Early promotional image for what would have been Jim Steranko’s version of ‘The Shadow’. (1973)
Steranko, like Alex Toth and Bernie Wrightson, was removed from the project early on, when he began to make demands that the script be closer to the original pulps. One can understand why this might have been a personal effort for him, as Steranko was close friends with Shadow creator Walter B. Gibson for most of his life, considering the prolific pulp writer something of a mentor.
When the dust settled, DC opted for the creative team of writer Denny O’Neil and artist Michael W. Kaluta to relaunch the character in comic form. It would last just 12 issues, yet remains tremendously popular among die-hard Shadow aficionados.
Steranko, himself, would go on to provide the cover artwork for the 1970s reprints of The Shadow pulps in paperback form. Rocketeer artist Dave Stevens would take it upon himself to ink the image in the 1990s:
“Though I’ve painted everything from gothic romances to mystery book covers, it’s the heroic look I’m inevitably called upon to produce. Typecasting can be irritating, but occasionally it leads to an interesting project.”