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Review: ‘Mystery Men (& Women) Vol. 3’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, October 30, 2013 in Hero Pulps, New Pulp, Pulps, Review, Villain Pulps
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Review: ‘Mystery Men (& Women) Vol. 3’

Mystery Men (& Women), Vol. 3Here is the third volume of Airship 27‘s “Mystery Men (& Women).”

With this one we get four New Pulp characters. There are a couple of differences with this collection.

One is that three of the characters are non-white. This has become a minor trend in the New Pulp movement by some writers, to create non-white (black, Asian, etc) pulp characters, often set in the 1930s and ’40s, as there were few at the time, and fewer who were heroic.

The second is that one of the stories focuses on a pulp villain, instead of a hero. This was a continuation of a trend in the “villain pulps,” which focus on the villain Some were Fu Manchu clones (Wu Fang, Yen Sin), others were more original (Dr. Death, Octopus/Spider).

The four characters featured in “Mystery Men (& Women), Vol. 4” are:

The Skein, a black World War I veteran who takes on voodoo magic in New Orleans. The Skein had been involved in counter-spy work, and somehow (not explained) can speak to the dead. He must deal with a character called the Plague Priest, who has turned some people into zombies. While I found the character interesting, I thought there were some problems with the story. The local cops were a little too ready to assist The Skein, I thought; and the villain and his goals weren’t very well explained.

The Brown Recluse is our New Pulp villain introduced here. The Brown Recluse is a mad scientist who wants to impose a technocratic rule on people. He is opposed by another scientist and a private detective, in the style of actor Ralph Byrd. While the villain is defeated, it’s hinted he may return.

Kiri, a female samurai, deals with villains in New York. (She’s a double whammy: Asian and female). She is in pursuit of a villain who killed her father/sensei and clan. While the story is a standalone, it could easily be a series, as there was no final confrontation.

Mongrel appears in the second chapter of Derrick Ferguson‘s modern black hero, continued from the second volume of this series (and will be continued soon, maybe in the next volume).

Overall, another good volume. I look forward to the next one. However, I did notice several typos and mess-ups, which is sadly a problem with some New Pulp publishers.

2 Comments

  1. Actually Michael typos are a problem with ALL publishers, even the big boys. I’ve been a life long reader (talking over 50 years now) and I’ve yet to find one book that didn’t have a typo in it. Not condoning such, just don’t think they warrant mentioning in reviews …unless you can show me just one book without a typo.

    • Sorry, but I am also a life long reader. I don’t recall finding many typos in books from major publishers, but when I started to read various works from the new pulp publishers, whether they used Lulu or CreateSpace, I would see a LOT of typos (I include messed up punctuation and spacing as well).

      I even help proof some works, catching many such typos.