The Shadow is a fictional character published in the United States of America by magazine publishers Street & Smith and writer Walter B. Gibson. Originally created to be a mysterious radio show narrator, and developed into a distinct literary character in 1931 by writer Walter B. Gibson, The Shadow has been adapted into other forms of media, including American comic books, comic strips, serials, video games, and at least five feature films. The radio drama included episodes voiced by Orson Welles.
The Shadow debuted on July 31, 1930, as the mysterious narrator of the radio program Detective Story Hour, which was developed to boost sales of Street & Smith's monthly pulp Detective Story Magazine. When listeners of the program began asking at newsstands for copies of "that Shadow detective magazine", Street & Smith launched a magazine based on the character, and hired Gibson to create a concept to fit the name and voice and to write a story featuring him. The first issue of the pulp seri