Tag Archives: Frederick C Davis’ Moon Man

REMEMBERING THE MOON MAN

The Moon Man

The Moon Man

THE MOON MAN – Created by Frederick C Davis, the Moon Man is, to me, the epitome of the campy but fascinating heroes the old 1930s pulp publications used to treat readers to, issue after issue. Operating in fictional Great City, the Moon Man not only waged war on the ruthless representatives of the criminal element, he also plundered their ill-gotten wealth from them and distributed it to the Great Depression-ravaged poor of the 1930s.

This not only made the hero a combination of the best elements of the Shadow and Robin Hood, but it also gave him a healthy dose of “Green Hornet appeal”, too, because, like the Hornet, the Moon Man was hunted by both the crooks AND the cops, doubling the danger for the  daring and resourceful figure every time he donned his costume and stalked the night-darkened streets.

That costume, by the way, is beloved by some fans for its hammy, campy, “pulpish” quality, but is just barely tolerated by others for the same reason. The Moon Man was armed with an automatic and dressed all in black, usually including a black cloak, and hid his face behind a round glass globe that covered his entire head.

The globe was made of one-way Argus glass, the glass Speakeasies used to use for their windows during Prohibition, so the customers inside could see anyone approaching the illegal boozery but cops approaching it would see only their reflection in the glass. Similarly the Moon Man could see out of the globe but people looking at him would see just the mirrored surface of the globe. The globe-headed aspect of the Moon Man’s outfit often annoys people who take pulps a little too seriously, but to me it adds to the old-fashioned fun. Continue reading

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PULP HEROES: THE FINAL TWO MOON MAN STORIES

Moon Man 5I’m concluding my look at Frederick C Davis’ 1930s pulp hero the Moon Man. In reality police detective Stephen Thatcher, the Moon Man stalked the night-darkened streets of fictional Great City clad in his black costume and his helmet made of one-way Argus glass.

Armed with two automatic pistols plus limitless courage and ingenuity the Moon Man captured or killed Great City’s most dangerous criminals –  both 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. 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/     

37. MURDER AS A PASTIME – This story opens up with the Moon Man raiding the headquarters of a stolen car ring in order to capture the gang and make off with their criminal loot. “Yelloweye” Ruane, a man with odd yellow irises, is the brains of the car ring and in a lead-heavy gunfight he succeeds in driving the Moon Man off, but not before our hero nabs the crooked money.

Following MM from a distance Ruane learns the location of his latest hideout and after the Moon Man leaves Ruane enters the house and kidnaps Sue McEwen, our hero’s lady love who has been an accomplice to his double-life ever since she learned his true identity. Ruane is convinced that our globe- helmeted protagonist doesn’t really give his stolen loot to charity but keeps it for himself. Yelloweye anonymously informs the newspapers that unless the Moon Man comes up with $100,000 ransom his female accomplice (name unknown to Ruane) will be turned over to the cops. Continue reading

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THE MOON MAN: STORIES 34-36

Moon Man 4I’m continuing my look at Frederick C Davis’ 1930′s pulp hero the Moon Man. In reality police detective Stephen Thatcher, the Moon Man stalked the night-darkened streets of fictional Great City clad in his black costume and his helmet made of one-way Argus glass. Armed with two automatic pistols plus limitless courage and ingenuity the Moon Man captured or killed Great City’s most dangerous criminals –  both 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. 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/     

34. PREVIEW TO MURDER – The title is meaningless because there are no outright “murders” in this story, just 4 deaths in shootouts and those don’t happen until the end of the story. Davis apparently just wanted to use the word “preview” because the villains in this flick are a bogus newsreel company who use their business as a cover to commit robberies at or near the “news events” they cover. The story starts out with the Moon Man vying with the newsreel crooks – “Independent Sound Films, Inc” – for the $15,000 (in 1930’s money) in the safe of corrupt tycoon and politician Harley Elbridge. The daring theft takes place while Elbridge is making a speech about his pet topic – if he gets elected Mayor of Great City he’ll replace most of the police force brass and make capturing the Moon Man his number one priority. Continue reading

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THE MOON MAN: STORIES 31-33

Moon Man 3I’m continuing my look at Frederick C Davis’ 1930′s pulp hero the Moon Man. In reality police detective Stephen Thatcher, the Moon Man stalked the night-darkened streets of fictional Great City 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 –  both 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. 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/ 

31. ROBE OF BLOOD – An ingenious arsonist who is plaguing Great City sets out to eliminate the one figure who might be capable of tracking him down and defeating him – the Moon Man. The arsonist lays a trap for our hero and springs it on him when he Continue reading

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PULP HERO THE MOON MAN: STORIES 28 – 30

Moon Man 1I’m continuing my look at Frederick C Davis’ 1930’s pulp hero the Moon Man. In reality police detective Stephen Thatcher, the Moon Man stalked the night-darkened streets of fictional Great City 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 –  both 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. 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/ 

28. THE MASTER OF MURDER RIVER – The Moon Man’s adversary in this adventure is the titular “master” – a gangster named Lane Hynard, who runs the illegal gambling in the secret River Casino which stands on the banks of Murder River. Jim Paine, a charity manager at last wins back the charity’s money that he had gambled away on previous visits there and, shadowed by the Moon Man, Paine is killed and robbed by Hynard’s goons “Smoothy” Frisch and Ben Gilbord.

When our hero tries to recover the $10,240 of the charity’s funds from the two gunsels the cops arrive and mistakenly think the Moon Man killed and robbed Paine. Our hero and his sidekick Angel spend the Continue reading

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THE FOUR MOST NEGLECTED PULP HEROES

When it comes to the enjoyable old Pulp Heroes of the past the big names like the Shadow, Doc Savage, Zorro, the Spider and Conan the Barbarian get the most attention. Balladeer’s Blog presents four Pulp figures who are unjustly overlooked but who appear in stories every bit as exciting and memorable as the more well-known heroes. Each of the following characters were written by the same writer for their entire series of stories, not by people using House Pseudonyms owned by the big publishers like with many other Pulp figures.

Northwest Smith

Northwest Smith

4. NORTHWEST SMITH

THE HERO: Space traveling anti-hero Smith was created by the female writer C.L. Moore in the 1930s. Four decades before Han Solo, Northwest Smith was a ruthless swashbuckling smuggler, thief and all-around mercenary. Smith’s less than sterling character made him a refreshing change from the usually wholesome pulp heroes of the time.

THE STORIES: Northwest Smith’s adventures take place in the far future, when regular trade exists between Earth and the native inhabitants of Mars and Venus. The other planets in the solar system have been colonized by those Big Three worlds, providing a backdrop that combines elements of westerns, seagoing adventures and colonial-era war stories.

Wielding a blaster like a six-gun and piloting his deceptively fast and maneuverable spaceship The Maid Smith and his Venusian partner Chewie Yarol roam the solar system making a living by plying various illegal trades. Though Northwest and Yarol are career criminals they often Continue reading

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PULP HEROES – THE MOON MAN: STORIES 25-27

Moon ManI’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 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 –  both 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. 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/

25. THE DIAL OF DOOM – This tale opens with the Moon Man pulling off a robbery of a crooked traveling carnival that has been fleecing the good citizens of Great City. Through an unfortunate twist of fate the cops, led by our hero’s most determined pursuer, Lt Gil McEwen, learn where the Moon Man and his sidekick Angel have stashed their latest loot while fleeing the police.

With a police stakeout around the safe containing the hidden booty our heroes must somehow recover the cash for the suffering poor of the city without getting caught by the Continue reading

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