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

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Crimson Bat


Creator: Thomas V. Powers
Lawrence Talbot Crieghton (The Crimson Bat)
Eve Norwood
George Washington ‘Wash’ Johnson
Commissioner Warren Sampson
Paul Wagner

         The Crimson Bat is a pulp magazine inspired crime fighter, a masked avenger in the tradition of Zorro, The Shadow, and other mysterious justice figures of the pulp era. Like The Black Bat, he is a kind of doppelganger of the well-known Batman character (who is himself a fusion of pulp and popular culture mystery men). He marks the foreheads of his fallen adversaries with his red insignia – as does The Spider, who in turn borrows this habit from Zorro, who most likely got his inspiration from The Scarlet Pimpernel. They’re a tradition-minded lot, these masked champions of justice…
         In the story, The Crimson Bat goes up against a group of cultist, aided by criminals, who break into Manhattan Museum, and eventually steal an ancient Egyptian statue. Much to the hero’s disbelief, there actually seems to be something supernatural at work. He’s reluctantly convinced to work with Dr. Paul Wagner, an expert in the occult and lead character of the Doc Warlock stories). The action concludes in a shadowy cave beneath the Pine Barrens of Long Island.
         The Bat is actually Lawrence Creighton, whose father and uncle were framed by a criminal cartel of businessmen; he’s the second of his generation to take up the guise of The Crimson Bat, a legendary justice figure. His cousin Bertram Blessington was the first, and he cleared the family’s name while Lawrence was still a youth.
         The Crimson Bat’s costume in the novella looks like black whipcord (concealing a bullet-resistant vest) with a short redlined bat-winged mantle attached to the arms. His mask is a black hood with a facemask part stylized crimson bat shape. In earlier days, he wore a black hat, facemask, and flowing black cloak, but now prefers a streamlined outfit.
         The Crimson Bat carried twin silver air guns that can be adapted to many purposes, though he is not against using regular .45 automatics. He has vaguely ninja-like skills, though follows no formal school of martial arts.
         Crieghton’s love interest is Eve Norwood, a young blond heiress who intuited his duel identity in a previous (as yet undocumented) case.  His chief aide is George Washington Johnson, a black man in his fifties who has worked for Crieghton’s family since Lawrence was a young teen. They are essentially family, neither having any close relatives in New York. ‘Wash’ Johnson serves as wheelman for The Crimson Bat as needed, and occasionally dons a black hood as The Bat’s aide Mr. X.
         Police Commissioner Warren Sampson is a friend of Lawrence Crieghton; an intelligent man who by the time of The Cult of The Faceless Fiend doubtless knows the secret of the Bat’s identity, but prefers not to confirm it. He and Crieghton have a warm, somewhat teasing friendship.

         The Crimson Bat novella, The Cult of the Faceless Fiend has been published twice, first in Tom Johnson’s DOUBLE DANGER TALES #36 (2000), and later reprinted in slightly revised form in TALES OF MASKS & MAYHEM Volume 3, edited by Ginger Johnson, E-Booktime (2006).

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