I’m continuing my look at Frederick C Davis’ pulp hero the Moon Man. In reality police detective Stephen Thatcher, the Moon Man stalked the night-darkened streets of fictional Great City (“Great City ya got here … it’d be a shame if something happened to it …”) clad in his black costume and his helmet made of one-way Argus glass. Armed with an automatic pistol plus limitless courage and ingenuity the Moon Man captured or killed Great City’s most dangerous criminals (white collar and blue collar) and robbed them of their ill-gotten booty. He would then distribute that money to the city’s Great Depression-ravaged poor. ( “Great Depression ya got here … it’d be a shame if – ” oh, forget it!) All this made him hunted by both the crooks AND the cops. For more on the Moon Man and other neglected pulp heroes click here: https://glitternight.com/pulp-heroes/
16. FINGERS OF FEAR – The Moon Man raids an illegal casino where Great City’s wealthiest citizens indulge their gambling habit. Before he can lay his hands on the casino’s several-thousand dollar haul for the night the cops raid the place and he barely escapes himself. Meanwhile, Thayer Barron, a bloated rich pig, uses his financial hold on Great City’s Police Commissioner Mead and forces him to fire Lt Gil McEwen. The excuse given for the firing is McEwen’s failure to capture the Moon Man after all this time, but the real reason is the fact that Barron is the new man in charge of Great City’s illegal gambling operations and he wanted McEwen’s raids on his establishments to end.
The Moon Man and his sidekick Angel kidnap Commissioner Mead and prove to him that Barron is a crook. Barron goes to jail, his casino is shut down and Lt McEwen gets reinstated, but vows to continue to hunt down the Moon Man. Some sophomoric fun in this tale since “Dick” was a 1930’s term for detective and this story has chapters titled A Dick Dies Hard and, my personal favorite, Broken Dick.
17. CORPSE’S ALIBI – Four crooks from America’s biggest cities band together to rob Great City’s race track of more than $40,000 (in 1930’s money). The cops and the Moon Man pursue them and in the three-way running gunfight that follows the Moon Man winds up blowing all four crooks away, three cops get shot to death by the crooks and two more wounded. The cops, meanwhile, recover the loot, leaving the Moon Man no choice but to rob the cops before they can return the money to the track. Our hero has his sidekick Angel clandestinely distribute the money to a free clinic that was in danger of closing from lack of funds.
In all the chaos young Detective Matt Dexter is mistakenly believed to be the Moon Man and is arrested. Steve Thatcher can’t allow his colleague to go to the chair because of this mistake and proves the young man is innocent by pulling off a spectacular, high-profile robbery of a posh Country Club while Dexter is in jail. Unbeknownst to our costumed hero Angel was prevented from cutting the Club’s phone lines and a call to the cops results in the place being surrounded by cop cars just when the Moon Man and his pal need to make their escape. Naturally they get away and Matt Dexter is released.
18. THE SINISTER SNATCH – If you didn’t get enough sophomoric laughs from the Dick jokes above the title of this story will supply plenty more. Whitman Gibson, wealthy publisher of the Great City Star newspaper, is kidnapped in a daring commando raid using tear gas and a VERY early autogyro (open cockpit helicopter). When a $10,000 reward is offered for the publisher’s return the Moon Man sees an opportunity and races the cops to track down the missing millionaire.
The trail leads our hero and his sidekick Angel to a sextet of crooks led by Franky Funk ( … and the Funky Bunch?). This high-tech crew has also been manufacturing and peddling counterfeit prescription drugs of dubious content, causing severe illness and even death to unsuspecting consumers. The Moon Man captures or kills all the bad guys, publicly tells Gibson to give the $10,000 reward to an orphanage and solves the old “nobody ever sees the Moon Man and Stephen Thatcher at the same time” problem by having his fiancee Sue (who knows his secret identity) dress up in the Moon Man’s costume for a crucial moment of the story.(Maybe Sue is the one with the sinist – oh forget it! )
MORE MOON MAN STORIES COMING SOON
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