Sunday, March 6, 2016

Crossover of the Week

Apologies for the lack of posts since Monday. I was in New York City from Tuesday until a few hours ago. :)

The Nightmare battles the Dead Man, a zombie sent back in time from the future, who is now acting as an enforcer for gangster Wolf Hopkins. A mugger tells the Nightmare about a conversation he overheard among a group of hoods at the Black Ship. The Nightmare thinks maybe Kent can give him some pointers on phrases to use to intimidate criminals. Later, in his alter ego of Michael Shaw, the hero is approached by Lieutenant Jerome Easton at the pub Moran’s. Easton refers to “gentlemen’s clubs, like that one the Commissioner belongs to, what’s it called? The Baltic Club?” Shaw replies, “Something like that.” Contemplating the best course of action in confronting Hopkins, Shaw thinks, “Richard would charge in with guns a-blazing, taking down his quarry, but only after leveling half the city in doing so. Kent would already know where Hopkins’ headquarters was. He would stealthily infiltrate it and find the clue that would lead him straight to the Dead Man. He’d go there straightaway, always assuming he didn’t have to rescue an agent or two first.” Considering whether he should recruit agents of his own, or an attractive female companion, he thinks, “Who am I kidding? If I had a girl like Nina or Carol, I’d marry her at once, and the Nightmare would be a memory. Sometimes we can be such damn fools.”
Short story by John L. French in Zombies in Time and Space, Ron Hanna, ed., Wild Cat Books, 2010. Kent is the alter ego of a certain shadowy pulp hero; the Black Ship, the Commissioner, and the club to which he belongs are from the same series. Moran’s is owned by Seamus Moran, whose cousin Paddy Moran runs the bar Bulfinche’s in Patrick Thomas’ Murphy’s Lore series. Richard is Richard Wentworth, better known as the Spider. “Nina” may be a typo, and meant to refer to Wentworth’s beloved, Nita Van Sloan. Alternatively, it could be a reference to Nina Ferrera, niece and former assistant of Harold Ward’s pulp villain Doctor Death, and the girlfriend of Death’s foe Jimmy Holm. Carol is Carol Baldwin, girlfriend of Tony Quinn, alias the Black Bat. The central premise of Zombies in Time and Space is in the far future, the Zombie Institute of Time and Space was created, which sends the undead back in time because physically traveling through time is impossible for living beings. Since there are numerous instances of recorded time travel by living beings in the Crossover Universe, the Institute likely exists in the future of an alternate reality, and the Dead Man was sent to the 1930s of the CU rather than his native reality. This raises the possibility the other time periods in which the zombies found themselves were also alternate realities, both to their own universe and to the CU.


  1. I was on vacation myself most of the week, so it wasn't a big deal for me, but I am glad your back and posting again.

    Is Zombies in Time and Space a book by French or another author?

    1. It's actually an anthology, and French is one of several authors with stories in it.