Sunday, January 31, 2016

Crossover of the Week

March 1920
Charles St. Cyprian and his assistant Ebe Gallowglass battle the Order of the Cosmic Ram, which has unleashed the demon Baphomet and the ancient Chinese sage and werewolf Zhang Su. St. Cyprian uses a “devil-box” formerly used by Carnacki to subdue the Hairy Hands of Dartmoor. Soho’s dockworkers are a mixture of races, including Chinese, Lascar, English and Tcho-Tcho. St. Cyprian and Gallowglass dwell at No. 427, Cheyne Walk. Carnacki, St. Cyprian’s predecessor as Royal Occultist, was once the apprentice to Edwin Drood, his own predecessor. Picking up a letter, Gallowglass asks St. Cyprian, “What’s a Janus House and why doesn’t it have a postmark?” St. Cyprian replies, “The Sergeant has other means of posting letters than Royal Mail.” St. Cyprian and Gallowglass answer a summons from William Melion, who was once a member of the Kensington Clique, a group of occultists that also included John Silence, Saxon Amadeus Dorr, Sar Dubnotal, and Flaxman Low. In Limehouse, St. Cyprian and Gallowglass meet with Lady Molly Robertson-Kirk, formerly of Scotland Yard. St. Cyprian tells Robertson-Kirk he was sorry to hear about Hubert, and she mentions Inspector Meisures. Amelia Glossop is a member of the Order. Melion thinks of previous Royal Occultists, such as Drood and his shimmering crystal egg, and Beamish and his hunt for the worms in the earth. Philip Wendy-Smythe claims to know the hidden mysteries of Lemuria and ancient Khem, the Aklo, and how to make the Voorish Sign. St. Cyprian asks if he knows the Hloh Gestures. Wendy-Smythe, who falsely believes one of his personal curios is the idol of Chaugnar Faugn, invokes the myriad and malevolent moons of Munnapor and the roving rings of Raggadorr when he and St. Cyprian are attacked by an animated statue. Wendy-Smythe tells his servant to retrieve the cursed scepter of Ibn-Schacabao, but the butler gives notice, saying he’ll be in residence at the Junior Ganymede Club. St. Cyprian’s unidentified enemy is a magus in the truest sense of the word, on a level with Oliver Haddo or one of that lot. St. Cyprian uses the powder of Ibn Ghazi to expose an invisible menace. St. Cyprian tells Gallowglass to get the arbutus, which is on the third shelf, left of the statue with the head of an ibis; Gallowglass mistakes a falcon figurine for the ibis. Saxon Amadeus Dorr smokes cigarettes made from the poppies of Leng. The sorcerers of Averoigne are mentioned, as is the Westenra Fund. Melion’s servant Ghale brews his tea from the blossoms of the mariphasa, a flower known to grow only in the higher altitudes of Tibet. Sadie Fleece refers to the Starry Wisdom. St. Cyprian uses the sign of Koth, which guards the Black Tower and seals the vaults of Pnath, to bind Zhang Su. Saxon Dorr tells Melion about a Polish nobleman who shares his affliction of lycanthropy, and has lived for centuries.
Novel by Josh Reynolds, Emby Press, 2014. Thomas Carnacki and No. 427, Cheyne Walk are from William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghost-Finder. The Tcho-Tcho people are from August Derleth’s contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos created by H. P. Lovecraft. Edwin Drood is the title character of Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The Sergeant is Sergeant Roman Janus, the “Spirit-Breaker,” an occult detective created by Jim Beard. John Silence is the protagonist of an eponymous collection by Algernon Blackwood. The Sâr Dubnotal appeared in a French pulp series by an anonymous author. Flaxman Low is from Ghosts; Being the Experiences of Flaxman Low by “E. and H. Heron” (Hesketh V. Prichard and Kate O’Brien Ryall Prichard). Lady Molly Robertson-Kirk, Hubert de Mazareen, and Inspector Meisures are from Baroness Orczy’s collection Lady Molly of Scotland Yard. Amelia Glossop is presumably a member of the Glossop family from P. G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves books. The Junior Ganymede Club is a club for gentlemen’s gentlemen of which Jeeves is a member. The shimmering crystal egg is from H. G. Wells’ “The Crystal Egg.” Worms in the Earth are from Robert E. Howard’s Bran Mak Morn story “Worms of the Earth.” Khem and the Starry Wisdom are from H. P. Lovecraft’s story “The Haunter of the Dark.” The Aklo language is from Arthur Machen’s “The White People,” and was also used by Lovecraft in “The Dunwich Horror” and “The Haunter of the Dark.” The Voorish Sign and the powder of Ibn Ghazi are also from “The Dunwich Horror.” The Plateau of Leng is featured in Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos stories. The Sign of Koth and the Vale of Pnath are from Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle. The Hloh Gestures are from Margery Lawrence’s stories about occult detective Miles Pennoyer. Chaugnar Faugn is from Frank Belknap Long’s novel The Horror from the Hills. Munnapor (or Munnopor) and Raggadorr are mystic entities from the stories of Marvel Comics’ Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange. Ibn-Schacabao is from Lovecraft’s story “The Festival.” Oliver Haddo is from W. Somerset Maugham’s novel The Magician. The falcon figurine is the titular statue from Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. Averoigne is a province of France that is the site of many supernatural events in Clark Ashton Smith’s works. The Westenra fund is named after Lucy Westenra from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Mariphasa is from the 1935 horror film Werewolf of London. The Polish nobleman is Waldemar Daninsky, a werewolf played by Paul Naschy in a long-running series of Spanish horror films.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Crossover Cover: Vionna and the Vampires

Private eyes Vionna Valis and Mary Kelly (a victim of Jack the Ripper who was resurrected by the vigilante known as the Black Centipede) join forces with the ghost of Sherlock Holmes to battle the Lord of the Vampires, Professor James Moriarty. Moriarty formerly served the previous Lord, Count Dracula, before betraying and killing him. One of Moriarty’s vampire henchmen is a Chinese man who claims to have once been played by Boris Karloff, implicitly Fu Manchu. Holmes and Moriarty’s fates in this story are irreconcilable with their established history in the CU. Combined with the revelation that Moriarty is really Holmes’ oldest brother Sherrinford, this book, as well as the Black Centipede novels by Miller, must take place in an AU.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Crossover Cover: Suspect

L.A. cop Scott James joins the Metro K-9 Unit and is paired with a former bomb-sniffing dog named Maggie, who like himself suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Together, they investigate the death of Scott’s partner. John Chen appears. Chen also appears in Crais’ Elvis Cole novels, as well as the Joe Pike series and the non-series novel Demolition Angel. Scott and Maggie later teamed up with Cole and Pike in The Promise.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Crossover Cover: Interdimensional Women's Prison Breakout

Bomb Queen and two other supervillainesses break out of the otherdimensional prison known as the White Ward and enter Cassie Hack’s world to cause havoc. Cassie teams up with Samhain to bring them to justice. Hoodoo Hex is seen among the inmates of the Ward. This story is a sequel to the one-shot Bomb Queen vs. Hack/Slash, which had Cassie and Vlad traveling to Bomb Queen's alternate universe to battle her. Hoodoo Hex is from Tim Seeley’s web comic Colt Noble and the Megalords.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Crossover Cover: Monster Hunter Alpha

Earl Harbinger, head of Monster Hunter International and a century-old werewolf, battles agents of the Old Ones and a new breed of lycanthrope in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Deep Ones are discussed, and it is mentioned every nation with a Navy has programs to eradicate them. These references further solidify the presence of Monster Hunter International in the CU.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Crossover Cover: The Hot Rock

John Dortmunder attempts to break fellow professional thief (and occasional actor) Alan Greenwood out of prison. Greenwood plans to change his name to Alan Grofield after the escape. A professional thief named Alan Grofield appears in Westlake’s Parker novels, written under the pen name “Richard Stark,” and is also the protagonist of four other novels written under the Stark pseudonym. Can the two Alan Grofields be the same person? Another Dortmunder novel, Nobody’s Perfect, claims Greenwood became a successful television actor under his original name. This seems exceedingly unlikely, since Greenwood would be wanted by the police for his prison escape. Since both the Parker and Dortmunder series have links to the CU, it is more likely the reference in Nobody’s Perfect is a distortion, and the two Grofields are indeed one and the same.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Crossover Cover: The Living Goddess

This collection of stories features the Grey Monk, a deeply religious vigilante. In the story "The Living Goddess," the Monk battles Thuggee seeking a chest that has passed through many hands before coming to his own city. The history of the chest is shown through a series of flashbacks. One is set in Victorian London, and involves a Great Detective who is friends with a doctor (whose new bride has family in America), knows Baritsu, and is pursuing a Professor. Another takes place in New York City in 1939, and shows a vigilante who also has a guise as man about town Michael Shaw gunning down Thuggee and Nazis seeking the chest at a museum. The Great Detective is clearly Sherlock Holmes, though the 1892 date for the flashback must be incorrect, as that would place it during Holmes’ Great Hiatus. 1886 is more likely, since William S. Baring-Gould’s biography Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street states Dr. Watson married an American woman in that year. The vigilante in New York City in 1939 is Michael Shaw, aka the Nightmare, who has appeared in other stories by French.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Crossover of the Week

June 1945
George Chance’s (aka the Green Ghost) friend Ned Standish, of the Kingsport Standishes, a summa cum laude graduate of Miskatonic University, has been accused of murder. Although Chance calls Standish “Commissioner,” he is actually an Assistant Police Commissioner for one of New York City’s boroughs, as are Weston, Kirkpatrick, Woods, Foster, Quistrom, Gordon, Warner, Hombert, and others. Chance refers to other vigilantes active at the time he began his career, such as the Black Bat, Captain Midnight, the Phantom Detective, the Domino Lady, and Ki-Gor. Chance’s wartime missions began with liberating Professor Horatio Smith, who was something of a modern-day Scarlet Pimpernel, from a supposedly unescapable German prison camp. Subsequent missions for the OSS included a strange encounter with a hideously wriggling whitish worm at an abandoned chateau in Northern France and one with a revolting frog-mouthed, tentacle-lipped creature that accosted him in the sewers of Paris. Standish went over the file on flapper girl Toby Basinger’s case with D.A. Skinner. A lookalike for Standish murdered Basinger, who killed an ex-girlfriend of Chance’s, nightclub singer Angel de la Ruse. Chance’s aide Joe Harper smokes Red Apple Cigarettes.
Short story by George Chance, edited by Win Scott Eckert in Legends of New Pulp Fiction, Ron Fortier, ed., Airship 27 Productions, 2015. The Green Ghost (aka the Ghost) appeared in the pulp magazine The Ghost, Super-Detective (later retitled The Ghost Detective, and then The Green Ghost Detective). Kingsport, Massachusetts and Miskatonic University are from H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos tales. Commissioner Weston appears in the tales of a vigilante who can cloud men’s minds. Commissioner Stanley Kirkpatrick is from the Spider stories. Commissioner Woods is from the Green Lama’s pulp exploits. Commissioner Charlie Foster is from the Secret Agent X tales. Commissioner Arthur J. Quistrom is from Leslie Charteris’ novel The Saint in New York. Commissioner Gordon operated as a whispering vigilante in pulp novels by Laurence Donovan. Commissioner Jerome Warner is from the Black Bat stories. Commissioner Hombert and D.A. Skinner are from Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe novels. Captain Midnight is from the radio series of the same name. The Phantom Detective appeared in pulp stories by Robert Wallace. The Domino Lady is a pulp heroine created by Lars Anderson. Ki-Gor is a jungle hero who appeared in pulp tales by John Peter Drummond. Professor Horatio Smith is from the movie Pimpernel Smith. The Scarlet Pimpernel is from Baroness Orczy’s novels, of course. The seemingly unescapable prison camp is Loki from Farmer’s authorized Doc Savage novel Escape from Loki, which is also the source of the whitish worm, which Doc encountered in Baron de Musard’s chateau during World War I. The frog-mouthed, tentacle-lipped creature is Dewer, who encountered occult detective Jules de Grandin in Seabury Quinn’s story “The Bride of Dewer.” Toby Basinger and Angel de la Ruse are from Howard Hopkins’ Green Ghost story “Ghost of a Chance,” although Basinger’s name is Eckert’s invention. Red Apple Cigarettes appear in a number of films, including Pulp Fiction, Four Rooms, and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, as well as a number of other works by Eckert.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Crossover Movie Poster: Captain America: The First Avenger

The Red Skull, on seeing the Tesseract, this universe’s version of the Cosmic Cube, remarks, "And the Führer digs for trinkets in the desert." This line is a reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark, confirming the Marvel Cinematic Universe as an alternate reality to the CU, as is the main Marvel Universe.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Crossover Cover: Lynch

Johnny Pearl, an ex-Confederate farmer, is lynched by members of the U.S. Cavalry, who also murder his pregnant Indian wife. Pearl is restored to life by Dr. Anton Mirablis and given the name of “Lynch.” Mirablis is nearly 100-years-old and studied medicine in the 1790s with Frankenstein. Mirablis has some of Frankenstein’s notebooks. According to Mirablis, he and Frankenstein were working to create life together, until they went their separate ways when they disagreed on the method. Frankenstein was interested in electricity, but Mirablis was interested in creating a serum. Eventually, Mirablis combined both methods. Rick Lai writes, “Mirablis claims that Mary Shelley altered events for her classic novel. He says that Frankenstein’s real name was Viktor von Frankenstein, and that the two of them studied at the University of Vienna (rather than Ingolstadt). Mirablis also claims that both Frankenstein and the Monster perished differently than in the novel. Mirablis is an untrustworthy person, and could be lying for his own reasons.” An ad for "Dr. Mirablis's Amazing Electric Truss" appears in a penny dreadful called Pickman's Illustrated Serials in Collins' story "Hell Come Sundown." Rick Lai referenced this story by identifying Count Corbucci's American dime novel publisher as Pickman and Sons in his story "The Last Vendetta."

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Crossover Cover: Hack/Slash/Eva: Monster's Ball

Cassie Hack and Vlad team up with Eva, Daughter of the Dragon, and the vigilantes known as the Ghosts of Old Detroit to rescue Eva’s companion Michael from Doctor Praetorius and Mary Shelley Lovecraft. A Gill-Man can be seen among the slashers whose corpses have been collected by Praetorius and Lovecraft. Eva is allegedly the daughter of Dracula, though more likely “Dracula” is a “soul-clone” of the original Vlad Tepes. Similarly, although Michael is identified as Victor Frankenstein’s monster, the significant difference in personality between the original monster and Michael suggests the latter was actually created by another member of the Frankenstein family. Dr. Praetorius (or Pretorius) is from the film Bride of Frankenstein. It is unknown whether this Gill-Man is the same one that appears in The Creature from the Black Lagoon and its sequels.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Crossover Cover: Melmoth Reconciled

The immortal wanderer John Melmoth makes a deal with an embezzling cashier, who takes on Melmoth’s curse and all the power that goes with it. Melmoth dies in peace. The cashier works for the banker Baron Nucingen, and observes Nucingen’s wife flirting with the unscrupulous Rastignac. Also appearing are prostitutes Aquilina and Euphrasie and devious money lender Charles Claparon. This crossover connects Charles Robert Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer to Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine cycle of novels. Madame Nucingen and Rastignac began their affair in Balzac’s Père Goriot. Aquilina and Euphrasie first appeared in The Magic Skin, while Charles Claparon went on to appear in César Birotteau.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Crossover Cover: A (Super) Friend in Need

Scooby and the gang help the Super Friends and Supergirl deal with a seeming haunting at the Hall of Justice, which turns out to actually be the work of the Legion of Doom. Since superhero teams are generally not included in the CU, this must be an AU.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Crossover Cover: Sharpe's Tiger

Private Richard Sharpe infiltrates the army of Tippoo Sultan. One of the jewels the Sultan wears is a dagger with a large yellow-white diamond. The French colonel that advises the Sultan says the diamond is called the Moonstone, and supposedly brings misfortune to anyone who steals it. Sharpe does just that. The appearance of the Moonstone (from Wilkie Collins’ novel of the same name) reinforces Sharpe’s presence in the CU.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Crossover of the Week

A woman claiming to work for the Emilio Lizardo Crematorium appears at the State Prison to collect Abner Kadaver’s body. Dick Tracy and his wife Tess take some time off to go fishing. A boat with the name “Swee’pea” on it is seen. Tess is offered a cup of coffee by a woman named Olive, who says Dick is out fishing with Olive’s own husband at the dock. We see Dick with a man with a large forearm that has a tattoo of an anchor on it, who is holding a can of spinach. Olive and Tess discuss what first attracted them to their respective husbands, namely their chins. As they return home, the Tracys’ son Joe refers to both Olive’s husband and Dick being ex-Navy. Dick smokes a corn cob pipe and says, “I yam what I yam!” Dick’s granddaughter Honeymoon tells him she is going to a Hong Kong Cavaliers concert on Sunday night, and she hopes to get an autograph from Perfect Tommy.
Dick Tracy strip by Mike Curtis and Joe Staton, October 22, 2013January 4, 2014. The crematorium, mentioned in the October 22 strip, is named after Dr. Emilio Lizardo from the film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension. The couple who are also vacationing is Popeye and Oliver Oyl from E. C. Segar’s classic comic strip Thimble Theatre. Swee’pea is the name of Popeye’s adopted son. The boat appears in the October 27, 2013 strip, and Popeye and Olive first show up on October 28. The leader of the Hong Kong Cavaliers, who were mentioned in the strip on November 7, 2013, is Buckaroo Banzai himself. Perfect Tommy is the Cavaliers’ rhythm guitarist, and also designed the suspension system on Buckaroo’s Jet Car.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Crossover Cover: The Theft of Leopold's Badge

Thief for hire Nick Velvet crosses paths with Captain Jules Leopold, head of the Violent Crimes Squad of the police force of an unidentified city in Connecticut. This crossover brings together Edward D. Hoch’s series characters Velvet and Leopold. Since Nick Velvet is in the CU via a connection to Sherlock Holmes, so is Captain Leopold. Leopold first appeared briefly in Hoch's story "Jealous Lover" in the March 1957 issue of Crime and Punishment, which was also the first appearance of Hoch's P.I. Al Diamond (later renamed Darlan). Therefore, Diamond/Darlan is in as well.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Crossover Cover: The Gonky Mob Copycat Crimes

Brian O’Brien (aka the Clock) forbids his young female sidekick Butch to accompany him on an investigation. Butch goads him by saying, “I should have teamed up with the Spirit—HE’D appreciate me!” O’Brien responds “The Spirit—bah!” The Clock, originally published by Centaur, was the first original masked hero to appear in comic books, and is more “pulpish” than many of those who followed him. The reference to the Spirit brings him into the CU. This story originally ran untitled; I have used the title given on the Grand Comics Database website.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Crossover Cover: Arctic Kill

Mack Bolan battles the Society of Thylea, a white supremacist group dating back to World War I. The society believes in the Vril, and their ruling body is known as the Sun-Koh. One of their henchmen is an ex-German Special Forces officer who was nicknamed “Sturmvogel.” Agent Chantecoq of Interpol also appears. The Vril is from Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s The Coming Race. The Sun-Koh is named after Sun Koh, a German pulp character. This Sturmvogel must have been nicknamed after the German pulp character of the same name. Chantecoq, who first appeared in Reynolds’ Executioner novel Border Offensive, is probably a relative of Arthur Bernède’s character Chantecoq, “the King of Detectives.”

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Crossover Cover: Put Out More Flags

The further adventures of Basil Seal during World War II. Basil visits Alastair and Sonia Trumpington. Peter Pastmaster rejoins the Household Cavalry. Sonia tells Basil Margot Metroland says the last war was absolute heaven. Basil was once leader writer for The Daily Beast, and also served in the personal entourage of Lord Monomark. Pappenhacker of the Hearst press is mentioned as having been informed of a Polish submarine that is said to have arrived at Scapa. Angela Lyne had her home decorated by David Lennox just before the war. It is said of Angela’s public drunkenness it would scarcely have been more surprising had it been Mrs. Stitch herself. Lady Anchorage is present at Peter’s marriage to Lady Granchester’s daughter. Angela describes her father’s friends as men like Metroland and Copper. Ambrose Silk’s literary journal is published by the firm of Rampole and Bentley. In the late 1920s, Ambrose and his friends Hat and Malpractice issued the invitation to a party in the form of a manifesto. Basil Seal first appeared in Waugh’s Black Mischief, and several characters from that novel reappear here. Basil also appeared in the unfinished novel Work Suspended. Alastair Trumpington first appeared in Decline and Fall, while his wife Sonia debuted in Black Mischief. Alastair also appears in the story “Out of Depth.” Peter Pastmaster previously appeared in Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, and Black Mischief. Peter’s mother Margot Metroland also made her first appearance in Decline and Fall, and went on to appear in many of Waugh’s other interconnected books and stories. Lord Metroland, her husband, is the Metroland mentioned as a friend of Angela’s father. Lord Monomark previously appeared in Vile Bodies and Black Mischief, and was mentioned in A Handful of Dust and Work Suspended. The Daily Beast, its publisher Lord Copper, Pappenhacker, and Mrs. Stitch are from Scoop. David Lennox appeared in Decline and Fall, and was mentioned in Vile Bodies. Miles Malpractice appeared in both of the aforementioned novels. Lady Anchorage appeared in Vile Bodies and was mentioned in A Handful of Dust. Mr. Rampole first appeared in Vile Bodies.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Crossover Cover: Sherlock Holmes: Gods of War

In Late September 1913, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson battle a murderous cult seeking to engineer a World War. Holmes describes the time he met Dupin, who failed to impress him. One of the cultists is descended from Sir Nigel Loring, but the reference is to the historical knight of that name, not Doyle’s heavily fictionalized version. The foreword, allegedly written by Watson in 1923, claims Holmes is now deceased, and it is stated within the main text Mycroft died seven years ago (that is, in 1906). Watson also describes Mary Morstan as his first wife, whereas in the CU she was his second wife. All these factors place this book in an AU.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Crossover Movie Poster: Shake, Rattle and Rock!

1994 television movie directed by Allan Arkush, named after but otherwise unrelated to the 1956 film of the same name. Officer Paisley appears, as do E. Joyce Togar, Evelyn Randell, and Kate Rambeau Sr. Officer Paisley is played by Dick Miller, who played a character named Walter Paisley in A Bucket of Blood, among other films, such as The Howling, which Win included in Volume 2. Given the Officer’s apparent age, he is most likely Walter’s father or uncle. Kate Rambeau Sr. is played by Dey Young, who also played a character named Kate Rambeau in Arkush’s film Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. Presumably Kate Sr. is the mother of the Kate Rambeau who attended Vince Lombardi High School in the late 1970s. E. Joyce Togar is played by Mary Woronov, who appeared in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School as Principal Evelyn Togar, while Evelyn Randell is played by P. J. Soles, who played Riff Randell in the same film. Perhaps E. Joyce and Evelyn are the mothers of Ms. Togar and Riff respectively. Rock ‘n’ Roll High School also spawned a sequel, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Forever. Presumably some aspects of the former film at least (such as a mouse exploding after being subjected to the Ramones’ music, as well as the presence of that mouse’s human-sized, dress-wearing mother) were exaggerated for comic effect.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Crossover of the Week

An Invisible Man named Jacques enters the mansion of his friend Leo Saint-Clair, the Nyctalope, and sees an oil painting of Leo and his late wife Sylvie. Leo introduces Jacques to Briar Rose, also known as Belle and the Phantom Angel, alongside whom Leo fought Belphégor. Jacques’ children have been kidnapped; the mastermind behind the abductions is Professor René Belloq. Below the house are a series of secret rooms that were used by Sylvie’s stepfather Mathias Lumen in his fight against Leonid Zattan, which have been converted by Leo into a laboratory. Leo uses a device that allowed him to overcome Lucifer in the early ‘20s to prevent the kidnappers from tracking Jacques’ aura. The three attend a lecture given by Belloq, whose other guests include archaeologist Artistide Clairembart and Tryphon Tournesol. Also in attendance are journalist Jerôme Fandor and Dutil-Parot, Jacques Roll’s predecessor as President of the Council of Ministers. Belloq announces Doctor Haushofer of the Thule Society will tell the audience the results of his research on the use of Vril as a psychic energy source. Leo’s friend Gno Mitang initiated him into the Japanese fighting disciplines.
Short story by Emmanuel Gorlier appearing as “Le Surhomme est-il français?” in Les Compagnons de l’Ombre (Tome 14), Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2014, and then in English in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 11: Force Majeure, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2014. Jacques Roll (formerly known as Joe Rollon) and Dutil-Parot are from Jean de La Hire’s book Joe Rollon, the Invisible Man. The Nyctalope is the hero of a series of novels by de La Hire. Sylvie, Mathias Lumen, Leonid Zattan, Lucifer, and Gno Mitang are from the Nyctalope series. The Phantom Angel has appeared in several stories by Randy Lofficier in the Tales of the Shadowmen series, and is meant to be the title character of the French fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty.” Belphégor is the title character of a French film serial; she encountered Leo and Belle earlier in the month in Gorlier’s story “Une Voce Poco Fa.” Professor René Belloq encountered Indiana Jones in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Aristide Clairembart is from Henri Vernes’ Bob Morane novels, while Tryphon Tournesol (Cuthbert Calculus in English translations) is from Hergé’s Tintin comics. Jerôme Fandor is one of the greatest foes of Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre’s villain Fantômas, and may in fact be the “Lord of Terror’s” illegitimate son. Doctor Karl Haushofer was a real person whose geopolitical views may have influenced Hitler. The Vril energy is from Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s novel The Coming Race.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Crossover Cover: The Lost Level

An occultist named Aaron Pace discovers how to navigate the Labyrinth between worlds, and begins exploring other dimensions before ending up stranded in the Lost Level, a reality that can be journeyed to, but never returned from, and where things are constantly arriving from parallel realities. Pace mentions it was the Simon Necronomicon that introduced him to occultism as a child, but he didn’t realize it was a fake, and it was many years before he laid eyes on the real Necronomicon. Nyarlathotep is mentioned in Pace’s spell for opening doorways into the Labyrinth. In one of the alternate universes he visits, Tony Genova is President. When he meets a group of serpent men, the Annunaki, in the Lost Level, Pace compares them to tales of the Dark Ones, a race of lizard men he’d heard about in his studies. Mushroom men living in a swamp are referenced. Pace is familiar with the Void. He also knows about Globe Package Services and the Globe Corporation, and a robot employed by a future version of the company appears. Pace meets a cowboy, Deke, from another dimension, where a zombie plague wiped out civilization in the Old West. Deke mentions he was born in his world’s version of Brinkley Springs, WV. Pace has knowledge of the Thirteen, and names Ob, Ab and Api in particular. Pace and his allies battle a giant Clicker. Pace is familiar with Black Lodge. The Labyrinth is a core part of Keene’s connected fiction. The Lost Level is mentioned in Keene’s novel Ghost Walk. The Necronomicon and Nyarlathotep are from H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Tony Genova is from the Clickers novels by Keene and J. F. Gonzalez, where he is a mobster (as is his CU counterpart, who has appeared in other stories by Keene), and is also president in the world of Clickers vs. Zombies. The Dark Ones are also from the Clickers novels, though the species also exists in the CU, as Levi Stoltzfus mentions them in “Last of the Albatwitches.” The mushroom men in the swamp may or may not be those infected with the fungus from Keene’s Earthworm Gods novels. The Void is where Ob and the Siqqusim were confined until they were released in the alternate dimension of Keene’s The Rising. Globe Package Services and the Globe Corporation exist across Keene’s multiverse. Deke’s homeworld is the world of Keene’s short story “Lost Canyon of the Damned.” The zombie virus, Hamelin’s Revenge, is the same one that destroyed civilization in the 2000s in the world of Keene’s Dead Sea and Entombed. The CU version of Brinkley Springs, WV was seen in Keene’s novel A Gathering of Crows. The Thirteen are the main villains of the Labyrinth cycle. The Clickers are the crab-lobster-scorpion beasts that are the primary villains of the Clickers novels. Black Lodge is a government agency that recurs throughout Keene’s fiction.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Crossover Cover: The Deep: Here Be Dragons

The Nekton family travels the world in their advanced submarine the Aronnax. The submarine is named for Professor Pierre Aronnax from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The sequel is The Deep Vol. 2: The Vanishing Island.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Crossover Cover: The Last Detective

Elvis Cole runs into Harry Bosch. It is mentioned Bosch lives in the same area as Cole. Carol Starkey appears. Harry Bosch is not identified by name, but is described in such a way as to leave little doubt it is him. Elvis would also make a cameo in the Harry Bosch novel Lost Light. Bosch is also mentioned in the novel Cons, Scams & Grifts by Joe Gores, one of the Dan Kearny and Associates novels. Carol Starkey is from Crais’ novel Demolition Angel. With this novel, she becomes a recurring character in the series.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Crossover Cover: Sherlock Holmes: The Crossovers Casebook

This anthology consists of stories featuring Holmes meeting other historical and fictional characters. One story, "Sherlock Holmes in the Lost World" by Martin Powell, originally appeared in the anthology Gaslight Grimoire, and was included in Volume 1 by Win. It's worth noting that this story references Farmer's theory that Lord John Roxton was the Spider's father. I covered Win's contribution, "The Adventure of the Fallen Stone," in a previous post. Here are the other stories that have Holmes meeting other characters from fiction. In Matthew Baugh's "The Adventure of the Ethical Assassin," Holmes is hired by the King of Bohemia once again, this time to protect him from an assassin. After preventing one such attempt, Holmes discovers the would-be assassin is a member of the Assassination Bureau, Ltd., led by Ivan Dragomilov. The assassin’s weapon is a device invented by the Russian hunter Zaroff. The Bureau and Dragomilov (originally Dragomiloff) are from Jack London’s novel The Assassination Bureau, Ltd., completed posthumously by Robert L. Fish. Zaroff is from Richard Connell’s short story "The Most Dangerous Game." In Christopher Sequeira's "The Scion of Fear," Holmes and Dr. Watson work with Inspector Athelney Jones and Jonathan Small to investigate a pair of attacks apparently committed by an Andaman Islands native like Small’s late confederate Tonga. Watson reveals to Mycroft Holmes the box which once held the Agra treasure has a hidden panel which opens to reveal three yellow diamonds. Mycroft says they are part of a series of four “moonstones” that adorned temple idols in India. He adds the fourth diamond was recovered years ago after much drama. Inspector Jones, Jonathan Small, and Tonga are from the Sherlock Holmes novel The Sign of Four. The diamonds are from Wilkie Collins’ novel The Moonstone. In Barbara Hambly's "The Adventure of the Sinister Chinaman," Watson, recovering from an illness, accompanies Holmes to San Francisco, where they become embroiled in an investigation of a Chinese-American magician who has been accused of kidnapping a young girl who was helping him perform a trick. They are aided by another stage magician, Professor Oscar Zoroaster Diggs, who is also a balloonist. Diggs claims to have spent the last forty years in a magical realm, and built a City of Emeralds and done battle with the Wicked Witch of the East and her minions. After the resolution of the case, Watson learns Professor Diggs looked exactly the same when he returned as when he disappeared forty years ago, and concludes the Professor that he and Holmes met was an impostor. He notes the alleged Professor disappeared a year later on another ballooning expedition. Professor O. Z. Diggs is better known as the Wizard of Oz. Of course, the Diggs who disappeared in the 1860s and the one who encountered Holmes and Watson are one and the same. In Matthew Mayo's "The Folly of Flight," Arsène Lupin recruits Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to help him apprehend the murderer of a French aeronaut who has invented a remarkable airship. In Don Roff's "The House on Moreau Street," Holmes is abducted by Augustus Moreau, nephew of the notorious Dr. Moreau, whose beast-men have committed a series of murders in the course of robberies to finance Augustus’ experiments. Edward Prendick brought the elder Moreau’s predations to the public’s attention. Dr. John Thorndyke and Christopher Jervis, investigating the crimes independently from Holmes, wind up working with Dr. Watson to save Holmes. Thorndyke has Nathaniel Polton examine hair samples found at one of the crime scenes. Dr. Moreau and Edward Prendick are from H. G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau. Thorndyke, Jervis, and Polton appear in a series of books by R. Austin Freeman. In Joe Gentile's "The Secret of Grant's Tomb," Holmes and Watson, visiting Inspector Lestrade, are drawn into Professor Van Dusen and his sidekick Hutchinson Hatch’s investigation of the murder of a friend and fellow reporter of Hatch’s. The quartet, along with Lestrade and Inspector Conway, apprehend the culprit, master thief Bradlee Cunnyngham Leighton. Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen and Hutchinson Hatch are featured in the Thinking Machine stories by Jacques Futrelle. Cunnyngham and Conway appear in the Thinking Machine story "Problem of the Missing Necklace." In Martin Gately's "The Petrifying Well," Holmes accepts T. E. “Ned” Lawrence’s request to investigate the bizarre death of a friend’s brother. The planned Maracot expedition to the deep Atlantic is mentioned several times. The Maracot expedition is a reference to Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Maracot Deep, which takes place in 1926. Gately’s story "Rouletabille and the New World Order" explains why the expedition seen in this story (set two years after "The Adventure of the Lion's Mane," which Baring-Gould place in 1909) failed. Christopher Sequeira's other story, "The Adventure of the Lost Specialist," must be an AU. Holmes and Watson do battle with Professor Moriarty, who identifies himself as the stationmaster, and reveals both the Moriarty who Holmes dueled with at Reichenbach and Colonel Moriarty were actually his alternate reality counterparts. Moriarty than unleashes alternate versions of Holmes and Watson on the duo; one pair are meant to be Batman’s foes the Joker and the Penguin, while another pair are Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster. Watson mentions Holmes’ actions in the affair of the depraved Herbert West and the grave-robberies in Essex County, Massachusetts, and also refers to Victor Savage’s uncle, the famous American doctor and adventurer. Given the story takes place in 1903, this most likely refers to the father of a certain bronze-skinned adventurer.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Crossover Covers: Swords of Sorrow

A crossover event from Dynamite Entertainment featuring various heroines and anti-heroines. The Kato seen in this series is Mulan Kato from Dynamite’s Green Hornet comic, which ignores the continuity of NOW Comics’ version of the Green Hornet. Masquerade is the version of the Golden Age comics heroine Miss Masque seen in the comic Project Superpowers, which features a vast number of Golden Agers being freed from their decades-long imprisonment in Pandora's Urn. Lady Zorro first appeared in Dynamite’s Zorro ongoing series, which portrays Zorro as half-Native American, a conflict with numerous other accounts of his background. Therefore, this series has to take place in an AU.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Crossover of the Week

September 4, 1935
In Kingsport, the former Alice Peaslee is wished a happy sixtieth birthday by her son Wingate, who has just returned from an expedition in Australia with his father. Alice is brought cake and lemonade by her grandson John, the son of her daughter Hannah and Samuel Beckett. Looking in a photo album, she sees a picture of herself in London on June 5, 1931, alongside author Olaf Stapledon and the latter’s young protégé, the poet Paul Tregardis. Another picture, taken on September 2, 1924, shows the members of Hannah’s wedding party. Among them is Hannah’s husband’s supervisor at Brooklyn’s Museum of Fine Arts, Dr. Halpin Chalmers, a graduate of Miskatonic University, with whom Alice reminisces about the faculty and Arkham. Chalmers is friends with a private detective named Charles. Alice marries Chalmers, and on weekends and holidays they travel to Partridgeville where he was raised. In 1910, Alice divorces her husband, Professor Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee, having experienced strange visions of the past and future when she touched him. In 1912, her son Robert finds the notebooks in which she described her visions. Robert takes large portions of the text and reorganizes them into narratives, which Alice rewrites and has published in Whispers magazine. The periodical forwards her a letter of praise from a man named Randolph Carter. Alice spent six years with a distant relative named Alice the Elder, wandering time and space, having breakfast in Hyperborea, dancing in Irem, and reading books in Celeano.
Short story by Pete and Mandy Rawlik in The Lovecraft eZine #29, Mike Davis, ed., February 2014. Kingsport, Miskatonic University, Arkham, and Randolph Carter appear in a number of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos stories. Alice Peaslee; her husband, Professor Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee; and their children, Wingate, Hannah and Robert, are from Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Out of Time.” Irem is from Lovecraft’s “The Nameless City.” The magazine Whispers appears in Lovecraft’s “The Unnamable”; it is believed by many Lovecraft scholars the Carter that narrates that story is Randolph Carter. John Beckett is the father of time traveler Sam Beckett on the television series Quantum Leap. Paul Tregardis is from Clark Ashton Smith’s story “Ubbo-Sathla.” Hyperborea appears in “Ubbo-Sathla” and many other works by Smith. Dr. Halpin Chalmers and Partridgeville are from Frank Belknap Long’s story “The Hounds of Tindalos.” Chalmers’ private detective friend is Nick Charles from Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man. Celeano (or Celaeno) is mentioned in several Mythos stories by August Derleth.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Crossover Cover: Infestation 2: 30 Days of Night

A group of vampires battle the Old Ones in the Arctic. Miskatonic University is mentioned. The vampires are from the comic book 30 Days of Night. This story is part of a multiversal crossover that features the Old Ones waking up and attacking different worlds, so therefore it doesn’t bring in any of the other continuities featured, though the DangerGirl cameo in the final issue probably takes place in the CU.