Blog: Commentary from the den of a pulp super-fan

More Moon Man

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, July 24, 2017 in Ace, Hero Pulps, Moon Man, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

More Moon Man

'The Complete Adventures of the Moon Man,' Vol. 2I have posted previously about the Moon Man, the Robin Hood-like pulp hero who ran in Ace Magazine’s Ten Detective Aces for several years (1933-37). Altus Press is reprinting the whole series, and I have written about the stories in the first volume. As I noted there, I was surprised by how much the stories fit together, where actions in one story have repercussions in following stories.

I recently obtained the next three volumes, which each contain about five or six stories each, and its interesting to see how this continues.

The heart of volume 2 is the four-part series dealing with the “Red Six.” This criminal group blackmails people to commit the crimes that benefit the group. And they have their hooks into the Moon Man! So not only is he being blackmailed by the group, but he has to both stop them and prevent his identity from being exposed. But his identity is exposed: to his fiance Sue McEwan. This ushers in a new phase in the series now that Sue also knows who the Moon Man is.

And events in the other two stories in this volume are also impactful.

Volume 3 continues the saga. The Moon Man is really policeman Stephen Thatcher, who has to keep is identity hidden while his fellow cops, including his father, the police chief, and his best friend, Gil McEwan, are working to stop the Moon Man. This creates tension in the stories, and it is in full display in the stories here. The Moon Man must deal with helping Gil when he is fired for incompetence for not stopping the Moon Man, and even torturing Sue to help save Ned Dargan, his assistant. These stories show the real strength of the series and the talent of Frederick C. Davis.

The stories in Volume 4 don’t stop this pace. There have been stories that look into the motivation of Steve Thatcher being the Moon Man. And the stories were the crimes of another are hung on the Moon Man, so the Moon Man must stop the crook himself. In many of these tales, the Moon Man is as much threatened by other crooks as by the cops. Some work to expose him or blackmail him, in relation for stealing from them. And in one tale, Sue threatens to expose Steve to stop the Moon Man from walking into a trap!

This leaves us with just three more volumes to go. Volume 5 has just been released. I hope the quality of the stories continues to the end, which makes me wonder why this series was ended. If you have only read new Moon Man stories, you need to read the originals!

3 Comments

  1. My favorite pulp character! Reading through the entire canon for my introductions to the Altus volumes, I’ve yet to see the quality waver and I’m on the last batch. Great stories every pulp fan can enjoy. Spidey fans will also get a kick out of them.

What do you think?