Category Archives: Pulp Heroes

PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES – STORIES SIXTEEN THROUGH EIGHTEEN

Death MonstersBalladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This continues a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various supernatural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin. The regular cast was rounded out by our hero’s archenemy Doktor Krueger, by Battle, G-8’s British manservant and by our hero’s girlfriend R-1: an American nurse/ spy whose real name, like G-8’s was never revealed. 

X-Ray Eye16. THE X-RAY EYE (January 1935) – Add another mad scientist to the pile of G-8’s Rogue’s Gallery of villains! This story features our hero and his faithful sidekicks going up against Dr Gurnig, another Teutonic terror of the technical sciences. Dr Gurnig has created a HUGE remote- controlled flying head-like object with a single eye that shoots highly concentrated X-Rays.

Those X-Rays pass through a specially designed prism that amps up their power like lasers do with light, so maybe the concentrated X-Rays could be jokingly called “xasers”. Continue reading

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PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES – STORIES THIRTEEN THROUGH FIFTEEN

G8 aloneBalladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This continues a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various supernatural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin. The regular cast was rounded out by our hero’s archenemy Doktor Krueger, by Battle, G-8’s British manservant and by our hero’s girlfriend R-1: an American nurse/ spy whose real name, like G-8’s, was never revealed. 

Spider Staffel13. THE SPIDER STAFFEL (October 1934) – When the Central Powers feel that the Allied bombers are inflicting too much damage they make plans for a counter-strategy.

With the bombers accompanied and protected by capable fighter pilots like G-8 and his Battle Aces the answer is obvious: use a gigantic tarantula to cast webs across the skies to snare Allied planes and thus destroy bombers and fighters alike. Continue reading

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PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES TEN THROUGH TWELVE

Dragon PatrolBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This continues a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various supernatural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin. The regular cast was rounded out by our hero’s archenemy Doktor Krueger, by Battle, G-8’s British manservant and by our hero’s girlfriend R-1: an American nurse/ spy whose real name, like G-8’s, was never revealed. 

Dragon Patrol10. THE DRAGON PATROL (July 1934) – This story eerily foreshadows elements of the Hindenburg disaster of 1937 and of the horrific London Blitz of 1940. The actual dragon on the Pulp magazine cover is mere poetic license. The real menaces in this G-8 tale are two Zeppelins customized for super-silent raids over Paris itself. The Zeppelins are ravaging the City of Lights with special incendiary bombs that leave so much of the metropolis in charred ruins that the French are contemplating surrendering. (This was before the French had made a National Pasttime out of surrendering.)

The main villain this time out is Kapitan Geist (“Captain Ghost” in German), the salty senior commander of the twin Zeppelin unit who approaches his airborne missions like a seasoned sea captain of the skies. Geist’s Zeppelin is called “Fafnir” to emphasize the dragon motif but we never learn the name of the other one. Continue reading

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PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES SEVEN THROUGH NINE

Invisible StaffelBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This is a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various supernatural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin. The regular cast was rounded out by our hero’s archenemy Doktor Krueger, by Battle, G-8’s British manservant and by our hero’s girlfriend R-1: an American nurse/ spy whose real name, like G-8’s was never revealed.

squadron of corpses7. SQUADRON OF CORPSES (April 1934) – G-8’s archenemy Doktor Krueger is at it again! Once again the devilish German scientist has come up with a scientific menace that manages to prey on the superstitions of mankind. Dead German aces are back from the dead and flying into action again against the Allied pilots in the skies over No Man’s Land.

The animated, shambling corpses are impervious to bullets and retain the aerial combat skills they had in life, making them doubly dangerous since they can’t be killed a second time. Even more perplexing is the way Krueger has managed it so that each time a dead German flying ace is “resurrected” an Allied pilot falls ill and dies. Continue reading

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PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES FOUR THROUGH SIX

Skeleton PatrolBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This continues a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various supernatural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin. The regular cast was rounded out by our hero’s archenemy Doktor Krueger, Battle, G-8’s British manservant and by our hero’s girlfriend R-1: an American nurse/ spy whose real name, like G-8’s was never revealed. 

Midnight Eagle4. THE MIDNIGHT EAGLE (January 1934) – After an absence of one story G-8’s archenemy Doktor Krueger is back! A gigantic Eagle flies the skies over No Man’s Land and is wreaking havoc with Allied pilots, clawing them out of the skies with its enormous talons. Even our hero and his Battle Aces barely survive their first encounter with the airborne menace. Continue reading

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PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES ONE TO THREE

Bat Staffel bigBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This marks the beginning of a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various supernatural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin. Our hero – whose real name was never revealed – served as an aerial commando and spy as well as a sort of Indiana Jones/ Brisco County Junior figure against his archenemy Doktor Krueger and a host of other mad scientists, aliens and monsters that the Central Powers had up their sleeve.

The regular cast was rounded out by Battle, G-8’s British manservant and by our hero’s girlfriend R-1: an American nurse/ spy whose real name, like G-8’s was never revealed. 

Bat Staffel1. THE BAT STAFFEL (Oct 1933) – This debut adventure of G-8 and his Battle Aces (Bull Martin and Nippy Weston) featured their very first clash with Germany’s brilliant mad scientist Doktor Krueger (Freddy’s ancestor no doubt). During one of their aerial commando raids on a Top Secret German installation our heroes discover that Doktor Krueger has harnessed the power of an entire flock of gigantic plane-sized bats who breathe a deadly gas that kills human beings upon exposure, shriveling them up until they are nothing but powder.

G-8 and the Battle Aces escape to warn the Allies what they will soon be up against and are sent back on a daring, desperate mission to nip this bizarre menace in the bud before the giant bats and their “halitosis of death” can turn the tide of the war. Ultimately G-8 and his wingmen wind up inside an enormous cavern which houses the flock of gigantic bats. In a showdown with Doktor Krueger they learn that the bats are really just gigantic android creations of the good doctor, who also developed the deadly gas that the constructs “breathe”. Continue reading

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PULP HERO NORTHWEST SMITH: HIS FINAL STORY

Northwest Smith no letteringBalladeer’s Blog concludes its examination of another neglected pulp hero – in this case Northwest Smith. Created by the female author C.L. Moore in the 1930s Northwest Smith was a ruthless outer-space smuggler and mercenary decades before Han Solo. With his Venusian partner Yarol at his side and armed with a trusty blaster Smith roamed our solar system in his deceptively fast spaceship The Maid. For more on Northwest Smith and other neglected pulp heroes click here: https://glitternight.com/pulp-heroes/ 

13. SONG IN A MINOR KEY – For this farewell vignette featuring Northwest Smith we get an oddly touching piece that enhances Smith’s character without ruining the mystery. He and Yarol are back on Earth to visit the spot where Northwest committed his first crime exactly 20 years earlier, setting his life on its present course.

Northwest Smith 3He reveals that Northwest Smith is not his real name (Well, duh! I always figured his real name was Northwest Rabinowitz.) and is uncharacteristically serious- minded as he soaks in the atmosphere of the woodland area where his fate was determined so long ago.  

Our melancholy outlaw ruefully ponders his life that might have been and the woman he might have shared that life with. He contemplates the home they might have had together and more as we get tantalizing glimpses into Smith’s past here in this place … where he killed his first man. Continue reading

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PULP HERO NORTHWEST SMITH: STORIES ELEVEN AND TWELVE

Northwest Smith frenchBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of another neglected pulp hero – in this case Northwest Smith. Created by the female author C.L. Moore in the 1930′s Northwest Smith was a ruthless outer-space smuggler and mercenary decades before Han Solo. With his Venusian partner Yarol at his side and armed with a trusty blaster Smith roamed our solar system in his deceptively fast spaceship The Maid. For more on Northwest Smith and other neglected pulp heroes click here: https://glitternight.com/pulp-heroes/ 

11. QUEST OF THE STAR STONE (1937) – It’s crossover time! C.L. Moore decided to do a story in which her two most famous pulp creations – Northwest Smith and Jirel of Joiry – meet each other. Trouble is Jirel’s adventures take place around the year 1500 while Northwest Smith’s stories are set over 1,000 years later. Any reader of pulp fiction knows that’s no real obstacle so let’s dive in.

Jirel of JoiryThe story opens in Jirel’s time. She is leading her obedient band of male outlaws in an assault on the castle of a sorceror named Franga. Our sword-wielding heroine battles her way through to Franga’s chamber where she seizes a mystic gem called the Star Stone. That jewel is so powerful but so unfathomable that even Franga was still trying to discover how to harness its arcane energies. Jirel defeats Franga and forces him to flee between dimensions, but as he leaves he promises Jirel that he’ll return to get revenge on her and get the Star Stone back – just as soon as he finds a champion capable of matching Jirel’s courage, cunning and force of will. “No matter what world or what time I find them in” he adds, letting the reader know what’s coming up. Continue reading

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PULP HERO NORTHWEST SMITH: STORIES NINE AND TEN

Northwest Smith 6Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of another neglected pulp hero – in this case Northwest Smith. Created by the female author C.L. Moore in the 1930s Northwest Smith was a ruthless outer-space smuggler and mercenary decades before Han Solo. With his Venusian partner Yarol at his side and armed with a trusty blaster Smith roamed the solar system in his deceptively fast spaceship The Maid. For more on Northwest Smith and other neglected pulp heroes click here: https://glitternight.com/pulp-heroes/ 

9. LOST PARADISE (1936) – A smuggling job has taken Northwest Smith and Yarol to Earth. Afterward the pair find themselves relaxing in New York City which, in their era, is a multi-leveled metropolis reaching high into the sky.

The pair witness the theft of an enigmatic parcel from a very small and fragile man. That man turns out to be a member of the Seles race; a people who have secretly lived among humans for millions of years. The Seles are so ancient in fact that they lived on Earth long before the continents had their present shape. The tectonic shifts that created the modern-day layout of the planet destroyed the cities of the Seles, who established subterranean bases where they have lived undetected by humanity since then. Continue reading

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PULP HERO NORTHWEST SMITH: STORIES SEVEN AND EIGHT

Northwest Smith coverBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of another neglected pulp hero – in this case Northwest Smith. Created by the female author C.L. Moore in the 1930′s Northwest Smith was a ruthless outer-space smuggler and mercenary decades before Han Solo. With his Venusian partner Yarol at his side and armed with a trusty blaster Smith roamed the solar system in his deceptively fast spaceship The Maid. For more on Northwest Smith and other neglected pulp heroes click here: https://glitternight.com/pulp-heroes/ 

7. THE COLD GRAY GOD (1935) – A smuggling jaunt has brought Northwest Smith back to Mars. While hanging out in the cold and snowy Martian city of Righa our hero gets hired by a most unusual client. Her name is Jaida, a beautiful Venusian woman who years previously had been THE singing sensation of the Cabaret circuit at the network of casinos and leisure resorts of Jupiter’s colonized moons. At the height of her fame Jaida turned her back on success and went into seclusion.

It turns out the former singer “found religion” in the form of the esoteric worship of The Un-Nameable One, the god of Mars’ distant past. The god is worshipped now only by super-secretive cults throughout the solar system; cults which claim to know the secrets of the ancient lettering which adorns most Martian households but whose meaning has long been forgotten. Jaida hires Smith to recover a stolen relic of the dark religion from the Righa crook who nabbed it. Continue reading

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