THE WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE1795 - Wold Newton meteor strike: Eighteen individuals "were riding in two coaches past Wold Newton, Yorkshire.... A meteorite struck only twenty yards from the two coaches.... The bright light and heat and thunderous roar of the meteorite blinded and terrorized the passengers, coachmen, and horses.... They never guessed, being ignorant of ionization, that the fallen star had affected them and their unborn." Tarzan Alive, Addendum 2, pp. 247-248. The meteor strike was "the single cause of this nova of genetic splendor, this outburst of great detectives, scientists, and explorers of exotic worlds, this last efflorescence of true heroes in an otherwise degenerate age." Id., pp.230-231.         Artwork by Lisa Eckert

Maintained by Win Scott Eckert


Part I

The Wold Newton Articles pages contain several types of articles, ranging from pure information about the Wold Newton Universe (such as Lou Mougin's The Continuing Crossovers Affair and Brad Mengel's The Edson Connection), to more speculative pieces (such as Chuck Loridans' The Daughters of Tarzan), to a mixture a both. The presence of an article on these pages does not necessarily constitute an integration of that article's theories and speculation into the history described in The Wold Newton Universe Crossover Chronology. Rather, the purpose of this page is encourage free thinking, theorizing, hypothesizing, and research into the mysteries of the Newtonverse.

Search The Wold Newton Universe

Mark Brown's Wold Newton Chronicles follows the tradition of featuring the very best in scholarship and articles on Wold Newton topics ranging far and wide.

Dennis Power also presents erudite Wold Newton speculative research on his site The Secret History of the Wold Newton Universe.

From now on, please forward your articles to Win, to Mark, and to Dennis. We will consider submissions and coordinate for posting on one of our sites.

The Continuing Crossovers Affair


by Lou Mougin

David McDaniel's Man From UNCLE books continue to be a source of crossover information, establishing characters' residence within the Newtonverse. But, even thirty years after their creation, all of the strange nooks and crannies of these books have not yet been explored. A few more interesting facets remain to be unveiled.

Count Dracula

In The Vampire Affair, an UNCLE agent named Carl Endros is killed in Rumania while on assignment. Though he committed suicide, evidence is found that his blood was drained vampirically. Though THRUSH has operations in the area, headed by an agent named Peter who fakes being a vampire, towards the end of the novel Peter admits that he did not murder Endros...and that, since hearing of it, he has worn a silver crucifix about his neck.

As it turns out, Endros was being wise. During the course of the adventure Solo and Illya have oblique encounters with a strange, tall figure who speaks Rumanian and commands wolves. They come upon Dracula's tomb, full of coffins--including one empty one--and Peter confirms, "We made no use of coffins." The agents are also befriended by Count Zoltan Dracula, the non-vampiric descendant of the earlier Count. Peter, speaking of THRUSH operations in the tunnels beneath Dracula's castle, says, "But I think we bothered someone who had been asleep a long time. Someone who didn't like being awakened. Now maybe he'll go back to sleep." Finally, Illya and Solo discover a message in Rumaninan, written to them in scrawls on snow covering a car hood: "Thank you. I return to my rest."

Since there are no footprints in the snow around the car, the message could only have been written by someone who could have flown onto the hood. In ways even more oblique than his appearances in the Stoker novel, Count Dracula does appear in The Vampire Affair, and establishes a crossover with the Men From UNCLE.


Derek Flint

The unpublished "final" novel in Ace's Man From UNCLE paperback series, The Final Affair, brings several other characters into the Newtonverse. Possibly the most interesting crossover would go unknown to all but the most discerning eye, or to one who hadn't been a fan of the Sixties spy craze in movies and novels.

One of the plot elements in The Final Affair is a group of dolphins who can communicate with humans and who aid UNCLE in their ultimate battle with THRUSH. On page 81, Dr. Egret of THRUSH listens to a bit of dolphin dialogue and says, "That almost seems to be a word. I'll check it in Flint's Vocabulary." So who is this Flint who has written a working dictionary of dolphin language?

The answer can be found in the movie In Like Flint. In one scene, secret agent Derek Flint is shown conversing with his pet dolphin in the dolphin's own language. Given McDaniel's prior history of depicting multiple crossovers from adventure characters in books, movies, and television series, there can be little doubt that Derek Flint is the author of the dolphin dialect book.

What we know of Derek Flint is sketchy, but set forth in four works: the two movies Our Man Flint and In Like Flint, the novelization of Our Man Flint by Jack Pearl, and the 1976 TV-movie Our Man Flint: Dead On Target. His heritage is unknown, but, from what we know of Flint, he has to be a strong candidate for Wold Newton Family membership.

Derek Flint is an incredible polymath of the caliber of Doc Savage himself. Unlike Savage, he has no compunction against killing an enemy or sexual involvement. In the latter area, his conquests litter the continents, like James Bond's. He is old enough to have fought in World War II, where he gained three battlefield promotions in one month, under the command of Bruce Cramden, later head of ZOWIE. Flint functioned as a frogman at one point, leading one to the conclusion that he may have enlisted in the Navy. He also won the Medal of Honor and France's Croix de Guerre for his heroism.

The Pearl novel describes him thusly: There never was another man quite like Derek Flint. A soldier of fortune in at least a dozen major wars and minor revolutions, he held degrees from 17 different international universities, and varsity letters for 24 sports. At various times he had been a professional boxer--50 straight kayoes--a ballet dancer, a doctor, a dentist, a lawyer, and an honorary Indian chief. He spoke 42 languages and dialects fluently. He held the coveted Black Belt in Judo. He held Olympic championships in Grecian wrestling, dueling, fencing, swimming, and the military pentathlon. He was a published writer. Numerous international galleries prized his oil paintings. He played the piano, fiddle, horn, and drums, and once had given an organ recital in Notre Dame Cathedral.

Flint had a theme song. It implied he could do anything better than anyone else. He could do anything better than anyone else!

In addition to this, Flint has a harem of no less than four lovelies at a time in his king-sized penthouse apartment. There's no telling how quickly he goes through a set of them, but he has an entirely new assortment two years after we first meet him. He tells Cramden in the second movie that his former four mistresses have been married off to four different husbands by now. Despite all that, Flint isn't loyal to his harem. As one might expect, he beds down other women who cross his path--sometimes in the line of duty, of course.

Besides being a crack fencer, gunman, disguise artist, scientist, doctor, lawyer, weapons inventor, and just about anything else, one of Flint's most interesting abilities is his power to put himself into a trance of suspended animation. This talent, supposedly taught to Flint by a 400-year-old Tibetian priest, enables him to slow his breathing and heartbeat to a virtual standstill. A device in his watch stimulates him to full consciousness when a timer within it goes off.

Also, Flint possesses the "astonishing ability to alter the configuration of his face by tightening and loosening various muscles." Given the fact that The Shadow had similar abilities, it becomes obvious that Flint probably studied under the same masters--or master--that Kent Allard did years earlier to become the Master of Darkness. The priests, however, would probably not have approved of Flint's sexual hyperactivity.

Flint is, by 1965, not a government agent but a freelance operative with the right to accept or turn down assignments. In the first case we are made privy to, he does initially refuse the job, but soon accepts it when an attempt is made on his life--one that almost kills his old friend and former commander, Cramden. The adversaries this time are a secret criminal cabal called Galaxy, whose methodologies and troika of evil scientist leaders suggest that they may be a splinter group from THRUSH, itself a successor to Professor Moriarity's Circle of Life. Galaxy has perfected a means of controlling the world's weather, and comes within a hairsbreadth of conquering the Earth before Flint smashes their operation in a daring one-man mission.

Another interesting aspect of Our Man Flint is a semi-hidden crossover with another Newtonverse character. In a New Orleans bar, Flint has an encounter with a British secret agent ally identified only by a code number. In the novel, this agent is called Five-seven-one. But the movie gives a more coy clue to his real identity, calling him "Triple-O-Eight." Cramden confirms that "In any case, we couldn't use Five-seven-one. He's too well known." Five-seven-one / Triple-O-Eight is working on a narcotics case at the time, and Flint later learns that Galaxy is the source of those narcotics. Finally, in the movie, Flint asks Triple-O-Eight if SPECTRE is involved, and is told Galaxy are the real culprits. Given these clues, there can be little doubt that the British agent of Our Man Flint is really the famed James Bond, Agent 007.

In the second movie, In Like Flint (1967), Derek Flint rescues an abducted-and-impersonated president of the United States, and uncovers and thwarts another stab at world domination involving a conspiracy of female supremacists and U.S. military leaders. The third and last Flint appearance, in the TV movie Our Man Flint: Dead On Target, takes place nine years later, in which Flint rescues a kidnapped oil executive.

Flint's history from that point on remains unknown. But, thanks to an obscure reference in an unpublished UNCLE novel, we do have sufficient evidence in this author's opinion to include him in the Newtonverse, and possibly in the Wold Newton Family.


T.H.E. Cat

A more substantial crossover evidence can be found earlier in The Final Affair. On page 33, Alexander Waverly recommends that Solo, on assignment in San Francisco, visit the Casa del Gato nightclub. While there, they take part in a brawl instigated by a biker club against one patron of the club, identified by the gang leader as "T. Hewett, you ******!!" T. Hewett, described as "a lean, keen-featured man in a casual sport coat over a white shirt over a black turtleneck," is a man of action and is easily able to defend himself and help defeat the bikers. Later, McDaniel says that Hewett "picked up a fresh chair and darted forward like a cat."

These clues are not-so-subtle hints that the person referred to here is Thomas Hewett Edward Cat, whose adventures were depicted on the NBC TV series T.H.E. Cat in 1966-67. To quote The Complete Directory To Prime Time Network TV Shows, 1946-Present: T.H.E. Cat was a former circus aerialist and ex-cat burglar whose name fit him very well. His current profesion was that of professional bodyguard. He fought crime by guarding those clients who had been marked for death. Only T.H.E. Cat stood between them and their would-be assassins. Declining to use weapons himself, Cat relied on his quickness and agility to protect his clients and himself.

Living in San Francisco, he maintained an "office" at the Casa del Gato, a nightclub owned by his friend Pepe. And another heroic figure is added to the Newtonverse.

All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 1998-2004 by the author, Lou Mougin. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.



The Shadow Strikes! and The Comic Strip Connection


by Lou Mougin

Since The Shadow is accepted as part of the Newtonverse, and The Shadow Strikes! has been singled out on this site for its depiction of the first meeting of Doc Savage and The Shadow, a closer look at two issues of that series demonstrates new character crossovers.

These characters did not originate in novels, pulps, movies, radio shows, television, or comic books. They all first appeared in comic strips. The Shadow Strikes! #25 and 27 (Nov. 1991 and Jan. 1992) are part of a story arc that pits the Dark Avenger against his arch foe Shiwan Khan in the 1930's. Though the crossover characters are unnamed, their depiction gives little doubt as to their true identities.

TSS #25, page 6, shows a hypnotized agent of Khan saying, "I served with a gang of harbor day...the employer of the Mongols sought a conference with our celestial pirate queen..."

The queen, a beautiful Asian woman, is depicted in short cape, shirt, gloves, tight pants, knee-high boots, and a belt with a gun buckled to her front. From the context of the scene, there can be no doubt: the pirate queen is Lai Choi San, the infamous Dragon Lady of Terry and the Pirates.

Cementing the connection further, two pages later the Shadow, as Lamont Cranston, and his agent Harry Vincent meet two others in The Golden Lion restaurant in Shanghai: "a cocky guy with a grin on his lips and a haunted look in his eyes . . . [and] a kid". Again, from the context, and from various visual and textual cues, the inference is inescapable. These two are Pat Ryan and Terry Lee, the stars of the Terry strip. The shocking revelation is made that Pat Ryan is an agent of The Shadow. More likely, he is a trusted ally who works with the Master of Darkness in times of crisis. Burma, another character in the strip, makes an appearance in a singing gig on page 18.

The Terry and the Pirates strip, created by master artist / writer Milton Caniff, began in October of 1934 and featured orphan Terry Lee, whose late grandfather had left him a map of an abandoned mine in China. On the way, he met up with Pat Ryan, bohemian writer and two-fisted adventurer, and the two became partners for many years thereafter. Most of their early exploits took place in China or thereabouts, fighting off pirates and, later, Japanese invaders.

The Dragon Lady made her first appearance on Dec. 16, 1934, as head of a band of buccaneers. Other characters included Connie, Big Stoop, the aforementioned Burma (whose "St. Louis Blues" theme song is a tip-off in TSS #25), April Kane, Hotshot Charlie, and many others. During the early Forties, Terry reached sufficient age to join the Air Force while Pat Ryan became a Navy lieutenant. Both continued their adventures after World War II separately and together, and crossed the Dragon Lady's path many times. The last Terry and the Pirates strip in the original run appeared in 1973. The modern Terry strip is set in the present and is an other-Earth version.

But Terry, Pat, Burma, and the Dragon Lady aren't the only comic strip characters to appear in TSS #25. On page 18, Harry Vincent meets two other operatives. "Not agents, you could tell that...just hired ramblers...The guy with the broken nose at least looked like he could fight. The little guy didn't look like he was good for anything but starting trouble." From the appearance and characteristics of these two, their identities can easily be established. They are, respectively, Captain Easy and Wash Tubbs.

Both originated in Roy Crane's classic Wash Tubbs strip. Washington Tubbs II first appeared in 1924 as a grocery clerk, who soon found himself undergoing strange adventures in distant lands. In 1929 he first encountered the mysterious Captain Easy. Easy, a two-fisted adventurer and intelligence agent, takes on Wash as his partner, and both continue adventuring for decades thereafter.

Eventually Captain Easy became an FBI agent and then a detective, though his own list of his occupations included "Beachcomber, boxer, cook, aviator, seaman, explorer, soldier of artillery, infantry and cavalry, suh." Wash Tubbs married the daughter of tycoon J. P. McKee. Captain Easy's comic strip adventures, with or without Wash, appeared until 1988.

A more problematic crossover appears in TSS #26. On page 23, panel 2, Harry Vincent asks a man on the docks, "Hey there! Are you a sailor?" The man, whose face is not revealed, but one of whose powerful arms has a large anchor tattoo, responds, "'Ja think I'm a cowboy?"

Almost word for word, this is a replay of the scene in the January 17, 1929 Thimble Theater strip that introduced Popeye.

The implication is clear that the chroniclers of this Shadow story are implying the sailor Harry Vincent meets is Popeye. However, since so many outré things happen in the Popeye strip, let alone his cartoons and comic book adventures, he seems to be on a footing that is beyond that of the regular Newtonverse. It might be fun to try including him, but ultimately, it would prove too hard. Without better evidence than this, one can not integrate Popeye, or an other-Earth Popeye, into the Newtonverse.

The final crossover, which is almost as problematic, is in TSS #27. The mysterious financier of Shiwan Khan is finally revealed. He is a bald-headed American businessman who wears a suit with a huge diamond stickpin in his cravat. He is guarded by a huge Indian giant in a turban.

These two are intended to represent Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks and Punjab, both of the Little Orphan Annie comic strip.

The background of Oliver Warbucks, wealthy munitions magnate and adventurer, has been revealed by Annie creator Clarence Grey as follows: Oliver Warbucks was born in 1894 in the town of Supine to a railroad section boss and his wife. His father died in a rail accident a month after Oliver's birth. Oliver's mother passed away in 1905 of typhoid fever at the age of 30. Circa 1912, Oliver Warbucks graduated from high school, attended a few semesters of college, and then left to work in a steel mill. He married sometime between then and 1924 and amassed a considerable fortune, and did not stop amassing it during his lifetime.

The great Indian, Punjab, became Warbucks's servant and friend somewhere in that period and aided his master with his great brawn, his skill with a blade, and his mystic ability to make his foes vanish when he threw a cloak over them. Warbucks undertook many missions on behalf of the government, though he operated independently of any government, and numbered among his allies and friends the deadly assassin Asp and the mysterious Mr. Am, who claimed to be millions of years old.

His most famous friend, of course, was his adopted daughter Annie (real last name never revealed), who came into his life in 1924 and adventured with him and on her own for many years thereafter.

The problem with tying the Annie mythos into the Newtonverse via The Shadow Strikes! #27 is this: Oliver Warbucks is treated as a villain in the story, the ally of Shiwan Khan, the Shadow's arch-enemy. And at the end of the story, it is implied that Khan's minions turn on their masters and shoot both Khan and Warbucks dead.

Though Shiwan Khan is hard to kill and undoubtedly escaped death in that circumstance, the fate of the Warbucks character after the shooting scene is harder to determine.

The possibility of "Warbucks" dying in the shooting and the differences in character--or, possibly, interpretation of the character--between him and the canonical Oliver Warbucks of the comic strip makes it difficult, at best, to identify them as one and the same.

Therefore, it is the judgment of this writer that the "Warbucks" and "Punjab" of The Shadow Strikes! #27 are other-Earth counterparts of the characters in the Annie strip, but not the same.

However, the Newtonverse does reap the casts of Terry and the Pirates and Captain Easy from this arc of stories. And two out of three isn't bad.

All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 1998-2004 by the author, Lou Mougin. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.



Asian Detectives in the Wold Newton Universe


by Dennis Power

This article was written to redress the issue of at least two underrated members of the Wold Newton family, Mr. Moto and Charlie Chan.


Mr. MotoNow we can be rather certain that Mr. Moto is a member because the great genealogist Farmer himself stated, in Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, that it was quite likely that Mr. Moto was the son of Wolf Larsen, whom he takes to be Doc Savage's grandfather, and a Japanese woman that he had abducted, raped and abandoned. I find it odd that Farmer never made any direct connection with Wolf Larsen and the Wold Newton family, considering Larsen's genius, physique and close genetic connection to one of the characters. Although, too lengthy to go into here, it is my opinion that Wolf Larsen, supposedly a Norwegian Sailor of Danish descent was in fact the son of James Moriarty.

Consider this, James Moriarty, as Captain Nemo, traveled the world gathering materials and men for his great ship the Nautilus. It is not beyond the realm of speculation to entertain the possibility that he either wed or had a child by a Danish woman who died in child birth. It is even possible that Wolf Larsen was a member of the Nautilus, albeit an very young one. Both Larsen and Moriarty (at least in his early career) had a nautical predilection, Wolf was a genius without any formal schooling who designed a starscale, thus demonstrating a talent for mathematics and astronomy, as had Moriarty. They were both very amoral and both suffered from a strange neurological condition.

If my speculation has any merit at all, then Mr. Moto deserves a place in the Wold Newton family.

Mr. Moto was a dapper spy created by J. P. Marquand. Here is a short chronology of Mr. Moto's adventures:

1 - Your Turn, Mr. Moto (1935)

Caught in a web of Asian intrigue and espionage, American World War I hero and flying ace Casey Lee and the beautiful but dangerous White Russian refugee he's fallen in love with stumble into the way of the Japanese emperor's expansionist plans for his country. Only Mr. Moto, number one secret agent for the Japanese government, can extricate them, and yet his duty to his Emperor must come first.

(blurb from Little, Brown and Company 1985 edition)

2 - Thank You, Mr. Moto (1936)

Tom Nelson, cynical American expatriate "gone native" in China, stumbles into the path of the expansionist Japanese government's incursion into North China, is catapulted out of his world weary apathy. Equally, if not so innocently, caught in the gossamer but deadly web of Japanese plans is Eleanor Joyce, a woman on a mission, full of secrets, pure, bright, and lovely.

Enter Mr. Moto, the suave and courageous Japanese agent-committed to serving his emperor yet "so very very sorry" that innocent lives must hang  in the balance. It is he who brought Tom and Eleanor together and now he who must try to save them.

(blurb from Little, Brown and Company 1985 edition)

3 - Mr. Moto Is So Sorry (1936)

No synopsis available

4 - Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1936)

Much more than a crooked roulette wheel is at stake at the Hitchings Plantation gambling house in Honolulu - and Japan's most clever, charming and capable of spies has arrived on the scene to protect the interests of his emperor. Wilson Hitchings, a stolid young innocent must make an ally of his renegade cousin, Eva of the violet eyes and flaming hair, if either is to survive their unwitting involvement in international intrigue. Without the help of Mr. Moto, they may still be lost.

(blurb from Little, Brown and Company 1985 edition)

5 - Last Laugh, Mr. Moto (1942)

No synopsis available

6 - Right You Are, Mr. Moto (1957) also published as Stopover Tokyo

Marquand's suave, smiling little expert on top-level foreign intrigue is waiting at the airport for American Intelligence agents Jack Rhyce and lovely Ruth Bogart, when they land in Tokyo on a secret mission. The wily Mr. Moto joins the chase after an infernally clever and dangerous international spy ring.

(blurb taken from Bantam 1957 fifth edition)


The film adventures are as follows:


On a freighter going from San Francisco to Shanghai Mr. Moto solves mysteries caused by a gang of smugglers.


Seven maps, when found and put together, reveal the location of the treasures of Genghis Khan.


Mr. Moto must discover who poisoned a fighter in the boxing ring. This movie began as "Charlie Chan at the Ringside," but Warner Oland died during the filming so it was switched to a Mr. Moto.


In Sumatra beautiful aviatrix Victoria Mason teams up with Mr. Moto in South East Asia to uncover a  murderous village high priest who is trying to overthrow the ruling Rajah Ali.


Mr. Moto has himself imprisoned on Devil's Island so he can help his cellmate (Ames) escape and thereby get the goods on a gang of international killers.


Peter Lorre stars as the soft-spoken Japanese sleuth created by Delaware's John P. Marquand, foiling a plot to sabotage the French fleet as it passes through the Suez Canal.


The U.S. government asks Mr. Moto to go to Puerto Rico to investigate  diamond smuggling after an earlier investigator is murdered.


Mr. Moto is after a robber who takes the royal jewels from the Tower of London. He is aided by an archaeologist who is looking for Cleopatra's crown in Egypt.

(Film summaries courtesy of the Internet Movie Database)



There is one detective that I believe deserves to be in the Wold Newton Universe, if only for his brilliant detective reasoning, yet like many others in the Wold Newton family he was also greatly traveled. I speak, of course, of Charlie Chan, who I propose is the son of Fu Manchu.

According to Farmer, Fu Manchu was likely the son of William Clayton and Ling Ju Hai, a green eyed Chinese beauty born in Vietnam circa 1840. Although raised by his grandfather and his mother, Fu Manchu was two things frowned upon in Asian societies: illegitimate and part Caucasian. We have then the roots of his animosity towards western society. Farmer tells us that Fu Manchu as a young man was named Hanoi Shan and that he was a tall good looking man with a kindly character who was governor of a province in Tonkin-China. While supervising the round up of wild elephants he was smashed against a tree by an elephant. He went to Paris hoping surgeons there could repair his twisted spine. When they could not, he went on a crime spree in Paris of 1906. Farmer says that between 1906 and 1918 Fu Manchu had his spinal injury repaired.

According to Rohmer, Fu Manchu was the governor of the Province of Honan under the dowager Empress Tzu-Hsi and Farmer apparently concurs with this stating that it must have been in the 1870s. So which of these is true?

Perhaps neither one, but each story is a blend of the truth. I propose that Fu Manchu was the son of William Clayton and Ling Ju Hai, and that he was born in Hanoi under the name of Ling Fu Shan. He did indeed become Governor of a Tonkin-China province in his twenties, catapulted to the governorship by a combination of guile and misadventures, all the while putting on a pleasing mask to all around him. His brilliant execution of  problems caught the Empress' eye and he was given a personal meeting. He was transferred to the province of Honan to in the 1870s to assist the Governor named Fu Manchu. I believe that Ling Fu Shan married into the family of the Governor. He had at least one son and a daughter. He convinced the Governor that if China were to regain its place in the world, it would have to advance with the Western World, taking what it could while retaining the essence of Chinese culture. To this end, I believe that Fu Shan acquired an education in Europe, studying at Heidelberg University and possibly at Cambridge from about 1873 to 1876. During this time he made contacts with the Chinese communities in Europe, including the Limehouse district in England. It is also possible that he established a relationship of sorts with Professor James Moriarty and had an early encounter with Sherlock Holmes as demonstrated in the few believable or credible bits of The Musgrave Version. Fu Shan returned to China in the late 1870s.

In the 1890s Ling Fu Shan assumed the identity of the Governor of Honan province, Fu Manchu, and in doing so made himself from a half-caucasian bastard into a member of the royal ruling family. Once he had the identity of the Governor and the pretense of his bloodline, the newly named Fu Manchu schemed to make himself Emperor and began a disasterous policy of destablization. As you may know, the period from 1880 to 1905 is one of violent upheaval in Chinese history. During this period, China lost most of its provinces and power, becoming a virtual subject state to England, France and Germany. This was the direct result of one of Fu Manchu's schemes that backfired. He had traveled to Europe and England several times in the 1890s, possibly as an agent of the Empress, but he used the position to further his own aims, through his contacts in the criminal underground, such as Professor James Moriarty and Carl Peterson. That he was in Europe in 1898 seems to be verified by the comic miniseries The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Through his contact with the governments of Europe through various double agents, he arranged a policy of aggression and inflexibility on the part of the European governments. His true aim was probably to make the Royal family pursue a policy of non-cooperation with the European governments while at the same time creating a modern Chinese state that was technologically equal to Europe. The events progressed too rapidly for even Fu Manchu to calculate and he and China lost the gamble.

Furious that the Westerners, rather than the Chinese and himself had benefited from his policies, Fu Manchu created the Boxer rebellion using Si Fan operatives. This effort too was a failure and soured the Empress on the schemes of Fu Manchu. Fu Manchu decided to take a more direct approach and, using Si Fan operatives, attempted to assassinate the royal house of China.   Retribution was swift and painful. It was in was in 1902 that Fu Manchu was crippled, possibly by an elephant, at the Empress' pleasure. His Si Fan agents smuggled him out of China, through Vietnam and then to Paris.  Learning that they could not repair his twisted spine, Fu Manchu took a name that mocked his origins. He took back his birth name of Shan but added Hanoi to it, thus always bitterly reminding him of his lowly origins.  Hanoi Shan began a murderous crime spree in 1906 but suddenly ceased as abruptly has he had begun. (I wonder if the archcriminal Fantomas who began to terrorize Paris in 1911 was one of Hanoi Shan's Parisian operatives or if he filled the vacuum in the Parisian underworld?)  We can only imagine that he had discovered a method of restoring his twisted spine. I speculate it was then that he either discovered the formula or created the formula for the Oil of Life. I can envision Fu Manchu directing the operation that straightened his back, conscious and kept alive with massive infusions of the Oil of Life. Fu Manchu spent the next several years recovering from the operation and building his Si Fan into a world wide organization. He also located and  indoctrinated his daughter to his cause, seducing her with a promise of the Oil of Life.

Now how does Charlie Chan fit in all this? When Charlie Chan first appeared in print in 1925, he was Sergeant Chan. We can surmise that he was about thirty-eight years old, which would have made his birth date around 1887, just about the time I surmised that Fu Manchu was still using his birth name of Ling Fu Shan. We cannot guess at Charlie Chan's  name, although it is probable that it was something like Ling _____ Shan. Charlie Chan never gives much about his background. We only learn that he emigrated to the United States as a young man. We can only speculate that his character was formed at an early age and that he was rather disgusted at his father's machinations. He would have been young when his father assumed the identity of Fu Manchu, but we can imagine Fu Manchu bragging to his son about how clever he was to raise himself up and change identities. Charlie would have been around fifteen in 1902 when Fu Manchu's plans in China ended in disaster.

We can surmise that he took the opportunity to escape from his father's clutches once and for all by eluding his Si Fan guardians, making his way to Hawaii and assuming a new identity. Naturally he never revealed any of this information for fear of retaliation against his family by his father. Yet he used his brilliant detective mind to make himself available to the police bureaus around the world and thwart the schemes of his father whenever possible.

Now you may say that Charlie Chan does not look like Fu Manchu, but I believe he takes after his mother's side of the family and that his body type is similar to that of his relatives, Nero Wolfe or Mycroft Holmes.



Books written by Earl Derr Biggers:

The House Without a Key, Avenel, New York, 1925.

The Chinese Parrot, Avenel, New York, 1926.

At the peak of his fantastic powers, Charlie Chan solves a most peculiar mystery, an apparent murder without a dead body. No weapon. No motive. Only a parrot who had talked too much and would never speak again. But it was the Chinese parrot, hanging from his patio perch, screaming bloody murder into the desert silence who had alerted Charlie that a terrible crime had been committed.

(blurb from Bantam 1974 edition)

Behind the Curtain, Avenel, New York, 1928.

The Black Camel, Avenel, New York, 1929.

Charlie Chan Carries On, Avenel, New York, 1930.

Keeper of the Keys, Avenel, New York, 1932.


Charlie Chan filmography:

1926 House Without a Key

1926 The Chinese Parrot

1929   Behind That Curtain

Sir George hires Hillary Gatt to find out more about Eric who wants to marry Lois. Gatt is murdered and the couple, married, run off to India. Old friend John Beetham sympathizes with the bride who sees that her hubby is a liar and drunk. John and Lois fly to San Francisco. Eric shows up and tries to kill John, but Scotland Yard's Lt. Charlie Chan intervenes.

1931 Charlie Chan Carries On

Charlie steps in to solve the murder of a wealthy American found dead in a London hotel. Settings include London, Nice, San Remo, Honolulu and Hong Kong. Fast-paced with lots of wisecracking.

1931   The Black Camel

Movie star Sheila Fayne is seeing wealthy Alan Jaynes while filming in Honolulu, Hawaii, but won't marry him without consulting famed psychic Tanaverro first. Tanaverro confronts her about the unsolved murder of fellow film star Denny Mayo three years earlier, and she decides to reject Jaynes' proposal. When Sheila is found shot to death in her beach-front pavilion, Charlie Chan of the Honolulu Police investigates.

1932 Charlie Chan's Chance

Charlie is the intended murder victim here, and he avoids death only by chance. To find the murderer (since, of course, murder does occur), Charlie must outguess Scotland Yard and New York City police.

1933 Charlie Chan's Greatest Case

(No synopsis available. Believed to be lost)

1934 Charlie Chan's Courage

Charlie is hired to deliver a pearl necklace to a millionaire at his ranch. When murder intervenes he disguises himself as a Chinese servant and begins sleuthing.

1934   Charlie Chan In London

Charlie visits a wealthy country home in England. Suspects in the murder range from a housekeeper to a stableman to a lawyer.

1935   Charlie Chan In Paris

Charlie's visit to Paris, ostensibly a vacation, is really a mission to investigate a bond-forgery racket. But his agent, apache dancer Nardi is killed before she can tell him much. The case, complicated by a false murder accusation for banker's daughter Yvette, climaxes with a strange journey through the Paris sewers.

1935   Charlie Chan In Egypt

An X-ray machine reveals the presence of a corpse in an Egyptian sarcophagus. It is not that of an ancient pharaoh. Instead the body is that of recently murdered archaeologist.

1935   Charlie Chan In Shanghai

The Chinese government calls Charlie Chan to Shanghai to investigate a murder involving an opium ring. Ring leaders kidnap Charlie and attempt to have him killed.

1936   Charlie Chan At The Opera

Regarded by many as the best of the Charlie Chan series. The opera star Gravelle suffers amnesia. He is a recent escapee from an insane asylum, accused of murdering fellow performers (his wife and her lover). Included in the movie is the opera "Carnival," composed for the picture by Oscar Levant.

1936   Charlie Chan's Secret

An ocean liner sinks off Honolulu and Allen Colby, heir to millions, is presumed dead...but  local sleuth Charlie Chan is not so sure, and flies to San Francisco to investigate further. Somehow, the missing Colby is there ahead of him...but is knifed in the back before seeing anyone. Further events revolve around spiritualist Mrs. Lowell, her family of suspicious characters, and the spooky, untenanted Colby mansion, where the body turns up during a seance!

1936   Charlie Chan At The Circus

While ostensibly on vacation with his wife and twelve children, famed detective Charlie Chan visits a circus at just the right time to become involved in the murder of one of the circus owners. Chan is prevailed upon to travel with the circus in hopes of discovering the killer before he, she - or it - strikes again.

1936   Charlie Chan At The Race Track

While steaming from Honolulu to Los Angeles the owner of a prize racehorse headed for the Santa Anita Handicap is killed, apparently kicked to death by his stallion. Not so, deduces Charlie. Later he exposes efforts to fix a race at the famous track.

1937   Charlie Chan At The Olympics

Spies have an invention which will allow its possessor to remote-control flying aircraft. The U.S. Navy, the Berlin police, and No. 1 son Lee Chan (a member of the U.S. Swim Team at the Berlin Olympics) help Charlie capture the spies.

1937   Charlie Chan On Broadway

A New York nightclub singer plans to reveal gangsters named in her private diary. The diary disappears and the singer is murdered. Charlie Chan is called into to investigate.

1938   Charlie Chan At Monte Carlo

Chan is on a gambling vacation in Monaco. He is called upon to solve two murders. One is a casino messenger on his way to Paris with a million dollars in bonds. The other is a two-bit Chicago gangster recently tending bar in a Monte Carlo hotel. Everyone is suspect and a third of the dialogue is in French.

1938   Charlie Chan In Honolulu

Charlie is aboard a freighter headed for Honolulu. On arrival he discovers a murder and orders the ship held at anchor, detaining its passengers several extra days, until the crime is solved.

1939   Charlie Chan In Reno

Mary Whitman has gone to Reno to obtain a divorce. While there she is arrested on suspicion of murdering a fellow guest at her hotel (which specializes in divorcees). There are many others at the hotel who wanted the victim out of the way. Charlie comes from his home in Honolulu to solve the murder.

1939   Charlie Chan At Treasure Island

A novelist friend of Charlie's appears to have committed suicide. At the international Exposition held on San Francisco Bay's Treasure Island Charlie shows that Zodiac, a phony mystic who blackmails clients, is the culprit.

1939   Charlie Chan In City In Darkness

Chan goes to Paris for a reunion with friends from World War I. There he investigates the murder of a munitions manufacturer who was supplying arms to the enemy. At the end Charlie preaches to us about the dangers of peace conferences.

1940   Charlie Chan At The Wax Museum

A wax museum run by a demented doctor contains statues of such crime figures as Jack the Ripper and Bluebeard the Pirate. In addition to making wax statues the doctor performs plastic surgery. It is here that an arch fiend takes refuge. The museum also houses a statue of Charlie. Frustrated number-two son kicks statue in rear; oops, number-two son wrong in his assumption.

1940   Charlie Chan In Panama

Charlie impersonates an employee of the U.S. government to foil an espionage plot which would destroy part of the Panama Canal, trapping a Navy fleet on its way to the Pacific after maneuvers in the Atlantic.

1940   Murder Over New York

1940   Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise

On a cruise ship from Honolulu to San Francisco, the famous Chinese detective encounters four more murders while trying to figure out the murder of a Scotland Yard friend.

1941   Dead Men Tell

Just as elderly Miss Nodbury is ready to leave on a treasure hunt for a family fortune she is scared to death by the ghost of a pirate ancestor. Charlie Chan investigates the rest of the clan.

1941   Charlie Chan In Rio

A pair of murders in Rio de Janeiro leads the local police to call the famed detective. Charlie is puzzled, at first, when it appears that one of the murderers is killed by the first victim's widow.

1942   Castle In The Desert

Paul Manderley, eccentric historian, and his wife, descendant of the Borgias, live in an isolated castle-like mansion in the Mojave Desert. When a guest suddenly collapses, Charlie Chan is  invited to stay. As the standard mystery-mansion props come into play, and all means of outside communication are sabotaged, it becomes evident that one of the inhabitants has access to poisons and is prepared to use them.

1944   Charlie Chan In The Secret Service

Charlie Chan is an agent of the U.S. government assigned to investigate the  mysterious death of an inventor.

1944   The Chinese Cat

Thomas P. Manning, businessman and chess expert, mysteriously shot in a locked room, dies clutching some chess pieces. Police are baffled, and finally abandon the case. Six months later, victim's daughter Leah Manning, stung by a scurrilous book about the case, enlists the aid of Charlie Chan and Number 3 Son. Additional murders follow, leading to a climactic confrontation in a seemingly deserted "Fun House."

1944   Black Magic

Charlie searches for a murderer amidst numerous ghosts conjured up by a strange variety of spiritualists and occultists.

1945   The Jade Mask

Eccentric scientist Harper lives in a spooky mansion with all the trimmings: hidden lab, secret panels, inscrutable butler, and greedy relatives with unusual talents. When Harper seems to be murdered, Charlie Chan (with the uninvited help of No. 4 son) tries to answer such questions as Where's the body? How can a dead man walk? And how can a secret murder be done in full view of detectives and witnesses?

1945   The Scarlet Clue

Charlie Chan investigates the theft of government radar papers (the laboratory is located in the same building as a radio station!) with the help of Number Three Son Tommy and comic sidekick Birmingham Brown.

1945   The Shanghai Cobra

Someone is attempting to steal radium stored in a bank. Cobra bites lead to a number of murders. Charlie investigates.

1945   The Red Dragon

Charlie Chan and a host of suspects are close at hand for three murders.

1946   Dark Alibi

Someone's committing crimes and framing innocents by forging their fingerprints in this tedious Charlie Chan outing for Karlson completists only.

1946   Shadows Over Chinatown

Charlie investigates murders connected with insurance fraud. This one is set in San Francisco's Chinatown.

1946   Dangerous Money

Charlie Chan tries to find out who committed a murder aboard a ship.

1947   The Trap

Toler's swan song as Charlie Chan, about a series of murders striking actors at Malibu beach.

1947 Chinese Ring

Charlie Chan probes the murder of a Chinese princess, with Winters debuting as the great detective.

1948   Docks Of New Orleans

Charlie Chan entry about killers trying to get their hands on a chemical shipment.

1948   The Shanghai Chest

Charlie attempts to solve a triple murder in which a dead man's finger prints show up at all three murder sites.

1948   The Golden Eye

Charlie Chan investigates the mystery of a supposedly barren mine that miraculously begins to yield gold in this poor entry.

1948   The Feathered Serpent

Charlie Chan entry about the search for a priceless Mexican statue.

1949   The Sky Dragon

Whodunit set on a plane bound for San Francisco.

(Film summaries courtesy of the Internet Movie Database)

All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 1999-2004 by the author, Dennis Power. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.

Please visit Dennis Power's other website: The El Head Homepage, home of the Legendary El Head, the Disembodied Avenger of the Plains. Was he Western Hero or Western Horror?



From Pygmalion to Casablanca: The Genealogy of Henry Higgins


by Mark Brown

Recently I have researched the background of the language expert who features in George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion, as well as the film, My Fair Lady. These are the results of my enquiry.

According to Philip Jose Farmer's Tarzan Alive, the father of John Jansenius and his sister, Agatha, was one Mr. Karoly, a Hungarian Jew. Farmer tells us that their third sibling was Julius Higgins, who had changed his name from Karoly after having settled in Ireland. His daughter was Ellen Higgins, who was the mother of Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of James Joyce's Ulysses.

Farmer was apparently unaware that Julius Higgins had two other children. Ellen was his third child. The middle child was Claudius. Claudius had at least one daughter, Meriem. Meriem had the misfortune to fall madly in love with Abraham Baline, a suitor her father could not approve of. A rugged handsome man, Abraham was a bit of gambler and drank excessively. When Claudius objected to their marriage Meriem and Abraham eloped to America. Without much in the way of money, and no family to lean on, the Baline's fell on hard times and ended in one of the less affluent sections of New York. Abraham fell ill, and died shortly after the birth of their only son, Yitzik.

Young Yitzik, who went by the name of Rick, fell in with the notorious Solomon Horowitz mob, and became Horowitz's chosen heir. Eventually, his luck ran out, and when his boss was murdered by a rival gangster, Rick Baline was implicated. He fled to Europe and, under a nom de guerre, became a soldier of fortune. Eventually he retired to Casablanca, where he ran a successful casino and nightclub until the outbreak of World War II, when the arrival of an old flame disrupted the life he had built for himself.

The oldest son of Julius Higgins was Octavius, who moved to England and made a modest fortune. I have not yet been able to ascertain the nature of his career. Octavius married Eleanor, a younger daughter of the 12th Baron Tennington (see appendix 2 of Tarzan Alive). Their son was the famed linguist Henry Higgins, who won a famous wager concerning whether or not he could teach Eliza Doolittle, an uneducated street vendor, to speak like a member of the upper class.

Incidentally, Eliza might have had the proper genetics to learn a variety of dialects. Her cousin John became a well known veterinarian, because of his ability to communicate with other species, although his ability to speak with animals was greatly, though amusingly exaggerated by his biographer, Hugh Lofting.

All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 1999-2004 by the author, Mark Brown. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.



For Those Who Came In Late: Doc Savage's Father and the Greystoke Lineage


by Win Eckert (after information from Philip José Farmer's Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life)

Also visit The Doc Savage Chronology

Doc Savage's father was named James Clarke Wildman. He was the same person as James Wilder character in Doyle's/Watson's Sherlock Holmes case "The Adventure of the Priory School." (May 1901.) Wilder was the secretary of the Duke of Holdernesse in the story. (Holdernesse is an alias for Greystoke.) It turns out that Wilder was responsible for setting up a scheme to kidnap the Duke's only son, a young boy named Arthur. During Holmes' investigation, the German teacher was murdered.

Why did Wilder instigate these events? He was the Duke's illegitimate son. Wilder had plotted with a local innkeeper (who murdered the teacher) to kidnap the younger half-brother, in order to force the father to acknowledge him. Wilder was horrified by the murder, but nevertheless was guilty of kidnapping and an accessory after-the-fact to murder. The Duke told Holmes that his repentant son left England forever to seek his fortune. Farmer also reveals that, at this point, Wilder was already secretly married to Arronaxe Land, and she was pregnant. Wilder/Wildman later changed his name to Clark Savage, Sr., or else that's just the name Lester Dent gave the family when chronicling the exploits of James Clarke Wildman's son, Doc Savage. (Wildman, Sr., may have taken the name of his adoptive father, Richard Henry Savage (see The Doc Savage Chronology). In my website, The Wold Newton Universe, I leave out all of Farmer's "true" names of Wold Newton characters; the family tree is confusing enough without all of the aliases and alternate names.)

And whatever became of young Arthur? Let's back up for a moment. Tarzan's grandfather was the fifth Duke of Greystoke. His son, John Clayton, never had a chance to become the sixth Duke; he was shipwrecked in Africa and died before his father. So, when the fifth Duke passed, so did the title, to his brother, the sixth Duke, whom we see as the Duke of Holdernesse in "Priory School."

Arthur, the son of the sixth Duke, was the same person as William Clayton in Tarzan of the Apes and The Return of Tarzan (events covering 1909-1910). Farmer called him William Cecil Arthur Clayton in Tarzan Alive. The sixth Duke apparently died somewhere in this time period, and William Clayton became the seventh Duke. He intercepted a telegram confirming Tarzan's identity as a Greystoke, and kept it to himself. Finally, on his deathbed in 1910, he confessed. After his death, the title passed to Tarzan, the grandson of the fifth Duke. Tarzan became the eighth Duke. However, as Holmes deduced in 1916, in The Peerless Peer, Tarzan, in order to save himself unwanted attention, passed himself off as the seventh Duke, William Clayton, whom he resembled greatly. Tarzan probably abandoned this facade after a time, as the world did know him as John Clayton in many later adventures.

Meanwhile, in November 1901, Doc Savage was born. His mother either drowned in 1902 or was killed during a Siberian expedition in 1908. Doc's father, still guilt-ridden over the death of the gardener, decided to dedicate his son's life to the eradication of evil. Farmer states that he settled in New York during this time period.

However, Savage, Sr., was not much involved to his son's upbringing; he left that to scientists and other experts. Therefore, it is possible that he didn't spend all of his time in New York. We do know that he went on many treasure expeditions, in order to finance young Clark's upbringing. In 1911 he discovered the valley of gold in Central America, which explains the Savage fortune. In 1917-1918, he mounted an expedition to Maple White Land (first seen in Doyle's/Malone's The Lost World), as told in Farmer's & Rosney's Ironcastle. In 1929, operating through figureheads, he began building the Empire State Building. He was murdered in 1931 (Lester Dent's The Man of Bronze), launching a great period of adventure for his son, the amazing Doc Savage.

All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 1999-2004 by the author, Win Eckert. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.



Prehistoric Survivors in the Pacific


by Mark Brown

Although dinosaurs and other survivors from the prehistoric period have been located at a number of spots throughout the globe, including Africa's Pal-Ul-Don and Brazil's Maple White Land, my researches have led me to believe that the largest numbers of these creatures have been discovered throughout the Pacific Ocean. A few examples, as well as a possible explanation for this phenomenon, are offered below.

In the spring of 1927, an expedition led by the notorious gambler, Bartholomew A. Lash, and WWI ace, Baron Hans von Hammer, discovered an island in the South Pacific which held a large population of living dinosaurs. Lash and Von Hammer, together with others of their crew, encountered Chinese and Japanese warlords fighting on the island. These forces were being manipulated by the man who was the prototype for the fictional character, Vandal Savage. Between the combatants and the saurians, Von Hammer and Lash barely escaped with their lives.

In the spring of 1931, Dr. Clark Savage, Jr. and his associates discovered Thunder Island, located in the South Seas, some distance from New Zealand. The center of the island was a sleeping volcano, the crater of which contained a jungle inhabited by a wide variety of prehistoric survivors. The volcano erupted, evidently destroying the dinosaurs there. Dr. Savage and his men escaped by the skin of their teeth.

In 1933, Carl Denham, the noted producer of wildlife films, led a crew to Skull Island, located southwest of Sumatra. Not only did the filmmakers find a number of dinosaurs, they also discovered a new species of ape. This ape, captured with the aid of Dr. Savage's knockout gas, was measured at 50 feet tall. Denham returned to Skull Island the following year, and reportedly found a second specimen of the ape, before the island broke apart and sank beneath the waves. Rumor has it that other specimens of this previously unknown ape species have since been located on an island southwest of Indonesia and on the Japanese-owned Faroe Island in the South Pacific. An ape of this size would hardly seem to be a naturally occurring species, especially on a island of this size.

Several times during World War II, reconnaissance patrols went missing after flying near the so-called Mystery Island, in Japanese-held portion of the South Pacific. Investigators discovered that the island was inhabited by dinosaurs. One of the interesting facts about Mystery Island is that many of the species of saurians living there were much larger than the fossils located elsewhere would suggest. This is an interesting item. Traditional wisdom would have it that living on an island with a limited ecosphere would produce smaller specimens, not larger. Perhaps below, I can suggest a possible solution to this puzzle.

Also during the second World War, John Fairbanks and his comrades were forced to bail out over an island in the South Pacific. He was the only survivor, spending the next several years as a drunk and claiming that his friends had been eaten by dinosaurs. In 1948, Fairbanks was hired as a guide, leading the Osborne expedition back to the island. The expedition brought back photographic evidence that dinosaurs did indeed exist on the otherwise unknown island.

In 1951, Major Joseph Nolan and Dr. Robert Phillips, a scientist for the Atomic Energy Commission, led an six-man team in search of a rocket which was lost shortly after it had been launched from White Sands, New Mexico. The rocket's trail led them to a volcanic island, located yet again in the South Pacific. Once there, they discovered large deposits of uranium, and, yes, dinosaurs which have survived into the modern era. Shortly after the Nolan expedition left this island, it broke apart and sank beneath the waves, just as so many others of its type had.

It is, of course, possible that some of these locations were the same, having been independently discovered and given different names. The fact that more than one of them subsequently sank, and that they are described differently, reduces the likelihood of this.

The unusual characteristics that these islands have in common include species of dinosaurs generally believed extinct in most other parts the world, including specimens which are much larger than those discovered elsewhere; species of animals which are not known anywhere else in the world (some of which seem unlikely to have evolved on their own); and quantities of elements and other substances which are not normally located in natural deposits. Also, these islands seem very unstable, being prone to volcanic activity and earthquakes.

In the search for an answer to these enigmas, let us turn to the time of World War I. During this period, Bowen Tyler of Santa Monica, California, as well as several of his associates, discovered a large island in the South Pacific, nearly into the Antarctic Ocean. This island, named Caprona by it's discoverers and Caspak by its inhabitants, follows the familiar pattern of possessing a large dinosaur population, in this case including a number of types of primitive man. But during their stay, Tyler and his companions discovered a very odd thing about Caspak. Lifeforms on this island are born as very simple organisms and develop, each of them, through the stages of evolution, through the dinosaurs and mammals, into modern types of men, who then, in some cases, are capable of regular childbirth. In addition to this, Caspak possesses a species of winged men, the Weiroos, who can actually fly. needless to say, this is a highly unnatural state of events.

Some researchers have attempted to explain the situation of Caspak by veiled references to the discoveries of the 1930 Miskatonic University-sponsored Pabodie Antarctic Expedition to the Mountains of Madness. But I would like to posit an alternative explanation.

In 1940, Alan Hunter was exploring the Lost Land region of central Australia. In the course of his travels, Hunter and his sister, Ann, discovered a jungle region inhabited by prehistoric beasts. (Click here for more info.) The Lost Land was also the home of the Muros, descendants of a degenerate colony of miners from the ancient land of Mu, or Lemuria. This continent which once occupied a spot in the Central and South Pacific sank beneath the waves thousands of years ago, following a series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions which rocked the land over a period of millennia.

According to records discovered in the city of the Muros, the ancient Lemurians had used the dinosaurs as beasts of burden and had possessed technologies for the breeding and control of these creatures which would be advanced even by our standards today.

When the Hunters returned to the United States some years later, they brought these ancient records with them. Published under the title The Lemurian Chronicles, they (along with the Scarlet Edda which had been recovered from Muvian ruins on Ponape in 1912 by the noted explorer and botanist, Walter Goodwin) were used by Lin Carter to supplement his redaction of "Thongor's Saga." This elder tale makes it very clear that the early Lemurians lived side by side with dinosaurians long after these creatures were extinct in most other parts of the world. And the dinosaurs, painstakingly described in the records, include many species not discovered elsewhere, as well as specimens of tremendous size.

Dr. Goodwin's account of his experiences among a surviving colony of Muvians adds to the picture of a civilization capable of tremendous strides in the field of biological manipulation. It seems very likely to me that it is these strides which are responsible for the large numbers of prehistoric creatures which have managed to survive into modern times in the Pacific, as well as the strange varieties of lifeforms found nowhere else.

Burroughs, Edgar Rice -The Land That Time Forgot
Carter, Lin - The Thongor Series
Farmer, Philip Jose - Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Playboy, 1981
Kanigher, Robert, et al - Star Spangled War Stories #90-137, DC Comics, 1960-68
Merritt, A. - The Moon Pool
Robeson, Kenneth - The Land of Terror, Doc Savage, Street & Smith,1933
Rovin, Jeff - The Encyclopedia of Monsters, Facts on File, 1989
Truman, Timothy - Guns of the Dragon, DC Comics, 1998-99
Williams, Robert Moore - Jongor of Lost Land and sequels, Fantastic, 1942

King Kong, RKO Pictures, 1933
Lost Continent, Sigmund Neufeld Productions/Lippert Pictures, 1951
Unknown Island, Film Classics, 1948

All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 1999-2004 by the author, Mark Brown. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.



A Look at the Wimsey Family


by Mark Brown

I have in my possession a slim book, published by Avon in Sept. 1979, bearing the title, The Wimsey Family. The author, C.W. Scott-Giles, was a friend and correspondent of Dorothy L. Sayers, biographer of Lord Peter Wimsey. Scott-Giles summarizes a great deal of information from the Wimsey books, articles published by Sayers in The Spectator (among other places), and the letters she wrote to him. He also includes details he has unearthed himself. The book traces the family history from the founder, Roger de Guimsey, who came to England with William the Conqueror, down to the present Duke of Denver and his heirs, including little anecdotes such as the story of how the three mice on the Wimsey arms relate to the rhyme about "the three blind mice," and the one about the Wimsey who entered a dispute with Shakespeare and was subsequently and satirically skewered as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet.

As for the current family, the following people are mentioned: Lord Peter; his brother, Gerald, the 16th Duke of Denver; his sister, Lady Mary; the Dowager Duchess; the Duke's son and heir, Viscount St. George; a third cousin, Mr. Matthew Wimsey; Harriet Vane, Lord Peter's wife; and their three sons, Bredon, Roger, and Paul.

Peter and Gerald's father was Mortimer, the 15th Duke of Denver. His wife, Honoria Lucasta Delagardie, was the aforementioned Dowager Duchess. More on her below. Mortimer's father was George, the 14th Duke. According to Scott-Giles, his wife was Mary Death, the Deaths being an ancient noble family. Apparently, the Deaths and the Wimsey had intermarried several generations in the past.

So much for Scott-Giles. Now, we turn to Tarzan Alive. As Farmer points out, the author who wrote about these families often changed the names in order to protect the privacy of the principals. He reveals that this family is the same one described by Arthur Conan Doyle in The Lost World as the family of the Duke of Pomfret. He describes the considerable resemblance between the third son of the Duke, Lord John Roxton, and Lord Peter Wimsey. He also points out that Roxton is of the right age to be Wimsey's uncle. He also blends Denver and Pomfret into Pomver for convenience.

According to Farmer, the immediate family of Lord Peter is pretty much the same as in Scott-Giles, with the following variation: The 14th Duke of Pomver is married to Joane Clayton, sister of both the 5th and 6th Dukes of Greystoke, (the grandfathers, of, respectively, Tarzan and Doc Savage). Farmer notes that the 6th Duke closely resembles Wimsey and Roxton. This would mean that the "ancient and noble" Deaths are the Claytons, who certainly merit that description, and Joane would be the Mary Death mentioned above. Farmer tells us that Joane had had an affair with the twelfth baron Wentworth, resulting in a child, John Byron Wentworth. (The baron was the grandson of Lord Byron, and thus a Gordon.) Joane and the baron did not marry.

Joane later married marries the 14th Duke of Pomver. After she bears him two sons, he adopts John, making him (technically) the third son. This would be Lord John Roxton, who later was the father of Richard Wentworth, and thus grandfather of Mack Bolan.* The first son of Joane and the Duke was Mortimer, the 15th Duke and father of Lord Peter Wimsey. The second son, according to Farmer, was the father of Barbara Collis, who appeared in Tarzan Triumphant, by Burroughs. She is described as the daughter of the 1st Earl of Whimsey. Again according to Farmer, he married a Collis, hyphenated her name with his, and earned a title of his own. Thus Barbara's name would actually be Collis-Wimsey.

John Roxton's father, James Roxton, appears in J.T. Edson's novel, The Whip And The War Lance, where we learn that he was a big game hunter and world traveler like his son. James seems to have nothing in common with the twelfth baron Wentworth, and so this would appear to be Edson's name for George Wimsey, the 14th Duke of Denver.

Not having read the first two issues of Tarzan: The Savage Heart yet, I can't comment on the Whimsey who appears therein, except to point out that Whately is a common name in the Miskatonic region of Massachusetts, especially in the area around Dunwich.

The family of Peter's mother, Honoria Lucasta Delagardie, is a prominent one in Wold Newton history. Her sister, Enid, married Prof. George Edward Challenger, and eventually produced Lew Archer. Another sister, Rhoda, married, firstly, Lord John Roxton, with whom she bore Richard Wentworth, and secondly Ralph Rassendyll, with whom she mothered the men who became the Shadow and G-8. She and Ralph were also the grandparents of Kent Lane, and Cordwainer Bird.

The Delagardies were descended from Honore Delagardie, who was a friend of Sir Percy Blakeney. Blakeney brought Delagardies to England. Honore's other descendants include C. Auguste Dupin.

The Delagardies were a branch of the great Swedish family of De La Gardie, who had fled to France in the wake of the peasant uprising against the founder of Raback, Count Magnus De La Gardie. Count Magnus was a sorcerer who made the Black Pilgrimage to Chorazin, and returned with a demonic familiar who eventually turned the Count into a vampiric revenant. His story is told in M.R. James' short story, "Count Magnus," and some of his descendants who remained in Raback appear in Colin Wilson's science fiction novel, The Space Vampires. Magnus, by the way, was the name of the vampire who gave the Dark Gift to Lestat de Lioncourt. It is not known if there is any connection.

All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 1999-2004 by the author, Mark Brown. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.


*Credit for the speculation that Richard Wentworth, aka The Spider, is the father of Mack Bolan, aka The Executioner, is due to Dave Taggart, who writes:

HISTORICAL FACT: In 1942, FDR makes William "Wild Bill" Donovan the head of the OSS, Office of Strategic Services, the organization that would evolve eventually into the CIA. Donovan was a wealthy Wall Street lawyer and New York social figure. During World War I he served as a battalion commander in France and won the Medal of Honor. The OSS did investigate the possibility of assassinating Hitler. The SPIDER magazine ceased publication in 1943.

CONJECTURE: Donovan recruits Richard Wentworth to assassinate Hitler. He would have been an old friend, both being notable battalion commanders in the rank of Major during the war, and they moved in the same New York social circles. Donovan would have known, or suspected that Wentworth was the SPIDER. Without a doubt, Wentworth accepts the mission, and goes off to war.

But this is one place where his constant companion Nita cannot go along. Wentworth is a man alone on a mission. Heartbroken, knowing she may never see him again, and wanting something to remember him by, Nita, like thousands of other American women that year, allows herself to become pregnant before Wentworth leaves. He never knows.

What happens on Wentworth's mission is unknown. He may have succeeded, he may have failed. But word gets back to Nita that Wentworth is still ALIVE! Maybe captured, in need of rescue, or badly wounded, or in need of other help. She finds that she must rush to his side. So she places the young son she has born by Richard Wentworth up for adoption in another state -- with her money and forging skills, there is no real way to find out that this child, who would grow up called Mack Bolan, was adopted.

Mack Bolan must have been born around 1944-45-46 -- puts him at the right age to have been the Special Forces sergeant in Vietnam. From his Wentworth lineage, we can see the military bearing, the patriotism, the devotion to duty, the willingness to go outside the law to enforce it, the marksmanship. He has the dark, sharp good looks of Wentworth -- his husky frame comes from his mother's side (there are enough reference's to Nita's figure in the SPIDER to let us know that the girl had to watch what she ate).

Anyhow, that's it -- they say the SPIDER ceased publication in 1943 due to the wartime paper shortage, but many other pulp magazines survived the war. So the SPIDER disappeared to go on one last mission, outcome unknown, leaving behind that child that would grow to be his replacement.



The House of Frankenstein


by Mark Brown

In the latter part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there were several men whose names have become known as pioneers in certain fields of medicine. Men such as Henry Jekyll, Clark Savage, Jr., and Patrick F. Cory contributed tremendously to our knowledge of the brain. Savage, Herbert West, and Arthur Maxon added just as much to our knowledge of the nature of life itself. But no one made as much difference in the advance of science into these dark corners of nature as the family of Frankenstein.

The Story of Victor Frankenstein is too well known to repeat here. Victor, a descendant of that noble family of Frankenstein, Germany, was born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1772. His father, Alphonse Frankenstein, came from a long line of counselors and syndics. Alphonse's wife was Caroline Beaufort, whose father had been a longtime friend of Alphonse's. Victor had two younger brothers, Ernest (born 1778) and William (born 1786).

In 1790, Victor became the first known man to create artificial life. In doing so, he triggered a series of events which would lead to the deaths of his youngest brother, his bride, his father, and his best friend. Victor would hound his creation around the globe for 10 years before dying in the Arctic in the arms of Robert Walton, who brought the story of Victor Frankenstein to the world. Victor's creature would apparently spend some years in the hollow interior of the earth, although he would be reported in the Americas by 1820. In 1909, the apparently indestructible being would be reported in America again, encountering Nikola Tesla and Lord Greystoke.

Victor's brother Ernest went on to become a farmer and did very well on the family lands. He managed to reclaim the title of Baron of Frankenstein. He married --, daughter of Lothar von Harben, a visiting military officer from Cronstadt, Lutha. His bride wore a wreath of orange blossoms on her wedding day, beginning a tradition that lasted for three generations. His oldest son, named William after the brother who died so tragically young, was born in 1802. He married Madeleine Delacroix.

William's son, Alphonse Victor, married a distant cousin, Felicia Saville, of America. Felicia was the second daughter of Victor Saville. According to Robert J. Myers, Victor Saville was the illegitimate son of Victor Frankenstein, fathered on a tavern girl during Victor's years of pursuit of the creature he had made. Victor II was rescued from poverty by Robert Walton, and raised by his sister, Margaret Saville. After several years of tragic adventures similar to those of his father, Victor II settled down and married, producing a daughter, Felicia. Alphonse and Felicia's son, Henry was born ca. 1860.

In the early 1870s, as noted by Philip José Farmer in Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, an Englishman named Sir Patrick Clarke Wildman, of Fogg Shaw, Derbyshire was apparently trying to duplicate the experiments of the first Victor Frankenstein. When frightened villagers learned that Sir Patrick was carrying on the family tradition (his father had also been a medical man and student of alchemy and the occult), they burned his laboratory and his notes. Clarke Wildman escaped the villagers' wrath, but later poisoned himself. Farmer attributes to Hendrik van Helsing's Hollow Dark Places the idea that Sir Patrick may have had access to Victor's notes, but rejects this as unlikely. Be that as it may, rumor of this trickled back into Europe and eventually reached the ears of Henry Frankenstein. Intrigued, Henry began delving into the history of his family and learned of the researches of his ancestor. Curiosity became passion, and Henry traveled to England in search of papers that might have survived Sir Patrick's death. It is not known whether or not he found any, but he did make friends in England who eventually welcomed him when he relocated to that country.

In the mid-1880s, Henry both married his long-time sweetheart, Elizabeth, and created a living being in a manner similar to Victor I. Henry's homunculus was more crudely made than Victor's, however, being unable to speak and capable of moving only with a shambling, lurching gait. (This restricted movement has led some scholars to speculate that Henry's technique may have involved tana leaves as well as electricity. Tana leaves, rumored in Egyptian folklore to be capable of reviving the dead, supposedly create that same style of lurching movement.)

In 1886, Henry, working with someone claiming to be the sinister Renaissance alchemist, Dr. Pretorius, succeeded in something his forefather would not do, and created a mate for his creation. However, the mate rejected her intended spouse, and, in despair, the creature attempted to destroy them both. Henry and Elizabeth moved to England and had at least two children: Wolf, and Ludwig. Both were brilliant scientists who duplicated much of their father's work and had their own experiences with Henry's creature, Wolf in late 1919 and Ludwig in early 1921. Ludwig's daughter, Elsa (named after Wolf's wife, with whom Ludwig had secretly been in love) later had more encounters with the creature. This "Monster" was last seen in La Mirada, Florida in June of 1998.

Wolf's son, Peter, was traumatized by the events he witnessed as a child, and tried to distance himself from the Frankenstein legacy. He began going by his middle name, Frederick, and even changed the way his surname was pronounced. But he could not escape his family's past. He too went into medicine and was tempted to create a living being. But at least he did not reject his creation, and was able to redeem his family name to some extent by helping his masterpiece find its place in the world.

There are rumors of other descendants of the Frankenstein family surviving in both Europe and America, but as of yet, these remain unconfirmed.

"Dr. Maniac" - "The Erratic Travels of Frankenstein," Scary Monsters Magazine #31, June 1999
Farmer, Philip Jose - Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life (Playboy Books, 1981)
Florescu, Radu - In Search of Frankenstein (Warner Books, 1975)
Myers, Robert J. - The Cross of Frankenstein (J.B. Lippincott, 1975)
Rovin, Jeff - Return of the Wolfman (Berkley Boulevard, 1998)
Shelly, Mary - Frankenstein (1818)
Smith, Brian- "Frankenstein's Family Tree" Monsters From The Vault #8, 1999
Utley, Steven and Howard Waldrop - "Black as the Pit, from Pole to Pole," New Dimensions 7, 1977

Young Frankenstein, 20th Century Fox, 1974

All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 1999-2004 by the author, Mark Brown. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.

Dennis Power has also created a graphic family tree of The Frankenstein Family. Please view it at his site, The Secret History of the Wold Newton Universe.



The Family of Kane


by Mark Brown

In recent days, I have been looking into an little researched corner of the Wold Newton Family, the family of Kane.

By this, I do not mean the descendants of the puritan adventurer Solomon Kane, who include Michael Kane, whose biography was edited by Michael Moorcock, and Alan Kane, whose exploits with Theodore Dolliver were recorded by Carl H. Claudy.

No, I am looking for evidence of a dynasty founded by the legendary, prehistoric warrior, Kane, rebel against a mad god, and the first murderer. These legends have been translated and adapted for a modern artist by Karl Edward Wagner.

According to the myths, Kane (or Cain) was one of the first men created (sometime prior to 35000 bc). In the course of what was either a justified disobedience of an insane god (called in some versions Azazoth), or an egomaniacal rebellion against his creator, Kane became an immortal outlaw. Kane lived for centuries or perhaps even millennia, becoming an unrivalled warrior, as well as an adept sorcerer and scholar. He was both the hero and the villain of his own saga. Many of his exploits have been translated and edited by the late Karl Edward Wagner (see Darkness Weaves, Death Angel's Shadow, Bloodstone, and Dark Crusade).

Physically, Kane is a powerfully built man of average height, with long, massively muscled arms. He has burning blue eyes, and coarse red hair. His face is often described as brutal, or especially, primitive.

Is it possible that Kane may have survived far enough into recorded history to have sired a line which still exists? Our researches have turned up a number of immortals, from Fu Manchu to Lord Greystoke. We know that Kane appears in tales of Simon Magus (trans. and edited by Richard C. Tierney under the title, The Scroll of Thoth), and Simon was a contemporary of Christ. After having lived for at least 35,000 years, managing to make it for another 2000 does not seem quite so impossible.

Let us summarize Kane's characteristics once again. He is brilliant and charming, yet megalomaniacal. His physical prowess is nearly superhuman. He is massive, brutal, and primitive looking. He is described as having long arms, an apelike trait fitting one of the first men, yet women find him attractive. He has coarse red hair.

Is there a family currently existing which shares these traits? There is. Philip José Farmer, in his Tarzan Alive, describes several members of the Rutherford family, including Prof. George Edward Challenger, Bulldog Drummond, Monk Mayfair, and L. Horace Holly, all of whom have an iron strength, and "ape-like" features. Challenger is a prominent scientist known for his megalomania and aggressiveness. Farmer points out that Monk has these traits. Monk is often mistaken for an ape in his exploits as one of Doc Savage's aides, and yet women are often attracted to him. He is a brilliant chemist.

While these similarities are not conclusive, they are suggestive of a possibility of Kane's genetic material being introduced into the Rutherford family at some point in the mid-to-late-1800s. If this is true, Kane is also an ancestor of Tarzan, Richard Wentworth, The Shadow, and other nearly superhuman members of the Wold Newton family.

Incidentally, The Book Of Elders by Alorri-Zrokros, with which Kane is quite familiar, also features in Wagner's short story, "Sticks," which also features horror story writer, H. Kenneth "Kent" Allard's life and death(?).

To go to a timeline of Kane's adventures, click here.

All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 1999-2004 by the author, Mark Brown. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.



Armies Of Darkness: Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" Trilogy & the Wold Newton Universe


by Hooper_X

Although the Wold Newton universe seems to prefer having literary heroes inhabit its hallowed halls, there is one series of films that must not be overlooked in the search for a complete universe. Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" trilogy are modern classics of horror, inspired partially by H.P. Lovecraft.

In the first film, "Evil Dead," a group of five friends head out to a creepy old cabin in the woods for a weekend of fun. Fooling around in the basement, two of the friends, Scotty and Ashley "Ash" Williams, find a strange old book, and an old reel-to-reel player. Playing back the reel-to-reel reveals a dark secret. The book is none other than the Necronomicon, a Babylonian translation, it would seem. According to the tape, it contains wicked burial rites and incantations to raise demons and the living dead.

The group of friends makes the mistake of listening to a recording of one of the book's chants. This awakens an evil force in the woods, which, one by one, kills off the friends, until, at the end, Ash manages to burn the Necronomicon, and survives until dawn.

Based on contextual clues as well as the actual release date of the film, it can be assumed that this took place in the fall of 1982.

What happened to Ash at this time is unknown. More likely than not, he was tried for the murders of his friends. Given his bizarre story, Ash may well have wound up in an asylum for some time. Only time will tell what actually happened to Ash between 1982 and 1987.

In 1987, Ash returned to the cabin in the woods, with more friends, perhaps to prove to himself that what occurred there was over, and he was safe now. He was dead wrong. Again, all of Ash's friends were slaughtered, and Ash himself lost his left hand to the darkness. Replacing his lost hand with a chainsaw(!), Ash once again vanquished the evil forces, this time using the Necronomicon (so powerful that it cannot truly be destroyed) to open a hole in time to suck away the evil.

Unfortunately, Ash was sucked along with it.

Ash awoke in the year 1040 AD, and was captured by the knights of a king named Arthur. This Arthur is presumably NOT the Arthur of legend, as he is about 400 years late if Ash is correct. In this ancient time, Ash confronts an entire army of zombies, as well as an evil, magically created duplicate of himself. Eventually, Ash triumphs, and returns to his right time, where he returns to his normal life.

In fall 2000, Ash once again returns to the cabin in the woods. The end of this encounter remains unknown. (It is the plot of the forthcoming videogame "Evil Dead: Ashes 2 Ashes.")

Thus, an "Evil Dead" Timeline would look something like this:

9th Century AD:
-Ashley "Ash" Williams arrives in the past, and leads a group of peasants and minor nobility against an army of evil zombies, led by Ash's magically created evil twin.

Early 1960s (1960-2?):
-Birth of Ashley Williams.

-On a weekend vacation, Ashley "Ash" Williams, his sister, his girlfriend, and two other friends all stay at an old cabin in the woods. Once settled in for the night, they come across a copy of the Necronomicon, in Babylonian, with a reel-to-reel tape translation. Playing back the translation awakens evil forces in the woods, who possess and brutally slaughter most of the group, leaving only Ash alive by daylight.

-Ash returns to the cabin in the woods, with a new girlfriend and another group of friends. Once again, the Necronomicon appears, slaughtering people left and right. Ash loses his left hand, and mounts a chainsaw on the stump. Ash recites an incantation that pulls the Necronomicon back in time, but Ash is brought along with it.

-Ash returns to the cabin in the woods one last time, for a final showdown with the Necronomicon and the forces of darkness.


"The Evil Dead," Sam Raimi, director. Starring Bruce Campbell. 1982.
"Evil Dead 2: Dead Before Dawn," Sam Raimi, director. Starring Bruce Campbell. 1987.
"Army Of Darkness." Sam Raimi, director. Starring Bruce Campbell. 1993.

All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 1999-2004 by the author, Hooper_X. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.




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