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

‘New Adventures of Thunder Jim Wade,’ Vol. 2

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, December 10, 2014 in New Pulp, Pro Se Press, Pulps, Review, Thunder Jim Wade

'New Adventures of Thunder Jim Wade,' vol. 2Pro Se Press is back with another volume of Thunder Jim Wade, the short-lived Doc Savage clone,. This time it’s a complete novella rather than a collection of short stories.

Frank Schildiner gives us “The Horror of Hyberborea.”

For those who missed my prior postings on Wade, he was created by SF author Henry Kuttner for the Thrilling line of pulps, and lasted five stories, reprinted recently by Altus Press.

He is usually written off as a Doc Savage clone, but he is different enough to warrant a closer look. He was raised by a lost civilization (Minos, a lost colony of Crete in Africa) after his explorer father died. He has various mental and physical abilities, most due to his upbringing. Afterwards, he became a sort of roving troubleshooter, operating out of a secret island in the south Pacific. His main claim to fame his unique vehicle called the Thunderbug (a combination tank, submarine, airplane). It’s built using a special alloy, and hinted that the motor(s) may be atomic.

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Review: ‘The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 4’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in Doctor Satan, Lazarus Gray, New Pulp, Pro Se Press, Pulps, Review, Thunder Jim Wade

Review: ‘The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 4’

The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 4: Satan's CircleLazarus Gray is a New Pulp character from writer Barry Reese.

I have been reading his Rook series, but also enjoy Lazarus Gray as well as Gravedigger. He has a few other works, but those are the main ones I’ve been reading.  I’ve posted on his previous works.

Gray is sort of inspired by the classic pulp hero The Avenger.  He has setup a group similar to The Avenger’s called Assistance, Unlimited. He is located in a fictional town called Sovereign City (created by Pro Se Press publisher Tommy Hancock), and is part of the larger Sovereign City Project. He is also set in the same universe as Barry’s other characters, so has crossed over with them.

This volume, “The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 4: Satan’s Circle,” is a collection of three items. First up is a short, two-page comic story that gives the background of who Lazarus Gray is, which first appeared in the third volume. It’s a good intro for new readers. The bulk of the volume is two novellas.

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Review: Thunder Jim Wade

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 11, 2013 in Hero Pulps, New Pulp, Pulps, Review, Thunder Jim Wade

Thrilling Adventures (July 1941)Thunder Jim Wade is a short-lived character who is usually written off as a Doc Savage clone.

Written by the well-known SF author Henry Kuttner, who married another well-known SF author, C.L. Moore, these stories were published under the house name of “Charles Stoddard” by Thrilling.

So, who is Thunder Jim Wade? He was raised by the Minos civilization, a lost colony of Crete in Africa) after his explorer father died, and left when another explorer found the hidden land. He has various mental and physical abilities, most due to his upbringing. Afterwards, he became a sort of roving troubleshooter, operating off of a secret island in the South Pacific, alerted to trouble by agents scattered around in major cities. He created a unique vehicle called the Thunderbug (a combination tank-submarine-airplane). It was built using a special alloy (you’ll learn more about this in the first story), and it’s hinted in a later story that it may be atomic powered.

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Early pulp pastiches of Doc Savage

Posted by at 9:28 pm Thursday, April 11, 2013 in Captain Future, Doc Savage, Hero Pulps, Jim Anthony, Pastiche, Pulps, The Avenger, The Shadow, Thunder Jim Wade

Early pulp pastiches of Doc Savage

Jim Anthony, Super-DetectiveThe two pulp heroes that kicked off the original “hero pulp” (or character pulp or single character magazines) movement are The Shadow and Doc Savage, both from the then-powerful pulp publisher Street & Smith. Both served as an inspiration to a wide range of follow-on characters from other publishers, and Street & Smith themselves.

But I wonder how many modern readers are aware of the range of original hero pulps that were inspired by Doc Savage?

We should make it clear the difference between the two characters. The Shadow is mainly a detective character, fighting against crooks (or supercrooks). So he inspired a wide range of similar masked detective characters also fighting crooks. Doc Savage was more of an adventurer character. He went up against bad guys, but they were seldom the standard menaces that the detective characters fought. Doc was a more public character, he didn’t hid his identity. And he was assisted by a group of talented people. Plus, Doc was a superlative individual, a “superman” of unique talents and physical capabilities. As an adventure character, he often went to exotic locations, finding lost and mysterious groups of people.

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