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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

More Pulp Heroes

More Pulp Hero

The Spider was dated October 1933, and was pretty much a copy of The Phantom Detective for the first two issues. Long-time author R. T. M. Scott created the series, rewriting his characters from Secret Service Smith into the more violent Spider. Smith had already appeared in numerous novels and short stories in the 1920s. The Spider actually came into his own with the third story, December 1933, when Norvell Page took over the series under the Grant Stockbridge house name. Though very popular, the series only lasted 118 issues, ending in 1943 when the war paper shortage put an end to many magazines. The Spider was in reality Richard Wentworth, wealthy man-about-town, and amateur criminologist, until he put on the black slouch hat and cape, and became the nemesis of the underworld. New York is virtually destroyed in every story, as some menace releases deadly viruses and vermin among the people, and mobsters run wild in the streets.

Captain Satan was a fun series, and not quite as violent as The Spider. Written by William O’Sullivan, it lasted but 5 issues in 1938, and then was dropped. Very possibly influenced by Johnston McCulley’s The Rollicking Rogue in the December 1930 issue of ALL STAR DETECTIVE STORIES, about a young man whose family had been ruined by a group of millionaire businessmen, he’s now out to remove their ill-gotten gain, wearing a devil costume to do so. Captain Satan, on the other hand, is a master criminal with a squad of assistants, consisting of safe crackers, and other specialists. A gentleman, he only goes after other crooks (another gimmick used by Johnston McCulley). Extremely rich already, Cary Adair divides the spoils with his men, and keeps them in line so that no innocents are harmed.

The Masked Detective was one of the latecomers to the pulp hero class. Likely due to the success of Superman in the comic books, between 1938 and 1940 the pulps quickly came out with a long string of new pulp heroes to attract more young readers to the pulps. Ned Pines’ STANDARD pulp line brought out several to compete with the growing comic book super heroes. One such was The Masked Detective, a reporter like Clark Kent, he was Rex Parker, a poorly paid crime reporter for a rag newspaper who had a secret: a martial arts expert – in savate – he donned a mask and went after the bad guys. A lot of fun, though a lot of the pulp heroes was using la savate and judo at the time. Again, the war paper shortage ended many new characters during this period too soon. The Masked Detective only lasted 12 issues in his own magazines, from Fall 1940 to Spring 1943, and then a 13th story was printed in the back pages of THRILLING MYSTERY in Fall 1944, probably shortened from novel length. The series was written under the house name of C. K. M. Scanlon, created by prolific author Norman Daniels, and then turned over to a variety of other scribes.

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