During World War I, Kent Allard was an aviator in the air forces of the United States. He was known as "The Black Eagle" because of his fondness for flying at night. When he faked an air crash behind enemy lines, he became a secret agent and set up an espionage network. He located maps of several enemy air bases and entered prison camps to guide the men in their escape. He later escaped with one of the enemy's own planes, flying back to safety to France.
It was during the war in which he would meet his most trusted agent, Cliff Marsland, in Paris. However, the details of their war adventures together are now lost.
After the war, the world-famous aviator rejected the idea of becoming a soldier of fortune and considered warfare an uncivilized institution except when absolute necessity required it.
He resolved to bury his "Allard" identity, and flew South and landed purposely in Guatemala, though news reports indicated he crashed somewhere in Central America and was lost. He spent a few months among the Xincas and gained their friendship. He finally came home, disguised so none could recognize him. Of course, in reality, he began fighting crime as The Shadow.
To confuse the crime world at large, he impersonates wealthy world-traveler Lamont Cranston as his own secret identity when the real Cranston is out of the country. Allard had once known Cranston, whose hobbies include exploration and aviation. By adopting his appearance, it gave him all the advantages that he needed. Apparently, this works out very well, as Allard and Cranston bear an uncanny resemblance to one another.
The Shadow has recruited a network of agents to assist him in his war on crime. Although he is a completely good hero, shrouding himself in mystery gives him the upper hand when dealing with criminals. It is up to those who understand him to play the game as The Shadow wants it. He demands unquestioning obedience from those who work for him, otherwise they'll face certain consequences. His ways must remain unknown.
The Private Life of Kent Allard
On rare occasions, Allard participates in some "Shadow" adventures as himself, the celebrated aviator.
Years ago, Allard flew to South America and intentionally crashed in Guatemala. Society believed him to be lost, or dead, due to the accident, but he actually became the white god of a tribe of Xinca Indians. He used his "disappearance" as a cover in order to come back to New York to fight crime as The Shadow.
When Allard finally made his returned to New York public, he was welcomed back amid much fanfare. There was even a parade for the missing pilot. He then took residency at a local hotel, with two faithful Xincas as his servants.
Later in life, Allard faded into history as a forgotten war hero, but as The Shadow, his fight against crime is never ending.
Powers and Abilities
- Hypnosis: he can "cloud men's minds." With the sight of his burning eyes, his foes become intensified with fears, causing them to reveal or confess to a case being investigated by him. This persuasive power can also sway the masses to his will, but to what extent is not fully known.
- Disguises: Kent Allard is a master of disguises. Of all the skillful tactics adopted by him, none is more subtle than his method of keeping his two personalities entirely distinct. No one has ever mistaken Kent Allard for Lamont Cranston, or vice versa. The Shadow also portrays himself as several other personalities as well. As "Fritz, the janitor" he is able to listen in on conversations at Police Headquarters. Other disguises include: businessman "Henry Arnaud," elderly gentleman "Phineas Twambley," "George Clarendon," "Clifford Gage," "Terry Blake," "Portuguese Joe," "Northrup Lucaster," "Justin Oswood," "Jose Larribez," and "Louis Revoort," to mention only a few.
- Languages: he has the ability to read lips and has an amazing mastery of a variety of languages.
- Codes: being a spy from World War I, he can deduce secret codes in an instant. He also speaks in code to his agents by pronouncing certain words with emphasis. He often writes with special disappearing ink, when giving directions or information to his agents.
- His costume allows him to hide in the shadows: black slouch hat with extra wide brim, cloak collar, turned upward, often shown as red, easily hides his face but also useful in dusty, smoky environments. His thin black gloves allow for sensitivity. He also wears a cloak/cape-black exterior, sometimes with red lining with a black suit underneath. His shoes are black, with soft/padded soles for silent prowling.
- He is an expert at jujutsu.
- Girasol Ring: The Shadow wears a unique purple ring which was a gift from the Czar of Russia, whom Allard had befriended. Later, when he faked his disappearance in the jungles of Guatemala, he discovered a tribe of Xinca Indians who bestowed upon him a companion mystical jewel (a second ring). It seems there were actually two identical rings, each with a fire-opal stone, which were the eyes of a Xincan idol.
- The Devil's Whisper is a strange chemical compound that The Shadow rubs on his thumb and finger. When he snaps his fingers, there is a flash of bright flame and a sharp explosion. (Note: The explosion from the finger tips, produced by the action of two chemicals, is terrific in its power. It is extremely dangerous in use; for an over-amount, even though seemingly slight, will produce an explosion with the effect of TNT. The Shadow has used it but seldom; on those occasions, with the strictest care. Properly produced, the explosion is so instantaneous that the operator remains uninjured. Because of the danger from these chemicals, I have never made a copy of the formula; and can answer no requests concerning it. ~Maxwell Grant.)
- Disappearing Ink is used to write secret messages to his agents. When it is exposed to air for a short length of time, the message fades away.
- A Mysterious Purplish Liquid, which is carried in a strange vial, restores The Shadow's strength immediately after he drinks it. It's vague ingredients are never revealed, as perhaps it is an illicit narcotic.
- He uses flashlights with different colored lens to communicate to his agents in Morse code.
- He wears rubber suction cups to cling to sheer surfaces when climbing walls. These large disks are fastened to his hands and feet.
- The Shadow's Sanctum: is where The Shadow formulates his plans and receives reports from his trusted agents. The sanctum is located in an antiquated building lost in the heart of New York. There, beneath a bluish light, The Shadow often reads clippings and typewritten reports from his agents.
- Moe Shrevnitz, one of his agents, is a cab driver who doubles as his personal chauffeur. On several occasions, he has also used Lamont Cranston's chauffeur, Stanley, when needing a quick ride to any given location.
- The Shadow's autogyro is a wingless aircraft that can land nearly vertically and features a windmill of blades. It is an early prototype of the helicopter. It is sometimes piloted by Shadow agent, Miles Crofton.
- The Reciprocity is an old, rusted steamship. It was docked in the "ghost fleet" of the upper Hudson - the graveyard of decaying military ships too good to scrap, but not worth operating. The Shadow bought it and renovated it to help his friend, Slade Farrow, transport criminals to his prison colony.
- His weapons of choice are twin Colt 45s.
- Since he is known all over the world, The Shadow is referred by several names. The Chinese know him as "Ying Ko," as the phrase translates to "shadow." In Spain, he is known as "El Ombre." In Mexico, he is "La Sombra." And in Egyptian, he is referred to as "Khaibet."
- There are only four people who know that The Shadow is in reality Kent Allard, his good friend Slade Farrow, Marpa Tulku, a Tibetan mystic and the two Xinca servants who brought him back from Guatemala.
- The "pulp" Shadow should not be confused with the one voiced on The Shadow Radio Show.
- No trivia.
- Appearances of Kent Allard (Street & Smith)
- Character Gallery: Kent Allard (Street & Smith)
- Quotations by Kent Allard (Street & Smith)
- Images that include Kent Allard (Street & Smith)