Sunday, March 9, 2014

Crossover of the Week

March 6, 1910-August 27, 1911
            In 1910, a group of men led by Count Ferenczy and Professor Peaslee uncover a meteor in the Tunguska region of Siberia. Peaslee claims that because of Ferenczy’s failure in 1795, they must struggle with men with remarkable skills, and says that this meteor must not create another Holmes or Nemo. The following year, Peaslee requests the criminal Flambeau’s aid in deceiving the criminal organization known as the Habits Noirs. Inspector Romaine visits the Louvre, from which the Mona Lisa has been stolen, and reflects that Chief Aristide Valentin has committed suicide. The best and brightest of the police, including Broquet, Guichard, and Maigret, are attempting to deal with the massive crime-wave in Paris. Romaine meets with a man in an iron mask and his female aide, Joséphine. Peaslee asks a young girl named Nardi, recommended to him by Flambeau, to steal a stone. Peaslee compares that stone, the Tear of Azathoth, to the Heart of the Ocean, the Pink Panther, and the Maltese Falcon. Baron Cesare Stromboli, an agent of the Black Coats, tries unsuccessfully to purchase the Mona Lisa from the man who stole it. The current leader of the Habits Noirs, the Iron King, is furious when he learns of the thief’s refusal. Exploring Paris’s sewers, Nardi is caught by a group of men, one of whom remarks “Rats are getting bigger it seems. Regular Sumatra down here.” The Colonel, previously believed dead, reclaims the mantle of leader from the Iron King.
            Short story by Pete Rawlik in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 9: La Vie en Noir, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2012; reprinted in French in Les Compagnons de l’Ombre (Tome 12), Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2013. Count Ferenczy is from H.P. Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, while Professor Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee is from Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Out of Time.” The Tunguska meteor strike was a real event that occurred in 1908, and has been linked to many curious events in the CU. The 1795 reference is to the Wold Newton meteor strike. According to Philip José Farmer, Sherlock Holmes is a member of the Wold Newton Family. In The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, Farmer claimed that Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo was actually Holmes’ foe Professor James Moriarty. Later research has established that Moriarty was indeed one of at least three men who used the name Nemo, though he was not the same person as Prince Dakkar, who used that alias in Verne’s novels. The Nemo referred to by Peaslee is likely Moriarty, who was identified as a member of the Wold Newton Family in Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. Flambeau and Aristide Valentin are from G.K. Chesterton’s stories about crime-solving priest Father Brown. Les Habits Noirs, aka the Black Coats, are featured in novels by Paul Féval, as is their leader, Colonel Bozzo-Corona. Inspector Romaine is from the film Charlie Chan in City in Darkness, while Nardi is from Charlie Chan in Paris. Rawlik’s story reveals that Nardi is Flambeau’s niece. Paulin Broquet is the policeman nemesis of the gypsy crime lord Zigomar in pulp novels by Léon Sazie. Commissaire Jules Maigret is featured in mystery novels by Georges Simenon. Chief Xavier Guichard was a real person who also appeared in the Maigret books. The Iron King is from Les Martin’s novel Young Indiana Jones and the Gypsy Revenge; he is a descendant of the title character of Alexandre Dumas’ The Man in the Iron Mask. Joséphine Balsamo is Arsène Lupin’s greatest foe. Azathoth, “the blind idiot god,” is one of the Great Old Ones of the Cthulhu Mythos. The Heart of the Ocean diamond is from the film Titanic. The Pink Panther gem is featured in the film of the same name. The statue known as the Maltese Falcon is from the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. Baron Cesare Stromboli is a gentleman thief appearing in stories by Jose Moselli. In the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire,” Holmes mentions “the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.” The tale of the giant rat is perhaps the most pastiched of the many unchronicled Holmes cases alluded to in the Canon.


  1. I've mentioned this at the old yahoo site, but In the Executioner: The Continental Contract, one of the gangsters that Mack Bolan executes claims to be a descended of the man in the iron mask.

    I kind of wish that the Titanic reference was not in there, since I never liked that movie. Oh, well.

  2. I'll look up your post about that book.

    I'm not a fan of Titanic either, for what it's worth.

  3. If I remember correctly the part about the gangster was a few paragraphs about him claiming (those it was no means certain it was true) to be descended from the Man in the Iron Mask and then being shot by Bolan from the distance with a sniper rifle.

    Well, you can't exclude things based on you opinion of the quality of the work, because there might be someone out there might love Titanic and hate Doc Savage and not want Doc in the CU. In the case of what I already know is in, I don't particularly care for the Rob Liefeld comics. So I just don't think about them. The Death Merchant series I also found was pretty horrible, but it does sort of fit in with the other Men's adventure series.

  4. Cool, thanks.

    I agree wholeheartedly with you about not excluding works on the basis of personal taste alone.

  5. You know this probably happened around the same time as my Arsene Lupin story.