The glass pane shattered inward as the shadowy avenger of the night known to the citizens of the city as Vic Sage hurled himself through it…inside the darkened room as he rolled to a crouched position the misshapen creatures he had spied from the outside stirred sluggishly at his unexpected entrance. Some growled and others mewed, distorted flesh barely recognizable as being once humanoid, the results of the nightmarish genius of the vile Professor Walker aka Doctor Efialtis as he was known to the world at large.
“Ah, Sage…it would seem that once again you and I shall dance with death!” the mad Doctor’s voice bellowed in the room.
It took the vigilante only a few moments to scan the room, his highly trained senses detected the voice of his nemesis was coming from behind what looked like a bookcase. Reaching into his trench coat, the avenger withdrew a cylindrical device, hurling it to the floor at his feet he covered his featureless face as the room erupted into a bright light that rivaled that of the noonday sun! The nightmarish beasts of Doctor Efialtis raged at their sudden blindness, the poorly developed eyes that the evil genius had crafted them for underground living ill-suited the daytime illumination. As the device began to lose its charge, Sage darted forward, his gloved fists connecting solidly with whatever looked most like facial features on the poor creatures. The vigilante did his best to not tremble as his punches connected, it was like giving sacks of jelly his best haymaker, he thought to himself.
Scant minutes passed and the avenger had finished with the beasts, they lay at his feet. He used the the last of the dying light to quickly examine the bookcase, searching for the hidden lever that would allow him entrance. With a whoosh the bookcase slid back and into the wall of its own accord, the vigilante leapt backwards as a metallic talon swiped at the spot he was standing in just seconds before.
Light from behind the advancing automaton filled the library, the only thing of flesh and blood atop the monstrosity was Doctor Efialtis’s head which began to cackle, “Ha, ha…How do you like my improvements, Sage?”
“Improvements, Walker? What has your dark genius wrought?”
“Walker? That weak name no longer holds any meaning to me nor does the title of Doctor! One as brilliant as myself may only be called by a fitting title…the reign of Emperor Efialtis the first has begun!”
Whoa, are you still here? Sorry about that stuff up above…I have a mighty passion for all things pulp as you can probably imagine by now. I can remember listening to my grandparents as I sat in their living room as they talked about the Shadow and the Green Hornet. As soon as I found a stash of audio tapes at my local Hasting’s in my youth I became an avid listener to most Radio Shows, whether they be pulp related or not. Luckily for those that share my passion for the likes of the Spider, Doc Savage, The Avenger, etc. Moonstone Books who have fantastic comic books based on everything from Buckaroo Banzai to Kolchak: The Night Stalker to the Phantom and many more have released a new title that is on store shelves right this minute, Return of the Originals: Battle for L.A. Better yet, unlike what I wrote above, the story is really good!
To avoid any true spoilers here is the blurb from the back of the book:
“In February, 1945, a strange giant object appeared in the night sky above Los Angeles. The U.S. anti-aircraft shore artillery opened fire, planes were scrambled, and schemes were hatched, as over 1000 shells were fired at this object.
No amount of ammunition seemed to affect this slow moving monstrosity.
What this object was remains a mystery to this day!
Moonstone has unearthed the classified government documents that show the real truth!
The Phantom Detective, The Black Bat, Domino Lady, G-8, and Secret Agent X all teamed up to get rid of this threat!”
CJ Henderson and Mark Sparacio have done an excellent job with this first title, Moonstone Books is going to release new works that deal will all manner of classic pulp heroes in the upcoming months. I for one cannot wait until they do so!