The Shadow gets a prominent place on the cover of Batman 253 (Nov.73), but his role in the O’Neil, Novick and Giordano story inside is much smaller than implied.
Much of the story deals with Batman tracking a counterfeiting mob to Arizona. Alfred gets a small role, a foil for Batman to explain his deductions to. The Shadow’s laugh is all that is “seen” of the character until the final few pages.
Batman solves the case entirely on his own, and the Shadow only steps into the light at the end, shooting the airplane of the fleeing mastermind.
The two men only meet at the very conclusion of the tale, as the Shadow explains that he was watching Batman, and prepared to help him if Batman needed it, which he largely didn’t.
The Shadow had recently started appearing in his own comic, published by DC, but this issue couldn’t help but be disappointing for any reader who picked it up based on the cover.
Perhaps because of that, the Shadow returned in these pages in a couple of years, with a more integral role in a Batman story.