Originally Posted by Kevin Roegele
Well, the character began on a radio show, it wasn't a 'vague notion'. The Shadow was the narrator. You're absolutely correct that the pulps turned him into a proper character, but he was invented for the radio show.
I still must disagree, while indeed true Detective Story Hour
was where the journey began [so to speak] I do not consider it accurate to say that The Shadow [as in the character, rather than the name of a voice] was invented for a radio show. All that the Shadow was for Detective Story Hour
was just a narrator - he wasn't a character, didn't take part in any of the stories, and never appeared in Street & Smith's Detective Story Magazine
[from which the show's stories were taken].
The real invention of the character didn't happen until Gibson was paid to create The Shadow in S&S's new Shadow Magazine, ergo The Shadow is a pulp hero. I think the distinction about The Shadow's creation/original format must be made because are clear examples of hero characters created for radio shows - of which The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet are prime examples.