Classic Pulp Heroes That Need to Return

neal_adams__portfolio_piece__002We’ve seen lots and lots of great classic pulp heroes return in new stories since the New Pulp boom began but there are still a few out there that I’d love to see return with regularly published adventures. Several of these have seen print in comics or even the occasional prose adventure but I want something akin to what Altus Press and Will Murray are doing with Doc Savage or what Moonstone has been doing with The Spider. I want novels and anthologies featuring new adventures. I’m not talking about wild updates, either… I’m speaking of telling good stories that adhere to the core of the characters (again, see the Altus and Moonstone examples I cited above).

So who am I talking about?

Tarzan – The Edgar Rice Burroughs hero has had a new prose adventures over the past couple of decades but I’d like to see a full expansion of the character in a series of new novels, coupled with anthologies that would allow multiple authors the chance to write him. I know the copyright issues are somewhat confusing but let’s just go ahead and get the ERB estate to officially authorize this continuation, shall we?

Norgil the Magician – Created by Walter Gibson, Norgil is far more obscure than he should be. The premise of a famous magician who travels the country solving mysteries is ripe for exploitation. Tell me that it doesn’t sound like a great television series? And the original stories are really fun examples of Gibson’s skills as a writer.

Seekay – Created by Paul Ernst, Seekay is one of those disfigured detectives that were all the rage for a while in pulp. His adventures are reprinted in the excellent The Casebook of Seekay and Other Prototypes of The Avenger. If you know Ernst from Doctor Satan or The Avenger, you know how good a writer he was… and Seekay is an undervalued gem. He could (and should) be a major pulp figure.

The Shadow – I know Will Murray has been teasing the possibility of doing a Doc Savage/Shadow novel but I want to see a full return for pulp’s greatest crime-fighter. Dynamite seems to be doing well with the comics, so let’s a return to prose. My preference would be to see stories either picking up right where the original novels ended (1949, prior to the Belmont revival of the Sixties) or else set in the character’s classic period of the 1930s. I’d even be okay with continuing the pulp/radio amalgamation that we’ve gotten in the comics, though I’d really want to see a pulp-only version. Hell, I’ll take anything at this point.

Conan – When I was growing up, Conan novels were everywhere. Yes, many of them were not very good… but some were excellent additions to the saga. A few years ago, there was a series of books set in his world but not actually featuring our favorite barbarian… I’m not talking about things like that. I want new high-quality Conan novels!

What classic pulp heroes would you like to see revived in officially-sanctioned stories?

8 Comments on “Classic Pulp Heroes That Need to Return

  1. John Carter/Barsoom – the *other* big ERB series has had a big boom in comics & a pretty awesome film adaptation that nobody saw, but I’d love to see more prose featuring these characters and/or set on that world.

    Zorro – We got Zorro, A Novel, which amalgamated elements of film & literary versions of the character, and as with many other pulp heroes there have been some cool comics, but not much other prose work that I know of.

    Buck Rogers – (but no Twiki, please)

  2. Captain Future – handled by a good writer (like Edmund Hamilton himself certainly was) and with a minimum of update (more in terms of science than in terms of look & feel). A positive, optimist spokesman for science, knowledge and adventure – it would be great.

  3. Zorro. He came back for a short-lived comic series recently and it was pretty decent. He’s also one of my fav characters.

    Solomon Kane.

  4. The Shadow tops the list. Tarzan, of course. They have a few new ones, but they are horrible, as I bought the first two and they make Tarzan out to be the “Me Tarzan, you Jane” type. G-8 and Operator 5 would be nice, especially if they set Operator 5 in the real world and not the alternate one of the Purple Empire and Yellow threat. Zorro, Lone Ranger, of course. Lon Williams had a comedy Judge in the old west call Judge Steele. The stories are great and would make an excellent book, and the room for new stories is vast.

  5. I’d second a new set of Zorro adventures. Mandrake the Magician would be neat to see, too.

  6. Pingback: Black Pulp | Karavansara

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Helena Wayne Huntress

Creator of Action & Adventure fiction

Millhaven Press

Creating New Worlds



Seinfeld Law

An Outrageous, Egregious, Preposterous, take on the legal issues of Seinfeld

John F Allen Writer

The Official Website of John F. Allen writer.

Turtle Tracks Blog

Toys | Games | Movies | Comics and everything else in between

Future of the Force

The Future of Pop Culture Writing

Nerds of Mass Distractions

What's your distraction?

Nitrate Diva

Old Movies. Fresh Takes.


We love comics.

Balladeer's Blog

Singing the praises of things that slip through the cultural cracks

Magazines and Monsters!

Comic book and movie reviews!

Longbox Graveyard

Marvel and DC comics and community


Horror, Science Fiction, Comic Books and More

Fraser Sherman's Blog

Fantasy and film reference writer.


Library of the Odd, the Obscure, and the Occult

Helen Power

Scribbler & Scholar

Eva Newermann

Art and Books

The Working Writer

Pro Advice For Freelance Writers

Writer of Age

Adam West’s Updates

In One Ear...

"I'm a whole lot better and a whole lot worse than you think I am."-The Choir

America DeFleur

Once a foster child, Always a foster child

Tommye Turner Talks

Fantasy and Science Fiction Book Reviews and Discussions


T.V/Movie News & Reviews

J Ramos "Writer"

This site is the bee's knees

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.


"Find what you love and let it kill you." – Charles Bukowski


The Fantastic and Mundane Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer

Our Dodge Blog

1939 Dodge D11 Deluxe Luxury Liner

Planetary Defense Command

Defending the planet from bad science fiction

Passion For Popcorn

Movie critiques by a popcorn enthusiast

Cheche Winnie

Writing is human communication tool and it brings out the real personality in you as a person.

cracked rear viewer

Fresh takes on retro pop culture

Micah The Missus

I am the mistress of this blog and this is where I channel my inner domestic goddess

M.F. Calhoun's Key to Imagination

The collective writings and thoughts of that guy in the site title.

Superhero Novels

News, reviews, and commentary about superhero prose fiction


Geeky News, Reviews and Rants from a Working Class Super-Villain


A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Books and Mor

Let's Read

When My Worlds Collide

Worlds and ideas from my mind

Every Day Should Be Tuesday

Speculative Fiction Book Reviews and Sundry

william hope hodgson

A blog about the writer of THE NIGHT LAND and HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND

%d bloggers like this: