Tag Archives: pulp magazines

PULP HERO THE NYCTALOPE: MORE BLOG POSTS WILL BE COMING

nyctalope-1Balladeer’s Blog’s posts about neglected Pulp Heroes like the Nyctalope, G-8 and His Battle Aces and others have proven enduringly popular over the years. My work on the then-obscure Moon Man from the 1930s caught the eye of author Greg Hatcher, who was kind enough to thank me for my synopses of all 38 original Moon Man stories AND to send me a copy of his story in the 2014 collection of new Moon Man (and other hero) tales by modern authors. 

Since I’m as vain as the next guy I’ll even thank Mr Hatcher again for his kind November 2013 note that read in part: “I was writing to thank you for your invaluable index (Of Moon Man stories). I literally couldn’t have done it without your scholarship to fall back on … I thought the least I could do was let you have mine in advance as a thank-you, and also let you see the afterword where you and your blog are acknowledged.” 

Anyway, writing a blog isn’t JUST about getting death-threats and such. You sometimes hear from very kind-hearted people like Greg Hatcher.

nyctalope-2This brings us back to the Nyctalope, the neglected bionic French Pulp Hero created in the VERY early 20th century by France’s sci fi icon Jean de la Hire. My review of some of the Nyctalope novels in the original French predated a couple of the recently published English language translations and assorted readers were wondering when I would finish the whole series, like I did with G-8, Silver John and Northwest Smith.

Rest assured my reviews of The Moroccan Sphinx, The Amazons of Everest, Voyage of the Nyctalope, The Nude Sorceress, Assassination of the Nyctalope and The Mysterious Skeleton are forthcoming … Just like my completion of the Son of the Black Mass samurai films & novels, The Flashman Papers and other items. Hopefully we’ll all still be alive by then. 

FOR MY ORIGINAL NYCTALOPE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

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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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THE CROSS OF BLOOD LOCATED

cross-of-bloodThank you to all the Balladeer’s Blog readers who let me know where to lay my hands on a French copy of The Cross of Blood (1941), one of the Nyctalope novels I had not yet been able to track down.

I have ordered it and will post a review after I get a chance to read it.

For my take on many of the other adventures of France’s cyborg Pulp Hero the Nyctalope CLICK HERE  Continue reading

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G-8: A WORLD WAR ONE PULP HERO FOR VETERANS DAY

G8 and the vultures of the white deathFor a light-hearted Veterans Day post how about a Balladeer’s Blog shoutout to the fictional American World War One pilot code-named G8. 

THE HERO: G-8 was the codename of an American flying ace of World War One. The character was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 and over the next 11 years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the daring figure. G-8, whose real name was never revealed, was a master of disguise in addition to his piloting and hand-to-hand combat skills. 

Hogan’s hero (see what I did there) was unswervingly patriotic and fiercely dedicated to the defeat of the Central Powers.   

THE STORIES: With his two fellow operatives “The Battle Aces” G-8 conducted aerial commando raids, carried out special forces missions and even undertook espionage missions against the Germans, Austro-Hungarians and the Ottoman Muslim Turks. In true Pulp Story fashion the Central Powers threw a vast array of mad scientists, monstrous creatures and alien super-science against our heroes, who always prevailed in the end.   Continue reading

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PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: THE FINAL TWO STORIES

THIS IS IT! G-8's FINAL BATTLE WITH STEEL MASK!

THIS IS IT! G-8’s FINAL BATTLE WITH STEEL MASK!

Balladeer’s Blog concludes its look at the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This has been 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 super-natural 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, his two Battle Aces. Here are my reviews of the 109th and 110th issues of this massively underappreciated Pulp magazine.

wings of the death monster109. WINGS OF THE DEATH MONSTER (April 1944) – G-8’s FINAL BATTLE WITH STEEL MASK, the German supervillain who hid his disfigured face behind a metal mask decades before Dr Doom and Darth Vader came along.

Just like our hero’s final encounter with his arch-enemy Doktor Krueger a few issues back this already exciting story gets an extra boost from pure nostalgia, marking as it does the last meeting between G-8 and his second-most memorable foe.

Steel Mask still boasts a talent for weapons design that would shame even the 1960’s-era Tony Stark in Iron Man comic books. The German madman’s Death Monster is a new and improved version of the 100 feet high super-tank that he used a while back. For this new model wings and the element of flight threaten to make it the ultimate super-weapon for the Central Powers. Continue reading

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PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES ONE HUNDRED-SIX TO ONE HUNDRED-EIGHT

G-8's final battle with Goulon!

G-8’s final battle with Goulon!

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its look at 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 super-natural 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, his two Battle Aces.

Bombs from the Murder Wolves106. BOMBS FROM THE MURDER WOLVES (October 1943) – As the G-8 series nears its end get ready to meet an all-new addition to our hero’s Rogue’s Gallery of foes: Dr Marlott! This mad doctor has his secret laboratory in a swamp where he has been performing macabre experiments on human guinea pigs.

At long last he has succeeded in perfecting his ultimate goal: living “Suicide Men” mutated and shorn of all self-preservation instincts. These Suicide Men will coldly and unfeelingly carry out destructive attacks on the Allied forces, completely unmindful of any potential harm to themselves.

Dr Marlott’s creations are sent forth in conjunction with the Murder Wolves. Those Murder Wolves are larger-than normal Central Powers aircraft which carry huge red bombs with cockpits. The Suicide Men will make these red bombs the ultimate in “smart bombs” by literally piloting them toward Allied planes, making evasive maneuvers nearly hopeless and blowing themselves up along with their targets.

In a way you could say that with this story Robert J Hogan eerily anticipated the Japanese Kamikaze pilots of a few years later.   Continue reading

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

THIS IS IT! G-8's FINAL BATTLE WITH DOKTOR KRUEGER!

THIS IS IT! G-8’s FINAL BATTLE WITH DOKTOR KRUEGER!

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its look at 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 super-natural 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, his two Battle Aces.

Wings of the Hawks of War103. WINGS OF THE HAWKS OF DEATH (April 1943) – G-8 and Nippy Weston get court-martialed in this tale! The two are framed for stealing and gambling away a small fortune in Allied war funds.

Found guilty, the two make a dramatic escape from the courtroom and add assaulting a General Officer to the list of charges while doing so.

With the pair on the run a puzzled Bull Martin and G-8’s British manservant Battle do what they can to help G-8 and Nippy try to unravel the masterful deception. The threads eventually lead them to their newest foe – Baron Von Heidt: the German Empire’s greatest sportsman.

Von Heidt has taken on the ultimate challenge. Namely, disgracing and ultimately killing G-8 and his Battle Aces as revenge for the countless times they’ve thwarted the super-villains of the Central Powers.      Continue reading

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