Sunday, March 29, 2015

Crossover of the Week

            The Spider (aka Richard Wentworth) battles dead men brought back as zombies by an Egyptian cult. When Nita Van Sloan expresses astonishment at the idea of resurrecting the deceased, Wentworth cites a monograph on the subject by a Dr. West who works at a university in New England, and also notes that Savage claims to have revived an Egyptian mummy using a process involving tana leaf extract; however, the tana plant is extinct, and Savage used the last known specimens of the extract for his experiment.
            Short story by Matthew Baugh in The Spider: Extreme Prejudice, Joe Gentile and Tommy Hancock, eds., Moonstone Books, 2013. This story explains how the Spider’s chauffeur and aide Ronald Jackson appeared alive and well in the pulp novel Reign of the Death Fiddler and later novels after his death in The Pain Emperor. Both of the aforementioned novels were published in 1935. Dr. West is the title character of H.P. Lovecraft’s “Herbert West—Reanimator.” The university West teaches at is Miskatonic University, which is featured prominently in Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Savage is Doc Savage, of course. Doc resurrected a mummy in the pulp novel Resurrection Day; however, both Philip José Farmer and Rick Lai’s Doc Savage chronologies place the events of that novel in 1936. Perhaps Doc resurrected a mummy in 1935 or earlier using the tana leaves, and turned to other methods when his supply ran out, leading to another mummy resurrection in 1936. Doc’s first revived mummy probably did not live very long. Tana leaves are from Universal Studios’ original cycle of Mummy films.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, Tana leaves were not really extinct(they show up in Gargoyles and Bubb-Ho-Tep), but undoubtedly it was thought so in 1935. For that matter, in the real world species thought extinct turn up occasionally, and the CU has an entire plateau filled with dinosaurs and ape-men.