Sunday, January 10, 2016
Crossover of the Week
ONCE MORE, THE NYCTALOPE (LE SURHOMME EST-IL FRANÇAIS?)
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.