Sunday, February 15, 2015
Crossover of the Week
May 1, 2011-September 11, 2012
MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS
Quincey Morris and Libby Chastain battle a Middle Eastern terrorist cell that has acquired control of an afreet. A Navy SEAL and combat magician volunteered to spend six months in the U.K. under the tutelage of an ex-SAS sergeant major, who was said to be the greatest combat magician living. Quincey and Libby’s ally, FBI agent Colleen O’Donnell, mentions a blood spatter analyst named Morgan who worked on a case in Chicago. Quincey and Libby discuss the time they traveled to London for “that Castor thing.” Quincey meets with another colleague, Barry Love, who refers to rumors of an afreet driving a cab in New York for a while. Quincey and Barry set up a meeting at Strangefellows Bar and Grill; Quincey says that there’s another bar of that name in the U.K., and Barry knows a man in the same line of work as them named John who hangs out at the English bar. When Quincey arrives at Strangefellows, Barry is talking to a werewolf named Larry Talbot. Barry tells Quincey about a vampire he once encountered named Jerry, who was fond of apples and was killed by a high school kid after going to California. As Quincey and Barry part ways, Barry says that he is planning to deal with a guy called Pinhead. The terrorists use a spell called the Tarnhelm Effect to mask their breaking into a zoo, and discuss potential threats to their plot, including a magician in Chicago named Dresden and a woman named Blake in St. Louis.
Novella by Justin Gustainis, 2013. The ex-SAS Sergeant Major and combat magician is William Gravel from Warren Ellis’ comic books Strange Kiss and Gravel. Morgan is Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter analyst and secret serial killer of other murderers, from the television series Dexter. However, Dexter works for the Miami Metro Police Department’s Homicide division, and has never been based in Chicago. Most likely, Dexter was on loan to the Chicago Police Department for this case, and O’Donnell merely assumed he worked for the CPD full time. “That Castor thing” is a reference to Felix Castor, an occult detective created by Mike Carey. The Castor books take place in a world where the public knows supernatural beings exist, so the Castor mentioned by Quincey and Libby must be the Crossover Universe counterpart of the character seen in Carey’s novels. Barry Love is a disguised version of Clive Barker’s occult investigator Harry D’Amour. Pinhead is from Barker’s story “The Hellbound Heart,” as well as the Hellraiser film series. The afreet that drove a cab in New York City appears in Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods. The British Strangefellows is featured in Simon R. Green’s Nightside books; the main character of that series is private eye John Taylor. Larry Talbot is from the classic horror film The Wolf Man and its sequels. Jerry is Jerry Dandridge from the movie Fright Night.The Tarnhelm Effect is from Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy books, which take place in an alternate universe where Richard the Lionheart did not die in the year 1199 and magic has supplanted science. Obviously, the Tarnhelm Effect exists in both Lord Darcy’s universe and the CU. Dresden is Harry Dresden, the protagonist of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files series of novels, while Blake is Laurell K. Hamilton’s vampire hunter Anita Blake. Like the Felix Castor novels, the Anita Blake novels take place in an alternate universe where the general public is aware of the existence of the supernatural. Therefore, the Anita Blake mentioned in Gustainis’ Morris and Chastain Supernatural Investigations novels must be the CU counterpart of Hamilton’s character. Although this novella supposedly takes place shortly after the last entry in the series, Play with Fire, Gustainis must have compressed the timeline of events. Play with Fire begins shortly after the novel preceding it, Sympathy for the Devil, which ends the day after Inauguration Day. The last Inauguration Day before the publication of Sympathy for the Devil was January 20, 2009. The inspiration for the terrorists’ actions in Midnight at the Oasis is the death of Osama bin Laden, which occurred on May 2, 2011.