Fade, Foster. Foster Fade, created by Lester Dent himself, appeared in All Detective Magazine in 1934 and is described by Robert Sampson as "a private investigator who solves very highly peculiar crimes in the most spectacular way possible, so that he will be advertised in the tabloids. He uses all sorts of gadgets."
Fairbanks, Ralph. Ralph Fairbanks was yet another of the Edward Stratemeyer creations; he debuted in Ralph of the Roundhouse (1906), appearing in at least 10 more novels of the "Railroad Series" though 1928. Ralph's father had been one of the first builders of the Great Northern Railroad, but he'd died too soon, leaving his wife and child penniless. Ralph left school early to get work so as to support his poor mother, and, the railroading in his blood, took a job in a roundhouse, and then became an "engine wiper" while helping his poor ole ma keep her house despite the vile designs of "village magnate Gasper Farrington." After that Ralph experienced a rapid rise through the railroad business, always helping those less fortunate than him and using his brains to stop the many spies, "sorehead strikers," unscrupulous competitors, and Red agitators from harming the Great Northern, its trains and its lines. When his brains and goodness didn't work, Ralph could always rely on his two fists. When they didn't work, he had the help of Mr. Adair, the railroad detective, and the president of the Great Northern, who looked with favor on Ralph. (There was also, it should be added, both anti-Semitic and anti-German stereotypes in the books.)
Falcon. The Falcon was created by Michael Arlen and debuted in "Gay Falcon" in 1940, moving from there to appearances in movies, novels, tv and radio shows throughout the 1940s and the first half of the 1950s. Gay Stanhope Falcon is a former soldier, war correspondent, and airplane salesman who turns his many talents to becoming a private investigator. Originally he's very hard-boiled, but in later incarnations he became a suave Brit. In the radio show his name was "Michael Waring," and was the usual disliked-by-the-police private eye. During the War he worked with Allied Intelligence.
A nice summary of the character and his career. From the Thrilling Detectives site.
Falk, Arne. Arne Falk was created by the Danish writer "Jens Anker," aka Robert Hansen, and appeared in 27 novels, possibly beginning with Two Dead Men (1922). Falk was an amateur detective operating in Denmark.
Farrell, David. David Farrell and his wife Sally appeared in the radio show Front Page Farrell, beginning in 1941 and running through 1954. Farrell was a newspaper reporter in New York City. Front Page Farrell began as melodrama but turned increasingly to crime stories as time went by.
Farrell, Glenn. Thanks to Rick Lai I can provide some small information on Glenn Farrell. He was created by E. Hoffman Price and appeared in various pulps from 1933 to 1936, beginning with "The King's Peacock" in Clues. He is a brawling American adventurer and two-fisted womaniser who travels the Middle East, getting himself into and out of trouble. Many of his stories involve the occult, human sacrifice, and that sort of rannygazoo. Rick adds that d'Artois crosses over with two of Price's other characters, Pierre d'Artois and Ishmeddin.
Farrell, Russ. Russ Farrell was created by Thomson Burtis and appeared in the five book "Russ Farrell Series," which ran from 1924 to 1929 beginning with Russ Farrell, Airman. Russ was a teenage aviator who held various jobs and adventured in them, working as a passenger pilot, test pilot, stunt flyer for a circus, and border patrolman.
Fascinax (I). See the French Heroes section, below.
Fascinax (II). Not, of course, to be confused with Fascinax (I), who can be found down below, in the French Heroes section. Fascinax (II) appeared in Fascinax, L'uomo Dagli Occhi Magnetici (Fascinax, the man with the magnetic eyes), an Italian magazine published in 1924 from Nerbini of Firenze, although he was simply the editor rather than the author. (I haven't been able to find who the author was) Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can correct what I wrote before and say definitively that Fascinax (II) is simply the Italian version of Fascinax (I). I'm going to leave this information here anyhow, although I've got better information down below, in the Fascinax (I) entry.
Fascinax (II) was actually the rich and handsome 30-year-old doctor George Leicester, who one day in the Philippines is called to tend to a dying yogi. (Just don't ask) The yogi, Nadir, grants Leicester the ability to see the future, to dominate men with a look, and to be alerted to imminent dangers through the appearance of a spot on his left hand. Leicester uses these abilities to fight crime and evil, and becomes Fascinax (II). Leicester's arch-enemy is the "superdemonic" Numa Pergyll, aka "The Enchanter," an assassin and a callous man of decadent, depraved tastes. The Fascinax (II) stories have some science fictional trappings: a car that can change into an airplane, a seaplane which also operates as a submarine, and a deadly, silent "electrical gun."
Fearless, Dave. See the Amos Henderson entry.
Feds. During the 1930s, as I'm sure you're all well aware, there were a number of magazines featuring G-Men as the heroes of their various stories. A number of these heroes were serial heroes. Unfortunately, in some cases I've been unable to get much information on these heroes, and in other cases the heroes themselves are uninteresting. So rather than spread these three across the site, I've placed them all here.
Black Celts. The Black Celts were created by B.B. Fowler and appeared in Ace G-Man Stories in the late 1930s. The Celts were Liam O'Connor, an Irishman, and Dale Evans, a Welshman. They were the "ace trouble-shooters of the F.B.I.," and quarreled with each other so much that they were almost more dangerous to each other than to the criminals and spies that they always succeeded in collaring.Feep, Lefty. Lefty Feep was created by Robert Bloch and appeared in 22 stories in Fantastic Adventures between 1942 and 1926. Lefty Feep is a Damon Runyon-esque loveable loser/con man who encounters the supernatural (in the form of dancing mice, bowling dwarfs, and the Extraordinary Average Man) in a series of comedic stories.
Chuck Thompson. Thompson appeared in Black Mask in 1933 and was created by Dwight Babcock. Thompson was a fairly standard two-fisted G-Man.
Lynn Vickers. Vickers, "Agent G-77," appeared in Public Enemy in the mid-1930s. He was a top agent who had formerly, in college, been a star running back. Agent G-77 always focused on "Public Enemy No. 1," catching them in every issue and then moving on to the new Public Enemy No. 1 in the next issue.
Jimmy Wilson & Johnny Hatfield. This pair of stalwart G-Men appeared in Ace G-Men in 1937. They were entirely ordinary.
Fell, Dr. Gideon. Dr. Gideon Fell was created by John Dickson Carr and appeared in at least 24 novels, beginning with Hag's Nook (1933). Fell was 250 pounds of two-fisted, fightin' fury--no, wait, that's me. (I'm not 250 lbs, really.) Actually, he's 250 pounds of eccentric criminologist and detective, "a jovial, black-caped bundle of eccentricities":
Vast and beaming, wearing a box-pleated cape as big as a tent, he sat...with his hands folded over his crutch stick. His eyeglasses were set precariously on a pink nose; the black ribbon of these glasses blew wide with each vast puff of breath which rumbled up from under his three chins, and agitated his bandit's moustache. But what you noticed most was the twinkle in his eye. A huge joy of life, a piratical swagger merely to be hearing and seeing and thinking, glowed from him like steam from a furnace. It was like meeting Old King Cole or Father Christmas.He was an ace detective, though, with a sharp and experienced mind. He could only truly become interested in cases when they involved "miracles," that is, crimes which seem impossible and have an aura of the supernatural about them, but which are (of course) ultimately rational and human-caused.
A short recap of Fell.
Fenner, Joe. Joe Fenner was created by Charles S. Wolfe and appeared in Electrical Experimenter from 1920 through 1922. Fenner, a college student, is very intelligent and imaginative, enough so that local Chief of Police Davidson consults him on crimes that seem to have a scientific slant. Davidson is a rough, brutal man, but is smart enough to know when he's out of his depth. Fenner, naturally, inevitably discovers the source of the crime and catches the bad guys for Davidson. Fenner deals with radio-controlled drone planes used for murder, wireless transmission of power, and a locked room mystery.
Fenton, Lawne. Lawne Fenton was created by Michael Annesley and appeared in Room 14: A Secret Service Adventure (1935). Fenton’s cover is with the British Foreign Service, but he is actually an agent for the British Secret Intelligence Service, and in 1935 he is sent to Poland to deal with fascist plotters.
Fenwick, Charlie. Charlie Fenwick, the "telephone-detective," was created by George J. Brenn and appeared in All-Story Weekly, beginning with "No Publicity" in the 7 June 1919 issue and appearing through the end of 1925. Fenwick was one of the gimmick detectives, whose existence in the pulps and success within the stories was dependent on a gimmick of some sort. Fenwick's gimmick was telephone technology. Fenwick used the wonders of telephones, that amazing new invention, to solve crimes of all sorts. He uses remote microphones, call tracing, and even photograph transmitting to catch criminals and stop the bad guys. Fenwick is a pleasant young man in his early twenties who is assisted by his assistant, Seth Boyden.
Fielding, Ruth. Ruth Fielding was created by Alice B. Emerson and the Stratemeyer Syndicate and appeared in the "Ruth Fielding" series, which began in 1913 with Ruth Fielding at Lighthouse Point, or, Nita, the Castaway. Ruth is a spunky, head-strong (but good-natured) girl hero who does seemingly everything in her books, from solving mysteries involving Romany to rescuing baby orphans to picking cotton in Dixie to helping our boys Over There.
Fife, Gordon. Gordon Fife was created by Bob Moore and John Hales and appeared in Gordon Fife and the Boy King (later Gordon, Soldier of Fortune) starting in 1935. Gordon is a well-traveled American soldier of fortune who ends up in the small Central European operetta kingdom of Kovnia, where he and his young Hindu sidekick Ali become the protectors of the child king of Kovnia, Nicholas, and Nicholas' older sister Caroline. (Caroline ends up Gordon's girlfriend.) Gordon helps keep Kovnia independent, despite the best efforts of Prince Karl of Livonia and the anarchist criminals the Markala.
Fighting Mac. Fighting Mac was created by Herbert Macrae and appeared in Champion Library, beginning with the first issue in 1929 and appearing in three separate serials. He was a fighting Tommy, one of those heroic British soldiers without whom WW1 would have been lost; Fighting Mac was active all over France, especially at Arras.
Fillinger, Superintendent. Superintendent Fillinger was created by the Australian writer Paul McGuire and appeared in a number of novels beginning with Three Dead Men (1931). Superintendent Fillinger, who is larger than Nero Wolfe and has an attitude to match, is a policeman in the coastal towns of south west England; with the help of the Chief Constable of Wessex, Major Harslow, he fights crime in those coastal towns.
Finn, Mickey. Mickey Finn was created by Lank Leonard and appeared in an eponymous strip running from 1936 to 1976. Finn is Michael Aloysius Finn, a New York City policeman who walked a neighborhood beat. His adventures were strictly routine, as was the strip itself.
Finney, Dr. Mary. Dr. Mary Finney was created by John Canaday under his "Matthew Head" pseudonym and appeared in a few books, beginning with A Devil in the Bush (1945, too late for this site but What The Hell). Dr. Finney is a "loud-swearing, hard-headed, wise doctor" who is active in the Congo during WW2, solving crimes both among European expats and the Congolese themselves.
Fjeld, Jonas. Jonas Fjeld was created by Øvre Richter Frich, a Norwegian author, and appeared in over 20 novels, beginning in 1911 with De knyttede naever; en storforbryders roman. Fjeld is a combination of James Bond, Indiana Jones, and name-your-favorite-superscientist. He's tough, brilliant, and a whiz at powerful inventions.
After some research I can provide a bit more information on Fjeld. Dr. Jonas Fjeld is a blond, Norwegian giant who lives in a sprawling castle on the Uranienborg. Fjeld was inspired in some ways by Ponson du Terrail's Rocambole. He fights against the "international underworld," aided by his friend and collaborator Ilmari Erko, a Finnish dwarf and genius inventor who helps provide Fjeld with his advanced instruments and weapons and vehicles, such as the Flyvefisken, a plane/submarine with high-tech weaponry which is capable of sinking most of the Russian fleet by itself. Erko, as it happens, was rescued from being drowned in a beer stein. (Either that's a really large beer stein, or Erko is a very small dwarf.)
There is also more than a hint of racism and anti-Semitism in Frich's books, with blacks and Africans being portrayed in very crude and biased ways, and Jews being shown to be agents of both the Czar and of the International Bolsheviks.
Stig Magne Frøne kindly wrote me about Fjeld:
Just read your info on Jonas Fjeld, and I, as a Norwegian, can confirm that there is actually more than a hint of racism in the books. But what you then have to remember is that this books were written in the late 1920s early 1930s and with the anti-semitism that was flying around Europe at that time...Which is true, and I by no means want to make the Fjeld stories sound more racist than, oh, the Fu Manchu stories or any of the other works I've noted as racist or anti-Semitic. But I do think it's important to point out the biases in these early works. (I also feel the need to point out that Frich would praise individual Jews, blacks, and Indians while being derogatory to the groups as a whole.)
Stig Magne Frøne very kindly followed up his first note with a second one with still more information on Fjeld:
The books about Jonas Fjeld were reprinted in 1965 by A/S Helge Erichsens Forlag.I am, of course, exceedingly grateful for all of the preceding.
The 16 first books are:
1: De knyttede never (The Fists)
2: Kondoren (The Condor)
3: Gullåren (The vein of Gold)
4: De sorte gribber (The black vultures)
5: Den gylne pest (The golden plague)
6: Flyvefisken (The flying fish)
7: Havets øine (Eyes of the Ocean)
8: I sølvlandets natt (In the night of the silver land)
9: Den røde tåke (The red fog)
10: Donna Francesca (-)
11: Jorden som dreper (The earth that kills)
12: Lucifers øie (The eye of Lucifer)
13: Jacques Delmas forbannelse (The curse of Jacques Delma)
14: Pans fløyte (The flute of Pan)
15: Slangeblomsten fra Magdalena (The snakeflower from Magdalena)
16: De udødelige dverge (The immortal dwarfs)
Here a few small examples of the anti-Semitism and racism from the books:
"Well he killed a nigger and the law wanted to see him hanged. But he killed my dogs that were worth thousand times more than the black devil who got his brains blown out at Atkinsons Hotel. And he should die, inch by inch between my hands - without a jury, without a priest, without other prayer than the prayer from his trout for mercy."
In book 2, The Condor, Øvre Richter Frich describes a revolver that "is so powerful that the bullet can go through 10 nigger skulls and halfway into the 11th."
In book 1 Jonas Fjeld gets a visit from an Argentinean named Heredia:
"Be careful around Heredia - he is no ordinary man. Whenever he smells money, he is like a hyena. He is a product of all bad habits, a bastard of lumpenhert and money greed. Like you only find in countries south of the Equator."
Flagg, Curt. Curt Flagg was created by Lester Dent and appeared in Scotland Yard in 1931. Flagg works for a NYC-based detective agency but often travels in his stories, going to exotic places like Tulsa. Flagg is an enormous man, with “hands the size of gallon pails.” His strength matches his size, and he is similarly tough. He’s not bad at detecting, either.
Flash, Phil. Phil Flash appeared in Bullseye beginning with #1, on 24 January 1931. He was the "Man With A Thousand Faces," an adventuring and do-gooding master of disguise.
Flax, Dr. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can provide some information on the infamous Dr. Flax. Flax appeared in On Vole des Enfants a Paris (Someone is stealing the children of Paris), a serial which appeared in Le Matin in 1906 and was written by Louis Forest. Dr. Flax is the slightly perturbed...oh, hell, he's the outright mad (sinister, romantic, and charming, too) scientist of the piece, the man responsible for the abduction of 31 six-year-olds from Paris. Naturally, these kidnappings produce mass panic and bring the police down on his head. In particular, the men investigating the abductions are William Trisson, the noted American detective (who, by the way, is apparently a nasty swipe at Harry Dickson, being portrayed as a boastful and conceited drunkard), and three journalists from Le Matin. They were assisted by a scientific commission who is looking into the kidnappings, especially the stranger aspects of them; no blond children are taken, several "brown children" are, and the children's clothes and valuables are abandoned. This commission is, of course, headed by the noted German surgeon...Dr. Flax.
Well. Flax is unable to maintain the deception for a long time, and he is eventually unmasked. With his accomplice and lover, the Comtesse of Houdotte, he flees to Switzerland and holes up in his mountainside fortress of Frutt. Further investigation by Frutt discovers that the stolen children all have one thing in common: they are all very intelligent. Flax and the Comtesse operate on all of the children and increase their intelligence by injecting them with a small amount of "Flaxium," an extract of Radium of Flax's own invention. These operations have the effect of making the children geniuses in different specialties.
Meanwhile, an international coalition of troops leaves for Switzerland to capture Dr. Flax. Unfortunately for the world, Flax is helped not just by his fanatical followers, two of whom are seven-foot-tall giants, but also his child geniuses, who create for him various weapons: weather-control machines, electricity amplifiers, needle-rifles, and so on. Flax et al handily defeat the besieging forces, but finds that dealing with the dueling egos of the children is not so easy. His plans falling apart, Flax and the Comtesse marry and then commit suicide together.
(For the crossover conscious among you, Dr. Flax not only clashed with Sherlock Holmes in #26 of Detektiv Sherlock Holmes (1907), a German Holmes serial pastiche, but also fought with Harry Dickson--as did Flax's daughter.)
Flint, Thorndyke. Thorndyke Flint was created by Samuel C. Spaulding and appeared in Detective Story Magazine from 1915 to 1925. Actually, saying that Spaulding “created” Flint is too kind. Street and Smith had such overwhelming demand for Nick Carter stories that they couldn’t keep up, so they hired Spaulding to rewrite Sexton Blake stories and put them in a new form. So you may take it that Flint is Carter; his assistants Roy Norton, Frank Judson, and Nora Brooks are, respectively, Patsy Garvan, Chick Carter, and Ida Jones.
Flood, John. John Flood's adventures ran in The Penny Wonder beginning with its first issue, on 7 February 1912, and running through, I think, 1914. I've been unable to discover who created him. He was influenced by Sherlock Holmes, although his stomping grounds were London--specifically, the area around the Thames. Flood's name in Penny Wonder is "John Flood, The River Detective," (sometimes "John Flood, the River Tracker") and he's known for his work at the Thames. He was in many ways like Holmes, both in his personality and in his detective and deductive skills, although he did not have the distinctive profile or the opium addiction. (He did have an annoying Watson-like figure by the name of Wensley, though.) Flood was a member of the London River Police and is very well regarded by the rest of the police force, who were generally just incompetent enough to need Flood to solve the case, whether the criminals were smugglers, opium addicts, Chinese crimelords, French assassins, and the like.
Flyin' Jenny. Flyin' Jenny Dare, one of the greatest of all the female pilots, was created by Russell Keaton and debuted in Flyin' Jenny in October 1939; the strip ran through 1952. Jenny Dare, a "blonde, beautiful, cute, and cool" woman in her mid-twenties, is an ace pilot, having trained and flown from her early teens. She works for the Starcraft Aviation Factory as a test pilot, is the equal of any pilot she encounters, especially the men, and proves it in her many air missions. She is assisted by Wanda, a dark-haired co-pilot, and by Rick Davis, her Thrust Chunkjaw boyfriend and plane designer. Jenny flew missions over Europe during the war; she delivered merchandise and livestock to endangered and starving people; she won air races; she fought spies and saboteurs on the home front; she did anything she had to, and did it well. During the war she flew combat missions for Army Intelligence, teamed with the heavier Babe, a heavier combat photographer.
Flying Beetle. The Flying Beetle was created by George E. Rochester and first appeared in "The Funk" in The Boys Own Paper in 1925; he appeared in a number of other stories and novels, I'm not sure how many. Harry Davies is the Flying Beetle, an air ace, "flying adventurer," and British Secret Service agent. Davies has a series of cracking good adventures against German and Soviet pilots as well as the usual assortment of madmen and air pirates. All in all, a good substitute for Biggles.
Flying Boys. The Flying Boys, aka Harvey Hamilton and Bohunkus Johnson, were created by Edward S. Ellis and appeared in the two-volume "Flying Boys Series" beginning with The Flying Boys in the Sky (1911) and appearing in its sequel in the same year. Hamilton and his African-American friend and mechanic, Bohunkus Johnson, built wonderful twin-engined prop planes and fought crime and rescued people in peril.
Flying Justice. Thanks to Steve Holland I can tell you that the Flying Justice (dunno what his real name was) appeared in Boys' Friend in 1927 and was a boy, falsely accused of murder, who puts on a costume and some wings (which work, naturally) and fights crime.
Flying Machine Boys. The Flying Machine Boys were created by Frank Walton and appeared in the six-book "Flying Machine Boys" series, which began in 1913 with The Flying Machine Boys in Mexico or the Secret of the Crater. The Flying Machine Boys were, you guessed it, teen pilots who used their homemade planes to have adventures around the world, from volcanos in Mexico to the Andes to the Arctic, taking on smugglers and air pirates and working with the Secret Service.
Fong Sai Yuk. Fong Sai Yuk was a real person, first of all. The fictionalized version of Fong Sai Yuk, who has appeared in any number of Chinese and Hong Kong martial arts films, debuted in, get this, 1938 (!) in...er...either Fang Shiyu Battle in the Boxing Ring or The Adventures of Fong Sai-Yuk, sources differ on which one. It was definitely a Chinese film--that is, made in China, which is interesting in and of itself, I'm sure you'll agree. The real Fong Sai Yuk, on whom the fictionalized one was based, was born in Kwangtung, in Southern China--keep in mind that many of the "facts" about Fong Sai Yuk are a conglomeration of possibly-true "facts" and local legends--and was trained in the martial arts by his mohter from childhood. Reportedly he killed a martial arts master when he was only 14 in a challenge match. Fong Sai Yuk was...well, the kinder reports describe him "brash and headstrong," and some commentators have dubbed him "the Chinese Billy the Kid," which is hardly a compliment, considering what a psychotic punk the real Billy the Kid was. Fong Sai Yuk is thought to have died in his early twenties, the victim of the Ching authorities, after having had an adventurous and fight-filled life.
Fontaine, Solange. Solange Fontaine was created by F. Tennyson Jesse and appeared in a number of short stories which were collected in The Solange Stories (1931). Fontaine is a French detective.
Force, Doris. Doris Force was created by Julia K. Duncan and the Stratemeyer Syndicate and appeared in the four-book "Doris Force" series, which began in 1931 with Doris Force at Cloudy Cove. Doris was a girl sleuth in the Nancy Drew mold who solved murders and had adventures while at high school and college.
Ford, Jerry. Jerry Ford was created by Fenworth Moore and appeared in the "Jerry Ford Wonder Stories" series, which ran appeared in 1931 and consisted of four books, beginning with Wrecked on Cannibal Island, or, Jerry Ford's Adventures Among Savages. Ford was a more two-fisted young man than many similar characters, carrying the beacon of white Christian civilization into much farther flung locales than was usual for boys' fiction characters. Jerry fought cannibals in New Guinea, found gold in the "Caves of Mystery" in the Himalayas, fought "Eskimaux" and polar bears in the Arctic Circle, and fought Chinese and Malaysian pirates in the China Sea.
Fortune, Reginald. Reginald Fortune was created by Henry Christopher Bailey and appeared in a number of magazines in England beginning in 1920 and running through 1948 beginning with Call Mr. Fortune, a collection of short stories. Fortune is a "detecting doctor," one of those men who put their medical skill to use in the service of crimefighting. In Fortune's case, his medical skill is at Scotland Yard's disposal; Fortune is the Special Adviser (and often Special Investigator) to Scotland Yard on medical matters, and gets involved in various cases of his own choosing. These usually include mutilated and badly used bodies, the result of involvement with gangsters, racketeers, profiteers, and other bad types.
Fortune is a heavy man in his 40s, red-cheeked and bright-eyed. He has the affected languid boredom that was de rigeur for a certain class of men in those days. Beneath the facade, though, he is a crack investigator, able and willing to find the slightest weakness in a case or suspected criminal and exploit it. In many ways he is ruthless.
Mr. Fosdick. Mr. Fosdick was created by Jacque Morgan and appeared in Modern Electrics in 1912 and 1913. Fosdick was one of several eccentric inventors whose creations led to "humorous" effects. (Sorry--these sorts of stories become dated quickly, as most period humour does) Fosdick does come up with interesting ideas, but their side-effects are never what is anticipated. So he invents a machine that collects electricity from the environment, but it supercharges Fosdick and his friend so that if they touch the ground, they'll explode. Fosdick creates a horseless carriage, but it works on "Seidlitz powders," and when they use bicarbonate of soda and sulfuric acid, the car goes up over 100 mph and explodes. Fosdick is trying to electroplate the dead and gets himself blackened with graphite. (A bit of racism in that story) And Fosdick tries to make synthetic milk out of crude oil and ends up putting a volcano in his home town. And so on.
Four Aces. The Four Aces was created by Hal Forrest, later the artist and writer of Tailspin Tommy, and was initially an adjunct to that strip. It had two incarnations, running from 1934-1935 and then 1936-1942. Its first version starred four air aces as the Four Aces: Larry Gale, an American pilot who flew during WW1 with the Lafayette Escadrille, and three of his friends from the war, one English, one French, and one Italian. The stories in The Four Aces told of various combats with a German stunt flyer known as the Red Baron; another set of stories introduced Audrey Ward, a blonde American who was Larry's love interest and who was also an agent of French counterintelligence and who posed as a female Germany spy posing as a French spy. The second incarnation had the Four Aces competing in various adventures in America and occasionally fighting crime, but Forrest replaced the Italian ace with a German one, and that obviously was not going to lead to long term popularity for the strip.
Four Square Jane. Jane was created by Edgar Wallace, he of the Four Just Men, and appeared in The Weekly News, starting with “Four Square Jane” in its 13 December 1919 issue. Jane is a very clever career thief, a small, lithe, black-haired woman in her early twenties. She is very pretty, and always leaves a sticker behind at the scenes of her crimes, the sticker being a square with the letter “J” in the center. Jane is not just a smart thief, of course. She has (sort of) a sense of justice, preying on very disagreeable men and women who, in some moral sense, deserve to be taken to the cleaners and who the readers are glad to see pay. Moreover, except for the cash she steals, all of her loot is given away, donated to stay with medical charities.
Jane is pursued by Chief Superintendent Peter Dawes, an earnest young cop who takes the job of finding and catching Jane with some reluctance, as he’s aware that she is more than a match for him. Eventually, after much frustration and leg-work, Dawes deduces Jane’s identity. She is Joyce Wilberforce, whose uncle left her a fortune stipulating that Lord Claythorpe, the pompous and overbearing man who Four Square Jane first targeted for theft, marry the man of Claythorpe’s choice. Claythorpe then turned around and, through unfair and illegal means, stole Joyce’s fortune. After that first case Jane stole nothing but the property of Claythorpe and his friends and family. Eventually Dawes goes to arrest Jane/Joyce, but is drugged by her, and she and her sweetheart escape to South America with the half million that Claythorpe stole from her.
Jane, as mentioned, is small and pretty. In addition to the occasional use of disguises, she’s very good at planning ahead and making use of confederates to help her swindle and rob.
Fowler, Dan. Dan Fowler was created by Major George Fielding-Eliot and appeared in G-Men for 18 years, 1 novel (Federal Bullets, 1936), and 112 issues of G-Men, beginning with its first issue in 1935. He was a Super Feed, the "Scourge of the Underworld," "the World's Greatest Manhunter," and "The Ace of the F.B.I." He was tough, cunning, well-armed, and dangerous, and whether his enemies were gold smugglers, hijackers, saboteurs, Bundists, Tong hatchetmen, Yellow Peril types, or bank robbers, Fowler always got his man.
Fraser, First Light. First Light Fraser was created by Maurice Francis, most likely with the help of numerous others, and appeared in First Light Fraser, an Australian radio serial broadcast during WW2; he also appeared in an eponymous 1944 novel by Francis. First Light Fraser is an agent of British Intelligence; his partner, Kay Francis, is an American of no particular allegiance but commendable capabilities. Together they fight the German menace across Europe (in the novel they defeated the Germans in Roumania).
Free, Donald. Donald Free was created by Raoul Whitfield and appeared in Black Mask in 1933 beginning with "Man Killer." Free is a former government agent who was forced to resign in disgrace--what disgrace was never described--and left to take a job at an especially tawdry and seedy detective agency.
French Heroes. France, during the pre-War years, produced a large number of pulp heroes and magazines. Some of them, like Sâr Dubnotal, have their own entries. I was unable to get much information about a number of other characters, however, and so I've put them here.
Jack Allan. I know nothing about this character, but his magazine's title, Jack Allan, le vengeur des desherites (Jack Allan, Avenger of the Downtrodden) (16 issues published during the 1930s) interests me.French, Inspector. Inspector French was created by Freeman Wills Crofts and debuted in Inspector's French's Greatest Case (1927), going on to appear in thirty-three novels between 1927 and 1954. Inspector Joseph French is an Inspector for Scotland Yard, and a good one. He's not so much clever as meticulous, being able to solve cases on his own as well as knowing when to call in the forces of the Yard to help him. He has a long record of success, however, and in his thirty years of service never failed to bring a case to a successful conclusion. His passive appearance belies his dogged attitude. He is particularly good at breaking the unbreakable alibi.
Antinea. Antinea was created by Pierre Benoit and appeared in L'Atlantide (1919). Antinea was not a serial character, but Benoit wrote nearly fifty novels, all with dangerous heroines whose names began with "A" and who usually caused the death of the hero(es) devoted to them. Antinea is typical of Benoit's female characters, and so I'm using her as a stand-in for the rest of Benoit's output. She is the "Mistress of Atlantis," a Lost Empire in the middle of the Sahara Desert which survived up to the present. She is a cold, hard, cruel woman, surrounded by leopards and a harem of helpless, devoted men. Antinea is found by two French Army officers lost in the Sahara. Things end badly, with the officers being seduced by Antinea nd then turned into metal statues. It's all very H. Rider Haggardian, though much better written (and critically respected) than most Haggard-influenced literature.
Therese Arnaud. I know nothing about this character apart from her magazine's title: Les Aventures de Therese Arnaud, Espionne Francaise (The Adventures of Therese Arnaud, French Spy) (#1-63, 1939).
Atalanta. This was the French version of the German heroine. In France she appeared in Atalanta, La Femme Enigmatique (Atalanta, the Enigmatic Woman) #1-80, from 1912-1913.
Aviator. This Arnould Galopin character appeared in Un Aviateur de 15 Ans (An Aviator of 15 Years) #1-99, from 1926-1928. It was about, obviously, a 15-year-old flyer and his adventures.
Belphegor. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can give some information on Belphegor. Belphégor, created by Arthur Bernède and appearing in The Phantom of the Louvre in 1927, is a black-clothed "ghost" who is roaming the Louvre at night; in Jean-Marc Lofficier's words, he is "the puppet of a sect of Rosicrucians seeking a dark secret hidden within the walls of the Louvre Museum." He is eventually stopped, of course. As usual, Jean-Marc has an excellent site on Belphegor, so I recommend going there for more information.
Francis Bayard. Bayard was created by Jean des Marcenelles and appeared in Police-Privée in 1943 and 1944. Bayard was a private detective.
Captain Benoit. Captain Benoit was created by Charles Robert Dumas and appeared in Deuxième Bureau in the 1930s. During WW1 Benoit is a member of the AEF and an agent for the French Deuxième Bureau, dueling with the German adventuress and spy Erna Flieder. They fall in love and she eventually dies saving him.
Pierre Biscard. Biscard, a cowboy of French origin, appeared in Rouges et Blancs (Red and White), a Jean Petithuguenin-written which ran for 80 issues from 1913 to 1914.
Miss Boston. Miss Ethel Boston was created by someone anonymous and appeared in Miss Boston, la seule détective-femme du monde entier (Miss Boston, the only female detective in the entire world) for 20 issues in 1908 and 1909. She was a proper lady but was also a good detective, good with her fists and a crack shot. She was an American detective whose first adventure began with the death of Sherlock Holmes (!), and her helping Dr. Watson to avenge Holmes' death. See also the Italian Miss Boston.
Browning and Co. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can include the following about Browning and Co. They were a detective company created by Jose Morelli who appeared in Le Cri-Cri from 1922-1935.
Jim Button Bull. This character appeared in Jim Button Bull, la terreur des Indiens (Jim Button Bull, the Terror of the Indians), beginning in 1919. He was a Western hero.
Chester Buxton. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can include the following about Buxton. He was created by Edward Brooker and appeared in 26 novels, beginning with Bill la terreur (Bill the terror), which appeared at some point during WW2. Chester is the "famous American detective of the Special Squad."
Cartouche. Cartouche was actually a real person; Louis-Dominique Bourguignon (1693-1721) became a famous highwayman in France, similar to Dick Turpin. In French pulp literature he was the star of 38 issues of Le Roi des Bandits (The king of the thieves) from 1907-1908, written by Artheme Fayard. In those stories he was a heroic thief, somewhat similar to the fictional Dick Turpin and Deadwood Dick.
Dick Cartter. Cartter, the "king of Detectives," who was created by Jean-Charles Lagaillarde and appeared in Dick Cartter, le Roi des Détectives (Dick Cartter, the King of Detectives) #1-21 in 1924. His adventures tended towards the extraordinary, with him confronting possessed iron gloves and ghosts. Dick was "done in the style of Nick Carter," meaning that his stories were "heavily influenced" by the Nick Carter stories and were in all likelihood lifts of them.
Comte de Chavagnac. The Comte was based on a historical figure (1624-1679) and appeared in five issues of Aventures et exploits du Comte de Chavagnac (Aventures and exploits of the Count of Chavagnac) in 1913. He was a cape-and-epee hero.
Mr. Cyprien. Mr. Cyprien was created by Henri Bosco and appeared in L'Ane Culotte (The Ass' Breeches, 1937). Mr. Cyprien was a sorcerer living in a pastoral part of Provence.
Gil Dax. I know very little about this Jules Hoche character, but his magazine's title, Gil Dax, Empereur des Airs (Gil Dax, Emperor of the Skies) (20 issues in 1908) and its futuristic aerial setting intrigue me. I know that it was a genuine serial, too.
Allan Dickson. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can give a little information on Dickson. He is an Arnould Galopin character who is known as "the king of Australian detectives." He is described as being a perfect gentleman with the "eye of a lynx" and a cold, calculating spirit. He began with La Ténébreuse affaire de Green Park (The Shadowy Affair of Green Park) in 1910 and appeared in three more novels through 1929. As a side note, in the 1912 L’Homme au complet gris (The Man in the Grey Suit), Dickson left Melbourne and went to London at the request of an aging Sherlock Holmes.
Dicky. Dicky was created by Louis Boussenard and appeared in Les Gratteurs du Ciel (The Sky Scrapers, 1908). Dicky is the "king of the reporters," a young teenaged (or perhaps pre-pubescent) reporter who becomes entangled in a war involving super-powered dirigibles and "nuclear grenades."
Marcel Dunot. Dunot, created by Jose Morelli, appeared in L'Epatant from October 1912 through 15 August 1939. Dunot is the "King of Boxers," an adventurous pugilist whose travels bring him into contact with all sorts of criminal types. Dunot is not a Joe Palooka, though; he moves in entirely more elevated circles and is more bloodthirsty and just not as good a person. When Dunot leaves Holy-Quentin, his home, and goes to York City, he tangles with the boxer Fred MacFarlan, the boss of the criminal organisation the Black Hand. In Honduras he is named the Minister of the Navy in order to stop the civil war raging there. Dunot fought the Black Hand in China and Russia. Dunot fought with Frank Flint, an auto magnate, and Mathias Landers, the rubber king. In Haiti Dunot defeats the plans of Charlemagne Sale-Trou, who planned to take over the island and become its Emperor. During WW1 Dunot...well, he expressed Morelli's deep and visceral hatred for all things German, portraying them in the worst terms imaginable. Actually, the strip showed racism before the war, MacFarlan being shown as a stereotypical "Chinese mulatto." But during the war it just got worse, Dunot traveling to Belgium, the Balkans, German East Africa and Central America, especially the Panama Canal, and finding and killing the brutish Germans wherever he found them. After the war it was more of the same, Dunot for example tangling with Mme. Eventail, a Terry and the Pirates Dragon Lady-type bandit queen, and culminating with Dunot's battle against Japanese spies and the implacable spymaster Nagoaka in Shanghai. (Dunot killed them all, naturally.) After that, he essentially retired to his South American mansion, living off the proceeds of the gold strike he found in the Klondyke.
Doctor Omega. Doctor Omega appeared in Le Docteur Oméga - Aventures Fantastiques de Trois Fran&ccediil;ais dans la Planète Mars (Dr. Omega - Fantastic Adventures Of Three Frenchmen On Planet Mars) (1905). He is an inventor-adventurer who invents an antigrav element alternatively called "repulsite" or "stellite," a spaceship, the Cosmos (later the Excelsior), and travels to Mars with three of his friends. They have various adventures there. See also the Young Parisian entry below. (Thanks to Jean-Marc Lofficier for information on Doctor Omega).
Jack Dollar. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can provide more information than just the title of the magazine he appeared in (Jack Dollar, the first detective in the world (23 issues published during the 1920s). The author of the Jack Dollar series remains unknown, although it is clear that he's French. Jack Dollar is a Holmes lift, relocated to New York City and using a boy as an assistant (similar to Harry Taxon--see his entry on the German Heroes section), rather than Watson. The stories were plagiarised, some from Holmes but more from Nick Carter, Nat Pinkerton, and Arthur Morrison's Martin Hewitt. The Jack Dollar stories were "A Mysterious Crime," "The Bar of the Green Parrot," The Riddle of the `Royal Club'," "A Woman's Cry in the Night," "The Vampire of the Movies," "The Red Hand," "Who Was Killed?" "THe Poisoner of New York," "The Skeleton Assassin," "A Murder by Taxi Cab," "Who Has Flown?" "The Dead, Ressurected," "The Necklace of Black Pearls," "The Band of Child Thieves," "The Fatal Heritage," "The Mysterious Suitcase," "The Alchemist of Pick Street," "The Bloody Enigma," "The Tragic Trunk," "A Criminal of Grand Thefts," "An Unexpected Accomplice," "The Coffret Crystal," "Bobby Treeb, Boxing Champion," "A Not Ordinary Thief," "The Living Death," "The Bloody Farm," "The Mystery of the Château of Brooke," "The Flights of the Financial Company," and "The 313 Train."
Don Q. Don Q, as you can see from his entry, was not a French character. But in 1906 the French magazine Nos Loisirs syndicated the first Hesketh Prichard novel, with Georges Clavigny translating. Then, in 1923, the novel was syndicated in the magazine Vautour de la Sierra. After the first novel was finished in the magazine Clavigny continued to write his own stories about Don Q. To quote George Fronval, Vautour de la Sierra was about " a gentleman crook who commanded a band of faithful companions. They took refuge in the Spanish Sierras and fought to protect the poor and humble against oppressors and despots." As you can see, Clavigny took some of the edge off of the Prichard Don Q, who was quite a bit meaner than this.
M. Dupont. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can provide the following small information about this character: He was a Jose Morelli detective character who appeared in Le Cri-Cri from 1935 to 1937.
Claude Duval. Duval (more information in his entry on my Victoriana site) appeared in Claude Duval ou Au Temps des Puritans d'Angleterre (Claude Duval or the Time of the Puritans of England). The French magazine only reprinted 50 issues of the original Charlton Lea serial. The French version of Duval, in the words of George Fronval, "related the exploits of a famous French bandit, a Robin Hood of his day, who really lived and operated in England, especially in the slums of London. Always dressed with rare elegance, Claude Duval figures among the most celebrated of English dandies. A good looking and very distinguished man, he had many sentimental adventures with jolly English women."
Fascinax (I). Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can provide information on this character. Fascinax was created in 1921 by an anonymous author, and is described asFascinax. Tomorrow, the name of this mysterious personage, as captivating and radiant as a headlight dazzling in the marvelous imagination of the youth. Fascinax !… synonymous with dominating will, with sovereign goodness and superhuman abilities! Fascinax !… protector of the weak, avenger of the oppressed, terror of the swindlers and knaves!He is indeed all that and a baguette. He's George Leicester, an English doctor working in the Philippines. He saves an old fakir from the evil schemes of the evil Numa Pergyll. In gratitude the fakir gives Leicester a small portion of his "strange powers." With his new powers, which include the ability to see the future, to dominate other men with a look and to be alerted to imminent dangers, Leicester becomes the crime-fighting Fascinax. Fascinax's arch-enemy is Numa Pergyll, with whom he clashes on several occasions. Fascinax also takes on various other, fantastic enemies. Fascinax's stories are "What is this?" "The Doctor with the Green Eyes," "The Death of Long Island," "The Mummy without a Thumb," "The Scarlet Vapor," "The Fatal Rock," "The Vengeful Avalanche," "The Jump of Death," "In The Abyss," "The Toy that Speaks," "The Flying Submarine," "The Mysterious Telephone," "The Message of the Planet Mars," "The Cavern of Millions," "The Staircase of Fire," "The Shell of Fire," "The Human Bell," "The Château of the Ghost," "The Cursed Rock," "The Hung Island of the Rats," "The Green Devil," and "The Jewels That Kill."
Fatalà. Fatala, created by Marcel Allain, the creator of Fantomas, appeared in twenty-two novels beginning in 1930 & 1931. She was heavily influenced by Fantomas, having stories with titles like "The Vampire with the Hair of Eyes!" "The Living Dead," and "The Hell of Love!" The action ranges from Paris to the Pyrénées to Spain and even out to sea.
Bill Fellow. This adventurer was (possibly) created by Paul Darcy and appeared in Bill Fellow, Aventures, Voyages (Bill Fellow's Adventures and Voyages) #1-34, starting in 1911.
Fifi. This Arnould Galopin character appeared in Les Nouvelles Aventures de Fifi (The New Adventures of Fifi), which began in 1913 and ran through at least 1914 before being interrupted by the war. Fifi was a flyer who was active in Indochina before the war and then in the skies over Europe during the war.
Jean Flair. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can provide the following information: Jean Flair was a Jose Morelli character who appeared in L’Épatant and had a very, very strong sense of smell.
Franc-Hardi. Franc-Hardi was created by Jean de la Hire and appeared in Les Grandes Aventures d'un Boy-Scout (The grand adventures of a boy scout) #1-18, published in 1926. The adventurous Franc-Hardi (whose name I can provide thanks to Jacques Garin) and his sister go on a planet-spanning series of adventures in the "radio plane" of the inventor-engineer Korridès.
Ricardo Gomez. I know nothing about this Suton Caryl character apart from his 1914 magazine's name: Ricardo Gomez, le roi des detectives (Ricardo Gomez, the king of detectives).
Jack Holmes. I know little about this character apart from his magazine's name, Memoires et aventures de Jack Holmes, ancient chef de la police secrete americaine (The memoirs and adventures of Jack Holmes, old head of the American secret police) and the fact that the magazine appeared during the 1930s.
Iko Térouka. Iko Térouka was a Japanese detective, created by Jose Morelli, who appeared in Le Petit Illustré from 1919-1935. Térouka is a Holmes-influenced "classical" detective whose work takes him around the world, from Chicago of the Prohibition to Australian ranches to the mansions of American millionaires to the "secret sects of Black Africa."
Inspector Tony. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can tell you a little about this character. He was created by Gabriel Bernard and appeared in 33 stories from 1916-1917 and then in 1930, first in Les Mystères de la cour de Berlin (The Mysteries of the Heart of Berlin) and then in Pages de gloire ou les aventures de Tony (Pages of glory, or the Adventures of Tony). Inspector Tony is an experienced man, having fought the spies of William II in 1887, become a Commissioner, continued to fight against spies, dealt with the Dreyfuss affair, and then taken on a sect that could control people's spirits from long distance.
Marc Jordan. Marc Jordan was created by Jules de Gastyne and appeared in 65 issues of Marc Jordan, exploits surprenants du plus grand détective francais (Marc Jordan, the astonishing exploits of the great French detective) in 1914. He was a very patriotic detective who was seen as being very French due to his heartiness and gaiety, his verve and elan: "it is with a great humor that he risks his life, solves the most complicated and interesting mysteries." His stories had titles like, "The island of the sorcerer," "The rain of blood," and "In the hands of the Apaches." See also John Siloch.
Jim Kannah. This Suton Caryl character appeared in Les Grandes Adventures de Jim Kannah, le roi du far-west (The Grand Adventures of Jim Kannah, the King of the Far West) #1-25 in 1919. He was a Western trapper.
Khyzil Kaya. Khyzil Kaya was created by Guy d'Armen and appeared in Les Géants du Lac Noir (The Giants of the Dark Lake, 1931). Kaya was a Yellow Peril type who ruled a secret city; the city was protected by giant spiders, giant microbes, and giant mutants.
Ethel King. Ethel King was created by...er, a German whose name I don't know. She appeared first in a German magazine, as the German Ethel King, and then was handled, in French, by Jean Petithuguenin in the pages of Ethel King, le Nick Carter feminin (Ethel King, the female Nick Carter) for 101 issues from 1912 to 1914. Ethel King was very much like Miss Boston, a two-fisted, shootin' detective who happened to be a female and an American, and a tough-minded one, at that. She was presented as being a real detective and as having been recommended to Petithuguenin by Nick Carter himself; it may be that Ethel King was based on Nick Carter's wife, Ethel. Ethel King was very popular, appearing not only in Germany but also for 122 issues in Norwegian, 32 in Italian, and in Polish, all between 1912 and 1917.
Konserson. Konserson was created by André Falcoz and appeared in La Poudre de Mort (The Powder of Death, 1929). He was a mad scientist who turned children into gnomes with hypertrophied brains. This was so he could take control of a death ray which would in turn allow him to take control of a throne in Asia.
Prosper Lepicq. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can give you some information on Lepicq. Lepicq was created by Pierre Véry and appeared in ten novels, beginning with Les Disparus de Saint-Agil (The Missing of Saint-Agil) in 1935. Lepicq is a lawyer who takes on a variety of cases, usually persuaded to by his secretary Jugonde. He is aggressive in pursuit of cases, and often approaches potential clients, rather than waiting for them to approach him. His modus operandi is a combination of logical deducation and instinct. Lepicq is willing to impersonate others and to lie to gain his own ends, but he is a good and brave man who willingly risks his life to help others. Jean-Marc Lofficier describes Lepicq (or 'Lepic') as "a lawyer and poet whose face resembles that of an owl. Lepic solved mysteries that almost, but never quite, fell into the supernatural or the bizarre."
Doctor Lerne. Doctor Lerne was created by Maurice Renard and appeared in Le Docteur Lerne - Sous-Dieu (Dr. Lerne--Undergod, 1908). Doctor Lerne was not a hero, but was rather a somewhat unpleasant mad scientist, quite similar to Dr. Moreau. He transplanted organs between men and animals as well as plants and machines.
Aurore Lescure. Aurore Lescure was created by Theo Varlet and appeared in La Grande Panne (The Great Breakdown, 1930) and Aurore Lescure, Pilote d'Astronef (Aurore Lescure, Spaceship Pilot, 1943). Lescure is a female astronaut (as Jean-Marc Lofficier notes, quite possibly the first one in fiction) who travels into outer space and then returns, regrettably bringing back an alien virus. The virus, which consumes electricity, wreaks havoc on Earth.
Jack Linton. Linton was created by Jean Ray and appeared in six stories in the Presto-Films series of novels--thanks to Marc Madouraud for correcting my mistake here--in 1939, published in both France and Belgium. He was a young detective whose adventures, despite having titles like "The Invisible Professor," "The Assassinated Statue," "The Eye of the Night," "The Crossroads of the Russett-Red Moon," "The Haunted Mall," and "The Assassinated Submarine," were purely rationalistic.
Lord Lister. Lord Lister was created by Karl Matull and Theo Blankensee and appeared in first the German magazine Lord Lister, genannt Raffles, des Meisterdib (Lord Lister, called Raffles, the Master Thief) and then in the French Lord Lister, dit Raffles, le Grand Inconnu (Lord Lister, called Raffles, the Great Unknown) from 1909 through 1914. He began as an unauthorised non-English use of E.W. Hornung's Raffles, but was soon given (in France) the name "John C. Sinclair," and was successful under that name, being seen as a Raffles, i.e. a gentleman thief, rather than the Raffles. He appears in stories with titles like, "Among the ruins of Messine," "The aerial torpedo," "The sacred treasure of Siva," and "The diamonds of the Duke of Norfolk." He is described in his stories this way:He opposes...all the usurers and the men of rotten affairs, makes away with their goods, and with grace in his actions, he protects himself with the persecuted innocents and helps with his actions the honest man ruined by swindlers. A gentleman from his head to his feet, it is true that he twists the truth to Justice and the Law, but he always acts according to his code and believes in immanent Justice.He is pursued by Inspector Baxter of Scotland Yard and is engaged to Miss Ellen Patrick-Baxter, Inspector Baxter's cousin. Lord Lister is a champion cricket player and a popular member of High Society. Lord Lister's Bunny Manders is Charley Brand. Lord Lister is of course excellent at disguise and has a never-flagging sense of humor.
The Lord Lister stories were popular across Europe, with the Dutch edition running for almost 600 issues and the Belgian edition running for, get this, nearly 50 years and almost 2500 (!) issues. There are sites on them here, here, and here.
Interestingly (to me, anyhow), the Lord Lister stories were popular in Malaysia, as well, though not under that name. As it turns out, the first Malay detective novel, Muhammad bin Muhammad Said's Cheritera Kechurian Lima Million Ringgit (Tale of the Theft of Five Million Dollars, published in 1922 but written some time between 1908 and 1914), stars "John C. Sinclair" as a heroic, famous English thief who, while attempting (with "Jack Hooker," a notorious American con-man) to fleece a dissolute American playboy of his millions (they intend to use the money to build housing for the poor of New York City), runs into both "Mr. Baxter," the Chief of Police in London as well as, get this, none other than Nick Carter. Although the words "Lord Lister" are never mentioned in this article, it is clear that Said was writing a Lord Lister story, and one that crossed over with no less than Nick Carter himself. Sinclair naturally eludes Baxter and Carter in Cheritera, and in later stories appears as a more heroic and less criminal adventurer. John C. Sinclair also appeared in a Malay heroic poem, 28 pages long, entitled Shaer Cheritera Bijaksana, in which John Sinclair, in his guise as an amateur detective, unmasks a thief, rescues a damsel and distress, and gets involved with the family of the late Austro-Hungarian emperor, all against the backdrop of various Swiss luxury hotels.
Mâh le Sinistre. Mâh le Sinistre was created by Charles Robert-Dumas and appeared in The Lead Idol (1935). Mâh le Sinistre is a Mongolian secret agent for Germany, one of the German Bolsheviks' best agents in the war with the decadent West. Mâh is a brute and a fanatic, someone who not only disembowels his enemies, typically in seedy hotels in the poorer parts of Paris, but who also takes great pleasure in doing so. Mâh works by day as an exporter in Paris, but by night he steals French military secrets and sells them to the Germans. Mâh is not only a spy but is also a master chemist, who brews up not just "Ecstasy 136," a sure-fire aphrodisiac that he uses on any white woman he desires, but also a gas capable of wiping out Paris' population in a matter of hours. His only weakness is for Muguette, a beautiful French spy who puts a bullet through Mâh's head. Mâh is, in short, a weird spin on the Yellow Peril stereotype, combining sexual threat, anti-White hatred, Red Menace, and low cunning (as opposed to the brilliance of a Fu Manchu or a Kiang-Ho.)
Mandrin. I know little about this character except that his name translates as "Punch" (as in the blow) and that he appeared in Mandrin, roi des voleurs (Punch, the King of the Thieves) #1-16 during the 1920s. I also managed to find one of his quotes: "At the top of my power I dominated France." Hmm. (According to the very courteous Marc Madouraud, Mandrin was actually based on a real person. Go figure)
Marc Madouraud, as usual, was enormously helpful and sent along some links about the real-life Mandrin, and so I'm now able to provide some more information on him. Louis Mandrin, 1724-1755, became an outlaw in 1753 and ended up leading a band of 300 men; he became a popular hero for smuggling products to the average people who ordinarily couldn't afford them, and for freeing prisoners from jail. Presumably Madrin, roi des voleurs was set during the years of his life and were fictional stories starring him, similar to the Comte de Chavagnac stories.
Todd Marvel. Marvel was created by Gustave LeRouge and appeared in Les Aventures de Todd Marvel, Détective Milliardaire (The Adventures of Todd Marvel, Multi-Millionaire Detective) #1-20 in 1923 and in L'Homme Libre (The Free Man) in 1924. He was, as you might guess from the magazine's title, a gentleman detective, one of those wealthy amateurs like Lord Peter Wimsey who were so common in detective fiction in the early decades of this century. Marvel was very wealthy, however, much more so than the Wimseys of the world. Marvel's arch-enemy was Karl Kristian, the "King of Transplanting," who was a lesser version of LeRouge's Dr. Cornelius Kramm. In 1930 he was reprinted in Italy under the title The Wonderful Adventures of the Millionaire Todd Marvel. The stories he appeared in were, "The Secret of Wang Tai," "The Meadow of Ghosts," "Attacks of the Isis Lodge," "The Cinematic Apparitions," "The Bandit's End," "Two Deaths," "The Million Bank," "The Bronze Basement," "Miss Rosy, Lady Thief of the Mysterious Check," "Beacons," "The Murderous Plant," "The Hypnotic Portrait," "The Electrical Worker's Reflection," "Seekers After Gold," "Surprised on the Ocean," "A Romantic Escape," "A Difficult Inquiry," "The Circle of Chatenay," "Without Quarter," and "The Justice of God."
Benedict Masson. Benedict Masson was created by Gaston Leroux and appeared in La Poupée Sanglante (The Bloody Puppet, 1923) and La Machine a Assassiner (The Killing Machine, 1924). Masson is a man who is framed for murder and guillotined, only to have his brain removed from his head and put into the body of an android. In this body he takes on and defeats a cult of vampires, led by the depraved and evil Marquis de Coulteray.
Mendax. Mendax was created by Guy d'Armen and appeared in Les Troglodytes du Mont Everest (The Troglodytes of Mount Everest, 1929). Mendax, a Yellow Peril type, threatened the world and ransomed ocean lineers with his technologically advanced plane/submarine.
Miraculas. Miraculas appeared in Miraculas, which was written by Gabriel Bernard and ran for 20 issues in 1922. (I haven't been able to find out whether "Miraculas" was meant merely as a name or whether it's an oddball spelling for 'miraculous.') Miraculas is "the man of a thousand and one marvels," an inventor-adventurer who creates wonders on his island laboratory. His stories have titles like, "The paralysing propellors," "The inhabited shell," "Into the unknown world," "The discovery of Atlantis," and "Resuscitated after 100,000 years."
Miramar. Miramar was created by Guillaume Livet and appeared in Miramar, L'Homme aux Yeux de Chat (Miramar, the Man with the Cat Eyes, 1913). Miramar was a whizzo mad scientist who could see in the dark and who performed various strange organ transplants and grafts and unnatural surgeries on his victims. His plan was to take over the world. (He failed.)
Morgan the Pirate. Morgan appeared in Sous Le Pavillon Noir, Les Aventures de Morgan Le Pirate (Under the black flag, the adventures of Morgan the Pirate), which was written by an anonymous author and ran for 200 issues between 1907 and 1911. Morgan sailed the Spanish Main, leading a ship of pirates against other buccaneers and the evil natives of Turtle Island.
Miss Mousqueterr. Miss Mousqueterr was created by Paul d'Ivoi and appeared in Miss Mousqueterr (1907). Violet Mousqueterr is a crime fighter, a hero along the lines of d'Ivoi's Doctor Mystery. According to Jean-Marc Lofficier, she and her companions used "light...as an all-purpose weapon...to defeat a secret Hindu cult."
Serge Myrandhal. Serge appeared in Henri Gayar's Les Aventures Merveilleuses de Serge Myrandhal sur la Planète Mars (The Wonderful Adventures of Serge Myrandhal on the Planet Mars) (1908) and The Robinsons of the Planet Mars (1927); The Robinsons of the Planet Mars was actually Les Aventures Merveilleuses, but completed and reworked--the original had been left unfinished in 1908. (Thanks to Marc Madouraud for correcting my mistake here). Myrandhal is another character I know relatively little about and am reliant on others for what little information I have. In fact, I'm just going to avoid trying to summarise what I've got and will quote wholesale (in translation, of course) from Harry Morgan, the editor of the very good French fanzine The Adamantine:Serge Myrandhal is the inventor of the Velox, a psychoscaphe, that is to say a space ship moved by psychic energy. The Rajah of Almowrat offers Myrandhal the mental current of his fakirs, which will propel the engineer and his fiancée Annabella to Mars. But following a crime only the engineer goes to Mars. Fortunately there exists a second, smaller psychoscaphe, the Annabella, on board of which the young madam Myrandhal, his tutor, the English sportsman Pickman, called "the Eccentric," and the dog Stop, rejoin Myrandhal on Mars.Gayar finished the series in 1927, but abandoned the psychic aspect of the series and wrote what was essentially a Martian travelogue. He did finish the Elohim storyline, though; they had gone to sleep for millennia, waiting for humanity to evolve enough so that they could teach us all they knew. But Serge et al reached them too late, and the last Elohim dies before we can learn their knowledge. Serge and his friends return to the Earth in the Velox.
The Velox is repaired; it has fallen in a geyser and that has flowed to before peak to be returned by the waves, all while exploring an Arctic and volcanic region, to research the Martians. Pickman is captured by a group of reddish dwarfs with big feet, the Houâ, who live under the ground, in caves with stifling heat, for Mars is [gruyère--I'm not sure what this means and can't translate it--Jess] (recall the Morlocks of Wells and their moon) The Eccentric escapes with a Houâ that it has baptized Tao and which becomes his boy.
Everyone leaves on the ocean, in the psychoscaphes which become boats, and go towards the temperate regions, to research the more civilized Martians. Tao believes in the existence of Zoa, a race of angels which represent the superior race of Martians.
The group crosses a Sargasso sea, fights against a kraken in an underwater grotto, then arrive in an Edenic garden and install themselves in the the ruins of a fabulous city. They find resting there, in crystal eggs since time immemorial, the mummies of the Zoa, an exquisite race which became more and more diaphanous and asexual. They became extinct: "They surpassed the allowed intelligence and reached the apex; they are become scholars as gods; they did not have any more reason to exist." The group find a few last Zoa resting on a bed; the group calls them the "Elohim." At the end, when Serge finally establishes communication with Earth, thanks to a telepathic transmitter, the Eccentric rushes in shouting, "The Elohim have awoken!"
And the series ends there!
Mylord L'Arsouille. L'Arsouille, a criminal and gang-leader, was created by Noel Marin and appeared in Mylord L'Arsouille beginning in 1914. (I'm unsure whether the fictional L'Arsouille was related to the real "Mylord Arsouille," aka Charles de la Battut, who was active against the aristocracy during Revolutionary France.) Complicating matters is the fact that Rodolphe was modeled on "two faux-English Anglophilic dandies whom the public conflated into one legendary `milord Arsouille.'" Was one of these dandies Charles de la Battut? Is the criminal L'Arsouille related to the legendary `milord Arsouille'? I don't know.
Natas. This is not the Natas of George Griffith Jones' The Angel of the Revolution, but rather the Natas of Guy d'Armen La Cité de l'Or et de la Lèpre, 1928). d'Armen's Natas is an evil, aged immortal who rules a secret underground city in Tibet, from which nobody leaves (they immediately die of leprosy if they do). The square-jawed adventurer Francis Ardant eventually defeats Natas.
James Nobody (I). The wonderfully-named James Nobody appeared in Les Merveilleux Exploits de James Nobody #1-11, from 1928 to 1929. He was a spy and an adventurer.
James Nobody (II). James Nobody (II)--love that name--was created by the French spy and writer Charles Lucieto and appeared in the magazine Les Coulisses de L'Espionage International (Episode of International Espionage) and in the novels The Red Virgin of the Kremlin (1927), Delivered to the Enemy (1928), and The Mystery of Monte Carlo (1929). Nobody (II) was a British superspy fighting the Red Menace. The James Nobody novels were very ideologically- and sexually-charged as well as being anti-Semitic; in Red Virgin Nobody works undercover in the U.S.S.R. as a chauffeur for "The Virgin," one of the Soviet Union's best spies, and Nobody is told that one of his tasks is to perform "night services" for The Virgin. Nobody gets captured and is put through various tortures. In Delivered to the Enemy the Soviets help the Germans rearm, with Nobody battling the real-life adventurer and con-man Trebitsch Lincoln, who in the novel is an agent for the Comintern and is working to help the Germans rearm, traffic in heroin and cocaine, and plan chemical warfare against France. Then, in Monte Carlo, Nobody tangles with Véra Roudine, a terrorist for the Soviet secret police; she is given to the worst sorts of vices, is a sadist, and prefers the company of wicked men, such as "that infamous, bloody, ferocious beast Soumkoff, the head executioner of the Cheka."
Mister Nobody. Mister Nobody appeared in an eponymous magazine from 1945 to 1946; he was created by "Edward Brooker," who may or may not have been Albert Laisne. Mister Nobody was a gentleman burglar who wore a black satin face mask.
Martin Numa. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can give some information on Numa. He was created by Léon Sazie and appeared in L’Śil de la police (The Eye of the Police) in 1908. Numa was the "king of policeman" and was assisted by Courville, a journalist who narrated the stories and acted as Numa's Watson.
Tony Pacot. Thanks to Marc Madouraud (who is clearly responsible for much that appears here--thanks, Marc!) I can provide some small information about Tony Pacot. He was created by Léon Sazie and appeared in Le Journal in 1913 and 1914. He was a detective whose nickname was Mirobal, "The Prodigious," and whose arch-enemy was Jim Schader and his "X" gang.
Palmyre. Palmyre was created by Renée Dunan and appeared in Baal ou la Magicienne Passionée, Livre Des Ensorcellements (Baal or the Impassioned Magician, Book of Spells, 1924). Jean-Marc Lofficier, in his magisterial French Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Pulp Fiction, described Baal as "a science fiction treatment of psi powers, magic, and alchemy. In it, the modern sorceress Palmyre taught her female assistant the secret of her magic, including the ability to travel from one dimension to another. They met the Lovecraftian entity Baal, whose octopus-like form was described as a three-dimensional projection from a multi-dimensional creature.
Pao Tcheou. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can pass on the following about Pao: he was created by Edward Brooker and appeared in 38 novels beginning during WW2. Pao Tcheou was the "maitre de l'invisible," the Master of the Invisible." He was a Chinese cousin of Fu Manchu who hated the white race and fought against all of us whities, both here and on Mars. Oh, and he could turn himself invisible. The story titles of his appearances were: "The Flight of the Atomic Super Bomb," "Tomorrow New York (A Big City) Will Jump," "The Threat to England," "Lapertot engages the fight, "Ho-Hang, the mysterious island," "A Diabolical Plan," "The Fight of the Invisibles," "Tsan-Tsan, the big sorcerer," "The Vengeance of the Grand Sorcerer," "The Slaves of Satan," "Dr. Faustulus, "A Curious Sighing," "A Voyage Across Space," "The Kingdom of P'to-P'to," "To the country of the Hurkas," "Travel through Mars," "The Secret of the jungle," The White Goddess," "The City on the Lake," "Mawamba," "Guabinis," "The Forest That Kills," "The holds with Tibos," "The Raft of Death," "The War of the Robots," "The Vengeance of Radium," "The Secrets of the Atom," "The Underwater City," "The Thieves of Thought," "The War of the Stars," "The Master of Earthquakes," "The Defeat of the Invisible," "Panic in the City," "In the Intestines of the Earth," "The Island of Monsters," "A Fight in Ho-Hang," and "The Stratosphere Rocket of Faustulus."
Monsieur de Paris. Monsieur de Paris, otherwise known as "the Executioner," appeared in Souvenirs de Monsieur de Paris par un de ses aides (The memoires of Monsieur de Paris, by one of his aides), a 16-issue series running from December 1908 to March 16, 1909. His creator is unknown. Monsieur de Paris' real name is Monsieur Roch, and he lives on the Rue Rochebrune. With the help of his aides and the Bertillion system Monsieur de Paris takes on the worst that Paris has to offer, often killing the criminals he discovers, rather than imprisoning them. His stories had titles like "The Triple Parricide of the Germans of Dropt," "A Father Murdered for his Money," "The Terror of the Suburbs," and "The Robbers of the Bologne Woods."
The Parisian Apprentice. The Apprentice appeared in Arnould Galopin's Aventures d'un Apprenti Parisien (Aventures of a Parisian Apprentice) #1-100, from 1912 through 1914. He was a boy hero, similar to the Boy Scout (see above), who adventured around the world in a "hydroaeroplane."
Marius Pegomas. This Pierre Yrondy character appeared in Marius Pegomas, Détective Marseillais (Marius Pegomas, Detective of Marseilles) #1-35, 1939-1940. He was a police detective in Marseilles.
Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can provide more information on Marius Pégomas. He's got a round face, blue eyes, short hair, a black and curly mustache, seeming more Semitic than French. Marius solves the riddles that stump the police and is beloved by the Marseillaise. He is very fact-oriented, being meticulous in his methods. He is assisted by Flora Miniscule, his secretary, her brother, Tintin Miniscule, who is his chauffeur, Bouillabaisse, who flies his plane, and his friend, the scholar Dr. Mercadier. His stories were "The Gangsters of Joliette," "The Crime of the Pond of Berre," "The Opium Trafficker," "A Woman Tied on the Rail!" "The Ogresse of Cannebière," "The Attempt on the Corniche," "The Strange Adventure of Mister Toc," "The Jewels of Lady Merry," "The Enigma of Monte Carlo," "The Terror of Aubagne," "A Drama in the Crystal Palace," "The Shipwreck of the Sphinx," "The Theft of Three Million," "The Blind Person of Notre Dame de la Garde," "The Cigar End," "The Disappearance in Bourse," "A Tragic Marriage," "The Mystery of the Cabin," "The Revenant of d'Aix," "The Silver Scissors," "The Bloddy Mill," "The Incendiaries of Ciotat," "The Cut Finger," "The King of the Snows," "A Gruesome Substitution," "The Vampire of Martigues," "A Garden Cemetery," "Death's Smile," "An Audacious Abduction," "The Pierced Heart," "The Sick Town," "The Tyrant of Nîmes," "An atrocious machination," "The Diabolical Laboratory," "A Dangerous Outlaw," and the never-published thirty-sixth title, "The Secret of the Planter."
Edmond Pezon. Based on the real Pezon, this fictionalized character appeared in 25 issues of La Vie d'Aventures et de Chasse du Dompteur Edmond Pezon (The Life of Adventures and Hunting of the Trainer Edmond Pezon) beginning in 1909. Pezon was a big game hunter and trapper; in the words of his magazine, "One would be wrong to confuse him with a vulgar travelling acrobat, an unspecified fair runner. No one ignores Mr. Edmond Pezon, a perfect man of the world, a real gentleman, who made the art of the trainer a true science and whose reader will find here all the secrecies and all the dramas." To quote George Fronval, Pezon was "a famous lion tamer from the Paris fairs as hero. The story is presented as Pezon's memoirs and contains many unbelievable parts." Some of his story titles were, "In the shadow of the Zambezi," "The Baptism of Blood," "A Boa Butchered Alive," and "In the African Night."
Nat Pinkerton. Nat Pinkerton, creator unknown, appeared in 336 issues of Nat Pinkerton, le plus illustre détective de nos jours (Nat Pinkerton, the most illustrious detective of our day) from 8 March 1908 to 30 July 1914. He was based on Allan Pinkerton, of course, though very lightly based, and more fictionalized than real; Pinkerton, like several other real people--Buffalo Bill is a good example of this--was used as a template for various genre stories, with the only tie to reality being the name, more than anything else. Nat began in a German series, appearing there for 407 issues from 1907 to 1915. (He also appeared in magazines in other languages, from Norwegian to Italian, Polish, and Dutch, with the most notable being the Russian version.) He was in the vein of Nick Carter and other detective types, appearing in stories with titles like "The Devil's Automobile," "The Armoire of Cadavers," "In the Den of the Sea Criminals," and "Mr. Kennedy's Orangutan."
Interestingly enough, someone has e-texted an English translation one of his German stories, "The Bloody Talisman."
There's also Exotisme Social which is a good essay, in French, on French dime novels and adventure literature. The page has an image of a Nat Pinkerton, Détective issue.
George Edgar Pipe. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can provide some information on Pipe. Pipe was created by Arnould Galopin and appeared in three novels: Mémoires d’un cambrioleur retiré des affaires (Memoires of retired burglar retired from his work, 1922), La Résurrection d’Edgar Pipe (The Resurrection of Edgar Pipe, 1933) and La Dernière incarnation d’Edgar Pipe (The Last Incarnation of Edgar Pipe, 1934). Pipe is a professional thief similar to Arsène Lupin, but English, more human, less lucky, and less genial. He eventually opens a detective agency and is reunited with his love Edith (who had earlier abandoned him); they adopt a child and he goes straight for good.
Reporter. Unfortunately, I've been unable to come up with a name for this character, so I'm forced to call him by his profession. (He was the chief reporter for the magazine The Year 2000.) The Reporter was the main character, as such, in Pierre Giffard's La Guerre Infernale (The Infernal War) #1-30 in 1908. After I'd gone and gotten what notes I could on this, I discovered the following on the 'Net, from an article on Albert Robida:In 1908, Robida, together with Pierre-Louis Giffard (b.1853), started publishing an endless (800-page) serial meant for a juvenile audience: La Guerre infernale, a most abominable (and perspicacious) account of what modern warfare will look like. The text is mainly made up of fictional excerpts from newspapers and top-secret H.Q. documents. These constitute a memorial to scientific massacre: to biological warfare and systematic (and highly rationalised) genocide, with its crematoria, its carnage involving millions of people killed by flame-throwers .... Juvenile reading, as I said! Thanks to the horror of (Chinese) tortures and the cold efficiency of (Western) technological discoveries, the number of deaths escalates. At the beginning, the war is merely a local one between Germany, on the one side, and Great Britain and France on the other. Soon, however, Japan and the US become involved (cf. Summary, La Guerre, p. 513), and scientific destructiveness gets out of hand, ending in a racial confrontation between Caucasians and Mongoloids ("Jap contre Sam," La Guerre, pp. 545 ff.).I can add slightly more to that. The war did indeed begin as a local one between Germany and Great Britain & France. But it was only "local" in the sense of being between three countries. It took place in the air (aerial bombings from war dirigibles, strafing runs from battle helices), on the ground, and underwater (armed squads of crabmen, ships being torpedoed). It did indeed spread, but it was not just Japan and the US becoming "involved." La Guerre Infernale, in the words of one French critic, "strove for the inexplored reaches of the `Denunciation of the Yellow Peril' category." Japan attacks Europe, conquers it, and then attacks the United States and conquers much of it, forcing the British, French, Germans, Russians, and Americans to unite into the "White Wall" and attack the Japanese. They don't win until cholera is used against the Japanese in the Urals. The Reporter is the main observer of the entire war, getting personally involved with, for one, the American air pirate Jim Koog.
Red Mask. Masque Rouge, or "Red Mask," was a masked detective created by Gaston René who appeared in Le Secret du Masque Rouge (The Secret of Red Mask) #1-33 in 1912. His adventures tended towards the extraordinary, with ghosts and haunted castles occurring more often than not.
Theodore Rouma. Theodore Rouma was created by Jean d'Auffargis and appeared in Les Aventures Extraordinaires de Theodore Rouma (The Extraordinary Adventures of Theodore Rouma) during WW2. He was a private eye.
Fedor Ivanovitch Sarraskine. Fédor Sarraskine was created by Jose Moselli and appeared in La Guerre des Océans (The War of the Oceans, 1929). Sarraskine is similar to Captain Nemo, using his science to attack British and American shipping and their fleets, as well as using mad science to surgically alter his victims and turn them into fish-men who are forced to obey his commands.
Satanas. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can provide some small information on this character. He was created by Gabriel Bernard and appeared in a novel (not a series of novels, as I originally wrote; thanks to Marc Madouraud for correcting my error) in 1922; the novel was about a group of telepaths. The novel's title was Satanas, with the chapters' titles being Satanas ou la TSF humaine ou la télépathie (Satanas or the Human TSF or the Telepathy), Les Chevaliers de l’Etoile (The Chevalier of the Star), L’Énigme du désert (The Riddle of the Desert), La Cité des prodiges (The Riddle of the Prodigies), Le Secret de Patrice Oriel (The Secret of Patrice Oriel).
Sigono. Thanks to Marc Madouraud I can provide the following information on this character: he was created by Edward Brooker and appeared in only one novel, Sigono contre la police (Sigono versus the police, 1939). Sigono is known as "Red Mask" and "the Master Thief." He's your basic heroic thief, robbing from the rich and the cruel and helping the poor, the widows, and the orphans. He also fights against murderers and the like. His sworn opponent is Commissioner Bossuet.
Sitting Bull. This heroic Sioux character first appeared in a German magazine in 1906 before appearing for over 60 issues in France beginning in 1908 in magazines like Sitting Bull, Sitting Bull, grand chef des Sioux (Sitting Bull, the Great Chief of the Sioux), and Les Chefs Indiens Celebre (Famous Indian Chiefs).
Smantor. I know nothing about this character except that he appeared in Smantor, le celebre détective belge (Smantor, the Famous Belgian Detective) #1-4 in 1915.
Spiridon. Spiridon was created by André Laurie and appeared in Spiridon le Muet (Spiridon the Mute, 1907). Spiridon is an intelligent ant, roughly the size of a man, who is the ruler of a colony of sentient ants who live on an island off the coast of Corsica. Dr. Cordat, a young French surgeon, makes contact with Spiridon, and the two have a series of conversations, with Spiridon revealing himself to be both brilliant and curious about human civilisation. Spiridon ends up going to Paris with Dr. Cordat. In Paris Spiridon becomes a famous doctor, using his genius and his advanced knowledge to cure even supposedly uncurable diseases. Unfortunately, jealous competitors unmask Spiridon, who is forced to kill others to protect himself. One thing leads to another, he's wounded, he's put on the operating table, and he loses his advanced intelligence.
Harry Stilson. I know next to nothing about him except that he appeared in Le Roi des Détectives (The King of Detectives) #1-21, sometime during the 1930s, and that he was billed as "le celebre détective americain" (the celebrated American detective).
Stoerte-Becker. Stoerte-Becker, or "Disturb-More Becker," was created by an anonymous German author and appeared in 62 issues of Stoerte-Becker, le Souverain des Oceans (Disturb-More Becker, the Ruler of the Seas) from 1910 to 1911. His stories in Frnech were written by Jean Petithuguenin. "Stoerte-Becker" is actually Klaus de Winsfield, a German born in Hamburg around 1380 whose life revolved around gaining revenge against the Hanseatic League. Stoerte-Becker takes to sea and becomes a pirate, preying on the League's merchant vessels and also fighting against various warships and against other pirates. He was based in Heligoland, and after a time joined the dread Vitalis brothers and used his ship, the Ram to help them, and vice-versa. His secret weapon was Greek Fire. See also his entry in the German Heroes section.
John Strobbins. Strobbins was a Jose Morelli character who was a "detective burglar," heavily influence by Arsene Lupin. He appeared in L’Épatant with some interruptions from 1911 to 1935. Strobbins, "young, elegant, and likable," is a very patriotic American, working out of San Francisco. In the stories he is already an accomplished thief, having tangled on more than one occasion with the San Francisco police. He is a "virtuoso of burglary" and a master of disguise. While he does not kill, he can be ruthless; when dealing with spies he will, for example, inject them with leprosy and then abandon them on a deserted island. Most of the time, however, Strobbins is a playful and chivalrous sort, willing to tip off the police as to where he will strike next. Strobbins' police nemeses are James Molescott, the Chief of the S.F.P.D., and Peter Crainsby, Molescott's assistant. Strobbins is helped by his butler/assistant Reno.
Baron Cesare Stromboli. Stromboli, a Jose Morelli character, appeared in L'Inedit (Unpublished) from 1912 to 1916. He was, for the most part, an Arsene Lupin knock-off. He styled himself an "international gentleman," and he was in fact active around the world. He's described as "thin and elegant, a monocle in his dark eye, a curled mustache above two red and smiling lips, the Baron presents an unforgettable impression. A conversationalist as well as a witty scholar, always knowing what is appropriate as well as how to lose the game with good grace, he always knows how to please the men and be accepted by the women." In his adventures he: blackmails Emperor Othon II into giving him the title of Baron; steals the "Emerald of Rurik the Russian" despite it being under continual guard of twelve cossacks; steals four thousand kilos of Mongolian gold from a locked railcar; avenges himself on William Hacksmill, a New York diamond merchant, who cost the Baron $2 million--the Baron relieves Hacksmill of $3 million in diamonds from a ship in the middle of the Atlantic; defends a singer in Trieste who is unjustly accused of espionage; steals a million marks from the German military treasury during WW1; returns a stolen ivory and gold statue to its rightful owner in Naples; and investigates a haunted Spanish castle.
Wasili Tchorok. Wasili Tchorok was created by Jose Moselli and appeared in L'Ile des Hommes Bleus (The Island of the Blue Men, 1939). Tchorok was a millionaire who used the knowledge and skill of the scientist Antoine Chantour to build a giant city orbiting the Earth in a geostationary orbit; the "blue men" of the story's title were surgically modified to breather in the thin air of the city's orbit.
Jack Temple. Jack Temple was created by Jose Morelli and appeared in the "Gangsters of the Air" sequence, which appeared for 28 issues in 1939. Temple is a professional aviator who takes on the "Gangsters of the Air," a group of air pirates who use advanced technology to terrorize the world. The Gangsters are well-organised and use very fast, powerful airplanes, and they use their planes to force down other planes; the Gangsters then seize the goods on those planes and then destroy them. Jack initially fares badly, being framed and sent to a penal colony, but he is rescued by his friend Anatole France. Jack then takes his invisible plane into action against the Gangsters. Jack steals one of the Gangsters' water planes, but he and his friend Guillaume Lebaron are captured by the Gangsters and kept in an underground Gangster base in Maracaibo. Anatole yet again rescues them, they destroy the base, and then go after some Venezuelan pearls that the Gangsters have their eyes on. And then...er...well, things sort of end in the middle, with no real conclusion.
Tenebras. Ténèbras was created by Arnould Galopin and appeared in Ténèbras le bandit fantôme (Ténèbras the ghost bandit), written in 1911. Ténèbras is described as "a combination of Arsene Lupin and Fantômas." (Thanks to Marc Madouraud for this information)
Texas Jack. This Western character, loosely based on Jack B. "Texas Jack" Omohundro, appeared in Texas Jack, la Terreur Des Indiens (Texas Jack, the Terror of the Indians) #1-270, from 1907 to 1912. He also appeared in Italy (see the Italian Heroes entry), Denmark (1909, then 1912-1918), Poland (beginning in 1908), Holland (1935-1936) and Portugal. Texas Jack was an "audacious and courageous soldier of fortune."
Tintin (2). Tintin (the second, though chronologically the first, and not to be confused with the more famous Belgian of the name, whose entry is here) was created by Marcel Priollet (under the name of R.M. Nizerolles) and appeared in Les Voyages Aeriens d'un Petit Parisien a Travers le Monde (The aerial voyages of a small Parisian around the world) #1-111 (1911-1913) and Les Aventuriers du Ciel (The sky adventurers) #1-108 (1935-1937). Tintin was a heroic boy adventurer (a Parisian, obviously), who had various adventures first around the world, both in the skies and underground, and then later across the solar system. In his second go-round he flew in the atomic-hydrogen-gas-powered spaceship Bolide (which means a "meteoric fireball"--I didn't know that until I looked it up) with his friends Professor Saint-Marc (a French scholar who I believe designed and constructed the Bolide), Yvonne Blanchard (an English reporter despite his name), Timmy-Ropp (a German soldier, despite his name), and Jean du Requirel. On Mars they encounter the Slavoks, a robotic race of slaves that the Martians constructed to serve them. The Martians themselves have slender bodies with enormous heads, and get around with the help of metal boots and artificial wings.
The story titles were things like "The Pillagers of the Wrecks," "The Terror of the Seas," "The drill of steel," "The Secret of the Pyramids," "The Revolt of the Robots," "The Engima of the Red Planet," and "In the Country of the Nose-Men."
Jean Tixier. Tixier was the youthful hero of Le Petit Détective (The Young Detective), which began in 1934 and was written by Arnould Galopin. Tixier was a boy who assisted the noted detective Gaston Cervier. (Thanks to Marc Madouraud for this information.)
Professor Tornada. Thanks to Jean-Marc Lofficier I can provide some information on this character. He was created by André Couvreur and appeared in Une Invasion de Macrobes (An Invasion of Macrobes, 1909), L'Androgyne--Les Fantaisies du Professeur Tornada (The Androgyne--The Fantasies of Prof. Tornada, 1922), Le Valseur Phosophorescent (The Phosphorescent Waltzer, 1923), Les Memoires d'un Immortel (Memoirs of an Immortal, 1924), Le Biocle (1927), and Le Cas de la Baronne Sasoitsu (The Case of Baroness Sasoitsu, 1927). Professor Tornada was a great mad scientist type, similar to Dr. Caresco and Dr. Cornelius Kramm, but unfortunately he went good near the end of his series. In his first appearance he set loose on Paris a plague of giant macrobes. In his second he performed a very successful sex-change operation on a very unwilling man. In his third appearance he created a phosphorescent android. In his fourth appearance he created "222," a substance which when added to food greatly elongates the human lifespan. In his fifth appearance he succeeded in creating a kind of immortality via organ transplants, but the resulting social chaos was A Bad Thing. In his sixth appearance the now-reformed Professor tried to help humanity with his "psychovisor."
Valentin. Valentin, who appeared in Gabriel Bernard's Les Cinq Détectives (The Five Detectives) in 1928, doesn't really belong here, but I wanted to include him here so I could describe the contents of the book: Valentin teams up with Bob, who was raised by Sherlock Holmes, Jonas, who was raised by Monsieur Lecoq, Scipion, a former collaborator with Nick Carter, Leonard, a former assistant to Inspector Tony, and Valentin, who is no one in particular.
Villiod. Villiod appeared in Mémoires de Villiod, Détective Privé (Memoirs of Villiod, Private Detective) #1-21, in 1920. He was a domino-masked, caped private detective who appeared in stories with titles like "The Living Death." He was based on Eugene Villiod, who created what may have been the first French private detective agency, making him a French version of Allan Pinkerton.
Andreas Vollmer. Andreas Vollmer was created by Jose Moselli and appeared in L'Empereur du Pacifique (The Emperor of the Pacific, 1932-1935). Vollmer is an old-fashioned mad scientist who turns an atoll in the Pacific into a Dr. Moreau-like kingdom of radio-controlled zombies and victims of human experimentation.
Tip Walter. Tip Walter was created by Marcel Priollet and appeared in Tip Walter, le prince des détectives (Tip Walter, the prince of detectives) for 55 issues from 1910 to 1911. To quote from his publisher,We present to the general public a man strange and powerful who will be celebrated...as the equal of Nick Carter, Arsene Lupin and Sherlock Holmes. Not only is he the equal of these detectives...he will pass them by several lengths through the size of his designs, the speed and force of his action, and the always new originality of his means. Nobody will be able to fight with Tip Walter, the Prince of Detectives...Among his stories were the following: "Who Was Killed?" "The Mysterious Shadow," "The Blue Pearl," "The Pistol Blow," "Aurélia the blond," "The Band of the Night," "The Underground of Chicago," "A Detectives Match," "The Flight of the Cone," "The Hour of Death," "The Cut Hand," "File K," "The Sensational Electrocution," "The Mystery of the Lake," "In the Ashes," "The James Bloch Affair," "Living and Dead," "The Treasure of California," "The Mystery of the Pennsylvania Railroad, "Bobby Green the Strangler," "The Masked Man," "A Drinker of Gold," "The cemetery robbers," "The vampire of Carson City," and "The rain of corpses."
Bob Wilson. The "celebrated detective" Bob Wilson appeared in Extraits des Dossiers de Bob Wilson, le célèbre détective (Passages from the Dossiers of Bob Wilson, the Famous Detective) #1-50, from 1920-1921. He is a gentleman detective, in tuxedo, top hat, and domino mask. His stories were lifts from Nick Carter and Nat Pinkerton (see above).
Lady Diana Wyndham. Lady Diana was created by Maurice Dekobra and appeared in the fabulously successful The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars (1927). Lady Diana is a beautiful, free-spirited British woman who is known as the "Madonna of the Sleeping Cars" because of the many thousands of miles she has traveled on the railroads of the Continent. Her response to this title: " "A consummate bit of irony, because although I may look like one, I have none of the other attributes. As a matter of fact, I have been in every European watering-place; I've lost more billet-doux than you could shake a stick at, between the pages of timetables and illustrated magazines." Her life is not entirely or even mostly carefree, however. Her fortune is threatened, and she plans to recoup her investments by exploiting an oil concession in Russia. This leads her to an involvement with Varichkine, a Soviet agent. He offers to help her in exchange for one night with her. Her response to this is not shock and horror but rather a proposal of marriage, not because of some desire for respectability (she's danced nude at a charity fund-raiser, respectability is a lost cause for her) but rather because she can't possibly pass up the ultimate opportunity to scandalize proper society by marrying a Red. (No!)
That doesn't work out, unfortunately, and Lady Diana falls in love with Ruzzini, formerly the head of Italian intelligence during WW1. Ruzzini, however, is running guns to Egyptian nationalists and waging a vendetta against Leslie Warren, a British intelligence agent who worked alongside T.E. Lawrence, speaks Arabic like a Bedouin, and who raped Ruzzini's sister. Ruzzini gets captured by Warren, and Lady Diana offers herself to Warren if he'll spare Ruzzini. Warren agrees, but then gets bitten by a cobra that Lady Diana has concealed in her clothes. Warren dies of the bite, but Ruzzini is executed, leaving Lady Warren heartbroken, and the novel ends with her contemplating entering a convent.
Young Parisian. The Young Parisian was the star of Aventures Fantastiques d'un Jeune Parisien (The Fantastic Adventures of a Young Parisian), a 12 issue series which appeared in 1908 and 1909. These were (as best I can tell) reissues of Le Docteur Oméga (see above), but with new characters. Like Doctor Omega, the young Parisian and his two friends traveled to Mars and had various adventures with titles like "The rampant whirlpool," "The brothers of death," "The king of the green rays," "The feast of blood," and "The conquerors of space."
Zigomar (I). Zigomar was created by Leon Sazie and appeared first in Le Matin, the French newspaper, in 1909, and then later in Zigomar, a pulp, for 28 issues in 1913, and then again in Zigomar contre Zigomar (Zigomar against Zigomar) for eight issues in 1924, as well as a few films in the 1910s, including one which pitted him against Nick Carter himself. (Zigomar is not to be confused with the Serbian Zigomar, aka Zigomar (II)) Zigomar was originally launched with a great deal of fanfare, a blast of publicity which paid off, for Zigomar quickly became a very popular character. He was a masked crime lord, not at all dissimilar to Fantomas--and this similarity was not coincidental, for Fantomas was deliberately modeled, whether in large or small part (I don't know how much), on Zigomar. Zigomar is a leader of a band of Romany (they're called "Gypsies" in the stories, but I'll just skip that little bit of unpleasantness) thieves, "Zigomar" being, alternatively, either "ramogiz" spelled backwards ("ramogiz" being a name in Romany for the Rom) or from "tzigane" or "zingari," which were also words for the Romany. (For another Zingari character, check out this entry, from my Victoriana site)
Zigomar's organization is named Z, and the group's password is "Z is the life! Z is the death!" accompanied by a Z hand sign. Zigomar's nemesis was Paulin Broquet, a dedicated Parisan police officer who pursued Zigomar for many issues, catching and killing him (he thought) many times, only to have Zigomar emerge unharmed. Zigomar himself is a suave but brutal man who ranges across the Continent and into England, carrying out his nefarious schemes.
(Thanks to Jean-Marc Lofficier for much of the preceding information)
Frete, Janie. Janie Frete was created by Raymond Spears and appeared in All-Story Weekly from 1916 to 1920. Janie was an outdoorswoman, pretty enough to make the men she runs into become enamored of her, who has the misfortune to continually encounter trouble, from fur smugglers to pearl thieves. Janie, of course, being of good conscience, feels the need to rectify whatever wrongs she sees, and so she does. Her own past is not untroubled; she was an orphan who fell among bad companions for a time before finally straightening out her own life. Since then she hired herself out to whoever needed her help. Her home base was a little house on Two Canoe Island in the St. Lawrence River, but she worked around North America, from Cuba to the Arctic Circle. She's highly skilled, of course, being able to use everything from a hunting shotgun to a typewriter with aplomb. Janie was tall and slender, with clear blue eyes and wavy brown hair.
Friberg, Harry. Harry Friberg was created by Stieg Trenter, the most important and influential of the post-1930s Swedish crime writers, and debuted in Ingen kan hejda döden (1943), going on to appear in a number of novels across the next 24 years. Harry Friberg is a photographer and amateur detective active in Stockholm, a city with witty and friendly people, an agreeable atmosphere, and a constant stream of miraculous pleasantness. (A shame things didn’t last.) Friberg himself is tall, with a happy-go-lucky disposition; he is a skilled photographer, but is initially drawn into solving crimes in order to help his friend, Inspector Vesper Johnson. As time passes, Johnson regularly calls on Friberg to help him. They are an odd pair, Friberg being fat and loving his food and Johnson being small, vain, melancholy and a snob, but they work well together. Friberg’s cases often end up involving industrial espionage as well as the more political variety.
Frontier Boys. The Frontier Boys were created by Captain Wyn Roosevelt (a pseudonym, surely) and appeared in the eleven-book "Frontier Boys" series, which began in 1908 with The Frontier Boys on Overland Trail or Across the Plains of Kansas. The Frontier Boys were patriotic teenage pioneers active in the American West, from Kansas to Hawaii.
Frost, I.V. I.V. "Ivy" Frost was created by Donald Wandrei and appeared in various detective magazines in the 1930s, or perhaps just 1936. I'm going on Ed Love's description of him. Ed contributes the following:
He comes across as having the deductive ability of sherlock holmes, the inventiveness of doc savage, and the body of ichabod crane. his legman and assistant is the petite and beautiful jean moray that would drive most men ga ga. however, she is devoted to her boss despite him seeming to be the only man on earth being completely oblivious to her charms...in one story his assistant uses a bulletproof cloak and car (called the demon) which were invented by frost and frost was working on perfecting an improved centrifuge when approached with the case.I'm working on getting a copy of one of his stories and will bring back additional detail when I read it.
Doctor Fu Manchu. The Insidious Doctor, greatest (and arguably most the most racist in construction) of all the Yellow Perils, has been covered at length in any number of other media. Therefore I don't feel the need to repeat what others have done better than I, except to add that he was also the main character in an eponymous comic strip. So rather than read what I have to say, instead go to these sites:
Insidious Doctor Fu Manchu
The e-text of Fu's first appearance. From the wonderful Project Gutenberg site.
The Page of Fu Manchu
The best and most complete page on the Internet to the Devil Doctor, and a model of its kind.
Miss Fury. Miss
Black Fury, was created and drawn by Tarpé
Mills, one of the first female cartoonists, and debuted on 6 April 1941,
running in comic strips and comic books through 1952. Miss Fury was actually
Marla Drake, a prominent socialite, who out of boredom decided to fight
crime. She'd been given, years, before, a black leopard skin by an "African
witch doctor," and she made the skin into a skintight costume which she
wore as the crime-busting nemesis of gangsters and evil, Miss Fury. Miss
Fury was fully as violent as male p.i.s and crime fighters, and equally
willing to use her fists, claws, elbows and knees. During the war she took
on Germans and saboteurs in stories which had a high quotient of bondage
and torture. She also went abroad, to Central and South America and into
the South Seas.
A. The Abbey Girls to Dusty Ayres
B. Bagley to Scott Burton
C. Orhan Cakiroglu to Dr. Theodore Cunliffe
D-E. Dana Girls to Don Everhard
F. Ralph Fairbanks to Miss Fury
G. The Gadget Man to G-8
H-I. Dr. Hackensaw to Baron Ixell
J. Jack, Doc & Reggie to Justice Syndicate
K. Calvin Kane to Kwa of the Jungle
L. Major John T. Lacy to Langhorne Lyte
M. Professor Maboul to Mr. Mystic
N. Lee Nace to Nyoka
O. Fergus O'Breen to Ozar the Aztec
P. Penny Packer to Judge Pursuivant
Q. Oliver Quade to Sebastian Quin
R. Ed Race to Captain Rybnikov
S. The Safety First Club to Tom Swift
T-U. Tahara to Godfrey Usher
V. Lieutenant Valcour to Norton Vyse
W. Inspector Wade to Dr. Xavier Wycherley
X-Z. X Bar X Boys to Zorro