Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Number 1251: Valda looks cute in her little cat suit

“The Shadow and the Black Ray” is from The Shadow, Vol. 3, Number 2 (1943).  It adds a character I am not familiar with, Valda, who is apparently not popular with Margo Lane, Lamont “The Shadow” Cranston’s girlfriend. Who could blame Margo? Valda looks pretty good in a cat suit.

Vernon Greene did the outstanding artwork. You can read more about Greene by clicking on the link below for another Shadow story. You can also read an interview with writer/artist Trina Robbins which features various comic book women in cat suits (and other sexy gear). She missed Valda, though.

Click on the thumbnail for “The Mystery of the Goona Goona Fan”:


Daniel [] said...

D_mn! Friend-and-companion Margo Lane was dating other men, not even under Lamont's considerable nose but before his eyes! And still she was the jealous type!

Until Lamont decided to kill Althor and Kron, this story was awfully light-hearted compared to other stories of the Shadow with which I'm familiar; in tone, it wasn't much different from a teenage-detective piece or perhaps a Disney story — with the notable exception of stripping Valda of her clothing. There's general confusion, including confusion on the part of the Shadow, and characters make some choices that don't seem well motivated.

Lamont seemed to know far more about the properties of the Black Ray than was explained. And, really, he should at least not have blown-up that bridge! (Especially in war time! ) All that he had to do was wait until they'd crossed it!

Michael Hoskin said...

This story is nuts. The panel-to-panel flow is so erratic, what with the Shadow somehow starting off ahead of Margo then ending up behind her, or that odd business of Skeet giving Valda his ghost costume so they could temporarily unnerve one of the criminals.

But that Valda? M-E-O-W!

Pappy said...

Daniel, perhaps Margo was trying to get the Shadow jealous by dating other men, and then the tables are turned when Valda enters the picture.

I heard that Walter Gibson, who wrote most of the Shadow pulps, wrote the early comic book stories, too. He also got paid more per page than other writers. But I dunno if he wrote this. Blowing up a bridge doesn't sound smart under the circumstances. Nowadays it would be considered a terrorist act. "Invisible man blows up bridge!" Holy Moley, that would make a helluva headline.

Pappy said...

Michael, in 2009 I showed a British comic story about Cat Girl, who was underage. But the posting got a lot of responses for some of the catsuit pin-ups I showed along with the story, and even some panels with the Golden Age Catwoman from Batman. You can link to it here.

I admit that in this current post I paid more attention to Valda than the actual story. I haven't researched whether Valda was in any more Shadow stories.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

I think this is the very first appearance for Valda Rune.

Valda, anyway, has no back story, she just jumps in the action and everybody seem to know her, even the villain, who falls for it when she pretends to be a villainess. This indicates that Valda is intended as a sort of ambiguous character (or perhaps just indicates a certain level of naivete on the writer's part, who was Gibson, according to The Shadow Wikia).

Hoping to find enlightment about the character, I found instead a very interesting note on the genesis of The Shadow as a comic, a sort of mix between the Pulp and the Radio show version.
I found the note on this cached-copy of a ComicMix page written by Kevin Conroy (my link to the actual page does not work):

Here is the note: "Back in the 30s and the 40s a big hero had two competing mythologies that were both tops in their respective media. The Shadow of the pulp novels was a mysterious crime fighter, with dark mysterious history, many identities and an intricate organization full of nuanced operatives.
The radio adventures of the character featured a ubiquitous millionaire playboy, who was often quite bumbling and less-than-competent. And when he assumed the identity of the Shadow, he became invisible.
The Shadow Comics confused things even more. In those comics he looked like the pulp version of the Shadow, but became invisible like the radio version. And then the comics introduced new characters not in the pulps or the radio show. Most memorable was Valda Rune. She was an enthralling femme fatale."

Anyway, to me (and to young readers back in the days I guess), the utmost relevance of the character of Valda Rune lies her cat costume, and in her unwilling stripping, Sally Forth style.

Brian Barnes said...

File this under Wertham was right, #3764.

There's a lot cheesecake and other racy stuff in this one. It's pretty surprising what they got away with in 43. Well drawn for 43 but as others said, the layout is wonky, the background minimal (to the point where it confuses) and can be hard to follow.

Then there's Valda, and everything is OK again!

Darci said... reveals that Valda Rune appeared 19 times in the Street & Smith series. I can't fault Trina, this was the first time I'd seen Valda too. Thanks!

Pappy said...

Darci, Valda appeared 19 times. But did she wear the catsuit, or was that just for this story? Or with Lamont/Shadow was she Betty to Margo's Veronica?

I don't have time to look this stuff up!

Pappy said...

J.D., there are differences and discrepancies between the various versions of the Shadow. The absolute worst was from Archie Comics in the sixties. I never picked it up, never read it. I could smell the reek of it from the newsstand before I even saw it.

DC did a beautiful job in the early seventies, drawn by Michael Kaluta.

I think the version of The Shadow from the old Street and Smith issues, such as the Valda story, have a basic problem of trying to combine two versions (pulp magazine and radio) into one character. I have seen stories drawn by Bob Powell and his assistants that are well drawn, but I don't think any of the forties stories capture the Shadow as he was originally presented in his twice-monthly magazine adventures.

binhtran said...

In order to support customers of Spring House, people have concerns, questions about Feng Shui, Xuan Xuan set up a question - answer section on Feng Shui website: Under the guidance of Feng Shui Feng Shui expert, Xuan Xuan will answer all questions of customers about the age of house construction, House direction, consulting house Feng Shui .... phong thủy đặt tên cho con

phong thuy dat ten cho con

phong thủy văn phòng

phong thuy van phong

Darci said...

Unfortunately I don't have Valda's two previous appearances. Here's the list:
Shadow Comics Vol 1 18 v2#6 The Shadow Nips the Nipponese
Shadow Comics Vol 1 20 v2#8 The Haunted Mill
Shadow Comics Vol 1 26 v3#2 The Black Ray
Shadow Comics Vol 1 28 v3#4 The Shadow and the Crime Wizard
Shadow Comics Vol 1 29 v3#5 At Ghost Manor, The Spy Master
Shadow Comics Vol 1 30 v3#6 Terror Inn
Shadow Comics Vol 1 31 v3#7 Monstrodamus and His Flying Serpents (Part 5), Too Many Ghosts, Versus the Money Master
Shadow Comics Vol 1 33 v3#9 Murder Circus
Shadow Comics Vol 1 34 v3#10 [Red Mask]
Shadow Comics Vol 1 35 V3#11 Double Or Nothing
Shadow Comics Vol 1 39 v4#3 Solarus Returns (Part 1)
Shadow Comics Vol 1 40 v4#4 Solarus on the Planet Venus (Part 2)
Shadow Comics Vol 1 43 v4#7 Solarus Returns (Part 1)
Shadow Comics Vol 1 48 v4#12 The Castle of Death
Shadow Comics Vol 1 51 v5#3 The Circle of Death
Shadow Comics Vol 1 53 v5#5 Damon the Nomad and His Unseen Horrors
Shadow Comics Vol 1 58 v5#10 The Crime Master!
Shadow Comics Vol 1 60 v5#12 The Shadow Meets the Black Swami
Shadow Comics Vol 1 66 v6#6 Landlubber's Haven
It doesn't appear she wore the cat suit in any other stories, but who knows? Heh-heh-heh

Darci said...

Oops, one of those was wrong, it should have been:
Shadow Comics Vol 1 39 v4#3 Solarus, the Space Master (Part 1)