Sunday, April 24, 2016
Crossover of the Week
THE BREATH OF DESTRUCTION
District Attorney Harry Fields bursts into flames at the Cobalt Club. One of the other members of the Club, a hawk-faced millionaire recently returned from the Orient, attempts unsuccessfully to douse the fire. At New York’s docks, Smitty questions Pappy, a grizzled old sailor who once served on the Sea Girl.
Short story by Frank Schildiner in The Avenger: The Justice, Inc. Files, Joe Gentile and Howard Hopkins, eds., Moonstone Books, 2011. The Cobalt Club is from the exploits of the vigilante who operates in the shadows. The hawk-faced millionaire is probably the shadowy pulp hero disguised as a certain wealthy man from New Jersey. Pappy is Poopdeck Pappy, father of Popeye the Sailor Man in E. C. Segar’s comic strip Thimble Theatre. The comic book story “The Revenge of Shiwan Khan” portrayed Popeye as an agent of the shadowy vigilante; doubtless his exploits were greatly exaggerated by Segar. The Sea Girl is the ship on which Robert E. Howard’s Sailor Steve Costigan serves. In the pulp novel Tuned for Murder, it is mentioned the Avenger had led armies in Java; this story elaborates on that reference.