Sunday, September 3, 2023

Crossover of the Week

Autumn 1939


The Green Lama battles a scientific enclave called the Collective that threatens not only him, but his aides as well, and has recruited several of his former allies and enemies. Lt. John Caraway wonders where Rick Masters is when you need him. The Lama broke the central tenet of his faith when he murdered Karl Heydrich in R’lyeh. The Collective can confirm his work against the Medusa Council in 1935. An unpublished article by Betty Dale of the Herald-Tribune correctly postulates that the Lama is really Jethro Dumont. The hero tells Gary Brown and his wife Evangl Stewart-Brown about his battle with Cthulhu. The Collective is based in Black Rock. Morgue attendant Dan Rohn refers to the Tipton murders. When Dumont left America years ago, there were more pressing matters to deal with, such as whether Wentworth and Van Sloan would ever get married. Not too long before the Green Lama debuted, a predecessor of his encountered a killer matching the description of Collective member Omega. In a flashback, Evangl reminds herself to ask her friend Diane Elliott of the Amalgamated Press about the Lama’s battle with the Medusa Council, and Evangl’s mother says vigilantism “seems to be going around with the bat fellow and that doctor gentleman.” The Lama’s lover Jean Farrell remembers running from a shoggoth in R’lyeh. At the Herald-Tribune offices back in the present, Betty Dale talks to her fellow journalist Luke Jaconetti. Commissioner Woods has an impassioned conversation with former Commissioner turned Governor Kirkpatrick. Detective Crevier says, “When it comes to vigilantes, copycats are a dime a dozen. You remember how many guys we had running around with a black fedora and trenchcoat back in the day?” Dr. Barry Dale, a researcher on atomic energy and Betty’s brother, meets with the President to brief him on the Collective, and tells him the Intelligence Service Command has denied any knowledge of them. Nyarlathotep appears before the Collective. 

Novel by Adam Lance Garcia, Moonstone Books, 2015. The Green Lama is Kendell Foster Crossen’s pulp hero. Rick Masters had his own backup feature in Spark Publications’ Green Lama comic. R’lyeh, Cthulhu, the shoggoth, and Nyarlathotep are from H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. The Lama’s battle against the Medusa Council was seen in the anthology Day of the Destroyers, edited by Gary Phillips. The Intelligence Service Command is from the same book. Reporter Betty Dale is Secret Agent X’s girlfriend. Black Rock first appeared in Garcia’s story “The Black Rock Conspiracy,” included in the anthology The New Adventures of Foster Fade, the Crime Spectacularist. Fade appeared in stories by Lester Dent in All Detective Magazine. In “The Black Rock Conspiracy,” Fade battled an unnamed Omega. The Tipton Murders are a reference to Garcia’s other story from that anthology, “Dead Men’s Guns.” Wentworth and Van Sloan are Richard Wentworth, aka the Spider, and his beloved Nita Van Sloan. Governor (formerly Commissioner) Stanley Kirkpatrick is also from the Spider novels. Diane Elliott is Operator #5’s girlfriend. “The bat fellow” is the Black Bat, while “that doctor gentleman” is the pulp hero commonly known as “Doc.” Luke Jaconetti first appeared in “The Black Rock Conspiracy” before appearing in Garcia’s The Green Lama: Scions, as well as Day of the Destroyers. Detective Crevier is referring to the shadowy hero, the Spider, and possibly others. Barry Dale is the alter ego of another Spark Publications hero, Atoman, created by Crossen and Jerry Robinson. His appearance here foreshadows his future superhuman identity. 

This crossover writeup is one of hundreds included in my book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, which will 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!

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