This Site is for essays on The New Pulp Heroes. It’s about time we catalog new characters appearing in books and anthologies. Since I do not have time to read everything being published, I will offer space here for legitimate creators of new pulp characters to send me their data, and I will post their essays. It is not my place to say what is, or what is not a new pulp hero, and the only changes I will make to essays will be editing and format. If you wish, include a jpeg of a book cover or b&w illustration if you have permission from the artist. By sending me your essays, you are giving me permission to promote and showcase this data. Essays should be up to 500 words, and include information on MC and back up characters, creator, title of books, and where the stories can be found. A paperback edition is now available for $12.00, plus $3.99 postage (US). The book will only be sold through us: Tom Johnson, 204 W. Custer St., Seymour, TX 76380. Send questions or data to fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Black Shadow

The Black Shadow

Creator: Tom Johnson
Kim Young Ju
Chu Chul (The Cricket)
Ghi (The White Wasp)
Dorus Noel (Special Appearance)

            A Buddhist Monk, while just a student in the Kukkiwan* Temple in Korea, Kim Young Ju was guarding the gate one night when an old man he perceived to be a beggar, asked for food. Leaving his post to bring the old man a bowl of soup when he returned a huge mongrel was waiting in the dark and struck him over the head. The old beggar was Chu Chul, called The Cricket, an evil Chinaman seeking control of northern China, who needed money for his campaign. The treasures kept in the temple were his goal that night.
            Chu Chul’s attempt to gain control over China failed, and the temple eventually reclaimed most of the stolen treasure, except for a pair of vases from the Korya Dynasty, worth a fortune. Now The Cricket has offered these to the Kukkiwan Temple in return for a hundred thousand fighting men, in hopes of again starting another bid for China.
            Now full grown, and a Buddhist Monk Kim Young Ju believing himself to blame for the theft of the treasure has followed The Cricket to America, and New York’s Chinatown. He is here to retrieve the treasure and bring an end to the evil Chinaman.
            Arriving in Chinatown, Kim Young Ju seeks out Dorus Noel, and takes a job as his houseboy. He learned that Noel had fought against Chu Chul in China, and may have been responsible for ending The Cricket’s first bid for a throne.
            The Black Shadow: Kim came into the China Room wearing strange black garments; a long black cape was swung over his shoulders, and a wide brim black satgat, a conical coolie hat – this latter was kept on his head by a black silk chinstrap.

“A blur of shadow, and out of the corner of his eye Noel saw the Korean leap into the air and his feet shot out, one to right one to left, and heels crashed into the faces of two of the advancing men while Kim was still airborne. Chu Chul’s guards had yet to see the Korean in their midst, and when the ebony shadow landed his arms wrapped around two necks and twisted. There was an audible crack, and two more attackers dropped to the floor, lifeless.
“Then The Black Shadow whirled, his cape flaring outwards like the wings of some giant bat, deflecting knife thrusts and hatchet blades now that the ta chuen warriors saw their deadly enemy amongst them.”

Chu Chul was small enough to be Cantonese. His skin was yellow and pitted with smallpox scars. His black eyes seemed to have no pupils. His hands were long, like claws. His face was beardless. He walked to a throne-like edifice in a stoop, a twisted caricature of what once was a man, where he placed a white mask over his burned and scarred face.
Ghi wears all white, and is a feared killer. Her tiny darts carry deadly venom in which she kills at her father’s command. Ghi is the daughter of The Cricket, from a union with a French woman. As the girl turned into the shop, they got a clear view of her beauty. She had black eyes, and a wealth of black hair that formed a ruff for her shoulders. She had thin, white hands. From this distance she looked no more than eighteen or nineteen, her face was like peaches and cream. Her eyes were only slightly slanted, her lips like cherries, and teeth like little white pearls.
There has only been one story so far, but two more were planned. Though the premier adventure is a tie-in with Dorus Noel, The Black Shadow reclaims the Korya Vases, and now he must travel alone from New York to San Francisco, then cross the ocean back to his homeland by ship. These last two adventures of him alone are still on the drawing board.
“The Black Shadow” ECHOES 30 (written especially for our 30th anniversary issue of ECHOES).
“The Black Shadow” Kindle edition.
(*Note: Kukkiwan is the birthplace of tae kwon do, the Korean martial arts.)

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