WEB OF THE BROWN RECLUSE
Professor Anton Macek considers consulting a doctor at the Empire State Building, but he is out of town. He decides against contacting a hotel owner with a legendary temper instead. A paperboy hawks the day’s copy of the Clarion. With his jet-black hair and square jaw, some say Kent Hardy resembles a certain famous cop from Chicago. Hardy is one of the best freelance criminologists in New York City, though some, such as Hammond or Noel, have greater reputations. Macek is a member of a group of scientists that also includes Dr. Lemuel Grimes. In its day, New York has seen masked marauders, murderous purple lights, skyscraper phantoms, and even a giant monkey. President Roosevelt tells Hardy, “It seems super-criminals like [the Brown Recluse] are coming out of the woodwork these days. The Black Star, Dr. Satan, the Whispering Shadow, the Tiger Shark...the list seems to go on and on.”
Short story by Greg Gick in Mystery Men (& Women) Volume 3, Ron Fortier, ed., Airship 27 Productions, 2012. The doctor at the Empire State Building is the bronze-skinned pulp hero. The hotel owner is Jim Anthony. The New York Clarion newspaper is from the Phantom Detective pulp novels. The Chicago cop is Dick Tracy. Wade Hammond appeared in stories by Paul Chadwick in the magazine Ten Detective Aces. The murderous purple lights are from the Hammond story “Doctor Zero,” while the skyscraper phantom is a reference to the Hammond story “Skyscraper Horror.” Dorus Noel’s exploits were chronicled by Arthur J. Burks in All Detective Magazine. Dr. Lemuel Grimes is related to Dr. A. J. Grimes from the Danny Dunn juvenile adventure novels by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams. The giant monkey is King Kong. The Black Star’s stories were told by Johnston McCulley in Detective Story Magazine. Dr. Satan is a villain created by Paul Ernst for Weird Tales. The Whispering Shadow is from the serial of the same name. The Tiger Shark is from the serial The Fighting Marines.
This crossover writeup is one of hundreds included in my book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, which is to be published by Meteor House! All three volumes are AUTHORIZED companions to Win Scott Eckert's Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Volumes 1 and 2!