Sunday, March 26, 2023

Crossover of the Week

Late January 1944


The Avenger and the Domino Lady meet for the first time as they team up against Benson’s old foes Dr. Ulrich Blau-Montag, aka the Iron Skull, and Werner Konrad. The Domino Lady, as Ellen Patrick, attends a masked ball at the Schildiner mansion, wearing the Spang diamonds. One of the guests, a Marine with white-blonde hair, admires Ellen’s figure. Other guests include the Charleses, who have taken a break from detective work and come to Los Angeles from San Francisco for the party; Dix Steele; an up-and-coming actress named Betty, accompanied by a handsome brown-haired stunt-pilot who works at Chaplin Airfield; Norma; and Veronica Balza. A thief brings down the chandelier, which is compared to the Phantom’s grand chandelier at the Paris Opera House. Ellen calls Cole Wilson’s fiancée Heather Brail at the Chance Theater in New York. Sims, a reporter for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, writes an article about the latest dustup between Cynthia Furnois, socialite daughter of film director Abelard Furnois, and bleach blonde actress Mavis Arden. During Benson’s convalescence following an explosion, the members of Justice, Inc. get a second opinion from Clark. Heather has been offered a starring role in a remake of a Rhonda Terry jungle movie. 

Part I of Hunt the Avenger by Win Scott Eckert, Moonstone Books, 2019. The Domino Lady appeared in stories by Lars Anderson in the “spicy” pulps. The Avenger first battled the Iron Skull in Ron Goulart’s novel The Iron Skull. The villain escaped to battle Benson again in Goulart’s story “The Return of the Iron Skull,” escaping Benson’s clutches once more in the conclusion. Werner Konrad, a Nazi spy, battled Benson in Goulart’s novel The Glass Man; like the Iron Skull, he was still at large at the end of the book. The Spang diamonds are a reference to Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel Diamonds Are Forever. The Marine is Richard S. Prather’s future private eye Shell Scott. Nick and Nora Charles are from Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man. Dixon “Dix” Steele is from Dorothy B. Hughes’ novel In a Lonely Place. Betty and her boyfriend are Betty Page and Cliff Secord from Dave Stevens’ comic book The Rocketeer and subsequent comics and prose stories from IDW Publishing. Norma Desmond is from the movie Sunset Boulevard. Balza and Ms. Terry are from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan and the Lion Man. The Furnoises are from Tarzan at the Earth’s Core. The Phantom is Erik from Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera. The Chance Theater is owned by George Chance, also known as the Green Ghost. Fred Sims is a friend and contact of G. G. Fickling’s female private eye Honey West. Mavis Arden is from the movie Go West, Young Man. Clark is the bronze man. 

This crossover write-up is one of hundreds found in my book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, which will be published by Meteor House! As with the first two volumes, this one is an AUTHORIZED companion to Win's books Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Volumes 1 and 2!