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

Meet Mark Hazzard

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, December 19, 2016 in Ace, Altus Press, Hero Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Meet Mark Hazzard

Hazzard: The Complete SeriesMark Hazzard is a battling district attorney who, when the scales of justice go the wrong way, takes matters in his own hands to right wrongs. And he has a dangerous secret.

“Mark Hazzard” was a short-lived pulp series written by Frederick Davis, who created both the Moon Man and Ravenwood for Ace Publications. Hazzard ran as a backup for six issues in Ace’s Secret Agent X. A couple of months after it finished, Davis started the short-lived Ravenwood series. Altus Press has reprinted both the Hazzard and Ravenwood series in similar trade dress. It’s out with Hazzard: The Complete Series.

We’re introduced to Hazzard in the first story. Described as red-haired and fiery tempered, he is the young and new district attorney for King County. What state is unclear. He is aided by a few others. There is Ann Nash, his secretary and potential love interest. Dan Carey is his assistant in going after crooks unofficially. Carey’s a former cop who was framed for murder, convicted and escaped from prison. Hazzard hides him in his house. And then there is Inspector Trencher, who is the main cop Hazzard deals with.

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A closer look at The Moon Man

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, February 8, 2016 in Ace, Hero Pulps, Moon Man, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A closer look at The Moon Man
The Moon Man gets the drop on a bad guy in "Silver Death" ("Ten Detective Aces," January 1934)

The Moon Man gets the drop on a bad guy in “Silver Death” (Ten Detective Aces, January 1934)

One of the more different pulp heroes is Ace Magazines’ Moon Man. Written by Frederick C. Davis, he appeared in Ace’s anthology title Ten Detective Aces from 1933 to 1937 for a total of 38 stories. The same number as Wade Hammond, who also appeared in that pulp, but fewer than Secret Agent X, who had 41 stories.

The Moon Man was really Det. Sgt. Stephen Thatcher, son of Great City’s Police Chief, Peter Thatcher. As the Moon Man he wore a globe of Argus glass (one-way mirrored glass) that gave the appearance of the moon, hence his name.

Not really a vigilante, the Moon Man was more a Robin Hood-like character, who took from the unjust rich and gave to the poor of Great City. In this he was aided by former boxer Ned “Angel” Dargan.

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Capt. Hazzard, overlooked Doc Savage clone

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, January 13, 2014 in Ace, Comics, Doc Savage, Hero Pulps, New Pulp, Pastiche, Pulps, Secret Agent X
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Capt. Hazzard, overlooked Doc Savage clone

Capt. HazzardAmong original pulp heroes, Capt. Hazzard is sadly a one-hit wonder, and is one of the most blatant Doc Savage clones.

Published by Ace Magazines, he got only one issue of his own magazine in 1938. With a novel titled “Python Men of the Lost City,” it even sounds like a typical Doc story.

A second story was written, but with the magazine canceled, Paul Chadwick, the author, revamped it and turned it into a Secret Agent X story. This story, “Curse of the Crimson Horde,” didn’t seem like a typical Secret Agent X story. And now we know why.

So, who is Capt. Hazzard? He is an adventurer, with dark hair and blue-gray eyes. Blinded as a youth when his parents were murdered, his eyesight is restored by a new surgical procedure. But he has a scar over his left eye.

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A look at the Ace pulp heroes

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, December 23, 2013 in Ace, Captain Hazzard, Comics, Moon Man, Publishers, Secret Agent X
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

A.A. Wyn

A.A. Wyn

In the next in this series of articles, I take an overview of one of the major pulp publishers and their pulp heroes: Ace Magazines.

Established in 1928 by Harold Hersey as Magazine Publishers, the company was taken over by A.A. Wyn in 1929. Keeping the name, the line was labeled Ace Magazines and used an ace of spades as a logo. Periodical House was another company name used, so the line might be referred to as Magazine Publishers, Periodical House or Ace.

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Meet Ravenwood, Stepson of Mystery

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, October 14, 2013 in Ace, Hero Pulps, New Pulp, Occult Detective, Review
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Meet Ravenwood, Stepson of Mystery

Ravenwood, The Complete SeriesRavenwood was a short-lived pulp hero series that ran in the back of Secret Agent X for five issues in 1936.

Like all the pulp characters from Ace (aka Magazine Publishers or Periodical House), Ravenwood is now in the public domain. Written by long-time pulp scribe Frederick C. Davis (Moon Man, Operator #5, and others), Ravenwood was an occult detective.

What set him apart was that he actually had occult powers. In the pulps, most “occult powers” are either fake or in use only by the villains (examples: Dr. Satan, Dr. Death, etc). Some have apparently wondered if this character was an inspiration for Marvel Comics’ Dr. Strange due to some similarities.

Ravenwood was orphaned in Tibet when his rich, missionary doctor parents are killed. Rescued by the Nameless One, a Tibetan mystic, he is instructed in the ways of the occult. Returning to New York as a rich playboy (shades of several comic book and pulp heroes), he works as an occult detective, dealing with cases that seem to have a bizarre explanation (cursed Buddha, Handshake of Death, etc). Ravenwood’s edge is his occult powers, which is to basically seeing information that is hidden, or knowing that something will happen before it does. As the information he gets is sometimes unclear, he has to figure it out. Sometimes the Nameless One is a source of information or warns him telepathically.

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Meet the Moon Man

Posted by at 10:00 am Thursday, September 5, 2013 in Ace, Hero Pulps, Moon Man, New Pulp, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The Compleat Adventures of the Moon ManThe Moon Man is one of the most unusual pulp heroes.

Sometimes called the “Robin Hood of the Pulps,” he is really Det. Sgt. Stephen Thatcher, who is the son of Police Chief Peter Thatcher. Upset by the injustice he sees in Great City during the Depression, Stephen Thatcher assumes the role of the vigilante thief the Moon Man by disguising his features beneath a one–way Argus glass globe.

Helped by his loyal aide, former boxer Ned “Angel” Dargan and his fiance, Sue McEwen, the daughter of the man sworn to capture him, his own boss, Lt. Det. Gil McEwen, he makes sure that the ill gotten money is distributed to those in need.

Created by pulp author Frederick C. Davis, the Moon Man’s exploits appeared in the pages of Ten Detective Aces, published by Ace, for 38 stories from 1933–37.

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