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

New stories of The Purple Scar

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 16, 2015 in Airship 27, New Pulp, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

New stories of The Purple Scar

The Purple ScarThe last new pulp hero from Thrilling Publications was the short-lived Purple Scar.

This hero was published in Exciting Detective as their cover feature (maybe hoping to have another success like The Black Bat in Black Book). But it was not to be. After running for three successive issues in 1941-42, the last story was published in 1943. All four stories appeared under the name of John S. Endicott. Altus Press has reprinted the whole series in a single volume (see my review of that).

The Purple Scar is really Dr. Miles Murdock, a successful and well-known plastic surgeon. When his brother, a cop, is brutally murdered, he dons a purple mask made from a mold of his brother’s face, to imitate the scarring caused by acid. Using contacts he had made among the down trodden, he starts to work against criminals.

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Ravenwood: The novel

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 9, 2015 in Airship 27, Hero Pulps, New Pulp, Occult Detective, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Ravenwood: The novel

Ravenwood: "Return of the Dugpa"Ravenwood, Stepson of Mystery is a short-lived occult detective pulp hero series that ran in the back of Secret Agent X for five issues. As an occult detective, what sets him apart is that he actually has occult powers. In the pulps, most “occult powers” are either fake or in use only by the villains (ex: Dr. Satan, Dr. Death, etc).

Airship 27 has given us two collections of new Ravenwood stories, and now we have a novel. If you want to read the originals, Altus Press has a collection, now with a nice new cover that ties in with planned collections of other series by Frederick C. Davis.

Ravenwood was orphaned in Tibet when his rich, missionary doctor parents were killed. Rescued by the Nameless One, a Tibetan mystic, he was 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 seems to have a bizarre explanation. 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.

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Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, April 1, 2015 in Airship 27, Pastiche, Review, Sherlock Holmes
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

"Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective"While I’ve long been a Sherlock Holmes fan, for the most part I didn’t bother getting into the various Sherlock Holmes pastiches and such until somewhat recently. One series in particular I’ve enjoyed has been the “Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective” books from Airship 27. At present, the series consists of six short-story collections, a novel, and two Doctor Watson volumes. The seventh volume recently came out.

Volume 1

This volumes has five stories, and sets the tone for the series, with info on each author and an afterward after each story, along with a final essay by editor Ron Fortier.

We get a story centered around soccer, when a famous player is found dead in his clubhouse. Another is a locked room mystery. A story set at a peace conference also includes Mycroft Holmes and Professor Moriarty. Another story is a double murder, including a dead man on a naval vessel. A good first start, I thought.

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‘Challenger Storm: The Curse of Poseidon’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, December 3, 2014 in Airship 27, Bill Barnes, Captain Hazzard, Challenger Storm, Doc Savage, Hero Pulps, New Pulp, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

'Challenger Storm: The Curse of Poseidon'Challenger Storm is a New Pulp character created by Don Gates. I reviewed the first Challenger Storm book a year ago, and now we finally get a second one, “The Curse of Poseidon.”

Clifton “Challenger” Storm is a pulp hero in the mold of Doc Savage, Bill Barnes or Capt. Hazzard — more of a highly skilled globetrotting adventurer than a crime-fighter like The Shadow, The Spider or The Avenger — operating out of an airbase/research center in Miami called MARDL in the mid-1930s.

While he does fight bad guys, he’s different. Like Doc Savage or Capt. Hazzard, he is highly skilled and trained. Like Capt. Hazzard, Bill Barnes and similar characters, he has a base of operations and has gathered a group of diverse people around him. So he has aides like those characters, and it’s hinted that different people will work with him on different cases.

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‘George Chance, The Green Ghost, Vol. 1’

Posted by at 10:00 am Tuesday, November 18, 2014 in Airship 27, Green Ghost, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

'George Chance, The Green Ghost, Vol. 1'While there are several classic pulp heroes I have yet to do a posting on, mostly it’s because I have yet to read their original stories. This is because I want to get a feel for the character before I do a detailed posting, and before I read new stories of them, I’d like to have done this as well.

One such character is G.T. Fleming-RobertsThe Green Ghost.

So far, the only complete reprint of this character is from the Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, and it’s a bit pricey. I keep hoping one of the other pulp reprint houses like Altus Press will come out with this series in less expensive paperback. Now Airship 27 has come out with a collection of new Green Ghost stories, so I’m kind of stuck.

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Meet Dillon

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2014 in Airship 27, Dillon, Jim Anthony, New Pulp, Pro Se Press, Review
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Dillon and the Voice of OdinDillon is a New Pulp hero created by Derrick Ferguson.

Dillon is an adventurer with unique skills and abilities, and a mysterious past. And he’s black. Ferguson is one of several authors who are trying to make New Pulp more diverse.

Dillon has starred in a series of books:

  • “Dillon and the Voice of Odin” (2003, 2013)
  • “Dillon and the Legend of the Golden Bell” (2010)
  • “Four Bullets for Dillon” (2011)
  • “Dillon and the Pirates of Xonira” (2012)
  • “Young Dillon in the Halls of Shamballah” (2014)
  • “The Vril Agenda” (2014)

We first met Dillon in “Dillon and the Voice of Odin.” Like a James Bond movie, we met him as he’s working on the tail end of a case, trying to get away from the bad guys, only to be betrayed by his partner. We get some hints about him. We learn that he had been exceptionally trained, but where is not stated; and learn his mother died defending him at a young age, but against whom we do not know. His next case, a matter of retrieving a ring from a once-lost ship leads him into the major case of the novel: The Voice of Odin. Odin is a mysterious figure, and his “Voice” is a dangerous sonic weapon with which he threatens the world with.

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