Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crossover of the Week

Spring 1892
            Dr. John Watson and his wife Mary travel to America to visit Mary’s recently discovered relatives. The New York Comet prints a misleading story about Watson’s visit. Watson and Mary meet Theodore “T.R.” Roosevelt and his friend Robert Van Loan. The Blackhawk Insurance Company is mentioned. Discussing the exaggerations found in dime novels, Watson says, “The fictional accounts of the very real Sexton Blake suffer from similar ‘enhancement.’” Buffalo Bill Cody refers to the New York Clarion and its new owner, Franklin Havens. T.R. tells Watson that they must pass through the Bar 20 ranch to get to Mary’s cousin’s ranch. Watson and T.R. drive off some highwaymen with the help of the gunslinger Deadwood Dick. Soon after, they meet Mr. Stanley, editor of the South Dakota Clarion, who once used the name Deadwood Dick himself, with the original’s permission. Watson recalls the supposedly deceased Sherlock Holmes’ lecture to Professor Higgins’ Linguistics class. Watson later meets Commander Renwick of the Royal Navy and Lieutenant Hurricane of the Royal Marines.
            Novel by Erwin K. Roberts, Airship 27, 2012. The New York Comet newspaper will later employ Rex Parker, aka the Masked Detective, a pulp hero created by Norman Daniels. Robert Van Loan is the father of Richard Curtis Van Loan, aka the title character of the pulp magazine The Phantom Detective. Franklin Havens’ son Frank will later become the owner of the New York Clarion himself, and his daughter Muriel will become Richard Curtis Van Loan’s girlfriend. The Blackhawk Insurance Company is from the television series The Man from Blackhawk. Sexton Blake is one of the most famous British story paper detectives. The Bar 20 Ranch is from Clarence E. Mulford’s Hopalong Cassidy novels. Deadwood Dick appeared in dime novel stories by Edward L. Wheeler. Mr. Dick Stanley is from the 1940 serial Deadwood Dick. Professor Henry Higgins is from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, the basis for the musical My Fair Lady. Commander Renwick is probably a relative of John “Renny” Renwick, one of Doc Savage’s aides. Lieutenant Hurricane is an ancestor of Captain Hercules Hurricane, a superhumanly strong Royal Marine active during World War II, who appeared in the British comic Valiant from 1972 to 1976.


  1. I take it Holmes does not actually appear in this novel or not for much time?

    Deadwood Dick was mentioned in Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland number 1 but in such a way as not to be sure whether he was a real person or not. Actually maybe the later.

  2. Holmes only appears in framing sequences with Watson telling the story of these events to him a few years later.

  3. It seems unusual, though creative, to have a story about Watson rather than Holmes.