Monday, February 15, 2016

Crossover Covers: Black Pulp

This anthology contains two stories with crossovers. In Gary Phillips' "Decimator Smith and the Fangs of the Fire Serpent," boxer Achilles "Decimator" Smith turns vigilante after the death of his sister. He meets inventor Abe Kaufman, who tells him, "When I was back east, I did some work for a few vigilantes you might say. I belonged to a kind of a loose association of scientists who helped out the best way we could." Abe’s brother Rocco adds, "You heard of that bloodthirsty joker with the weird laugh and the slouch hat in New York? Abe designed a few gadgets for him through his operatives." This is a reference to Walter Gibson's most famous character, of course. Decimator also appears in his boxing days in Phillips' story "Demon Slaves of the Red Claw," a crossover between the Spider and Operator #5. The other story relevant to this blog is Derrick Ferguson's "Dillon and the Alchemist's Morning Coffee." The Alchemist’s Morning Coffee is a method of encoding digital information in human DNA devised by Dr. Alejandro Candu of the Henderson Institute of Alternative Technologies. The nation of Khusra is mentioned. Dillon’s friend Wyatt Hyatt has been hacking into government agencies’ computers since he was a kid, including hacking into CTU’s computer core when he was thirteen. Dillon mentions another friend, Elisa Hill. This story takes place during the eight-month gap between Chapters 1 and 2 of Dillon and the Pirates of Xonira. The head of the Henderson Institute of Alternative Technologies is Dr. Sylvester Henderson, whose brother Mongrel is the protagonist of a series of stories by Ferguson in Airship 27 Productions’ anthology series Mystery Men (& Women). Ferguson’s 1930s adventurer Fortune McCall is a Prince of Khusra’s Royal Family. The CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) is from the television series 24, which features fictional U.S. Presidents and massive terrorist attacks, including a nuclear device being detonated in Los Angeles. Presumably, as with the Spider novels, the true details of Jack Bauer’s adventures have been exaggerated and distorted for dramatic effect. Elisa Hill is the main character of Percival Constantine’s Myth Hunter series.

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