Sunday, August 2, 2015
Crossover of the Week
THE MARK OF THE RED LEECH
Private Henry Jones Junior is scolded for journaling by Captain Dickson, whom Colonel Renwick respects. Jones’ journal entry refers to Pvt. Simpson. Dickson refers to Captain Spencer and the others, and doubts that they will see Captain Ulysses Paxton again in this world. Jones says that his father has met Dickson’s famous mentor. The mark left on the corpses of a group of soldiers reminds Dickson of something in his mentor’s files called the red leech, a case which his biographer never published. A maddened Major Richard Wentworth attacks Dickson and the others, but is subdued and calmed down. The killer proves to be the vampire Sir Francis Varney. Dickson says that Dracula is real. Varney is killed by a man named Isaac, who is accompanied by a little girl. Several groups were investigating the soldiers’ deaths, including one led by Colonel Renwick and one including Colonel Wyndham-Price.
Short story by Travis Hiltz in Harry Dickson vs. the Spider, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2014. Private Henry Jones Junior is better known as Indiana Jones. Captain Dickson is detective Harry Dickson, from pulp stories by Jean Ray and others. Colonel John “Renny” Renwick will later become one of Doc Savage’s five aides. Pvt. Simpson is meant to be an ancestor of the titular family from the animated sitcom The Simpsons. However, The Simpsons is too absurd in its events to comfortably take place in the CU. Most likely, there is a Simpson family in the CU, but they have had very different misadventures from their cartoon counterparts. Also, they almost certainly do not have yellow skin and only four fingers. Captain Eliot Spencer will later become the Cenobite known as Pinhead, as seen in the movie Hellraiser, based on Clive Barker’s story “The Hellbound Heart,” and its sequels. Captain Ulysses Paxton is from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars novels. Dickson’s mentor is Sherlock Holmes. Dr. Watson referred to Holmes’ involvement in “the repulsive story of the Red Leech” in “The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez.” Major Richard Wentworth will later fight crime as the Spider. Sir Francis Varney is from James Malcolm Rymer’s Varney the Vampire. Dracula needs no introduction at this point. Isaac Laquedem (aka the Wandering Jew) and the little girl (Lotte) are from Paul Féval’s novel The Wandering Jew’s Daughter. Despite the different spellings, Colonel Wyndham-Price is meant to be an ancestor of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce from the television series Angel.