Saturday, November 15, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Green Lama Unbound

The Green Lama battles Cthulhu. Besides this major one, there are several other crossovers in the book. Lieutenant John Caraway, the Lama’s policeman ally, meets him at his office in the Empire State Building, and reflects: “This is where they killed that rampaging ape, he reminded himself. He still remembered hearing the actress’s warbling screams echo down from the top of the tower. There was a small bullet hole in the wall, a physical reminder of the four Curtiss Helldiver biplanes that had taken the massive primate down.” Obviously, this is a reference to King Kong. Another of the Lama’s allies is pilot Rick Masters, who mentions his sidekick Twin Eagle. Both characters appeared in a backup feature in Spark Publications' Green Lama comic. Paul Chadwick's pulp hero Captain Hazzard is mentioned several times, and appears in a flashback to the Lama’s time in Tibet. Two Nazi officers discuss the Toht and Vogel embarrassments, and Hitler’s obsession with occult artifacts, including Arks, Holy Grails, and the Spear of Destiny. The Toht and Ark references are to the first Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, while the Vogel and Holy Grail references are to the third film in the series, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Indy became entangled with the Nazis’ quest for the Spear of Destiny in 1945, as chronicled in a 1995 miniseries published by Dark Horse Comics. Another of the Lama’s companions, actor Ken Clayton, jokingly responds to Caraway’s use of the phrase “gone with the wind” by suggesting he could play Rhett Butler in the upcoming film, adding, “I heard Neville Sinclair was in the running until, y’know…ka-boom!” Sinclair is from the film version of Dave Stevens’ comic The Rocketeer; since the events of the film are irreconcilable with the Rocketeer comics, which are squarely in the CU, the Sinclair referenced here must be the CU version of the character from the movie, and must have met his end under different circumstances, though obviously still explosive ones. On being told that she is essential to preventing the catastrophe that will be brought about by Cthulhu, the Lama’s beloved Jean Farrell responds, “I’m not a hero…I’m not Dan Fowler, Lance Star, or Jim freakin’ Anthony.” Dan Fowler, G-Man’s exploits appeared in the pulp G-Men Detective. Lance Star was a character from the Canadian pulps who has recently been revived by Bobby Nash and others. Jim Anthony’s adventures were told in the pulp magazine Super Detective. A ship whose crew includes Elisha Pond finds the remains of the Nazis killed in the battle between the Lama and Cthulhu. Pond is one of the many false identities used by Secret Agent X. Nyarlathotep, the Deep Ones, Shudde-M’ell, the Chthonians, a shoggoth, and Randolph Carter appear, and Zkauba is mentioned. All are from Lovecraft's works, with the exceptions of Shudde-M'ell and the Chthonians, which are from Brian Lumley's contributions to the Mythos. The invocation “Nyarlathotep klaatu barada nikto” appears several times. The phrase “Klaatu barada nikto” first appeared in the film The Day the Earth Stood Still, and was also used in Army of Darkness, the third film in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy.

As those who read my very first post here know, this novel has deep significance to my work. I posted a list of the crossovers on one of the Yahoo Wold Newton groups in late 2011, and got some positive feedback, including Win saying it was an interesting writeup and asking if there were more in my future. Encouraged by Win's comments, I continued posting writeups of any new crossovers I discovered. In early 2012, Win suggested the idea of me writing a third volume of Crossovers. This novel set me on the path I'm on today, and I appreciate it all the more because of that. Incidentally, Moonstone Books will be publishing a revised and expanded version of this novel in the near future.

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