Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Crossover Cover: The Avenger: The Sun King

This novel by my fellow New Wold Newton Meteoritic Society member Matthew Baugh pits the Avenger against the German pulp hero Sun Koh, sometimes described as "the Nazi Doc Savage." There are several other crossover references. Since Sun Koh is an Atlantean prince, there are a number of references to other works involving Atlantis, such as Arthur Conan Doyle's The Maracot Deep and Robert E. Howard's Kull stories. Nellie Gray's father, an archaeologist, was friends with several of his peers, including Dr. Littlejohn of a university in Massachusetts (William Harper "Johnny" Littlejohn, one of Doc Savage's aides, whom Farmer identified with Professor William Dyer of Miskatonic University from Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness"), Dr. Jones of a small but prestigious university in New Jersey (Indiana Jones), and Professor Smith of Cambridge, who smuggled dissidents out of Nazi Germany (Professor Horatio Smith from the movie Pimpernel Smith.) The other crossovers will be covered in my writeup in the books.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Crossover Movie: Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings

A witch possesses a copy of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis from the Evil Dead series, bringing the Pumpkinhead film series into the CU.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Crossover of the Week



            Raymond Mystère and Henrietta de Marigny explore a Mayan temple in Guatemala. When Raymond first met Henrietta at the University of Sorbonne, he thought she was too interested in visiting professors like Henry Jones, Thomas Swift, and John Kenton. Henrietta’s brother Etienne-Laurent de Marigny was an archaeologist specializing in occult lore, who was inspired in his choice of profession by his friend Pierre d’Artois. Henrietta was once kidnapped by a madman named Don Jose to sacrifice to a dark god. Her twin sister Louise had been previously abducted and killed by the Don. Etienne was able to attend Miskatonic University through d’Artois’ influence. Etienne disappeared in 1926 while investigating some ruins in the swamps of Louisiana, the inhabitants of which he believed to be the remnants of a Tcho-Tcho group that had come to North America during the Asian Migration. When he resurfaced, he opened a shop in New Orleans dealing in occult artifacts. A group of five men, including two named Hernandez and Aguirre respectively, attempt to steal a stone tablet discovered by Raymond and Henrietta. Months later, Raymond, recognizing the pictoglyphs on the tablet as representing Vedic words, tells the pregnant Henrietta that his grandfather, Doctor Mystère, claimed that his vehicle, the Electric Hotel, was based on ancient Vedic designs. Henrietta and Raymond’s student Jean Aubry introduces them to his father, Comte Jacques de Trémeuse. The two visit the Comte’s estate, where they meet his wife Jacqueline and their two sons, their old family friend Prosper Cocantin, his wife Daisy, and their young son Jacques. Trémeuse tells Raymond and Henrietta that his mother made his brother Roger and he swear to kill the banker Favraux for driving their father to suicide. Trémeuse shows them a tablet he discovered in Africa, one of a group of such items, almost identical to the one they discovered, which has a ring set into it. Prosper and Daisy’s adopted son Michel Cocantin, formerly known as the Licorice Kid, accompanies Henrietta and Jacqueline on a trip to buy baby clothes. Henrietta is abducted by members of a group known as the Men in Black. Jacques Cocantin has been learning the martial arts from a young Annamese boy named Cato. Henrietta refers to tales of the legendary continents of Hyboria, Lemuria, Mu, and Atlantis. Raymond says that the area where he and Henrietta found the temple was near the region described by Ventidius as Atala, which had ties with Atlantis, and was sometimes mistaken for it. Raymond suspects that there was an African civilization that was the true parent of lost cities such as Zu-Vendis, Kôr, Opar, and Zimbabue. Raymond and Trémeuse charter The Pious Woman, owned and operated by Captain Owen Kettle, to take them to Easter Island. They meet the manager of the island, Señor Ortiz. Raymond and Trémeuse are confronted by the Men in Black, who are accompanied by Dr. René Belloq. Belloq claims to have trained at Rache Churan. A crystal ball emits an image of a man resembling an elderly version of Trémeuse, who tells him and Raymond that Trémeuse is a member of the house of Elessar Telcontar. Trémeuse’s forebear refers to the crystal ball as a Palantir, and charges him to take the Book of Thain, the Book of Kings, and the Book of Mazarbul to “the one who can best translate them for your people.” Henrietta identifies Khokarsa as the sunken island civilization mentioned in the African tablets discovered by Trémeuse. It is mentioned that some believe the tale of Numenor to be the Oxford scholar to whom Henrietta sent the three books’ own version of Atlantis, rather than the story of an island empire that existed ages before Atlantis. An epic about the hero named Hadon described in the African tablets was popularized by an American author whose work was recommended to the Mystères by the Ironcastle family. Wooden tablets discovered by Raymond on Easter Island form the epic tale of a warrior-King named Thongor who lived in ancient Lemuria. After Jacques’ apparent death, his son Frédéric-Jean de Trémeuse followed in his footsteps, adopting the identity of Frédéric-Jean Orth, aka L’Ombre. Jacques Cocantin grew up to become Chief of the Sûreté after his predecessor, Chief Inspector Dreyfuss, became mentally unstable. A film version of Inspector Cocantin’s famous case against Sir Charles Litton, the jewel thief known as the Phantom, portrayed him as a buffoon, causing the Inspector to demand that the filmmakers change his name.

            Short story by Dennis E. Power in The Shadow of Judex, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2013; reprinted in French in L’Ombre de Judex, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2013. Raymond Mystère and Henrietta de Marigny are the parents of the title character of Alfredo Castelli’s comic book Martin Mystère. Henrietta is meant to be the same character as Yvonne Marigny from E. Hoffmann Price’s Pierre d’Artois story “The Devil’s Crypt.” Don Jose and Louise (de) Marigny are also from “The Devil’s Crypt.” Etienne-Laurent de Marigny is from H.P. Lovecraft and Price’s story “Through the Gates of the Silver Key.” Etienne’s shop will be inherited by his son Henri-Laurent de Marigny, as seen in Brian Lumley’s Titus Crow novels. Henry Jones, Sr. is Indiana Jones’ father. Dr. René Belloq is from the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Thomas Swift is better known as Tom Swift from the novels by Victor Appleton. John Kenton is from A. Merritt’s The Ship of Ishtar. Miskatonic University and the Tcho-Tcho are staples of the Cthulhu Mythos. Hernandez is a descendant of the robber Hernandez from Joseph Conrad’s novel Nostromo. Aguirre is a descendant of the fictionalized version of the historical conquistador Don Lope de Aguirre seen in the film Aguirre: The Wrath of God. Doctor Mystère appeared in a series of novels by Paul d’Ivoi. The Martin Mystère comics have established that Martin was the grandson of Doctor Mystère’s adopted son Cigale. Jacques de Trémeuse, his brother Roger, his wife Jacqueline, Jacqueline’s son Jean Aubry, Prosper Cocantin, his wife Daisy, their adopted son the Licorice Kid, and Favraux are from Louis Feuillade’s film serial Judex. Jacques Cocantin is meant to be Inspector Jacques Clouseau from the movie The Pink Panther and its sequels. Cato will grow up to be the Inspector’s manservant and sparring partner. Chief Inspector Dreyfus and Sir Charles Litton are also from the Pink Panther films. The tablet found by Raymond and Henrietta in Guatemala and the one found by Jacques in Africa, when combined, describe the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy saga The Lord of the Rings. In Tolkien’s books, Elessar is the name that Aragorn took after assuming the throne of the Reunited Kingdoms. Telcontor is an Elvish term for his nickname of Strider. The Palantir is one of the scrying stones used by the order of Wizards. Tolkien claimed that The Book of Thain was his source for The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. The Book of Kings and The Book of Mazarbul were supposedly the other two books that served as Tolkien’s source for Middle Earth lore not found in The Book of Thain. The Men in Black are the subject of many conspiracy theories, but the version of the group seen here is the same one that will later battle Martin Mystère. Power reveals that the Men in Black are the modern day equivalent of the Black Riders, the Nazgûl, which served the Dark Lord Sauron. Power also implies that the Men in Black are connected to the Nine from Philip José Farmer’s novels A Feast Unknown, Lord of the Trees, and The Mad Goblin; although the Secrets of the Nine trilogy takes place in an alternate reality to the Crossover Universe, Win Scott Eckert’s story “The Wild Huntsman” establishes that a version of the Nine exists in the CU. Numenor is an island that rose from the sea in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Hyboria is from Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. Ventidius Varro and Atala are from H. Warner Munn’s novel The Ship from Atlantis. Philip José Farmer, in his novels of Ancient Opar, revealed that the lost cities of Zu-Vendis (from H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain), Kôr (from Haggard’s She and sequels), and Opar (from the Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Burroughs) were among the remnants of the destroyed Central African empire of Khokarsa, which was later mistakenly identified with Atlantis. Power’s story adds Zimbabue (from Charles R. Saunders’ Imaro novels, the precursor to Zimbabwe) to the list. Hadon is the hero of the first two Ancient Opar books, Hadon of Ancient Opar and Flight to Opar. Captain Owen Kettle is featured in a series of books by C.J. Cutcliffe Hyne. Señor Ortiz is meant to be an ancestor of the villainous Orthis from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Moon series. Although the Moon books take place in the Edgar Rice Burroughs Alternate Universe (ERB-AU), there is no reason why Orthis’ ancestor could not exist in both that universe and the CU. The Rache Churan monastery is from Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu novels. The Ironcastle family is from Farmer’s adaptation and translation of J.-H. Rosny aîné’s novel Ironcastle. Thongor of Lemuria is the hero of a series of books by Lin Carter. Frédéric-Jean Orth, aka L’Ombre, is the hero of a series of novels by Alain Page; Jean-Marc Lofficier identified L’Ombre as Judex’s son in his article “The Tangled Web: Genealogies of the Members of the French Wold Newton Families – Rocambole and Fantômas” on the website The French Wold Newton Universe.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Crossover Covers: Final

The TV show Hoax Hunters is mentioned, as is a puzzle-obsessed cult led by a self-help guru, and the Necronomicon Ex Mortis appears. Hoax Hunters is from the comic of the same name by Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley, while the self-help guru is the title character of Mike Norton and Dennis Hopeless’ comic The Answer! The Necronomicon Ex Mortis is from the Evil Dead films, and its appearance here leads into the miniseries Army of Darkness vs. Hack/Slash.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Crossover Cover: Professor Challenger: New Worlds, Lost Places

This anthology of new stories featuring Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger includes several crossovers. In Lawrence C. Connolly's "King of the Moon," Bedford, Challenger, Ann Cavor and a pair of father-and-son inventors rescue Ann’s uncle from the Selenites. Bedford, Dr. Cavor, and the Selenites are from H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon, which is described as having taken place ten years ago. Bedford implies here that he is the one who put Challenger in contact with Arthur Conan Doyle. Challenger must have introduced Doyle in turn to Edward Malone. Doyle became Malone’s literary agent and editor, publishing the reporter’s accounts of his adventures with Challenger under his own byline. In Josh Reynolds' "Time's Black Gulf," Professor Summerlee, Lord John Roxton, Malone, and Thomas Carnacki battle Indrid Cold and other members of his race, who are part of a conspiracy to infiltrate the human race at every stage of its evolution along with an alien race that has swapped Challenger’s consciousness with that of one of their own people. Challenger has copies of Cultes des Goules and Unaussprechlichen Kulten. Carnacki refers to the Sigsand Manuscripts, the Book of Eibon, the Pnakotic texts, the Florentine monk Corsi, and Khephnes. The Tind’Losi, the Hounds of the Angles, appear. Dr. John Silence and Jessie Challenger ultimately save the day. Thomas Carnacki and the Sigsand Manuscripts are from William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghost-Finder. Indrid Cold is a supposedly real person connected to the Mothman sightings of 1966-1967. Here, he is also a member of the race of creatures seen in H.P. Lovecraft’s "The Festival." This version of Cold also appears in Reynolds’ stories "The Pnakotic Puzzle" and "The Yoth Protocols." "The Pnakotic Puzzle” indicates that this story happened “some years before the war.” The consciousness-swapping alien race is the Great Race of Yith from Lovecraft’s "The Shadow Out of Time."Bartolomeo Corsi and Khephnes are also from "The Shadow Out of Time." The Cultes des Goules is a Cthulhu Mythos tome created by Robert Bloch. Unaussprechlichen Kulten is a Mythos tome created by Robert E. Howard. The Book of Eibon is from Clark Ashton Smith’s contributions to the Mythos. The Pnakotic texts are a reference to Lovecraft’s Pnakotic Manuscripts. The Tind’Losi are from Frank Belknap Long’s story "The Hounds of Tindalos." Dr. John Silence is an occult detective featured in stories by Algernon Blackwood. In John Takis' "The Crystal Minders," Challenger suggests that a scientist has "invented a machine capable of traveling through time, like that loon in Surrey, have you?" “That loon in Surrey” is the Time Traveler from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. This story is primarily narrated by Professor Summerlee, though a framing sequence narrated by Edward Malone involves Summerlee coming to the reporter to tell him of the adventure. Malone refers to the events of “The Disintegration Machine” in passing as a past event. This creates a chronological conflict, as Rick Lai’s essay “The Anomaly of Professor Challenger’s Daughter” (Rick Lai’s Secret Histories: Daring Adventurers, Altus Press, 2008) places both “The Disintegration Machine” and The Land of Mists in 1926. According to The Land of Mists, Summerlee died “last year,” i.e., in 1925. Therefore, the reference to “The Disintegration Machine” must be obfuscation on Malone’s part, similar to Dr. Watson providing false dates in his accounts of Sherlock Holmes’ cases. In Andrew J. Wilson's "Out of the Depths," set in 1937, Challenger and Malone encounter Nazis in Maple White Land. Hobbs Lane is from the British television science fiction serial Quatermass and the Pit, although there it is located in Knightsbridge, rather than Kensington. Doctor Moreau is from H.G. Wells’ novel The Island of Doctor Moreau. The Lidenbrock Sea is from Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Medusa Von Juntz is related to Friedrich Von Juntz from Robert E. Howard’s “The Black Stone.” Doctor Moreau is revealed to have been Jack the Ripper, placing this story outside CU continuity. In Guy Adams and James Goss' "Professor Challenger and the Crimson Wonder," Challenger and his wife have a run-in with aliens who are planning to overrun the world with a remarkable plant. Mycroft Holmes is Sherlock Holmes’ brother. Lidenbrock is Otto Lidenbrock from Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Cavor is from Wells’ The First Men in the Moon, as previously stated. Abner Perry is from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Pellucidar novels. William Dyer is from H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness.” Herbert is meant to be the Time Traveler from Wells’ novel. Herakleophorbia IV, Bensington, and Miss Cossar’s brother are from Wells’ novel The Food of the Gods. Ryland and the Great Four are from Agatha Christie’s novel The Big Four. The meteorite that landed in Woking in 1898 is from Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. This story is too overtly satirical to fit easily into CU continuity. Also, Poirot moved to England in 1916, so the portrayal of him as an agent of Mycroft Holmes in 1914 is chronologically incorrect.