Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Crossover Cover: Dillon and the Pirates of Xonira

New Pulp author Derrick Ferguson's Dillon books and stories often have Easter Egg references to other works of fiction, including some of Ferguson's other books and stories, as well as some works by others that have already been incorporated into the CU. This novel has a few Easter Eggs, including references to a TV series and a book that have previously been incorporated into the CU. Dillon battles Professor Alonzo Sunjoy, who is instructed to cut the engines of his hydrofoil by a member of the Advanced Counter Espionage Syndicate in a Scorpion Attack Helicopter, which is from the movie Fire Birds. Some time later, Dillon is asked to investigate piracy on the island of Xonira by the Braithwaite group, which was founded in 1973 by a man heavily involved in world politics who thought globally, although he worked for the British government. Braithwaite is the British agent who recruits Lee to travel to the evil Han’s island and investigate his criminal activities in the 1973 film Enter the Dragon. Dillon asks for a Black Yukon Sucker Punch, and travels to Xonira in a high-tech submarine, the Morgan Adams. The Black Yukon Sucker Punch is a drink from the television series Twin Peaks, while the Morgan Adams is named after the pirate played by Geena Davis in the movie Cutthroat Island. Dillon tells his friend and comrade Eli Creed to fly to MARDL and stay there until he can arrange other accommodations for them. MARDL (Miami Aerodrome Research & Development Laboratories) is from the Challenger Storm novels by Don Gates. Dillon types a code into his Worldstar satellite phone that lets the Morgan Adams know that he has arrived safely on Xonira. A World Star satellite phone appears appears in Pamela Fryer's novel The Midnight Effect, but given the slightly different spelling, I'm not sure if this is a reference or not. The Pirate Emperor uses the Bonetti Defense during a sword fight with Dillon. The Bonetti Defense is from William Goldman’s book The Princess Bride, as well as Rob Reiner’s film adaptation.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Crossover Cover: Strange Bedfellows

The fourth novel in Paula L. Woods' series about L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective Charlotte Justice is set in March of 1993. Charlotte sees her superior, Lieutenant Stobaugh, speaking to Harry Bosch, and thinks that he couldn't be trying to get Bosch transferred back to Robbery-Homicide. She wonders if Stobaugh intends to replace her with Bosch. Since Michael Connelly's cop Harry Bosch is in the Crossover Universe, so is Charlotte Justice. Bosch was reinstated to robbery-homicide in the 2005 novel The Closers.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Librarian(s) in the CU

In the 2004 TV movie The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, genius Flynn Carsen is kicked out of college, and receives a job offer from the Metropolitan Public Library. He soon discovers that he has been appointed to act as "the librarian," the guardian of historical and often magical items found in a hidden section of the library. When the evil Serpent Brotherhood steals one of three pieces of the Spear of Destiny, which when combined can be used to control the world, Flynn must go on a quest to prevent them from acquiring the other two pieces. He finds the last spear piece in Shangri-La. After defeating the Brotherhood, Flynn learns that the Death Scorpion Cult has stolen H.G. Wells’ Time Machine. The connections to Shangri-La (from James Hilton’s Lost Horizon) and the Time Machine (from H.G. Wells’ novel of the same name) bring Flynn Carsen into the CU. Various accounts set in the CU have portrayed different parties as possessing the Spear of Destiny. It has yet to be determined which, if any, of these stories features the true Spear.

In the 2006 TV movie The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines, Flynn and archaeologist Emily Davenport strive to prevent a thief from plundering the treasures of King Solomon’s Mines. While traveling to the mines, they pass the Breasts of Sheba and Three Witches Mountain. Both landmarks are from H. Rider Haggard's first Allan Quatermain novel, King Solomon's Mines. Solomon’s treasure must have been returned to the African mines from the Pacific island where it was kept for a time, as seen in the Tales of the Gold Monkey episode "Legends Are Forever."

In the 2008 movie The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice, Flynn battles the vampire Vlad Dracula, who has rejuvenated himself by drinking from the Judas Chalice. Supposedly, Dracula was left crippled and stripped of most of his power after drinking from the corpse of a cholera victim hundreds of years ago. This “Dracula” is most likely a “soul-clone” of the true Count.

In 2014, the TV series The Librarians debuted, featuring a new team of Librarians hand-picked by Flynn. The group's greatest foe is the Serpent Brotherhood, led by an immortal named Dulaque. Last night's episode, "The Librarians and the Apple of Discord," continued the pattern of crossovers in the franchise. The World Crime League is named as one of the factions that sent a representative to a conclave of supernatural beings. The League is from the film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Jenkins, the group's caretaker, refers to the amendment to the Wold Newton bylaws at a prior conclave. The conclave involving the Wold Newton bylaws may have been part of a larger conclave that happened in Wold Newton, Yorkshire on December 13, 1795, as originally revealed by Philip José Farmer in Tarzan Alive, and elaborated on by Win in “The Wild Huntsman.” The O2STK is also mentioned. The O2STK (Organization Too Secret to Know) is from Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Les McClaine’s comic book The Middleman.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Crossover of the Week

            Aubert Lecoq and his sons are imprisoned under the Convent de la Merci alongside Colonel Bozzo-Corona. Their jailer is Marcel Draco, who is planning to kill the Colonel for refusing to share the Treasure of the Black Coats with the rest of the High Council. Draco and his fellow rebels play cards to determine who gets to kill the Colonel; Doctor Lerne wins the game. However, the Colonel manages to escape, and the Lecoqs wind up being rescued. A year later, at the Callyx Bar in Paris, Bibi-Lupin, who has stolen the Empress Joséphine’s necklace, asks Trompe-la-Mort to dispose of it, but he refuses. Joseph Fouché, Napoleon’s Minister of Police, discusses Bibi-Lupin with Jean Henry, the chief of the Paris police. Bibi-Lupin was arrested for treason in 1793 by Citizen Chauvelin, but escaped execution and fled to England, becoming a coachman for Sir Percy Blakeney, who married an actress who was Saint-Just’s cousin. Monsieur Jackal, a former criminal recently recruited as an informer, has assured Henry that Bibi-Lupin acted only out of greed. Anne de Breuil argues with the Colonel, who remarks that Anne inherited her namesake’s beauty. Claude Verdier states that Napoleon betrayed the Colonel. Lawyer Portal-Giraud came up with the Black Coats’ doctrine of “paying the law.” The Colonel declares a toast using a bottle of La Frenaie wine. Trompe-la-Mort murders Verdier, leaving behind the Botte de Nevers, the mark of Lagardère. He forces the Colonel to give him the Scapular of the Black Coats. However, he scratches himself on a replica of a dragon’s fang on the box containing the Scapular, which the Colonel reveals was coated with a poison derived from the black scorpion of India. Trompe-la-Mort is really Jacques Collin, who took the fall for his comrade Franchessini’s forgery. Rather than killing him, the black scorpion poison tossed Collin into a cataleptic state. The Colonel is considering replacing the poison with a Brazilian drug called the “Mato Grosso Pestilence.” At the Colonel’s orders, a man named Toussac whips Collin. Henri de Lagardère learned the Botte de Nevers, invented by the great fencing master Delapalme, from his friend the Duc de Nevers. Anne de Breuil is also known as Jacqueline Collin, Jacques’ aunt. The Collins’ forebear, Milady de Winter, was Cardinal Richelieu’s most accomplished agent. The box containing the Scapular is kept in a concealed wall alcove alongside a book called Les Chroniques de Nemedea. The book features an illustration of a box similar to the one bearing the Scapular alongside an account of a legendary killer who encountered said box. Monsieur Jackal has heard that Trompe-la-Mort is currently infatuated with a youth named Alexis Ladeau. Trompe-la-Mort attempts to convince six fellow convicts who were also betrayed by the Black Coats, including Fil-de-Soie, Le Biffon, and Auguste, that they must band together to defeat the Colonel. After his fellow convicts escape, Trompe-la-Mort plans to recruit more men, including La Pouraille. Trompe-la-Mort dubs this new alliance the Society of the Ten Thousand. Later that night, he decides upon his new alias: Vautrin.
            Short story by Rick Lai 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 13), Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2014. Aubert Lecoq is meant to be coachman Albert Lecoq, father of future Black Coats member Lecoq de la Perière and grandfather of Emile Gaboriau’s policeman and sleuth Monsieur Lecoq, from Philip José Farmer’s biography Tarzan Alive. The Convent de la Merci, Colonel Bozzo-Corona, the Black Coats, their Treasure and Scapulary, and Portal-Giraud are featured in the Black Coats novels by Paul Féval. Marcel Draco is an ancestor of Union Corse leader Marc-Ange Draco and his daughter Tracy from Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Doctor Lerne is an ancestor of the title character of Maurice Renard’s novel Doctor Lerne. Jacques Collin (aka Trompe-la-Mort and Vautrin), Franchessini, Le Biffon, Fil-de-Soie, Auguste, La Pouraille, and the Society of the Ten Thousand are from Honoré de Balzac’s interconnected cycle of novels La Comédie Humaine. The Callyx Bar is from Louis Feuillade’s serial Judex. Bibi-Lupin is also from La Comédie Humaine; here, he is conflated with coachman Louis Lupin from Tarzan Alive, the ancestor of Maurice Leblanc’s gentleman thief Arsène Lupin. Jacqueline Collin, Vautrin’s aunt, also appears in the La Comédie Humaine novels. Here, she is romantically involved with Aubert Lecoq, and conflated with an unidentified beautiful woman who appeared as a member of the Black Coats’ Council in the novel The Cadet Gang, both story elements being based on theories proposed by Jean-Marc Lofficier. Sir Percy Blakeney; his wife, the former Marguerite St. Just; and Citizen Chauvelin are from Baroness Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel novels. Monsieur Jackal is from Alexandre Dumas’ The Mohicans of Paris; here, he is conflated with the historical Eugène François Vidocq, reformed criminal turned founder of the French Sûreté. Claude Verdier is an ancestor of Satanas from Louis Feuillade’s silent film serial Les Vampires; in the English language version of the serial, Satanas’ real name is given as Claude Dupont-Verdier. La Frenaie wine is from Clark Ashton Smith’s Averoigne stories. Henri de Lagardère, the Duc de Nevers, the Botte de Nevers, and Delapalme are from Féval’s swashbuckling novel Le Bossu. According to Sax Rohmer’s The Golden Scorpion, the drug F. Katalepsis, used by the Si-Fan, the organization led by Dr. Fu Manchu, has as its chief ingredient the venom of the black scorpion of India. The Mato Grosso Pestilence is from Harold A. Davis’ Doc Savage pulp novel The Green Death. Toussac is the brother of the Toussac that appears in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Uncle Bernac. Robert E. Howard claimed that he learned of the Hyborian Age and the barbarian Conan’s exploits through a tome called The Nemedian Chronicles. Conan encountered a box similar to that containing the Scapular of the Black Coats in The Hour of the Dragon (aka Conan the Conqueror.) Alexis Ladeau is from Howard’s Cthulhu Mythos story “The Black Stone.”

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Private Life of Dr. Watson

Dr. Watson recounts his life prior to his historic first meeting with Sherlock Holmes. Referring to his mother’s family, the Hudsons, Watson states, “Their issue in my time included a gamekeeper with two sons of totally contrasting status. The elder, Donald, was a civil engineer. His brother, Angus, went into domestic service, rising to be a butler well known in the highest strata of London society.” Angus and Donald Hudson are from the British television series Upstairs, Downstairs. Hardwick wrote tie-in novels for that series. Among the members of Watson’s regiment in Afghanistan are Colonel Ripon and his illegitimate son, Will Gale, as well as Captain Fletcher. Ripon, Gale, and Fletcher are from the novel For Name and Fame by G.A. Henty. Several details in this novel conflict with Watson’s CU history, placing it in an AU. Both Watson’s parents are portrayed as Scottish, and he was raised in Scotland, whereas in Farmer’s The Adventure of the Peerless Peer, Watson says that he is of Scots descent on his mother’s side, suggesting that he does not have any on his father’s. His middle name is given as Hudson, whereas in the CU it is Hamish. Watson also has a sexual encounter as a teen with Aggie Brown, a maid at his school. Watson later discovers that this fling resulted in a son named Frank. When one of his fellow medicos tells Watson about Ripon’s relationship to Gale, he describes Gale as Ripon’s “bull pup,” calling it an old family expression. At the end of the novel, Watson begins financially supporting Frank; this explains why Dr. Watson referred to keeping a bull pup in A Study in Scarlet. However, in H. Paul Jeffers’ story “The Adventure of the Old Russian Woman,” which takes place in the CU, it is revealed that Watson was using “keeping a bull pup” as a metaphor for having a temper.