Sunday, November 19, 2023

Crossover of the Week

February-March 1946


The Avenger and the Domino Lady once again battle the Iron Skull, who is now allied with the mysterious Dr. Karl Walden. Rosabel Newton’s father is taking care of her and Josh’s twins. The Iron Skull plans to infiltrate the recently formed U.N. security force, the global law enforcement organization, replacing its leaders and agents with his robots. Lenni Blau-Montag, the Skull’s daughter, says Dr. Sprechen and the others at a so-called hospital in Montreal merely ignited Benson’s peculiar condition (his malleable flesh), which was already inside him. Walden provided the Iron Skull and Lenni with samples of polymorphic flesh like those of his companion, Countess Lilya Zarov. Cole Wilson asks Benson if he can imagine someone else using the Iron Skull’s technology to create an army of “fem-bots” resembling the Domino Lady, placed strategically to seduce world leaders. Benson says Walden is, perhaps other than Sun Koh, the most dangerous adversary Justice, Inc. has ever faced. 

Part V of Hunt the Avenger by Win Scott Eckert, Moonstone Books, 2019. The Domino Lady is Lars Anderson’s pulp heroine. Dr. Karl Walden and Countess Lilya Zarov are meant to be Baron von Hessel and Countess Lili Bugov from Philip José Farmer’s official prequel to the Doc Savage series, Escape from Loki. The name Zarov suggests the Countess is related to General Zaroff from Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game.” Rosabel’s father is Julius, Katherine Maxwell Harvard’s servant in Varick Vanardy’s Night Wind novels, as established in Christopher R. Yates’ Behold the Night Wind. The recently formed U.N. security force is the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, or U.N.C.L.E. for short. Dr. Sprechen’s role in Benson’s origin was revealed in the comic book miniseries Justice, Inc.: Faces of Justice by Kyle Higgins, Joe Gentile, and Alex Shibao. Cole’s musings suggest the Fembots created by British spy Austin Powers’ archenemy Dr. Evil were based on the Iron Skull’s technology. Sun Koh is a German pulp character created by Paul Alfred Müller. Benson and Justice, Inc. battled him in Matthew Baugh’s The Sun King and “The Curse of Kukulkan.” 

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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