Sunday, September 28, 2014
Crossover of the Week
THE DREADFUL CONSPIRACY (L’ABOMINABLE CONSPIRATION)
Inspector Ménardier interrogates murder suspect and medical student Francis Ardan, aka Clark Savage, Jr. Ardan instructs the Inspector to contact his lawyer, Mr. Theodore Marley Brooks of New York, and refers to the income generated by the Hidalgo Trading Company. One of the victims transferred billion of francs into Ardan’s account at the Depository Bank of Zurich before he died. Judex disguises himself as Vallières, secretary to a banker who took part in a swindle in China with the murdered men. Brooks, nicknamed “Ham,” and Andrew Blodgett “Monk” Mayfair walk through Paris. The duo came to France after Colonel John “Renny” Renwick received a letter revealing that Ardan had been arrested. Renny passed the news on to Thomas J. “Long Tom” Roberts and William Harper “Johnny” Littlejohn. Ham is acquainted with Mr. Ferval, the head of the Police Judiciare. Ham and Monk meet with the man presiding over the autopsy of one of the victims, Doctor Jules de Grandin. Ham produces a letter from Judge Coméliau authorizing Ardan to sit in on de Grandin’s analysis of an object found in the skull of the man the de Grandin examined. Ham tells the surving conspirator that two years ago a colleague of Ardan’s, Dr. Lyndon Parker, encountered a Chinese tong called the Si-Fan. One of those who were adversely affected by the conspiracy was Ming Tsai Tsai Tsu, head of the secret society known as the Shin Tan. De Grandin tells Ardan that a man known as Anton Zarnak spent twenty years in Tibet studying the occult with those he called the “Masters of A’alshirie.” Chantecoq, the “king of detectives,” previously identified one of the Shin Tan’s few French agents, Leclerc, whose family had been in the group’s service for several generations according to a report written in the last century by Chevalier Dupin. Monk, Ham, and Ménardier search the Paris catacombs, accompanied by a squad of policemen dispatched by Commissaire Valentin of the notorious Brigades du Tigre. The men sent by Valentin include Inspectors Pujol and Terrasson. One of Ming’s subordinates is his sister, Ivana Orloff, who is related to the Counts Boehm of Germany. Ming used a “Mega Wave” to enslave his victims; an English physician named Doctor Septimus wrote a book on the device.
Short story by Vincent Jounieaux appearing as “L’Abominable Conspiration” in Les Compagnons de L’Ombre (Tome 10), Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2012, and then in English in The Shadow of Judex, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2013; reprinted in L’Ombre de Judex, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2013. Inspector Ménardier, Ferval, and Chantecoq are from Arthur Bernède’s novel Belphégor and its simultaneous adaptation as a film serial. Francis Ardan is from Guy d’Armen’s novel Doc Ardan: City of Gold and Lepers. Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier’s adaptation and translation of d’Armen’s novel implied that Ardan was an really a young Clark “Doc” Savage, Jr. Brooks, Mayfair, Renwick, Roberts, and Littlejohn will become Doc’s aides in his future battles against the forces of evil. Although Jounieaux indicates that Ardan/Savage and company are based out of the Empire State Building, that structure had yet to be built in 1925. Doc uses the name of the Hidalgo Trading Company as a front for the warehouse where he stores his vehicles. Judex is from the serial of the same name directed by Louis Feuillade. Doctor Jules de Grandin appeared in several pulp tales by Seabury Quinn. Judge Ernest Coméliau is from the Maigret novels by Georges Simenon. Dr. Lyndon Parker is the best friend and biographer of August Derleth’s sleuth Solar Pons. Pons and Parker’s 1923 encounter with the Si-Fan (from Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu novels) was recounted in “The Adventure of the Six Silver Spiders”; Pons and Parker would have many more encounters with the secret society in the years to come. Ming Tai Tsou, aka Monsieur Ming and the Yellow Shadow, is the leader of the Shin Tan in Henri Vernes’ Bob Morane novels. Ming is aided in the Morane books by his niece Tania Orloff, Ivana’s daughter. Anton Zarnak is an occult detective created by Lin Carter, whose further exploits have been chronicled by several other writers. The Masters of A’alshirie are from Zarnak stories by C.J. Henderson. Leclerc’s ancestor Honoré Leclerc appeared as an agent of the Shin Tan in Dennis E. Power’s story “No Good Deed…” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 6: Grand Guignol, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2009.) The Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin appeared in a trio of stories by Edgar Allan Poe. The Brigades du Tigre was the subject of a titular television series from 1974-1983, which featured Valentin, Pujol, and Terrasson as its leads. The Counts Boehm are from Paul Féval’s novel John Devil. The Mega Wave and Doctor Septimus are from The Yellow “M,” a story in Edgar P. Jacobs’ comic book series Blake and Mortimer.