Sunday, February 22, 2015

Crossover of the Week

October 29-November 1, 1937
            A doorman from the Cobalt Club is killed by what appears to be living puppets, who are having a gun battle with the vigilante known as the Skullmask. The doorman received a tip from Reid, the publisher of the Daily Sentinel, who was in town for a publishers’ convention. Reporter Moxie Donovan’s coworker Fran Striker tells him that their paper, The Daily Star, will ignore the puppet aspect of the story because that is what Commissioner Weston wants. Donovan remembers covering “that gun fight on the pier that bronze guy had with those silver-suited guys,” and taking lead in the shoulder “when the hunchback in the fright-wig stopped the take-over at Grand Central.” Donovan also refers to a shootout at Chinatown in June which that Shadows guy was at.
            Short story by Teel James Glenn in Weird Tales of the Skullmask,, 2009; reprinted in Deadline Zombies: The Adventures of Maxi and Moxie,, 2010. The Cobalt Club and Commissioner Ralph Weston are from the Shadow novels. Britt Reid, the publisher of The Daily Sentinel, is also known as the Green Hornet. Moxie’s reference to the Sentinel as a Chicago newspaper is mistaken, as Britt lived and operated in Detroit. Moxie Donovan appears in his own series of stories by Glenn, which are collected in Deadline Zombies and its sequel, Headline Ghouls. Fran Striker is named after the real radio and comic writer who worked on The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet, among others. “That bronze guy” is Doc Savage, who battled a group of silver-suited villains in the pulp novel Death in Silver. “The hunchback in the fright-wig” is the Spider. A few Spider novels have action scenes set at Grand Central Station; Moxie could have received a bullet wound in the shoulder during any one of them. “That Shadows guy” is Glenn’s hero Anton “Dr. Shadows” Chadeaux, who appears in the books Shadows of New York: The Mysterious Adventures of Dr. Shadows and Manchurian Shadows. The incident in Chinatown in June is an allusion to Manchurian Shadows, although Donovan does not make a physical appearance in that story.

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