Tuesday, May 3, 2016
The July 1946 issue of Weird Tales contains the story "Shonokin Town" by Manly Wade Wellman. John Thunstone wishes the late Lovecraft, who “knew so much about the legend of Other-People, from before human times, and how their behaviors and speech had trickled a little into the ken of the civilization known to the wakeaday world,” and de Grandin could see and hear the Shonokins. The H. P. Lovecraft reference implies John Thunstone exists in the same universe as Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Jules de Grandin is an occult investigator created by Seabury Quinn.
Monday, May 2, 2016
In The Fugitive episode "The Walls of Night," Dr. Richard Kimble, a fugitive hunting the one-armed man who framed him for his own wife’s death, passes Del Floria’s Tailor Shop in Seattle. As with its counterpart in New York, the Seattle Del Floria’s Tailor Shop must disguise the entrance to the local headquarters of U.N.C.L.E. This connection to The Man from U.N.C.L.E. brings The Fugitive into the CU.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
THE WAR SHAMAN
The Merkabah Rider gives his ally Kabede a pistol with the Elder Sign imprinted on its side. Kabede refers to their conflict with the Great Old Ones. The two of them, along with the Rider’s old friend Dick Belden, are visited by Shar-rogs pa, the blue abbot of Shambhala, aka Faustus Montague. The monk Chaksusa told the Rider of the abbot when he’d battled Shub-Niggurath, the Yiggians, and the Black Goat Man. Faustus’ brother is Mun Gsod. Faustus tells the Rider, Kabede and Belden of stories that are true: a whaler with an Indian figurehead pursuing a pale leviathan to the doom of her crew and her scarred captain; a young boy putting his hand on a sword and drawing it lightly from a stone, becoming the greatest king the world has ever known; and thirteen heroes with two hearts between them, who set themselves between an insignificant world and all the evil that time and space can muster. He further states a word Chaksusa taught to the Rider, when combined with the Star-Stones of Mnar, is doubly detrimental to the Great Old Ones. The Apache Piishi has seen the Rider’s old acquaintance Misquamacus. Ten of Faustus’ disciples died battling Adon’s Creed on a mesa at a place called Stallions Gate in New Mexico. Among the allies of the Merkabah Riders are the Kun-Sun-Dai and the Watchers. Faustus thinks Misquamacus may be serving Nyarlathotep. The Rider’s own claustrophobia reminds him of his boyhood friend Aloysius Monkowitz’s many phobias. The Rider and Piishi faced Shub-Niggurath and the Cold Ones together. Misquamacus has manipulated the Billington family in the past. The geometric patterns in sand-images made by a group of skinwalkers remind the Rider of the diagrams in the Book of Zylac. Misquamacus summons Ossodagowah.
Short story by Edward M. Erdelac in Merkabah Rider: Have Glyphs Will Travel, Damnation Books, 2011. The Elder Sign, the Great Old Ones, Shub-Niggurath, and Yig are from H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. The Star-Stones of Mnar are from August Derleth’s The Lurker at the Threshold. Misquamacus is from both The Lurker at the Threshold and Graham Masterton’s Manitou novels. The Lurker at the Threshold mentions both Misquamacus’ devotion to Nyarlathotep and his conjuring of Ossodagowah. The Billington family is also from The Lurker at the Threshold. “Shar-rogs pa” and “Mun Gsod” are Tibetan approximations of “Darkness Slayer” and “East-helper,” the English translations of the names of the blue wizards Morinehtar and Rómestámo from J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. This story reveals Rómestámo and Misquamacus are the same being. The whaler is the Pequod from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. The boy who drew the sword from the stone is King Arthur. The thirteen heroes with two hearts between them are the various incarnations of the Doctor, of Doctor Who fame. While most of the Doctor’s exploits take place in an alternate universe, it has been established the Doctor has a CU counterpart, who often goes by the name of Doctor Omega. Stallions Gate, New Mexico, is the future site of Project Quantum Leap, from the television series Quantum Leap. The Watchers (more properly the Watchers’ Council) are from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, while the Kun-Sun-Dai (whose full name is the Order of the Kun-Sun-Dai) are from the “Awakening” and “Calvary” episodes of the Buffy spin-off Angel. Aloysius Monkowitz is an ancestor of obsessive-compulsive private investigator Adrian Monk from the television series Monk. The Cold Ones and Zylac appear in Cthulhu Mythos fiction by Clark Ashton Smith. Zylac’s book, The Wisdom and Sacred Magic of Zylac the Mage, appears in stories by Joseph S. Pulver.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
This anthology of X-Files prose stories from IDW Publishing includes “Not Gratum Anus Rodentum” by Brian Keene. Walter Skinner investigates a were-rat. At one point, Skinner and a group of homeless kids discuss the Herod slayings, which were depicted in Keene’s story “Slouching in Bethlehem,” which connects to other works by Keene.
Friday, April 29, 2016
This anthology published by Pro Se Productions includes the story "Wanted: Señorita Scorpion" by my fellow New Wold Newton Meteoritics Society member Brad Mengel. Bounty hunter Bellem pays a call on Anse Hawkman at the advice of Waxahachie Smith. Hawkman wants Bellem to track down the outlaw Señorita Scorpion, who is said to shoot faster than Dusty Fog. Bellem dented his rifle pistol-whipping a man he was paid to track down by a banker in Yellowdog. Waxahachie Smith, Dusty Fog, and the town of Yellowdog are from the Floating Outfit novels by J. T. Edson, which are already firmly in the CU. Therefore, this crossover brings in Les Savage, Jr.’s Señorita Scorpion, who appeared in eight stories in the pulp magazine Action Stories from 1944 to 1949.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
John Taylor returns from the past to stop his mother from destroying the Nightside. Appearing or mentioned are: Rollerball t-shirts (referring to William Harrison’s story “Roller Ball Murder,” which depicts a corporation-driven future that is one of several possible futures for the CU); a cyborg with golden eyes from an alternate future (one of the Hadenmen from Green’s Deathstalker books); a sonic screwdriver (from the TV series Doctor Who); a Water Baby (from Charles Kingsley’s novel The Water Babies); the Yellow Sign (from Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, and incorporated into the Cthulhu Mythos by H. P. Lovecraft in the short story “The Whisperer in Darkness”; Sneaky Pete (Pete Hutter from the television Western The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.); the Holy Hand Grenade of St. Antioch (from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, although the events seen in that movie must have been exaggerated for comedic effect) ; the Doormouse (a member of a group of shapeshifting mouse hippies from Green’s novel Drinking Midnight Wine); the Bazaar of the Bizarre (from Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser short story of the same name); Shadows Fall (from Green's novel of the same name); Carcosa (from Ambrose Bierce’s short story “An Inhabitant of Carcosa,” which H. P. Lovecraft incorporated into the Cthulhu Mythos); Old Father Time (from Shadows Fall); the Street of the Gods (from Green’s Hawk and Fisher novellas Winner Takes All and The God Killer); a Kandarian punch dagger (connected to the Kandarian demons from the Evil Dead film series); Julien Advent, the Victorian Adventurer (intended to be Adam Adamant from the TV series Adam Adamant Lives!; in fact, at one point in the novel he is referred to as Adamant); Alf’s Button Emporium (a reference to W. A. Darlington’s fantasy novel Alf’s Button); faeries hiding from the hordes of the Adversary (from Bill Willingham and Lan Medina’s comic book series Fables, which is set in an AU); the Traveling Doctor (Doctor Who); Colonial Marines (from the science fiction film Aliens, setting up the Alien franchise as another possible future of the CU.); the Eaters of the Dead (from Michael Crichton’s titular novel); Worms of the Earth (from Robert E. Howard’s short novel of the same name); Time Tower Square (from Shadows Fall); Elder Spawn (from Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos); Dead-Eye Dick, who was featured in a series of dime novels (a reference to an episode of the television Western The Virginian entitled “Dead-Eye Dick;” although the episode does not mention the Dead-Eye Dick dime novels are based on the adventures of a real person, it doesn’t say they aren’t either); Rats’ Alley (from T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land”); Haceldama (from Green’s Deathstalker books); a blazer belonging to a retired secret agent, which has a button with the number six on it (from the cult TV series The Prisoner); and the Prospero and Michael Scott Memorial Library (Prospero being from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.)
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
The titular story in this collection by Arthur Conan Doyle has a connection to the Sherlock Holmes canon. In it, the Royal Mallows, an Irish regiment, fights to protect a green Fenian flag during the Mahdist War. In “The Adventure of the Crooked Man,” Sherlock Holmes investigates the death of Colonel Barclay, the former commander of the fictional Royal Mallows, which is replaced with the real Royal Munsters in many American editions. The Holmes connection brings the events of “The Green Flag” into the CU.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
A sequel to Chris Roberson, Alex Ross, and Dennis Calero's series Masks, which takes place in an alternate universe, as I discussed in a previous post. Heroes from three different time periods team up to fight a villain called the Red Death, including two Green Hornets, two Katos, the Black Bat, two Miss Furys, the Shadow, the Black Terror, two Black Sparrows, the Spider, the Green Lama, Lady Satan, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. The contemporary Hornet and Kato are the ones from Dynamite's ongoing Green Hornet comic, which is incompatible with NOW Comics' take on the character, further cementing this series as an AU.
This series, along with many other works of fiction, will be included in my forthcoming two-volume tome Crossovers Expanded Vols. 1 and 2, an authorized companion to Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Vols. 1 and 2 by Win Scott Eckert. The books will debut at FarmerCon/PulpFest on July 21-24, where Win (who also will be providing the foreword for Vol. 1) and I will be signing copies at the booth of Meteor House, the books' publisher, which Win runs along with Michael Croteau and Paul Spiteri. Keith Howell, who provided the covers for both volumes, and William Patrick Maynard, who is contributing the foreword for Vol. 2, will also be on hand to sign copies.
Monday, April 25, 2016
This issue of Amazing Stories includes Gerald S. Whitehead's "Bothon," a tale of Atlantis and reincarnation. R'lyeh, the sunken city from H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos tales, is mentioned. Bothon is originally from Whitehead's Gerald Canevin story "Scar-Tissue." The Canevin story "The Shut Room" has a crossover reference to William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki story "The Whistling Room," further cementing this story in the CU.
A write-up of Whitehead's story along with many other short stories, books, movies, TV shows, audio dramas, and comics, will be included in my forthcoming books Crossovers Expanded Vols. 1 and 2 from Meteor House, companion volumes to Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Vols. 1 and 2 by Win Scott Eckert. Both sets of books, when read in conjunction, give one a true feel for the scope of the Crossover Universe, a term originally coined by Win. The books will debut at FarmerCon/PulpFest in Columbus, OH, on July 21-24, 2016. Win and I will be at the Meteor House booths signing and selling copies, and Keith Howell (cover artist for both volumes) and William Patrick Maynard (author of the foreword for Vol. 2; Win is providing Vol. 1's foreword) will be there and available to sign the books as well.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
THE BREATH OF DESTRUCTION
District Attorney Harry Fields bursts into flames at the Cobalt Club. One of the other members of the Club, a hawk-faced millionaire recently returned from the Orient, attempts unsuccessfully to douse the fire. At New York’s docks, Smitty questions Pappy, a grizzled old sailor who once served on the Sea Girl.
Short story by Frank Schildiner in The Avenger: The Justice, Inc. Files, Joe Gentile and Howard Hopkins, eds., Moonstone Books, 2011. The Cobalt Club is from the exploits of the vigilante who operates in the shadows. The hawk-faced millionaire is probably the shadowy pulp hero disguised as a certain wealthy man from New Jersey. Pappy is Poopdeck Pappy, father of Popeye the Sailor Man in E. C. Segar’s comic strip Thimble Theatre. The comic book story “The Revenge of Shiwan Khan” portrayed Popeye as an agent of the shadowy vigilante; doubtless his exploits were greatly exaggerated by Segar. The Sea Girl is the ship on which Robert E. Howard’s Sailor Steve Costigan serves. In the pulp novel Tuned for Murder, it is mentioned the Avenger had led armies in Java; this story elaborates on that reference.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
This collection of stories by Derrick Ferguson featuring his New Pulp hero Dillon includes two stories with crossovers. The first is "Dead Beat in La Esca," coauthored with Joel Jenkins. Dillon and rock star/mercenary Sly Gantlet manage to evade a group of would-be killers despite having downed several drugged drinks. Sly has partied in the fleshpots of cities such as Morocco, Cairo, Isthmus City, and Casablanca. When Sly challenges Dillon to an arm-wrestling contest, Sly’s date suggests they rent the best room at the Cobalt Club after he wins to celebrate. Isthmus City is from the James Bond film Licence to Kill. The Cobalt Club is from Walter Gibson's pulp novels about a vigilante who knows the evil lurking in men's hearts. This crossover also brings in Jenkins’ Gantlet Brothers, sibling musicians who moonlight as mercenaries, who appear in the novel The Nuclear Suitcase and the collections The Gantlet Brothers’ Greatest Hits and The Gantlet Brothers: Sold Out. John Velvet from the Dillon series appears in The Nuclear Suitcase. This story was originally published in the anthology Thrilling Tales, and was reprinted again in The Gantlet Brothers' Greatest Hits. Dillon and Sly worked together again in three novellas by Ferguson and Jenkins collected as The Specialists. I covered the first story, "Dead Beat in Khusra," in a previous post. The other story in Four Bullets for Dillon with crossovers is "Dillon and the Judas Chalice." Dillon, being chased by police through the city of Denbrook, tells his ally Wyatt Hyatt he took some training from a French race car driver named Vaillant. A potential client, Diogenes Morales, tells Dillon his former best friend, Cornelius Spoto, is plotting to overthrow the Caribbean island republic of San Monique. Dillon’s comrade Reynard Hansen claims to have been trained by the Thieves Guild of Seville. Morales’ daughter Fiesta attended the Higgins School of Higher Learning for Girls. Spoto worked with Dillon’s enemy Cecil Henshaw in Parmistan. The city of Denbrook, created by Mike McGee, was the setting of nine serialized novels by various authors on the online fiction site Frontier Publishing. The French race car driver is the title character of Jean Graton’s comic book series Michel Vaillant. San Monique is from the film version of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel Live and Let Die; since most of the Bond movies take place in an alternate universe to the CU, the San Monique mentioned in this story and Frank Schildiner’s “The True Cost of Doing Business” must be the CU version of the island. The Thieves Guild of Seville is a reference to Miguel de Cervantes’ short story “Rinconete and Cortadillo.” The Higgins School of Higher Learning for Girls is named after Professor Henry Higgins from George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, adapted as the stage musical My Fair Lady. Parmistan is a fictional country from the movie Gymkata.
Friday, April 22, 2016
Larry Gibson, an employee of Globe Package Service, finds himself in trouble with the Russian mob, in particular one Zakhar “Whitey” Putin, a descendant of Rasputin with superhuman abilities. The Sons of the Constitution are mentioned. Whitey’s organization was at one time in competition with the Marano crime family; it’s mentioned Marano’s top guy, Tony Genova, disappeared some time before. Larry used to work with a guy named Sherm, who was killed in a botched bank robbery. Bathroom graffiti at the Odessa includes the name Kaine, as well as the phrase “Jesus saves, but Ob rulez.” The Kwan and Black Lodge are mentioned. Whitey’s group disposes of bodies in LeHorn’s Hollow. Whitey refers to himself as “Homo superior.” When police dredge Lake Pinchot for Whitey’s body, they instead find the body of a young girl murdered when her car broke down on an Interstate exit ramp. Globe Package Service is a branch of the Globe Corporation, which appears throughout Keene’s works. The Sons of the Constitution are a right-wing terrorist organization that has appeared most prominently in Keene’s novel Castaways. Tony Genova, an enforcer for the Marano crime family, appears across Keene’s multiverse, most notably in the Clickers series; the version here is the CU version, distinct from the Clickers-verse Tony. Sherm and the botched robbery are from Keene’s novel Terminal. Kaine is a name that turns up across Keene’s multiverse, in tales such as “Full of It,” “Two-Headed Alien Love Child,” and Clickers vs. Zombies. Ob is one of the Thirteen, and is the main villain of Keene’s The Rising series. The Kwan are an occult group from the works of horror author Geoff Cooper, and play a prominent role in Keene and Cooper’s novel Shades. LeHorn’s Hollow is a major setting in Keene’s works, such as “Red Wood,” Dark Hollow, and Ghost Walk. “Homo superior” is a term first used to describe superhumans in Olaf Stapledon’s novel Odd John, and later in other works such as Marvel Comics’ X-Men titles (as a scientific designation for mutants) and the television series Babylon 5; at least two Marvel Comics mutants, Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin and Illyana “Magik” Rasputina, are also descendants of Rasputin; although the X-Men’s stories do not fit into CU continuity, the CU obviously has a mutant descendant of the Mad Monk among its inhabitants as well. The murdered girl is implied to be a victim of The Exit, a serial killer from Keene’s stories “I Am an Exit” and “This is Not an Exit,” who murders people at highway exits.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
This anthology includes "The Crimson Mask Takes Over" by Terrence P. McCauley. According to this story, the Rue Morgue in Paris is one of the many places where Robert “Doc” Clarke (aka the Crimson Mask) trained to become a crime fighter. The Crimson Mask appeared in stories by “Frank Johnson” (pseudonym for Norman A. Daniels) in the pulp Detective Novels Magazine. The Rue Morgue in Paris is from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
In John Pocsik's contribution to this 1964 Arkham House anthology, an occultist’s library includes The Book of Eibon, Cultes des Goules, Judge Pursuivant’s Vampiricon, and John Thunstone’s Myth Patterns of the Shonokins. The Book of Eibon and Cultes des Goules are tomes associated with the Cthulhu Mythos, and were created by Clark Ashton Smith and Robert Bloch respectively. Judge Keith Hilary Pursuivant is the protagonist of a series of stories by Manly Wade Wellman; The Vampiricon is mentioned in the Pursuivant stories. John Thunstone is another Wellman hero, who sometimes battled the man-like creatures known as the Shonokins; however, the book Myth Patterns of the Shonokins is Pocsik’s invention.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
The X-Files: Conspiracy, series of one-shots from IDW Publishing. The Lone Gunmen (who are revealed in The X-Files: Season 10 comics to have faked their deaths) investigate a series of documents from the future that lead them to investigate a series of “urban legends” that turn out to be true, including the Ghostbusters, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Transformers, and the Crow. The premise of the Transformers, involving giant robots using Earth as a battleground, is incompatible with the premise the CU resembles the world outside our window, at least on the surface, and therefore I consider this an AU.
Monday, April 18, 2016
This story is available in the all-crossover print anthology FaceOff, as well as a separate e-book. Private investigator Michael Quinn and urban mercenary Repairman Jack cross paths when Jack is hired by the wealthy Jules Chastain to retrieve an ancient ring from his family mausoleum, which he is afraid to go into himself lest he suffer the wrath of Madame de Medici, the ring’s previous owner. Madame de Medici is a recurring character of Sax Rohmer’s, appearing in “The Key to the Temple of Heaven,” “The Black Mandarin,” and “The Treasure of Taia.” Since Wilson's character Repairman Jack and Madame de Medici are in the CU, this crossover brings in Graham’s Michael Quinn, a private eye who works with curio shop owner Danni Cafferty in acquiring and, when necessary, destroying powerful artifacts.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS TITLE
Ash Williams travels to France, searching for the Necronomicon. Ash reached out to several people in the paranormal community for leads on the book, including some Ghostbusters in New York and an elderly Frenchman called the Sâr Dubnotal. Inside the cabin where he believes the Necronomicon to be, he drives off a creature called Baal, ending its alliance with the vampire Countess Irina. Irina’s giant servant says the book Ash seeks is the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, while the book Irina holds is the First Necronomicon, written by the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. When Irina asks if he is “the one destined to fight the forces of darkness,” Ash responds, “The same…although I did hear something about a girl named Buffy who hangs out with the band Slayer, I think.”
Short story by Matthew Dennion in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 11: Force Majeure, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2014; reprinted in French in Les Compagnons de l’Ombre (Tome 16), Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2015. Ash Williams and the Necronomicon Ex Mortis are from the Evil Dead film series. Although this story supposedly takes place in 1993, shortly after the third Evil Dead movie, Army of Darkness, this cannot be correct. In the CU, the films take place from 1982–1983, and Ash spent over twenty years in a mental institution after the events of the comic book miniseries Army of Darkness: Shop ‘til You Drop Dead, only to escape in 2005, as seen in Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator. Furthermore, 1983 would be well before Buffy Summers (from the movie and TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer) discovered she was the latest in a long line of Slayers. Therefore, I have placed this story in 2006, a year after Ash escaped from Arkham Asylum in Massachusetts. The Ghostbusters in New York are from the movie Ghostbusters and its sequel, as well as the cartoon The Real Ghostbusters. The animated series Extreme Ghostbusters is set in the 1990s, and features a younger group of investigators who have taken up the mantle of the retired original Ghostbusters. Ash probably contacted the latter-day team. The Sâr Dubnotal is an occult investigator who appeared in a French pulp series. Baal is from Renée Dunan’s novel of the same name, which has been translated by Brian Stableford for Black Coat Press. Countess Irina Karlstein is from the film Female Vampire. In the movie, which was made and takes place in the 1970s, Countess Irina is mute. How she gained the ability to speak is unknown. The Necronomicon penned by Abdul Alhazred is from H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, of course.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
This book consists of two connected stories by John Urbancik and Brian Keene. In Urbancik's "Babylon Rising," a man is drawn back in time to the days of ancient Babylon as part of a spell to bring an evil wizard to the present so he can summon Kandara, one of the Thirteen in Keene’s Labyrinth mythos. The name Kandara is clearly a reference to the Kandarian demons of the Evil Dead films. Keene's story is "Babylon Falling." In Iraq, U.S. soldier Don Bloom and his infantry unit are kidnapped by remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen, and tortured by an ancient wizard as part of a ritual to summon Kandara. The Daemonolateria, a fictional book of magic that recurs in Keene’s works, appears.
Friday, April 15, 2016
This anthology of new stories about Lars Anderson's classic pulp heroine the Domino Lady published by Airship 27 Productions contains a story by Greg Hatcher in which she borrows a pistol that fires "mercy bullets" from her friend Andrew at Mayfair Labs in New York, who has a crush on her. Mayfair is an aide to a famous "Doc."
Thursday, April 14, 2016
A Praed Street Dossier is a collection of short stories, essays, and marginalia by August Derleth dealing with Solar Pons, his detective patterned after Sherlock Holmes. One of the stories is "The Adventure of the Snitch in Time" by Derleth and Mack Reynolds, which Win included in the original Crossovers. Another story, authored by Derleth alone, is "From the Notebooks of Dr. Lyndon Parker," which describes the early days of Pons and Parker's partnership, and will be included in Crossovers Expanded. On November 21, Mr. Howard Robinson, a potential client, tells Pons, “I looked in on Thorndyke, but he was in Scotland. I took the liberty of coming to you without an appointment.” This reference confirms Pons exists in the same universe as R. Austin Freeman’s sleuth, Dr. John Evelyn Thorndyke.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Cotton Malone battles Irina Zovastina, supreme minister of the Central Asian Federation. Zovastina was previously suspected of being behind the theft of several endangered animals, a crime that was investigated by Painter Crowe at Sigma. James Rollins’ Sigma Force novel Black Order had a reference to Malone. This crossover further cements Cotton Malone and Sigma’s coexistence within the CU.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
IDW Publishing did two volumes of The Rocketeer Adventures, an anthology comic featuring new stories of Dave Stevens' character by a diverse range of writers and artists. The first issue of the second volume contains the story "A Dream of Flying" by Stan Sakai. Flying through a rural area, the Rocketeer is attacked by a young man with red hair wielding a shotgun. After Cliff falls through the roof of a barn, the redhead demands his rocket pack, saying he’ll disassemble it to see how it works and build a better one. Cliff’s enemy is attacked from behind by a young boy with a spit curl in his black hair, and Cliff delivers a knockout blow to the would-be thief. The boy says of the thief, "Pa always said that Lex is a bad apple." He expresses excitement at Cliff’s ability to fly, and says he has always dreamed of doing so himself, but it’s impossible. Cliff takes off into the air with the ecstatic boy in his arms, then brings him back to the ground and flies off into the distance. The boy’s parents arrive home from shopping to find him with a sheet tied around his neck, proclaiming he flew. When his mother comments on the boy’s imagination, his father says, "Now, Martha, a bit of imagination is good for a boy his age.” The boy plays happily, saying “Up, up, and away!" as his dog follows him. The boy is clearly a young Clark Kent, and this takes place before he discovers his superpowers. However, the CU version of Clark was already a grown man and active as Superman by the time Cliff Secord became the Rocketeer, thus placing this story in an AU.
Monday, April 11, 2016
In one of the stories in this anthology comic, the Black Cat steals an alleged treasure map leading to the Crown Jewels of France for antiquarian Hervé Marat, who calls the Kingpin to tell him the Cat is about to fall into a police trap. However, the female thief manages to escape the gendarmes. Inspector Gorlier is nevertheless glad they have recovered the fake map they planted, since it can be used as evidence, and they have outwitted the Cat. One of the gendarmes serving under Gorlier, Henri Poirot, is pleased to have an entertaining story to tell his great-uncle. Henri’s great-uncle is, of course, Hercule Poirot. Julian Symons has placed Hercule’s birth in 1864, which would make him 125-years-old at the time of this story; however, Rick Lai’s essay “Partners in Crime: Fu Manchu and Carl Peterson” (Rick Lai’s Secret Histories: Criminal Masterminds, Altus Press, 2009) provides a possible explanation for the Belgian sleuth’s longevity. Both the Black Cat and the Kingpin have independent links bringing them into the CU.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
VOICE OF PAIN
FBI Agent-in-Charge Jeffrey Reynolds tells Police Lt. Ralph Adams he has been reading classified official reports about vigilantes such as the Voice. The most recent report was dated in the late sixties, and concerned a disguise artist referred to as Mr. Jones who worked for the Bureau. The Voice refers to George Sanchez as “my Burbank.” Reynolds considers asking his Great-Uncle Lynn about the vigilantes of the old days. Former police chief Cobbins refers to vigilantes (or “Independent Operators”) who were involved in World War II, including an Australian who served with his country’s military while wearing a mask and using the code name “the Phantom Commando.”
Story by Erwin K. Roberts in Double Danger Tales #52, Tom and Ginger Johnson, eds., Fading Shadows Publications, May 2002; reprinted in Casebook of the Voice, Modern Knights Press, 2014. Mr. Jones appeared in Dennis Lynds’ story “The Man of a Million Faces,” published in the June 1968 issue of Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine under the house name of Robert Hart Davis. Burbank is an agent of a shadow-cloaked pulp hero, specializing in communications. Reynolds’ great-uncle Lynn is FBI agent Lynn Vickers, who appeared in stories by Bryan James Kelley in Public Enemy (later retitled Federal Agent). The Phantom Commando is an Australian comic character created by John Dixon who appeared in his own series from 1959–1970.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Goober and the Ghost Chasers are a group of youths who investigate supernatural occurrences a la Scooby-Doo and Mystery, Inc. However, most of the ghosts Goober (a talking dog) and company face are real, and they work for a magazine on the supernatural, rather than being private investigators. Perhaps Goober is a relative of Scooby’s, explaining their common talent for speech, though Scooby doesn’t share Goober’s ability to turn invisible when scared. Perhaps someone fed Goober a variant on John Hawley Griffin’s serum. In the episode "Assignment: The Ahab Apparition," they come to the aid of the Partridge kids, who are vacationing in Peaceful Cove, where a mansion is haunted by the ghosts of Captain Ahab and Moby Dick.Moby Dick and Captain Ahab are already firmly in the CU; therefore, this crossover brings in Goober and the gang. The Partridge kids are from The Partridge Family, thus bringing that show and its spin-off Getting Together into the CU. The Partridges appeared in eight of the sixteen episodes of Goober and the Ghost Chasers. Subsequent episodes have more crossovers. In "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," Goober and pals come to the Partridge kids’ aid when their concert is canceled due to Macbeth’s ghost attacking the Globe Theatre. In "The Singing Ghost," Frankenstein’s Monster III tricks the Partridge kids into coming to his mansion so he may steal Danny Partridge’s voice. Goober and the Ghost Chasers prevent this from happening. It is as yet unknown which of the many monsters created by members of the Frankenstein family is "Frankenstein’s Monster III." In "Is Sherlock Holme?," Goober and pals travel to England to investigate a series of thefts at a haunted mansion, aided by Detective Sergeant Roger Sherlock, a relative of Sherlock Holmes. Since Sherlock Holmes is not known to have any ancestors with the surname Sherlock, it is possible Roger’s full name is Roger Sherlock Holmes, and he shortened it for professional reasons.