Sunday, June 4, 2023

Crossover of the Week

Autumn 1928


Matthew Henson must stop the would-be dictators of the Medusa Council from getting their hands on a meteor fragment he brought back from the Arctic. Henson’s friend Professor Henrik Ellsmere spent some time in a sanitarium called Dunwich. At the Cotton Club, a wealthy man flirts with a woman named Myra, who spent time in Asia, where she learned to speak Chinese. As he does this, Jimmie Dale, aka the Gray Seal, burgles his home. The Challenger’s Club, a club for explorers and hunters, has portraits of Allan Quatermain, Phileas Fogg, and Gertrude Bell. Henson disguises himself as a deliveryman for B. Jonas Freight.

Novel by Gary Phillips, Agora Books, 2020. Matthew Henson was a real person. The Medusa Council also appears in the Moonstone Books anthology Day of the Destroyers, edited by Phillips, as well as his collection Astonishing Heroes: Shades of Justice. Dunwich Sanitarium is likely located in the titular Massachusetts town from H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror.” Myra is a future agent of the shadowy vigilante. “B. Jonas” was the name on the door of the office where that pulp hero’s agents submitted reports to him. Perhaps he met Matthew Henson shortly before the 1929 events of The Living Shadow and heard from him about his battle against the Medusa Council, inspiring his own use of the B. Jonas cover. The Gray Seal is from Frank L. Packard’s novels. Allan Quatermain is from H. Rider Haggard’s books and stories. Phileas Fogg is from Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. According to this novel, the Challenger’s Club was already in existence during the historical New York draft riots of 1863, so it was not named after Arthur Conan Doyle’s Professor Challenger, who was born in the same year.

This crossover writeup is one of hundreds included in my book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3! Much like the first two volumes, this one is an AUTHORIZED companion to Win Scott Eckert's Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Volumes 1 and 2 and will be published by Meteor House!

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