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Membership: Five unidentified living shadows

Identity/Class: Extra-dimensional shadow-like beings

Purpose: Prisoners and servants of the Yellow Claw

Affiliations: Suwan, Fritz Voltzmann (Karl von Horstbadden), Yellow Claw (Plan Chu)

Enemies: G-Men (James "Jimmy" Woo, Gorilla-Man/Ken Hale, M-11/Human Robot, Marvel Boy/Robert Grayson, Venus)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
                                  formerly Yellow Claw's fortress, Outer Mongolia;
                                  formerly Yellow Claw's secret base;
                                  formerly Unidentified home dimension

First Appearance: Yellow Claw I#4/1 (April, 1957)

Powers/Abilities: The Living Shadows were part of a shadow-like race able to travel through solid matter like stone and steel. Multiple shadow-beings could also merge into one solid form, using their body to transport others over large distances. Their bodies seemed impervious to common weaponry. They dissolved when exposed to extraordinary bright light sources, like the ones produced by Marvel Boy's wristbands.

History: (Yellow Claw I#4/1 (fb) - BTS) - The Living Shadows were believed to be part of an extraterrestrial race originating from another universe.

(Yellow Claw I#4/1) - The Yellow Claw, using an experimental attractor beam to contact their universe, accidentally managed to capture a group of five living shadows. He planned to use them to rescue his niece Suwan from the US military by only offering to return them home if they freed her. Hoping to be set free by their captor, the Living Shadows complied and set out two days later to retrieve Suwan. The shadows easily infiltrated the base, getting past the guards that kept Suwan in a giant steel room. The aliens tried to explain they meant her no harm, but Suwan was so scared by their sudden, off-putting appearance that she screamed for help.

(Yellow Claw I#4/1 (fb) - BTS) - Just before the Living Shadows could take Suwan away, Jimmy Woo appeared. Not eager to waste any more time, the Living Shadows decided to take Jimmy along for the ride.

(Yellow Claw I#4/1) - The five Living Shadows merged into one solid form, engulfing both Suwan and Jimmy. In this joined form, the Shadows successfully escaped the military base. The next day, the Shadows returned to the Yellow Claw's hideout where the criminal mastermind was stunned to find that Jimmy Woo had been brought as well. Before Jimmy could do anything, the Shadows vocally demanded to be freed. The Claw dealt with them by pushing a button on the wall behind him, which caused a blinding flash. When Jimmy opened his eyes again, the Shadows had vanished and the Claw had disappeared as well.

(Agents of Atlas I#1 (fb)) - In the Spring of 1958, the Yellow Claw had captured President Eisenhower. Jimmy Woo and his G-Men followed the villain to his fortress in Outer Mongolia, quickly launching an attack to free Eisenhower. The Claw ordered his right-hand man Voltzmann to send in his Shadow Warriors. Upon their release, the Shadows immediately attacked the heroes, who didn't know how to defend themselves against such adversaries. Unable to fight the Shadows by any conventional means, the group was saved by Marvel Boy, who used his quantum bands to dissolve the Shadows. With the Shadows seemingly destroyed, the G-Men successfully rescued Eisenhower but not before the Claw once again escaped.

Comments: Created by Jack Kirby (writer, pencils) and John Severin (inks).

It's been unrevealed if the five Living Shadows are the same as the Claw used to fight the G-Men in Outer Mongolia. When the Claw promised to send the five Living Shadows home, he could as easily have put them in suspended animation or he might have returned them, only to capture others at a later date. It doesn't really matter, it was great to see writer Jeff Parker paying his respect to the old source material and revisit some old ideas. It's also been unrevealed what Voltzmann meant when he commented the Shadows were once alive. I would personally just explain that as a scare tactic.

The Living Shadow could in fact be from the same race as Shadow Man and Warlord Kaa.

Profile by MarvellousLuke

The Living Shadows have no known connections to

images: (without ads)
Yellow Claw#4, p5, pan2 (main image)
Yellow Claw#4, p3, pan1,2 (captured by the Yellow Claw)
Agents of Atlas I#1, p4 pan4,5 (attacking the G-Men)

Yellow Claw#4/1 (April, 1957) - Jack Kirby (writer, pencils), John Severin (inks), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 10/21/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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