The Black Bat was a pulp hero that appeared during the third wave of new pulp heroes, who where more like comic-book heroes. The Black Bat was fairly successful, and ran longer than the others, but didn’t have too much success in comics.
Published in the pulps by Thrilling, the comic-book version was published by Thrilling’s associated comic book company Nedor, which had to rename him the Mask.
After they started doing other pulp heroes (The Shadow, The Spider, Doc Savage, etc), Dynamite did a Black Bat comic, which they could do as the character is in the public domain.
The comic ran for 12 issues, and moved the character into modern times. But they made such radical changes to the character that I dropped it after eight issues. They have collected the whole comic series in trade paperback.Read More
It’s been too long since I read and reviewed one of Barry Reese‘s works. But the wait has been worth it.
Gotterdammerung is the long-awaited teamup between his three main characters:
The Rook, The Peregrine, Gravedigger, and Lazarus Gray. It’s also part of the Sovereign City Project.
Okay, for those not aware, a quick overview of the three characters:
The Peregrine is Reese’s longest running character, a 1930/’40s era pulp hero with some elements of the occult. He is a well-trained fighter who also carries an occult knife. He fights a variety of foes, some supernatural, and has even organized a team of other heroes to fight similar threat (though that happens after the events of this story).Read More
All-Star Pulp Comics, published by Redbud Studios, has new black-and-white comic stories of original and New Pulp characters. Three issues are out so far, available in digital and hardcopy versions. The first two issues can be obtained from IndyPlanet, while the third is on Amazon.
Redbud Studios is associated with Airship 27, so there a lot of crossover of characters. Several pulp character that Airship 27 has put out new stories of appear in these comics. Do not know which, if any of these are adaptations of those stories.
Issue number one has a cover with Green Lama and Domino Lady.
Inside we get stories of:
- The Green Lama, by Adam Lance Garcia. The Green Lama is a shorter lived pulp character who is a Buddhist lama, and appeared in pulps and comics. As Garcia is now the official author of the character, I assume this story is considered “canon.” Here the Lama goes up against Nazis in an original story.
“Tales of Masks & Mayhem, Vol. III,” is the third of four collections of New Pulp hero stories continuing from Tom Johnson‘s Fading Shadows zines, such as Double Danger Tales, where these characters originally appeared. It’s edited by Ginger Johnson. Unlike the prior collections, there is no intro in this volume, and this one has artwork with most of the stories.
“The Cult of the Faceless Fiend,” by Thomas V. Powers, features Crimson Bat and is reprinted from DDT #36. This character mixes several elements. You have a generational hero, like the Green Hornet, with a mix of occult detective and Batman.
“The Face of Chu-Jung,” by Eric Turowski, is reprinted from DDT #7. This is New Pulp hero with a twist: he’s Asian. Usually during the pulp period, Asians were either villians (Fu Manchu, et al), or at best aides to the main heroes.Read More
Once again, Airship 27 assembles a great collection of new short stories of a classic pulp hero with “Black Bat Mystery, Vol. 2.”
For those not familiar, the Black Bat was a lesser known pulp hero, but still well remembered. The Black Bat wore a costume similar to Batman, who came out around the same time.
Unlike what is shown in most original pulp artwork, he has a full face mask (the cover and interior artwork of this collection correctly shows this).
What makes the Black Bat most interesting is that he was really former District Attorney Tony Quinn, who was blinded when a criminal threw a vial of acid in his face (shades of Two-Face). A secret procedure gave him the eyes of a slain police officer, and he was able to see in the dark. This, added to his heightened senses from when he was blind gave him a clear advantage over his foes.Read More
In the next in this series of articles, I take an overview of another of the major pulp publishers, the Thrilling Group, and their pulp heroes.
Thrilling was probably the second or third major publisher of hero pulp characters, depending on how you view them. Strangely, “Thrilling” is not the name of the company! Ned Pines established Pines Publications in 1928, and would publish both pulps and comics. They seemed to use similar company names over the years. For pulps, it was Beacon Magazines (1936-37), Better Publications (1937-43) and Standard Magazines (1943-55) until Pines shut down the pulps. The pulps had the byline “A Thrilling Publications” on the covers, plus several were named Thrilling this and Thrilling that (Thrilling Adventure, Thrilling Detectives, Thrilling Love, Thrilling Western, Thrilling Wonder Stories, etc), hence the name Thrilling (or Thrilling Group) for the overall line. The pulps were edited by Leo Margulies, a well-known editor, who later ran his own publishing company.Read More