Balladeer’s Blog resumes 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.
37. SKIES OF YELLOW DEATH (October 1936) – On August 14th, 1917, mere months after the United States entered the war on the side of the Allied Powers China entered the war, too. Enter the sinister Chinese genius Chu Lung on the opposite side, the Central Powers, another recurring member of G-8’s Rogue’s Gallery of villains. This new foe held multiple doctorates from various universities, was a talented engineer and scientist and ran a vast mercantile empire bolstered by the equally vast smuggling network he commanded sub rosa.
Chu Lung is a huge fan favorite but I personally have never been that impressed with him. I find him to be too similar to Fu Manchu AND to Robert J Hogan’s own fictional creation from 1935, Wu Fang. Wu Fang, like Doctor Satan, starred in one of the short-lived Supervillain Pulps, in his case The Mysterious Wu Fang which lasted just seven issues. Many of Chu Lung’s appearances in G-8 and His Battle Aces read like what they probably were: leftover stories that Hogan had originally prepared for The Mysterious Wu Fang cannibalized and rewritten with a World War One setting and with Wu Fang renamed Chu Lung. Continue reading