Happenings in the New Pulp World

So, there have been several big New Pulp announcements lately that I wanted to comment on.

First up – Masks from Dynamite Entertainment. Dynamite holds the comics license to a number of classic pulp heroes, most notably The Shadow and The Spider. They also make good use of public domain characters. Now they’ve announced a series that will team all those heroes together, with Alex Ross artwork. The writer of the series (Chris Roberson) has been hit or miss with me in the past. I didn’t really enjoy any of his DC work but found the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover pretty fun. Alex Ross is a bit overrated to me — his artwork peaked back in the Nineties and it’s only gotten more stiff since then. But with all those characters coming together, how could I say no to this? I’m so there. Looking forward to seeing what they do, considering I’m enjoying their Shadow and Spider books quite a bit.

Next – Airship 27 has moved into the licensed book realm with their announcement of a Captain Action novel written by Jim Beard. Jim, of course, has had great success with his Sgt. Janus character. Now, I never played with Captain Action toys and was basically unaware of his existence until Moonstone started publishing comics with the character. I found the premise interesting but just couldn’t get into it — a problem I’ve had with other licensed media projects when I just didn’t have a pre-existing love for the material. I mean, I didn’t play with Transformers as a kid and now I just can’t get into the universe, despite repeated attempts. So I regard this with mixed emotions. I like Jim and I’d like to see the book be a success but I really have no affection for the character, especially a 1960s version that isn’t really the same guy that I read about in the couple of trades I got from Moonstone.  I wish them well but I’m not sure this one is for me – still, maybe I’ll check it out and hope that Jim can prove me wrong.

Lastly – Pro Se announced that they were going to be the publisher of the next Sun Koh book from Art Sippo. I loved the first book (published by Age of Adventure, I believe) and so I’m thrilled to know that  second is on the way and that it’ll get the usual Pro Se treatment. Sun Koh was the “Nazi Doc Savage” and Sippo successfully manages to make him the protagonist despite his Aryan beliefs, which is no small feat. I used Sippo’s version of Sun Koh (with his permission) in The Rook Volume Six and had a blast with it.


5 thoughts on “Happenings in the New Pulp World

  1. I haven’t really cared for Dynamite’s versions of The Shadow and the Spider (guess that makes me a pulp purist ). The stories haven’t grabbed my attention and the characters all look alike. But I will at least check out the first issue of MASKS. I happen to like Ross’ work and want to see more of it, as well as the premise of all these characters coming together. Don’t know how they’ll fit Zorro into it, but should be interesting to see.

    I was disappointed about the big news for Airship 27 being Captain Action. I didn’t care for the character back in the 60s and never read the comic series. I do wish them luck with the project though. They deserve to get out there and be noticed.

  2. I think that a pure version of The Shadow and The Spider could be done — and done quite successfully. But I’m open to new takes, as well. Certainly, The Spider has undergone more changes than The Shadow and I can see how someone who really loves The Spider could be unhappy with them. I’m more of a Shadow guy, myself.

  3. Barry, I appreciate the faith that you seem to have in me. I hope I may sway you over to the Dark Side 🙂

    One note: The ‘bible’ that I uitlized to write the CA book is the same one used for the Moonstone comics; i.e., it IS the same character therein, but the father of the ‘modern’ CA. This is Miles Drake, the father of Cole Drake. Maybe that still wonn’t make a huge difference to you and others in your decisions to read or not read the novel, but I did want to point it out. Readers of the Moonstone comics will find that this is the same Miles Drake, albeit in 1967.

    Whale, I am sorry for your disappointment. This book is pure pulp, so perhaps you may care to give it a try based on that alone. I’d say don’t worry about what you know of don’t know about the character so much, and you might dig the story purely on its strengths as an action/adventure tale. If you like Doc Savage, you may like the book. If you like James Bond, you may like the book. And so on.


  4. Hi Jim – didn’t mean my disappointment to sound like I won’t give the book a whirl. I’ve read your Sgt Janus on your blog and your writing is top notch. There are several authors I read in the mystery genre that have multiple series out – I read a book for the writing as much as for the characters. Even if the character isn’t a personal favorite, I feel that a good writer will still give me a reason to continue following their work, wherever it takes them. Any possibility of getting a couple of teaser pages posted on Airship to see what it looks like? I’m not a Bond fan but I do love a good action/adventure story!

    Barry – I’m a Shadow fan myself. The Spider is fun because it’s so over the top and on a constant adrenaline high, but The Shadow is my fave because I love mysteries and he tended to work behind the scenes. To me, it was always a treat when he went into action, otherwise letting his agents do the work.

    1. No worries here, sir. Thanks very much for the good word on Sgt. Janus – that serial will be wrapping up soon, I promise 🙂

      As to a tease of CAPTAIN ACTION, I would urge you to put in that request with Ron and Rob over at the ol’ Airship and see what they say. I think it would be a good idea, personally.


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