Secret Files #1
April 2001

Celebrating 70 years of The Shadow!
1931-2001


Strange Encounters
by Chip Caroon

This takes place after The Shadow 2000 #3, but before the Manhunter Agenda.
"Didya see that?" Dan Turpin exclaimed as the Special Crimes Unit van came closer to Suicide Slum. "That looks about where we're headed."

"You did say this guy was spraying electricity, Dan," Maggie Sawyer replied.

"Sure, but I didn't know he could do something like that!"


Inside the Ace o' Clubs, Bibbo stood up from behind the counter.

"Wut 'appened?" one of the regular drinkers asked from the counter.

"Dunno, High Pockets," Bibbo replied. "But I thinks our friend is in trouble. Big trouble."

"You gonna call the cops?" another asked.

Bibbo shook his head. "Already did, Lamar. They're comin' now." The bartender looked at the front of his bar. "Now I'se got to fix ALL my winders, not jus' de one."


The Shadow stood up. He was sore all over from the massive blast. However, he wasn't injured.

"Okay, Shocker," he shouted. "Show yourself!"

The Shadow stood there, waiting for his attacker to show, but he didn't.


"Where did he go?!" Ebon shouted. He turned to the man standing beside his chair. "He was right there! Did you see anything?"

"No, sir. I thought he was over there," the man replied, pointing to the corner of the screen.

"This is great," Ebon muttered. "Now this isn't as fun anymore."


The SCU pulled up to find the street empty. The cops spread out, and walked down the street, never letting their guard down. Turpin walked past the Ace o' Clubs and noticed the broken windows.

"Bibbo!" he exclaimed. "What happened?"

"Turpin! Glads to see ya! First, The Shadow gets thrown in through de winder here. Then, that shocker guy blows up the whole street, knockin' out de rest o' my winders."

"Uh huh," Turpin said. "You see where either of them went?"

"No, sir," Bibbo replied.

"Hmm. Well, I'll be back to get an official statement. You wait here. The SCU'll find them!"


The Shadow saw Maggie Sawyer approach him.

"Hi," he said.

Sawyer wasn't shocked. "The Shadow, right?"

"Correct."

"Where's the guy you were fighting?"

"Shocker got away somehow."

"How convenient."

"Exactly. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some things to take care of."

"No problem. The SCU can handle this kinda stuff."

As The Shadow ran off, he pressed the stone on his ring, sending a mental message to Spider-Man. Come to the Ace o' Clubs in Suicide Slum. The roof.


Spider-Man reached the roof of the bar within five minutes. The Shadow was waiting for him.

"What's up?" he asked.

"I just encountered one of the heavy hitters in Intergang."

"How heavy?"

"Not a boss, but not the street gangs."

"Meta?"

"Yes. Called Shocker. As you can guess, he shoots electrical energy."

"Go figure," Spidey replied. "Is that the SCU?"

"Have you had dealing with them?"

Spidey shook his head. "Not yet, but I've heard a lot about them."

"What in the world?" The Shadow exclaimed as several grappling hooks thudded against the roof. He looked down and saw five people climbing the side of the building.

Spidey turned to The Shadow. "You stall them. I'll clear the bar below!"

"Sure thing," The Shadow replied. He bent down to unhook the ropes, but received an electrical shock. "Maybe they aren't as stupid as we thought," he said as he heard everyone vacate the building below him.

Spider-Man came back up at that moment. He activated his camera, so he could get some awesome shots for the Daily Planet.

"Shadow!" he cried. "What happened?"

"The ropes . . . They're electric!"

"Maybe, but these guys don't realize that they are dealing with someone who knows how to swing from a building better than they do!"

Spidey jumped off the building, touching it and standing off of the side, somewhere between the first and second stories.

"Hey, guys," he said to the two climbing the building. One was wearing all black. The other was a female in a white bodysuit. Her hands appeared to be on fire. The man in black raised his left arm and fired an electrical blast.

"Watch it, Shocker!" the female said, the flames in her hands growing. "Get out of our way, Spider. We want The Shadow."

"Just out of curiosity, who are you?" Spidey asked. "I know you're part of Intergang, but . . . "

"Call me . . . Torcher," she replied, sending a blast of flame into Spider-Man's chest. The wallcrawler fell off the building. By this time, the SCU had come over.

"Spider-Man?!" Turpin shouted.

Spidey stood up. "Yes. The Shadow is up there as well. The other two are members of Intergang -- Torcher and Shocker."

"Shocker was the one who brought us here," Captain Sawyer noted.

Up top, The Shadow was thinking. He figured that the way he turned invisible was by creating an invisible field around himself. He wondered if he could use that to his advantage. He grabbed the end of the building, and imagined it disappearing.

"What the--?!" Torcher yelled. "My rope's gone!"

The Shadow noted it was odd that Shocker said nothing. He knew that both realized that their ropes were 'gone.' For some reason, their brains told them to let go.

"Oh, dear!" Spidey said, watching the gang members fall. "I'll be back," he told the SCU, webslinging over to save the Intergang members. "Time to test out that impact webbing."

Spider-Man fired several rounds of 'impact webbing.' The impact webbing landed on the ground before Intergang, and created a somewhat soft cushion for them to land on. 'Good thing it's night, otherwise, it would do hell for traffic. Oh, cripes,' he thought as he saw his web cushion empty. 'They're gone!'

"What happened?" Turpin asked as Spider-Man and The Shadow walked over.

"I turned the ropes invisible so Intergang would let go, and fall to the ground," The Shadow said.

"Good thinking," Turpin replied. "But where did they go?"

Spidey sighed. "I don't know."


Ebon was upset. "Two of my best agents, and they got fooled by a simple trick. They are stupid fools." He looked up at the projection in front of him. "I will get you, Shadow. You will be mine."

"You still want The Shadow alive?" one of his minions asked.

Ebon sighed. "I don't know. It's fun toying with him like this, but after that embarassment, it's clear that he is a danger. Spider-Man is as well."

"Should we worry about him?"

Ebon shook his head. "Not at this time. The Shadow is our main concern. Spider-Man only interferes when The Shadow calls him. We shall wait until we eliminate The Shadow until we attack Spider-Man."


Fifteen minutes later, Victor Cranston and Peter Parker were walking home on the streets of Manhatten.

"It's kinda funny actually," Vic was saying. "I made the ropes invisible, and by instinct, they let go."

"You should have made them visible right after they let go," Peter joked. "Then they really would have known how dumb they were."

The two laughed for a moment.

"Well," Peter said. "Looks like I have some good shots for the Planet. I'll take them over tomorrow morning, and see if someone will write up the story."

"Lois?"

"Maybe. Although Ben Urich has been doing some investigating on Intergang."

"The Shadow might want to talk with him," Victor replied as the two came up on his residence. "See ya later."

"Bye," Peter said, waving as he walked off.


A few days later, Victor Cranston was in bed sleeping. He was awakened by the ringing of his phone. Reaching over to the phone on his nightstand, he picked it up on the fifth ring.

"Hello?" he asked.

"Victor!" the voice on the other end exclaimed.

"Natalie," Vic said.

"Why do you sound so . . . tired?"

"You woke me up."

"It's after noon!"

Victor looked at the clock. Sure enough, it read 12:37. "I had a long night last night," he said.

"Chasing shadows?"

"I guess you could say that."

Natalie paused. "Look, you better get out of bed. I'm coming over, and I should be there in about fifteen minutes."

"Okay," Vic said. "See you then. I love you."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Natalie replied. "Now get out of bed!"


Sure enough, fifteen minutes later, Natalie was at Victor's house, and Vic was out of bed.

"So what was this weird incident last night?" she asked.

Vic moved one of the beanbag chairs that he kept in his room, putting it in front of his girlfriend. "Maybe you better sit down," he said. She sat, and then he sat down in another beanbag chair.

"Last night started out kinda normal," Victor began. "But I ran into some strange people last night. "

"Intergang?" Natalie asked.

Victor shook his head slowly. "Not quite . . . "


I was patrolling the streets. It was a relatively calm night. I hadn't run into too much trouble since I ran into Shocker. I was checking the usual alleys. You know the type - the ones that always have crime no matter how bad you scare the people. Anyway, I saw this guy and a girl. He was ready to do something. I'm not sure if he wanted to kill her, or . . . do something else to her. All I knew was that it was not a good thing.

The girl was screaming bloody murder. Just as the guy raised the knife, I decided that it would be a good time to start laughing and scare the man.

What I didn't notice was the strange little chimpanzee walking by . . . *

*(See Detective Chimp #1 for the rest of the story)

"Who laughed?" the asked. Then, he saw the only other living being in the alley. "It was you, you freak!"

He rushed over to the chimpanzee, but was stopped by some invisible force.

A deep voice said, "YOU WILL NOT HARM HIM!"

"Thanks, Mr. Invisible Man," the chimpanzee said.

"I am The Shadow . . . "

"I'm Bobo T. Chimpanzee, Private Investigator."

"Glad to meet you."

The Shadow turned back to the man he was holding up. "Leave. Don't ever come back here again, and never even think of coming near this lady ever again in your life."

"What are ya gonna do if I do?"

The Shadow leaned something and whispered into the man's ear.

He couldn' t run fast enough after I set him down. The monkey looked at me.

"Thanks, again, dude," he said, pulling out a business card. "Here's my card. Call me if you ever need help."


When Victor was done with his story, Natalie was laughing.

"A monkey?" she asked.

Victor smiled. "Hey, it happens!"


The Shadow Files

VICTOR CRANSTON - THE SHADOW III
Age: 17
Gender: Male
Height: 5'11
Weight: 140 pounds
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black
First appearance: Detective Comics #1

Victor Cranston was born into the wealthy Cranston family. However, his grandfather and parents were sensible people, and chose not to spoil Victor. They chose instead to allow him to have a fairly normal life. Vic never knew his father, because of some mysterious event that occurred when he was just a baby. His father is now at a "special home", and is never really talked about.

When Vic was 13, he discovered that he had special powers. He could turn invisible and read minds. It was then that his grandfather told him of the Shadow legacy. After several years of training in his powers and detective skills, Victor finally assumed the mantle of the Shadow shortly before he began his senior year of high school.

Victor goes to Midtown High School, the same school as Peter Parker and Jimmy Olsen.

LAMONT CRANSTON - THE SHADOW
Age: 85
Gender: Male
Height: 5'10
Weight: 150 pounds
Eyes: Brown
Hair: White, formerly black
First appearance: (as Lamont - grandfather of Victor) Detective Comics #1, (as Shadow) The Shadow #1

Lamont Cranston learned how to read men's minds and hypnotize them so they couldn't see them while in the Orient. He used these powers as the 1940's hero The Shadow.

In the early 1950's, after seeing crime getting tougher, the JSA disbanding, and the other heroes of the day retiring, Lamont decided to settle down with his female companion Margo Lane and begin a family. Currently, Lamont lives with his daughter-in-law and grandson in a mansion, just outside New York City.

NATALIE CASSWELL
Age: 17
Gender: Female
Height: 5'6
Weight: classified
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown
First appearance: Detective Comics #1

Natalie has known the Cranstons since she was a little girl. She has gone to school with Victor since elementary school, and has been friends with him for the better part of a decade. She began dating Victor only a couple of years ago.

Natalie is the only person outside of the Cranston family that knows Victor's secret. She is scared sometimes, but knows that Vic can take care of himself.

LAMONT CRANSTON, JR. - THE SHADOW II
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Height: Unknown
Weight: Unknown
Eyes: Unknown
Hair: Unknown
First appearance: (mentioned) Detective Comics #1

Little is know of Lamont Jr. He was born only a few years after The Shadow retired. He took up the mantle of The Shadow in the 1970's. However, some accident (which is never mentioned) caused him to be put into a special home. That accident occurred shortly after Victor was born.


Next Issue: The Shadow meets a familiar, yet strangely different enemy in The Shadow 2000 #4.
WRITER'S NOTE: If this seems like it is an inventory story, you're mostly right. You see, I had a lot of unused Shadow 2000 material from cancelled projects, or from issues that were trimmed, so I put it together, added the Shocker plot, and mixed it together. Why? We needed another book for Shadow Month.
Happy 70th Anniversary, Shadow!
-Chip