Lamont Cranston, aka The Shadow, is a freelance agent for American Intelligence.
[Note upfront: The Shadow is the name of a legendary champion of good who has over the years undergone numerous renditions. The first was the famous crimefighting hero, real name Kent Allard, of radio and magazine whose adventures spanned the airways and newsstands from 1931 to 1949, and resurrected numerous times from the 1970s on, although even this one was itself changed several times. The second was the secret agent named Lamont Cranston who fought diligently against the evil C.I.P.H.E.R. crime and terror organization in 8 (really 7) paperback adventures from 1963 to 1966 and is described on the page. This one told about here is a third one, so drastically different as to deserve/require its own entry.]
[This iteration of The Shadow itself has two main parts with the secret identity of the Shadow being Lamont Cranston in both but the representation of both the Cranston identity and that of the Shadow will change dramatically from those stories told in the first two editions of the comicbook to those told in the final six issues.]
The first of these two versions is the blond haired Lamont Cranston who, when he assumes his Shadow persona, wears a knee-length dark blue or black overcoat with high turned-up collar. He sports nothing else to guard his identity, with the exception of eyeglasses he wears when he reverts to being Cranston.
His abilities include a terrific ventriloquism skill to 'throw' his voice across the room, making opponents think he is standing somewhere completely different. He is highly skilled with hand-to-hand combat and a wizard with the handgun. And then there is his ability, shown late in the first adventure, of 'mass hypnotism' where he can, if he catches the eye of his opponents, 'cloud their minds' and make them forget things or see things that aren't there.
As Cranston, he works as an independent agent for the American government though he most often deals with a man named Weston of the CIA for assignments. Cranston has a full-time secretary named Margo Lane, a dark-haired beauty very much in love with Cranston, and an unnumbered group of other "operatives under [his] direct command". Cranston receives missions "from the White House, from the Heads of NATO nations, from FBI Headquarters, and from Weston" though Cranston is quick to point out that "they simply give me all the information I need to carry out an assignment".
This Lamont Cranston is a very rich man who joes that his "death would be worth $500,000,000" (1961 money) with estates in Miami, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, a ranch in Texas, a castle in Scotland, a chateau in France, a villa in Italy, and ... he is interrupted in his listing.
The first four adventures listed below detail actions taken by this version.
It is starting with the fifth adventure that the Shadow/Cranston changes drastically. As Cranston he is now black haired instead of blond. As the Shadow, he has a whole new garb.
The Shadow now sports an outfit worthy of any costumed crime-fighter. A full body suit of skin-tight black material with green shorts, green boots, green gloves, a black face mask covering his eyes and cheeks, and a long green cape complete with a high starched collar.
In the remaining 8 tales, the Shadow will continue to oppose the evil Shiwan Khan but Khan will get more creative with the way he goes after his foe. Khan will start to make use of other villains, a couple of whom will be his own creation. While the end goal for Khan and everyone else is still world domination, the Shadow drops any resemblance to the blond-haired secret agent and is happy to be a costumed crusader hiding in the shadows.