Sunday, April 20, 2014
Crossover of the Week
Late Spring 1940
A NASTY BUSINESS
Three criminals in hiding discuss the possibility of being captured by "that Doc fellow and those Justice guys.” The three are gunned down by the Nightmare (Michael Shaw) and his cousin, the Pink Reaper (Kaye Chandler.) The Reaper tells the Nightmare that Benson objected to her calling herself the Pink Avenger. The Nightmare asks her if Clark knows she’s using his mercy bullets. Later, in their civilian identities, Michael and Kaye discover that the owners of a restaurant Kaye frequents have been brutalized by protection racketeers. Michael thinks of how he and a woman named Leda shut down a den of depravity not too long ago. Michael and Kaye have lunch at Moran’s, where they have a discussion with the owner, who mentions his cousin Paddy. Michael goes undercover seeking information at a number of underworld dives, including the Black Ship, while Kaye does the same, albeit in costume, at others, including the Pink Rat. Kaye visits the sister of one of the racketeers, saying that they met at Mrs. Rittenhouse’s last gala. Michael tells Kaye that he was helping Jethro handle “that Yeti problem” at the time of the sister’s wedding. Planning to break into gangster Wolf Hopkins’ brownstone headquarters, the Nightmare says to himself, “I could try the bold approach…kick open the door, guns in hand, demanding to see Hopkins, and ready to shoot down any who oppose me. Richard would do that, he actually likes getting shot at. Kent would find a way to sneak in and surprise the Wolf at his desk.” Spying on a “young man” who turns out to be the sister in disguise, Kaye thinks “Well, why not…it worked for Irene Adler.”
Story by Patrick Thomas and John L. French in From the Shadows, Dark Quest, 2012. “That Doc fellow” is Clark “Doc” Savage, Jr. “Those Justice guys” are Justice, Inc., the group of adventurers led by the Avenger (Richard Henry Benson.) The Nightmare and the Pink Reaper were created by French and Thomas, respectively. Leda Troy is Thomas’ heroine Nemesis, who also appears in his Murphy’s Lore and Terrorbelle books. The owner of Moran’s is Seamus Moran. His cousin Paddy Moran is also from the Murphy’s Lore series. Kent is Kent Allard, alias the Shadow. The Black Ship and the Pink Rat are from the Shadow novels. Mrs. Rittenhouse is from the Marx Brothers movie Animal Crackers. Jethro is Jethro Dumont, aka the Green Lama, who appeared in stories by “Richard Foster” (a pseudonym for Kendell Crossen) in the pulp Double Detective. Richard is Richard Wentworth, aka the Spider. Given the other references, it is reasonable to suppose that Kaye was thinking of Irene Adler as a real person.