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Super Detectives Essay Research Paper Who knows

Super Detectives Essay, Research Paper ?Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.? Ringing through thousands of radios across the country like many other ?super detective? catch phrases, this quote sparked an entirely new breed of detective fiction. The old time radio mysteries brought the hard-boiled detective to a new level.

Super Detectives Essay, Research Paper

?Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.? Ringing through thousands of radios across the country like many other ?super detective? catch phrases, this quote sparked an entirely new breed of detective fiction. The old time radio mysteries brought the hard-boiled detective to a new level. They far surpassed the standard baggy suit and mysterious undertones of the stereotypical ?*censored*.? This new genre adds imaginative, and most of the time incredibly futuristic, gadgets to the detective?s crime solving arsenal. The detective takes on a persona that is almost constantly fighting the internal battle between good and evil. He appears to be above more than just the law, seeming supernatural, the subject of awe and ridicule throughout his ?city.? The police think him a criminal, the citizens believe him a myth, and the children worship him as a god like idol. He is the hero, pure of heart, sound of mind. He is the knight of the 20th century slaying the many dragons of his time.

?People have a propensity to make a character twist and conform to their current age and its ideals and perspectives.? (McFarlane 2) The super detectives of the 30s and 40s truly were twisted to fit into what society needed and wanted at the time. There were several attributes that a super detective was required to have: he had to be clean cut, he must have something intrinsically mysterious about him, his mild-mannered alter-ego had to hold down a good job (preferably in journalism), and he could have no family. The mild-mannered alter ego would typically be quite high up on the journalism ladder; for example: The Green Hornet?s secret identity is Britt Reid, who is the publisher of the Daily Sentinel, his city?s newspaper. The hero with the most famous reporter counter-part is not really a detective, he goes by the name Clark Kent; that?s right, Superman. Being in journalism is helpful but obviously not a necessity, just look at Batman and his secret identity Bruce Wayne. A clean-cut multi-millionaire, who owns Wayne Enterprises, a company with subsidiaries in almost every business or industry one can imagine. The Shadow?s secret identity is quite different from any others, in fact it is very mysterious *evil laugh*; it is covered in following paragraphs.

One of the most important elements of the super detective is his element, his ?city.? Heroes are always perfectly suited for their environment. In a different environment, heroes can kiss half of their efficiency goodbye. Take Batman, for example, protector of Gotham City. In a rural, desert area where the houses are all spread apart and at a maximum height of three stories, Batman has little real threat. A villain would see the Batmobile coming from miles away because of the dust. Moreover, when he actually arrived he would have no place to take cover, he would be completely open and any hope for having to element of surprise on his side would be lost. Gotham has become so closely related to Batman that the terms are practically synonymous. Most super detectives never reveal their city?s name because the cities are usually rather contrived. They always have a seaport, they are a large city with a history of petty crime but none now because of our hero, and they are not complete without skyscrapers that house the local evil crime bosses and arch nemeses.

In August of 1930 a radio show known as ?Detective Story? debuted, giving birth to the super detective genre. It was originally intended as a marketing scheme to advertise their magazine Street and Smith?s Detective Story. After the first episode premiered on the radio hundreds of people rushed to buy the magazine (just as Street and Smith had hoped). There was one problem, no one remembered that it was the Street and Smith?s Detective Story, they all asked for ?The Shadow Magazine? which did not exist. They quickly realized their error and changed the name of the magazine.

It was about this time that a new writer came into the show?s crew, a man by the name of Walter Gibson. Gibson, a journalist and author, specializing in magic, had ghost written books for Thurston and Houdini (two prominent magicians). Gibson ended up writing 283 Shadow novels.

The Shadow character himself had several interesting powers, such as the ability to defy gravity, he could become invisible, and he had the famous ability to ?cloud men?s minds.? The Shadow had secret identity crisis until the last shadow novel in 1937. The Shadow only took on the guise of Lamont Cranston, a millionaire playboy, when he felt he could gain more information as Cranston. The Shadow was “in reality” Kent Allard, an adventurer/ pilot who crashed deep in the tropical jungles of South America shortly before The Shadow appeared in New York City.

“Another challenge for the Green Hornet, his aid Kato, and their rolling arsenal the Black Beauty. On Police records a wanted criminal, Green Hornet is really Britt Reid, owner- publisher of the Daily Sentinel, his duel identity known only to his secretary and the district attorney. And now, to protect the rights and lives of decent citizens, rides THE GREEN HORNET.? (John Dunning 214)

The Green Hornet was more of the stereotypical super detective. He has the stereotypical journalism job, where he is very high up on the corporate ladder (owner-publisher). With all of his wit and his gadgets, he was a formidable opponent for even the most cunning villain he faced. His car, Black Beauty, was something to behold; it was a 1966 Chrysler that had been suited up with an ice blower in the back and brushes to sweep away his tire tracks. His own arsenal included a non-lethal gas gun and a spike gun for ascending the outside of a tall building. He was the ultimate super detective and his popularity showed it. It was particularly popular that he never killed anyone, there was nothing macabre about the entire show this made him the idol of many a child back in his day. As many other super detective mystery shows have, The Green Hornet was later made into a television series.

The first super detective to be in a comic strip was none other than Dick Tracy. The famous Dick Tracy debuted in 1931 as a comedic mystery strip. Dick Tracy has no secret identity; he does not really need one. He deals with the real life problems of being a comic strip detective. In fact he even becomes a detective because while he was proposing to his girlfriend, her father is killed and, of course, he vows to avenge her father?s death. In 1935 the Dick Tracy radio show debuts and its popularity skyrockets. It continues to run, with occasional breaks, until 1948. In 1945 the first Dick Tracy feature film comes out, its success is huge, three others follow through 1947. In 1950 the debut of the Dick Tracy television show marks the first detective fiction show on the air.

?Batman, the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne’s shadowy alter ego is universally recognized as the most complex, enigmatic, and tragically appealing crime fighter in the super hero pantheon.? (Daniels 45)

Batman was introduced to the world in May 1939. He is unique from most other super heroes of the time in that he has no super powers but instead relies upon superior training, intellect, and the super detective trademark of gadgets. He is often thought to be the world’s greatest detective, even above Sherlock Holmes (if Holmes had worn a mask he would have gotten the title). His alter ego is millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Wayne took up the mantle of the Batman after devoting his life to fighting crime upon witnessing the murder of his parents. Realizing that criminals are cowardly and superstitious, he decided to fashion his crime-fighting costume after a dark creature of the night, a bat, in order to instill fear into all criminals that he encountered. The first told origin of the Batman was in ?Detective Comics 33?, November 1939. The origin mentioned was very sketchy at best. The first truly detailed origin of the Batman was told in ?Batman 47? in June 1948. The origin has been modified slightly over the years the basic facts, however, have remained the same.

Batman had his own live-action television series in the sixties starring Adam West. Since then Batman has evolved into the hardened crime fighter we know today. Batman cartoons premiered first in 1979. Since then the Batman cartoon has been twisted and rearranged to fit the demands and imagination of today?s viewers.

As times changed so did the ideals of society. The clean-cut hero was no longer loved as he had once been. The sixties completely changed the mentality of the American people. The spy aspect of Detective fiction came into light. The debonair, suave, and deadly James Bond came into the public eye along with such other super spy shows as The Avengers, Mission Impossible, and Get Smart. The hard-boiled *censored* of the 40?s and 50?s quickly lost favor to these spies. One has to wonder where all of the super detectives ended up. They were so popular and then they seemed to simply disappear. They did not disappear; they just changed from, into cartoons.

The first truly successful detective cartoon was the ever popular ?Scooby Doo, Where are you??. The Scooby Doo mystery series is known for its flat plot that tends to repeat in every episode. The Scooby Doo formula goes as follows: First, the whole gang (Scooby, Freddy, Shaggy, Velma, and Daphne) is cruising in the Mystery Machine when something happens, they either arrive somewhere or have car trouble. Next they find out that there is a spooky ghost scaring everyone away from some place near-by. There is a long chase scene, they catch the ghost, and it turns out not to be a ghost but actually someone that nobody suspected.

That formula is constant throughout all that is Scooby. The first episode was actually shot down because it was ?too scary? for kids. Barbera (of Hanna-Barbera Studios) decided to add a comic relief, namely Scooby himself. This action created the very first detective comedy on television and led the way for all kinds of detective cartoons. ?Scooby Doo, Where are you?? broke into several other cartoon series; “A Pup Named Scooby Doo,? ?The Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby Doo,? ?The Scooby and Friends Detective Hour,? and an excessive amount of Scooby movies. Scooby Doo continues to be the most popular cartoon detective series in history, with marathons and new movies almost every week.

When it comes to the gadget aspect of super detectives, no one can out gadget Inspector Gadget, not even Batman. Inspector Gadget is a gadget, plain and simple. He has gadgets pouring out of every part of him, from telephones, to the gadget-copter, to an inflatable jacket. Inspector Gadget debuted in 1983 and won the hearts of many children. He battles the evil Dr. Claw and his organization (M.A.D.) in every episode. The plot of Inspector Gadget?s show is even more shallow than the Scooby Doo Formula. In every episode Gadget gets a call from ?the Chief? who tells him to meet him somewhere. When Gadget gets there ?the Chief? hands him a message that will self-destruct in 5 seconds, ?the Chief? always ends up being blown up by the exploding message. Gadget bumbles around the site where the crime took place until his niece, Penny, and her dog, Brain, solve the mystery and call the police at which point Gadget is rewarded for his efforts in solving the crime, which he never does.

Super detectives have been the idols of children since the 1930s and continue to influence television and the comics page everyday. Some super detectives have been brought back via the silver screen. The legacy of these heroes will never die. Their memory will live forever in the hearts and minds of ours and past generations. One quote from Batman will ring in our minds for years to come: ?See you next week. Same Bat-time, Same Bat-Channel.?

?Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.? Ringing through thousands of radios across the country like many other ?super detective? catch phrases, this quote sparked an entirely new breed of detective fiction. The old time radio mysteries brought the hard-boiled detective to a new level. They far surpassed the standard baggy suit and mysterious undertones of the stereotypical ?*censored*.? This new genre adds imaginative, and most of the time incredibly futuristic, gadgets to the detective?s crime solving arsenal. The detective takes on a persona that is almost constantly fighting the internal battle between good and evil. He appears to be above more than just the law, seeming supernatural, the subject of awe and ridicule throughout his ?city.? The police think him a criminal, the citizens believe him a myth, and the children worship him as a god like idol. He is the hero, pure of heart, sound of mind. He is the knight of the 20th century slaying the many dragons of his time.

?People have a propensity to make a character twist and conform to their current age and its ideals and perspectives.? (McFarlane 2) The super detectives of the 30s and 40s truly were twisted to fit into what society needed and wanted at the time. There were several attributes that a super detective was required to have: he had to be clean cut, he must have something intrinsically mysterious about him, his mild-mannered alter-ego had to hold down a good job (preferably in journalism), and he could have no family. The mild-mannered alter ego would typically be quite high up on the journalism ladder; for example: The Green Hornet?s secret identity is Britt Reid, who is the publisher of the Daily Sentinel, his city?s newspaper. The hero with the most famous reporter counter-part is not really a detective, he goes by the name Clark Kent; that?s right, Superman. Being in journalism is helpful but obviously not a necessity, just look at Batman and his secret identity Bruce Wayne. A clean-cut multi-millionaire, who owns Wayne Enterprises, a company with subsidiaries in almost every business or industry one can imagine. The Shadow?s secret identity is quite different from any others, in fact it is very mysterious *evil laugh*; it is covered in following paragraphs.

One of the most important elements of the super detective is his element, his ?city.? Heroes are always perfectly suited for their environment. In a different environment, heroes can kiss half of their efficiency goodbye. Take Batman, for example, protector of Gotham City. In a rural, desert area where the houses are all spread apart and at a maximum height of three stories, Batman has little real threat. A villain would see the Batmobile coming from miles away because of the dust. Moreover, when he actually arrived he would have no place to take cover, he would be completely open and any hope for having to element of surprise on his side would be lost. Gotham has become so closely related to Batman that the terms are practically synonymous. Most super detectives never reveal their city?s name because the cities are usually rather contrived. They always have a seaport, they are a large city with a history of petty crime but none now because of our hero, and they are not complete without skyscrapers that house the local evil crime bosses and arch nemeses.

In August of 1930 a radio show known as ?Detective Story? debuted, giving birth to the super detective genre. It was originally intended as a marketing scheme to advertise their magazine Street and Smith?s Detective Story. After the first episode premiered on the radio hundreds of people rushed to buy the magazine (just as Street and Smith had hoped). There was one problem, no one remembered that it was the Street and Smith?s Detective Story, they all asked for ?The Shadow Magazine? which did not exist. They quickly realized their error and changed the name of the magazine.

It was about this time that a new writer came into the show?s crew, a man by the name of Walter Gibson. Gibson, a journalist and author, specializing in magic, had ghost written books for Thurston and Houdini (two prominent magicians). Gibson ended up writing 283 Shadow novels.

The Shadow character himself had several interesting powers, such as the ability to defy gravity, he could become invisible, and he had the famous ability to ?cloud men?s minds.? The Shadow had secret identity crisis until the last shadow novel in 1937. The Shadow only took on the guise of Lamont Cranston, a millionaire playboy, when he felt he could gain more information as Cranston. The Shadow was “in reality” Kent Allard, an adventurer/ pilot who crashed deep in the tropical jungles of South America shortly before The Shadow appeared in New York City.

“Another challenge for the Green Hornet, his aid Kato, and their rolling arsenal the Black Beauty. On Police records a wanted criminal, Green Hornet is really Britt Reid, owner- publisher of the Daily Sentinel, his duel identity known only to his secretary and the district attorney. And now, to protect the rights and lives of decent citizens, rides THE GREEN HORNET.? (John Dunning 214)

The Green Hornet was more of the stereotypical super detective. He has the stereotypical journalism job, where he is very high up on the corporate ladder (owner-publisher). With all of his wit and his gadgets, he was a formidable opponent for even the most cunning villain he faced. His car, Black Beauty, was something to behold; it was a 1966 Chrysler that had been suited up with an ice blower in the back and brushes to sweep away his tire tracks. His own arsenal included a non-lethal gas gun and a spike gun for ascending the outside of a tall building. He was the ultimate super detective and his popularity showed it. It was particularly popular that he never killed anyone, there was nothing macabre about the entire show this made him the idol of many a child back in his day. As many other super detective mystery shows have, The Green Hornet was later made into a television series.

The first super detective to be in a comic strip was none other than Dick Tracy. The famous Dick Tracy debuted in 1931 as a comedic mystery strip. Dick Tracy has no secret identity; he does not really need one. He deals with the real life problems of being a comic strip detective. In fact he even becomes a detective because while he was proposing to his girlfriend, her father is killed and, of course, he vows to avenge her father?s death. In 1935 the Dick Tracy radio show debuts and its popularity skyrockets. It continues to run, with occasional breaks, until 1948. In 1945 the first Dick Tracy feature film comes out, its success is huge, three others follow through 1947. In 1950 the debut of the Dick Tracy television show marks the first detective fiction show on the air.

?Batman, the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne’s shadowy alter ego is universally recognized as the most complex, enigmatic, and tragically appealing crime fighter in the super hero pantheon.? (Daniels 45)

Batman was introduced to the world in May 1939. He is unique from most other super heroes of the time in that he has no super powers but instead relies upon superior training, intellect, and the super detective trademark of gadgets. He is often thought to be the world’s greatest detective, even above Sherlock Holmes (if Holmes had worn a mask he would have gotten the title). His alter ego is millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Wayne took up the mantle of the Batman after devoting his life to fighting crime upon witnessing the murder of his parents. Realizing that criminals are cowardly and superstitious, he decided to fashion his crime-fighting costume after a dark creature of the night, a bat, in order to instill fear into all criminals that he encountered. The first told origin of the Batman was in ?Detective Comics 33?, November 1939. The origin mentioned was very sketchy at best. The first truly detailed origin of the Batman was told in ?Batman 47? in June 1948. The origin has been modified slightly over the years the basic facts, however, have remained the same.

Batman had his own live-action television series in the sixties starring Adam West. Since then Batman has evolved into the hardened crime fighter we know today. Batman cartoons premiered first in 1979. Since then the Batman cartoon has been twisted and rearranged to fit the demands and imagination of today?s viewers.

As times changed so did the ideals of society. The clean-cut hero was no longer loved as he had once been. The sixties completely changed the mentality of the American people. The spy aspect of Detective fiction came into light. The debonair, suave, and deadly James Bond came into the public eye along with such other super spy shows as The Avengers, Mission Impossible, and Get Smart. The hard-boiled *censored* of the 40?s and 50?s quickly lost favor to these spies. One has to wonder where all of the super detectives ended up. They were so popular and then they seemed to simply disappear. They did not disappear; they just changed from, into cartoons.

The first truly successful detective cartoon was the ever popular ?Scooby Doo, Where are you??. The Scooby Doo mystery series is known for its flat plot that tends to repeat in every episode. The Scooby Doo formula goes as follows: First, the whole gang (Scooby, Freddy, Shaggy, Velma, and Daphne) is cruising in the Mystery Machine when something happens, they either arrive somewhere or have car trouble. Next they find out that there is a spooky ghost scaring everyone away from some place near-by. There is a long chase scene, they catch the ghost, and it turns out not to be a ghost but actually someone that nobody suspected.

That formula is constant throughout all that is Scooby. The first episode was actually shot down because it was ?too scary? for kids. Barbera (of Hanna-Barbera Studios) decided to add a comic relief, namely Scooby himself. This action created the very first detective comedy on television and led the way for all kinds of detective cartoons. ?Scooby Doo, Where are you?? broke into several other cartoon series; “A Pup Named Scooby Doo,? ?The Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby Doo,? ?The Scooby and Friends Detective Hour,? and an excessive amount of Scooby movies. Scooby Doo continues to be the most popular cartoon detective series in history, with marathons and new movies almost every week.

When it comes to the gadget aspect of super detectives, no one can out gadget Inspector Gadget, not even Batman. Inspector Gadget is a gadget, plain and simple. He has gadgets pouring out of every part of him, from telephones, to the gadget-copter, to an inflatable jacket. Inspector Gadget debuted in 1983 and won the hearts of many children. He battles the evil Dr. Claw and his organization (M.A.D.) in every episode. The plot of Inspector Gadget?s show is even more shallow than the Scooby Doo Formula. In every episode Gadget gets a call from ?the Chief? who tells him to meet him somewhere. When Gadget gets there ?the Chief? hands him a message that will self-destruct in 5 seconds, ?the Chief? always ends up being blown up by the exploding message. Gadget bumbles around the site where the crime took place until his niece, Penny, and her dog, Brain, solve the mystery and call the police at which point Gadget is rewarded for his efforts in solving the crime, which he never does.

Super detectives have been the idols of children since the 1930s and continue to influence television and the comics page everyday. Some super detectives have been brought back via the silver screen. The legacy of these heroes will never die. Their memory will live forever in the hearts and minds of ours and past generations. One quote from Batman will ring in our minds for years to come: ?See you next week. Same Bat-time, Same Bat-Channel.?

History of the Mystery at MysteryNet.com: The Online Mystery Network, http://www.mysterynet.com/history/

The Shadow, at MysteryNet.com, http://www.mysterynet.com/history/shadow/

McFarlane, Paul; ?Transformations of Holmes: Transmissions of ?The Musgrave Ritual? in Text, TV, and film,? University of Nevada, Reno, 1994

Dunning, John; Tune in Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio 1925-1976; Portland House; New York, 1984

?The Green Hornet;? ABC; 1966-1967

The Green Hornet Guide, http://moose.uvm.edu/~glambert/green.html

Daniels, Les; Batman: The Complete History: The Life and Times of the Dark Knight; Chronicle Books, New York, 1999

The Shadow’s Realm, http://leader.linkexchange.com/4/X1155277/showiframe?

The Comic Page – your guide to the history of comics – comic book history, http://www.dereksantos.com/comicpage/

ComicsPage, http://dicktracy.comicspage.com/

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