Sunday, February 28, 2016
Crossover of the Week
Mid February–October 1931
Jim Anthony asks his friend Eddie Phipps if he is coming to the next meeting of the Baltimore Gun Club. After Phipps is attacked by a strange man-monster, Jim tells an old man to call Healy in Homicide, and tell him he said there’s been trouble at the Suydam Building. Healy refers to “that thing last year with that Yogami fellow—,” to which Jim replies “Yes. The so-called Werewolf of Red Hook.” One of Phipps’ murderer’s other victims is named Guster Wooster. A man who unsuccessfully tries to kill Jim commits suicide by taking a distillation of Mariphasa Lupinum, the Tibetan Moon Blossom. At the Gun Club, Jim and his sidekick Tom Gentry meet Count Zaroff, whom a castaway named Rainsford falsely claimed died on his island a few years ago. Another Gun Club member, Otto DeLancy, asks Jim if he was in New York when Bertie Freis left. Jim replies he was in Paris on a case involving a band of thieves, Les Vampires. A murderous fiend called Fantômas was also involved in this case. Jim thinks of a Gun Club member named Ironcastle. Jim and Tom battle a group of Tcho-Tcho. Zaroff says the Tcho-Tcho tried to kill him while he was in Tibet, searching for the elusive Mi-go. The word Leng pops into Jim’s mind. Franklin Pike reminds Jim of their trip to Maple-White Land, and of someone named Ki-Gor who was also present. Pike refers to Leng as the Doorway to the Lost Valley of Carcosa, and tells Jim about a swami in New Orleans, “Chanda-something.” Jim requests his butler Dawkins have certain tools from his laboratory delivered to the Freis family burying ground at New York’s Wildwood Cemetery. A captured Tcho-Tcho claims to be a member of the royal guard of the King in Yellow. Jim sees Zaroff speaking to a man called Allardravitch, who, like Zaroff himself, was once part of the Czar of Russia’s inner circle. Zaroff invites Jim to hunt with him on an uncharted island, far west of Sumatra, which is inhabited by prehistoric animals. Allardravitch sneers at Jim’s use of mercy bullets, which prompts Jim to tell him not to confuse him for the bronze man. Traveling to the island, Jim and Zaroff spot a ship in the distance called the Venture. Zaroff tells Jim how an old German named Lidenbrock put him up in his lodge during the Great War, and told him he and his uncle went on an expedition to the center of the earth many years earlier, where they also encountered prehistoric animals. Lidenbrock’s uncle told him of a previous, aborted attempt to enter the earth’s core, through an opening on the island Jim and Zaroff are visiting. That ingress was sealed, but not before creatures from the core migrated through it and settled on the island. Aboard the Venture, Jim and Zaroff meet filmmaker D. W. Cecil De Cent, his leading lady Dana Sparrow, the elderly captain of the ship, and Jack the first mate. Dana grew up in an orphanage, with her father unaware of her existence. Jim finds a book written by one of the Weta-people, who sailed to the island from the Gray Havens after the return of the king, but cannot read it. Zaroff tells Jim there are signs of a giant anthropoid on the island. Dana refers to “that Doctor Wildman in the pulps.” The ape’s unveiling in New York draws a lot of celebrity attention, including that of the Celebrated Feral Child of Africa, who has a personal interest in apes, giant or otherwise. De Cent, about to unveil the ape, tells Jim’s Comanche grandfather Mephito he has filmed the strange monoliths and ruins of the Indians in Dunwich. The ape escapes thanks to Zaroff’s scheming, and climbs to the top of the Empire State Building with Dana in his paw, only to be shot down by airplanes.
Jim Anthony: Super Detective Volume Two, Airship 27 Productions, 2010, composed of two novellas, “Death in Yellow” by Joshua Reynolds and “On the Periphery of Legend” by Micah S. Harris. Jim Anthony appeared in the pulp Super Detective. The Baltimore Gun Club seen here is the New York branch of the club seen in Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon. The Suydam Building is named after Robert Suydam from H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Horror at Red Hook.” The Mi-go are a race of Yeti from Lovecraft’s “The Whisperer in Darkness.” Leng is a plateau in Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, first described in “The Hound.” Dr. Yogami and the Mariphasa Lupinum (or Mariphasa Lupina Lumina) are from the film Werewolf of London. Guster Wooster is presumably an American relative of P. G. Wodehouse’s most famous character, Bertie Wooster. Count Zaroff, his island, and Sanger Rainsford are from Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game.” Xavier Mauméjean’s story “The Most Exciting Game,” which is set in 1930, also portrayed Zaroff as a member of the New York branch of the Gun Club. Les Vampires are from Louis Feuillade’s 1915 film serial of the same name. Fantômas is a French pulp villain created by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre. Hareton Ironcastle is from J.-H. Rosny aîné’s L’Étonnant Voyage d’Hareton Ironcastle, as well as Philip José Farmer’s translation and adaptation, Ironcastle, which revealed Ironcastle was a member of the Baltimore Gun Club. The Tcho-Tcho race were created by August Derleth as part of the Cthulhu Mythos. These Tcho-Tcho must have been the result of interbreeding with humans, as they are noticeably taller than the race is described to be by Derleth and other authors. Maple White Land is from Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. John Peter Drummond’s jungle hero Ki-Gor’s first adventure must have actually taken place years before its 1938 publication in Jungle Stories Magazine. Carcosa is originally from Ambrose Bierce’s short story “An Inhabitant of Carcosa,” but also appears in Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, which Lovecraft incorporated into the Cthulhu Mythos. The Swami Chandraputra is an identity assumed by Randolph Carter, the protagonist of Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle, in the story “Through the Gates of the Silver Key.” He also appears under that alias in Lovecraft and Hazel Heald’s story “Out of the Aeons.” Wildwood Cemetery also hosts the grave of the allegedly deceased Denny Colt, also known as the Spirit. “Allardravitch” is actually the shadowy hero who was a spy for the Czar during the Great War.. The uncharted island is Skull Island from the classic film King Kong. The Venture is also from King Kong. “D. W. Cecil De Cent” and “Dana Sparrow” are aliases for Carl Denham and Ann Darrow, while the captain and first mate are Captain Englehorn and Jack Driscoll; all four appear in the film. The giant ape is Kong himself, of course. The bronze man is a famous pulp hero of the 1930s and ’40s, of whom Rick Lai notes, “Doc wouldn’t have been using mercy bullets regularly until 1932 (The Phantom City). However, Doc might have experimented with mercy bullets like Anthony in early 1931. Doc would have abandoned them to avenge the deaths of his father (The Man of Bronze) and favorite tutor (The Land of Terror) during May–July 1931.” Axel Lidenbrock and his uncle Otto are from Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. The connection between the subterranean world visited by the Lidenbrocks and Skull Island was first proposed by Micah S. Harris in The Eldritch New Adventures of Becky Sharp. Although that novel takes place in an alternate universe, apparently the connection is true in the CU as well. According to The Eldritch New Adventures of Becky Sharp, Ann Darrow was the illegitimate daughter of Becky herself (from William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair) and Lord Eugenides, an analogue of the jungle lord. Unlike the jungle lord, Eugenides grew to adulthood during the Victorian era, with his own counterparts to Jane and La. The Ann Darrow of the CU is probably the daughter of Becky Sharp and the time-traveling future version of the jungle lord (aka John Gribardsun) seen in Farmer’s Time’s Last Gift. The Grey Havens (aka Mithlond) are an Elvish port from J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy trilogy The Lord of the Rings. In Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Philip José Farmer revealed an iconic pulp hero’s real name as James Clarke Wildman, Jr. However, Dana’s reference to Doc Wildman as a pulp character should not be taken literally, since his pulp magazine did not begin publication until 1933, two years after the events of this story. The Celebrated Feral Child of Africa is the jungle lord. Although Harris places Kong’s unveiling in April, shortly after Denham and company return from Skull Island, Kong’s rampage took place in October in the CU. More likely, Kong spent months in quarantine before being officially exhibited. Dunwich is from Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror.”