego of wealthy man-about-town and amateur detective Lamont Cranston, the Shadow turned out to be a former World War One flying ace named Kent Allard. With all of the Shadow's aliases, as a master of disguise, and agents under his directives, it's hard to say exactly who, or what, the Shadow truly was. The facts were, anyone who saw the Shadow's "true face" died a horrible death. Mostly criminals of course, but whose to say there wasn't a curious agent in there somewhere, yanking off the Shadow's concealing crimson scarf in a moment of suicidal betrayal?
We never heard about anyone pulling a PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on the Shadow, that's for sure.
Judge, jury, and executioner (or at least the revenant driving evil men to their own destructions,) the Shadow has never been defined, ad nauseum, by our invasive Internet culture...what the academics and Pulpsters know about the Shadow is little more than anyone who picks up a Shadow novel and is struck by the black-garbed hawk-nosed man with the garosol (fire opal) ring, wielding twin .45s while the Shadow's trademark chilling evil laugh nearly drowns out their thunder. The character's strength lies in immediate accessibility, even while the Shadow himself remains an enigma. None of us knows where lurks the Shadow, but the Shadow knows exactly what lurks within us, and every man and woman is faced with it while reading his adventures, one way or another.