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 22, 2015

Doc Warlock


Created by Thomas V. Powers
Doctor Paul Wagner (aka 'Doc Warlock')   
Valentina Vladescu

Occult detective Paul Wagner, known to the public as Doctor Warlock, protects the world from the indescribable dangers of the supernatural. He is a 'Knight Tellurian' in the Order of Beowulf, an international group founded circa 1000 A.D. Their mission is to study the occult and other strange phenomena in order to combat the dangers it, and debased science, present to the world. Their numbers are dwindling in the modern era.
In addition to normal weapons, Wagner is skilled at using mystical objects to aide in his campaigns, although having to use them makes him somewhat leery, as he considers himself a scientist, first and foremost - and he knows they have limitations and personal costs. One of these objects is a hooded 'cloak of invisibility' that only a skilled mental adept can function in; its use can make anyone near its field disoriented, even nauseated. The Doc Warlock identity is a pseudonym / code name used to keep his name out of the papers and preserve security when he works with government agencies.
Wagner also finds it useful to 'put on' the Doc Warlock persona to make himself a more effective fighter and less naturally sympathetic to the people he encounters, as he is a person of sensitivity. Left to his own devices, he would prefer to avoid violence and conflict. His academic leanings and medical background are somewhat at war with his training as a sometimes deadly and pragmatic Knight Tellurian. 
 It may be of some interest that the Doctor Warlock story Conspiracy of the Damned, edited by G.W, Thomas, was originally written as a radio play, and the first half of it appeared online in streaming form for a number of years.
In this adventure Paul Wagner is called in on a case by General Udderson of British Intelligence. One of their agents and a courier were both found drained of blood in the nation of 'Wallachia', and then their bodies disappeared from the morgue. Vampire activity is suspected in this pre-war espionage tale.
Aided by local partisan Armand Taslov, Wagner first meets Countess (more properly Contessa) Valentina Vladescu, a young woman who had been helping the incipient underground, and involved romantically with the British agent.  It proves that she is a unique individual; her mother was infected with vampire blood while pregnant with Valentina. The young Countess is a kind of Dhampir, pale, photosensitive and listless by day, strong and vital at night, and gifted with psychometric abilities - she can sense the presence of the supernatural. By the end of the tale she has decided to join Doc Warlock and the Order of Beowulf. She evidences some attraction towards the older Paul Wagner, which makes him uneasy, due in part to the differences in their ages. He's also old-fashioned and perhaps has a puritanical streak, though he is normally very affable and down-to-earth in his dealings with others.
Other Doc Warlock tales have been written, awaiting congenial publishing opportunities. The second story-"The Werewolf Warriors"-seems to have caused two planned anthologies to crash and burn before ever taking flight.
1. "Conspiracy of the Damned": GHOSTBREAKERS: THE VAMPIRE HUNTERS, Cyber-Pulp Press (2005).

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Black Falcon


Creator: Thomas V. Powers
Jefferson Prescott  (The Black Falcon)
Bryce Guinnett (NY District Attorney / Prescott's Cousin)
Hamish MacGlynn (aide to the Falcon)

"Evil maketh swift and cunning things, but Justice doth Itself hath Wings..." The Black Flacon is a legend in New York City, and in centuries past, England, Scotland and Wales. One noble line, the Prescott and the Guinnett families have carried on the tradition of the masked fighter against injustice.
The current holder of the role is Jefferson Prescott, who in his own skin does not feel up to the task. He is prone to fits of melancholy and self-doubt, particularly since he sees himself as a freak of nature, a throwback. He is exceptionally strong, has slightly pronounced super-orbital ridges, and an unusual amount of body hair. He thinks he is an Ogre, ape-like and homely at best, although most people find he just looks like a rough-hewn guy, perhaps even handsome.  As The Black Falcon, his personality changes, becoming very aggressive and quick-witted, sometimes displaying a cold arrogance.  
His brother Hamilton preceded him as The Black Falcon, though he seemingly perished in an explosion and fire. His cousin Bryce Guinnett is short, slight, but is a very handsome and intelligent man, and has become the District Attorney of Manhattan. Bryce steers cases to The Black Falcon and runs interference for him.
In "Justice Has Wings", edited by G.W. Thomas, we meet a new reform Police Commissioner, Bradford Harris. He's an ex-military man who is appalled at the City's use and acceptance of The Black Falcon, suspecting that there is a long-standing complicit conspiracy among the populace and the 'old wealth' families to permit and support this vigilante in his extra-legal activities. He is quite correct in this belief.
The short tale depicts the attempt by the underworld to assassinate Guinnett and Harris, and The Black Falcon's plan to avenge his cousin's non-fatal shooting and to put a stop to the perpetrators. He does so, but the end of the story indicates there's something very strange going on in the city, as the hideously burned criminal mastermind the Laughing Skull plots gleefully for further games in his underground lair.
1. "Justice Has Wings" AMAZING HEROES Volume III, Rage Machine Press (2006)

The Black Falcon generally wears a 'chain-mail' bodysuit, a black leather-covered helmet and mask, with a breastplate of the same reinforced material, emblazoned with the Arms of The Black Falcon. An ebony cloak goes over all of this.
One known vehicle used by the Falcon is a black auto-gyro, piloted by family man-at-arms Hammish MacGlynn, traditionally called 'The MacGlynn" or 'Mr. Mac' by Jeff Prescott and Bryce Guinnett.

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).

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chu Jung


Creator: Eric Turowski
Raymond Siu
Lily Wing
Harry Marsden
Professor Black
Matt Bingham

From out of the mist of time to the fog of San Francisco streets, a visage appears to strike fear into evil hearts …
Chu-Jung: His face was utterly blank, with empty eyes. A long black cloak, lined with silver silk, and with many cleverly hidden pockets. Between the cover and silk were scales of armor. Scales and links of bronze and steel hung together in a complex net, as flexible as heavy leather, as intricate as clockworks. Catches disguised as decorations on the paldrons and gorget held the garment together. The collar concealed a hood that almost completely covered his head. The yoke hid armored shoulders. He slipped into the cloak, and tied a bronzed-bound wooden sword under his left arm. The mask was of red and black lacquer. He had smashed up crime syndicates at Oxford and in Chicago’s Chinatown. Now he was in San Francisco’s Chinatown to do the same thing.
Raymond Siu is American-Chinese. He is tall for his race.  Worked as a stage magician while attending the university at Oxford. Trained in the ancient fighting technique of Chu-Jung, named after the Chinese Lord of Fire – the god who kept order on Earth. He is employed in San Francisco’s Cultural Museum.
He lives in a small apartment in a Chinese flat. The courtyard consist of a maze of alleyways, the majority of which were not accessible from any of the main streets. He could hear the cluck and scratch of penned chickens around the corner.
Lily Wing is a famous archeologist and cartographer. She has traveled to Egypt, Greece, and other parts of the world in her studies. Her hair is elaborately piled atop her head and fastened with a gold butterfly pin, her smooth shoulders revealed by a low-cut evening gown. She is employed in the Asian exhibition at the museum.
Harry Marsden is the Chief of Police, the police official in the series.
Professor Black is Head of the San Francisco Cultural Museum.
Matt Bingham is the assistant director of the Northern European Exhibition Department, and is a racist.
There has been one story so far,
“The Face of Chu-Jung” – DOUBLE DANGER TALES #7
“The Face of Chu Jung”, published in TALES OF MASKS & MAYHEM V #3.
"The Face of Chu Jung", 21st Century Pulp