Entertaiment Weekly has just revealed plans from music producer Russell Simmons to bring the RavenHammer comics series The Harlem Shadow to life in an online animated series. The site also revealed that musician-turned-actor Common will voice the titular hero in the animated series, which will make its debut on the AllDefDigital YouTube channel later this year.
“The Harlem Shadow not only brings to life the rich culture, art, fashion, music and creativity of the Harlem Renaissance through the first black superhero of the era – but it also exposes the same grittiness and glamour that heavily influences the modern-day hip-hop community, ” Simmons said. “The Harlem Renaissance scene set the style with the music clubs, cars, all of it from that era – and the fashion, absolutely.”
Born at the tail end of the Harlem Renaissance, The Harlem Shadow is the first official Black paranormal crime-fighter that hit the streets of New York around 1929-1930. He was known for his scary appearance, his vicious hand to hand combat skills and his mastery of two lethal revolvers, used to maim and disarm his enemies but never kill. In 1950 as a result of the Black Mask Act, Harlem Shadow was hunted down by New York City Police, lynch mob style, and unmasked. His name was Linden Somerset, a school teacher and librarian, and he served a twenty year jail sentence at Alcatraz Island. This is his story.