Posted by:
Byron Brewer

Exclusive: Writer Ande Parks takes the Shadow to Sin City in September



The Shadow’s own bloody past comes back to haunt him as the pulp hero travels to Sin City to investigate. Writer Ande Parks (Lone Ranger) joins artist Bilquis Evely for Dynamite Entertainment to tell this haunting tale of crime’s most infamous nemesis.

To gather more information on this special event, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively chartered a plane from the CBN Offices on the East Coast to Las Vegas to speak with Parks.

Cosmic Book News: So Ande, how did this Shadow Annual gig happen to fall together? Something you pitched?

Ande Parks: The guys at Dynamite have known that I was interested in the Shadow for quite some time. When they had a chance to do an annual, Joe Rybandt (my editor on Lone Ranger) was kind enough to ask me to pitch something. I was thrilled, and he bit on my first idea.

CBN: Can you tell us around what time period this takes place? Since Vegas is the setting, period makes a world of difference.

Ande Parks: As you said, it's Las Vegas, shortly after Bugsy Siegel and the boys really got things rolling there. Bugsy plays a part in our story, actually, although we never really see him. I love Vegas, and I really love that era. Everything was fresh and full of possibilities, but it was also based on greed, murder, and corruption. A perfect place for the Shadow to ply his trade, I think.

CBN: Are you a fan of the Shadow? Moreso the radio/pulp legend or the Shadow of comics today?

Ande Parks: I have always loved the character. I'm an Orson Welles fanatic, so I love his radio shows. I'm a huge fan of the series that Gerard Jones and Eduardo Barreto did way back when. Love the Kaluta stuff, of course. I just think the character is very rich. A great way to tell the kind of crimes stories I love to write.

I should add that Garth's work on the character for Dynamite blew me away. Fresh but true to the essence of the Shadow. Brilliant stuff. I was able to use a few of Garth's little updates in my story, which was really fun.

CBN: Tell us what you can about the annual's storyline.

Ande Parks: The Shadow goes to Vegas in '46 because he's heard of some dark stuff going on there. He finds a link to his past that disturbs and puzzles him. The Shadow does not like not knowing exactly what's going on, so he digs in. Lots of shooting. Lots of bad guys getting theirs, and a little tragic romance.

CBN: Ande, how would you describe the chemistry between the Shadow and Margo Lane?

Ande Parks: Garth captured it very well. There's a kind of love there, at least on her end. She's drawn to him. Of course, he can't really give himself to her. His mission is more important. He holds her at a distance. He uses her. She knows it, but it's still a good deal to her, overall.

CBN: Cranston is supposed to discover something from his past in the annual. Will threads from another Shadow story repeat themselves here or is this something new?

Ande Parks: It's a new angle. Something from one of Lamont Cranston's previous lives that I came up with. It will be resolved in our story.

CBN: Tell us about working with Bilquis Evely. What does that artist bring to the table? Are you a fan?

Ande Parks: She blew me away. Her storytelling is good, and the finishes are incredible. She's a great inker. A great designer. I couldn't be more pleased. I reached out to her personally to tell her how thrilled I was. I can't wait to see it all in print.

CBN: What should readers take away from this annual?

Ande Parks: They'll take away a fresh appreciation, I hope, for the Shadow's commitment to his mission. He has given up things that make normal men satisfied ... content. He has done so to fight evil. To kill bad men. He does it well. I hope we can bring a little new dimension to a character that has been doing just fine without us for so many decades. Oh, and there will be lots of gunplay. On a casino floor. In Vegas. I mentioned Vegas already, didn't I?

CBN: The Shadow is very different from handling, say, Zorro or the Lone Ranger. Does that make the approach to the character as a writer more difficult?

Ande Parks: Not really. I just get to explore different parts of the stuff I dig. This is a more adult story than the things we're doing with Lone Ranger. No more sophisticated. Just more … mature. That's fun for me. I love seedy crime stories. I get to sneak a bit of that into this annual.

CBN: Ande, any other projects current or future you would care to mention?

Ande Parks: I'm still writing The Lone Ranger every month. Please check it out. It's a great team, and I'm very proud of the book.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Ande Parks for answering our questions during his very busy post-Comic Con schedule. We would also like to thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen for helping make this interview possible.

“The Shadow Annual” #2 hits shelves in September!