Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Crossover Cover: Kolchak: Penny Dreadful Double Feature


This book consists of two Kolchak stories, both of which have crossovers.

In "Penny Dreadful," Kolchak teams up with private investigator Domino Patrick, the Domino Lady’s daughter, to investigate a killer who is imitating the Manson family murders. Domino Patrick, created by Nancy Holder, would be the older half-sister of Helen Benson, the daughter of the Domino Lady and the avenging pulp hero, from Philip José Farmer and Win Scott Eckert’s The Evil in Pemberley House and Eckert’s The Scarlet Jaguar. References to Charles Manson being transferred to San Quentin Prison and Richard Ramirez’s “Night Stalker” killings place this story in 1985.

In "Time Stalker," Kolchak meets the time-lost superpowered hero Zero, as well as a past incarnation of his old foe, vampire Janos Skorzeny. Tony Vincenzo tells Kolchak, “I want you to go to Albuquerque. A major drug kingpin has been exposed, and the lid has been blown off a meth empire that’s been operating all over the Southwest. This guy is implicated in at least a dozen murders, and there may be an international angle. He’s still at large, but they know who he is, and they’re expecting an arrest soon.” At the end of this adventure, Carl says, “the fugitive drug lord had returned to Albuquerque, where he confronted a gang of white supremacists with whom he had issues. A fierce gun battle had erupted, and everybody on the premises—the neo-Nazis and the meth kingpin—had been killed.” Zero is loosely based on the short-lived pulp hero Captain Zero, although their powers are very different. Captain Zero is in the CU through Farmer’s Greatheart Silver and Lin Carter’s The Earth-Shaker. It seems hard to believe there were two superhuman heroes in the CU in the same era with the word “Zero” in their names who both had girlfriends named Doro Kelly. The meth kingpin in Albuquerque is Walter White from the television series Breaking Bad. That show takes place in the 2000s, by which point Kolchak would be in his eighties, and probably retired from journalism. Therefore, I consider this second story an AU.

These crossovers are two of hundreds covered 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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