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.


  1. Well, this is a long one...

    The Ship of Ishtar would be what the third or fourth Merritt book brought into the CU?

    When Cato was mentioned I was thinking of a different Kato, the Green Hornet's sidekick. There was an episode of I-spy where Robinson and Scotty have to work with a bumbling French spy (for American Naval Intelligence, strangely) who was based o Clouseau. I tend to think he was maybe a cousin. Interestingly, he averts the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey stereotype of the French, he is not only brave he is incredibly foolhardy.

    The CU seems to have a very complex prehistory with the Hyborian Age, The Lord of the Rings, The Cthulhu Mythos and Karl Wagner's Kane stories. I was never quite sure how they fit together.

  2. I'm not sure how Middle Earth fits into the chronology of prehistory given in Crossovers but Kane I think was originally from a world that existed before ours as implied in the Kene timeline at Crossover Central