Tom Johnson is simply not as famous as he should be. He’s one of those guys who really kept the pulp fiction flame burning during the long period between the end of the traditional pulps, their transition into men’s adventure paperbacks and finally the current New Pulp movement.
In this collection, he revives a handful of classic pulp heroes – some of whom were virtually unknown to me – and crafts new stories around them. In all cases, his writing is thoroughly pulp, with fast moving storylines and characterizations that perfectly reveal the characters without diving into the kind of depth that would detract from the real purpose of the tale: action.
My favorite stories were those featuring The Cobra, The Purple Scar, the Jungle Queen and Ki-Gor. The characters of The Angel and Funny Face were ones that I wasn’t familiar with but Tom Johnson does enough here to make me want to seek out more information.
If you like classic pulp action, this is perfect for you and can serve as a wonderful introduction to some characters that most pulp fans probably aren’t familiar with.