Pulp and Adventure Heroes: P

Packer, Penny. Created by Richard Sale from rejected Daffy Dill stories, Penny Packer appeared in Popular Detective during the mid-1930s. Packer was a “newshound sleuth” who covered the crime beat for the New York Clarion. He dated the paper’s receptionist, Connie Cole, and was friends with homicide cop Jim Scott.

Pagan, Billy. Billy Pagan was created by the Australian writer Randolph Bedford and appeared in several short stories which were collected in Billy Pagan, Mining Engineer (1911). Billy is a Sherlock Holmes-like character who is a mining expert living in the Australian outback.

Page, Godfrey. Godfrey Page was created by Victor L. Whitechurch and appeared in six stories which were published in Pearson's Weekly in 1903 and 1904. Page is a "railwayac," a "railway maniac" (the word is used in Whitechurch in the older sense of excited or in a frenzy). Page is actually the first railway detective in mystery literature. Page is an architect by trade, but he makes a practice of investigating railway-connected mysteries. He says of himself, "I ought to tell you at once that I don't profess to be a detective--or even a private inquiry agent. I have merely sometimes, out of pure curiosity, attempted to fathom certain mysteries connected with the line." Among the cases he takes on is one involving Russian spies, theft, whisky bootlegging, jewel theft, and cryptograms. His brother-in-law Tom acts as his confidant and rather passive Watson.

Pagett, Mister. Mr. Pagett was created by W.P. Drury and appeared in a number of short stories and collections, beginning (I think) with The Peradventures of Private Pagett (1904). Mr. Pagett is, in the words of Neil Wilson, 'the incorrigible...one-time private in the Marines and now hostelry landlord, parish councillor, and vicar's warden." Many of his adventures are tall tale style, and a few have more than a hint of the supernatural of them, as in "Pagett meets a sailor on the Moor," in which Pagett meets the ghost of Sir Francis Drake.

Palmu, Inspector. Inspector Palmu was created by the Finnish writer Mika Waltari and appeared in a few novels, beginning with Kuka Murhasi Rouva Skrofin? (1939). He is old and irritable, but is wise as well and with his assistant Virta solves crime in Helsinki.

Palooka, Joe. Created by Ham Fisher, Joe Palooka debuted on 19 April 1930 and ran through 1984, one of the most successful comic strips of all time. Palooka, a genuinely nice man, was a poor man whose skill was boxing, and who used that skill to become the "undefeated heavyweight champion of the world." Actually, that's not quite correct. Palooka's greatest skill was in being human. Very much a working class hero (it's something to be), he was humble without being craven, shy without being withdrawn, laid-back without being a slacker, easily embarrassed without being a stiff, and genuinely likable. To quote one critic, "Joe personified the ideals of the American majority of old--the simple life, the virtues of the Boy Scout code, and goodness for its own sake. He also exemplified toughness and power and could be moved to intense anger when his or someone else's toes were stepped on." He really was a good guy. Palooka fought his way to the top of the fight game, and then, when war was declared, entered the Army as a private and fought through the war at that rank. Joe was assisted by Knobby, the small, nervous, twitchy and argumentative fight manager, and by Smoky, whose vocabulary and appearance was that of a racist stereotype but who was always treated by Joe as an equal and friend. (Joe, like I said, was a good human being)

Park Avenue Hunt Club. The Park Avenue Hunt Club was created by Judson Philips and appeared in Detective Fiction Weekly in the mid-1930s. The Club was a group of black mask clad dilettantes, gentlemen of leisure, who, like the Adjusters, independently distributed their own variety of "justice," which was inevitably lethal. The leader of the Hunt Club was Geoffrey Saville, a former intelligence officer for the U.S. government in World War. Saville became a sportsman and world traveler after the war, returning to the US to begin dealing out bloody justice. He was tall and thin, resembling Ronald Colman; under fire he was cold and fearless, and had a “strange sixth sense” when the plot called for it. The second member of the Hunt Club was John Jericho, a former big game hunter who loved and craved action. A mammoth man, 6’5” and muscular, he had curly red hair and was a lethal shot with his right hand. The third member of the Hunt Club was Arthur Hallam, the brains of the group. Hallam was a former medical student and psychiatrist. He was very intelligent and planned the group’s strategies. The fourth and final member of the group was Wu, a Chinese who worked as chauffeur, valet, cook, and general batman to them. He was small and expressionless, but very loyal to the other members of the Hunt Club. He was only an average shot but was deadly with the knife (he kept one in a neck sheath). The Hunt Club worked out of New York City, where they had a number of offices from which they operated. They used a powerful “low black Phaeton” and an armored limousine.

Parker, Shafter. General Shafter Parker was created by Hal Berger and appeared in "Shafter Parker and His Circus," running from 1939 to 1941. Parker was a circus owner who traveled across Africa trying to capture animals for his show and encountering various stereotypically African natives and adventures on the way. Among the other workers in the circus were Sister Dolly, Moldy Reimer, and Tamboo the Kangaroo Man. Interestingly, on at least one occasion Shafter's circus performed in Africa itself, a decidedly non-stereotypical thing.

Parmalee, Bill. Bill Parmalee was created by Percival Wilde and appeared in a series of short stories which were collected in Rogues in Clover (1929). Parmalee is a former card sharp who exposes crooked gamblers and their swindlers.

Parodi, Don Isidro. Don Isidro Parodi was created by none other than Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares, under the pseudonym of "H. Bustos Domecq," and appeared in 1942 in a set of six short stories, published in Seis Problemas para Don Isidro Parodi (Six Problems For Don Isidro Parodi). Don Isidro is Argentinian, as were Borges and Casares, and the stories are securely located in Buenos Aires, so much so that many of the local allusions are lost on the non-Argentinian (i.e., me). But Don Isidro isn't, and shouldn't be lost on the modern, non-Argentinian reader. He's smart and clever, and somewhat uniquely is a jailbird. He was framed for political reasons during the last election and was sent up for a 21 years on a homicide beef. Because of this, the problems have to be brought to him by the locals, who are quite aware of his capabilities. Before he was jailed he was a mere barber, despite being what John Sturrock called "an awesome rationalist and cryptographer of his city's black secrets." Once in jail, however, Don Isidro turned his formidable intellect to the solving of crimes. Jose Portuondo described the stories this way:

...as with Father Brown, the problems resolved by Don Isidro's keen brain hinge less on pure detective induction than on the higher plane of intellectual exercise, dressed this time not with theological sauce but with sharp criollo wit.
Parr, Captain Donald. Captain Donald Parr (and his girlfriend Patria, aka Elaine) was created by Louis Joseph Vance and appeared in Patria (1917). Captain Parr, an Army officer, stopped Baron Huroki and the Japanese army from taking control of Mexico and invading the southern states of the U.S.A.

Pat the Piper. The Pat the Piper stories were written by Joseph Harrington and ran in Flynn's Weekly, beginning in "An Up-to-Date Cavalier" in Flynn's 5 March 1927 issue. Pat is a heroic crook, a small, lithe, beautiful golden-haired woman with "melting eyes and well-modulated voice," always well dressed and given to such wonderful lies that she can talk her way out of any situation. (Hence her name: she "pipes up" when in trouble) She needs the lies, too; she's a jewel thief and prone to trouble. Luckily for her, she's really quite good at spinning yarns; when caught in an apartment, she persuades the apartment's resident that the two men chasing her are jewel thieves. The resident, a ninny named Jimmy Van Beuren, obligingly holds the two men (they're detectives, naturally) at gunpoint long enough for her to clean out his safe.

It turns out that Pat went into crime when her father was framed and sent to jail. Pat learned how steal so that she could meet The Chief, the criminal boss who was finally responsible for her father going to jail. She does, with Jimmy's help, the Chief is shot dead, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Patent Leather Kid. The Patent Leather Kid was created by Erle Stanley Gardner and appeared in Detective Fiction Weekly in the 1920s. The Kid was Dan Seller. He was a rich socialite who had the good fortune to belong to the same social club as Police Inspector Phil Brame. Seller would hear about a crime from Brame, who was usually boasting about the police's solution to that crime, and then would put on his costume (patent leather mask and shoes, black gloves and tuxedo) and go out among the underworld, which of course whispered about him in fear, and find the real criminal.

Pater, Father Philip Rivers. The Reverend Philip Rivers Pater was created by Roger Pater and appeared in various short stories collected in Mystic Voices (1923). Mystic Voices purports to be the diary of Roger Pater's cousin Father Philip, who has experienced various psychic events--that is, Roger Pater would have us believe that Mystic Voices is not a collection of fictional stories, but rather the diary of Roger's cousin Philip and Philip's psychic experiences. Roger Pater was, apparently, serious in trying to foist this cock-and-bull assemblage of Catholic agitprop as true events. Shame on you, Roger Pater. Shame, shame.

Father Philip is an aged "squire-priest" in a quiet church at Stanton Rivers in England who has been receiving psychic messages and visions since he was a teenager. The source of the messages? Why, G-d Himself, of course! G-d, who apparently is of a perpetually grim state of mind, doesn't tell Father Philip nice, fuzzy, bouncy messages, like "You should seethe sunrise over Tierra del Fuego this morning!" or "Good news! A gentle and pure race of sentient crystals is evolving on Algol as I send this to you!" or "Do not despair--Monday is only one day of the week, and it is not the last. Many are happy much of the time; more eat than starve, more are healthy than sick, more curable than dying; not so many dying as dead; and one of the thieves was saved. Hell's bells and all's well--half the world is at peace with itself, and so is the other half; vast areas are unpolluted; millions of children grow up without suffering deprivation, and millions, while deprived, grow up without suffering cruelties, and millions, while deprived and cruelly treated, none the less grow up. No laughter is sad and many tears are joyful. At the graveside the undertaker doffs his hat and impregnates the prettiest mourner. After Monday comes Monday night." No, Father Philip doesn't get any uplifting, Tom Stoppard-ian messages like that. He gets telepathic messages telling him his brother has died, or his father has died. Father Philip gets visions of bloodthirsty anti-Papist mobs storming his midnight Christmas Mass. He gets commands from Him telling Fr. Philip to go hear the confession of a ghost. I think Father Philip needs to get a new line of work, frankly; his current employer doesn't seem to appreciate him that much.

Patoruzu. Patoruzu was an Argentinean comic strip, created by Dante Quinterno and originally appearing in the Buenos Aires daily La Razon in 1931 and then in America in 1941 in P.M., and lasting in the U.S. until 1948 and in Argentina until 1977. Patoruzu is a native Argentinian, a member of the Tehuelche tribe. When Patoruzu came of age he was made the chief of the tribe. However, though the chiefdom came with money, guns, and lawyers--I mean, gold, cattle and land--came an obligation, to win the three feathers of the tribe: "the first by his defense of the oppressed, the second by his power to right wrongs, and the third by his humility." Humility Patoruzu had a'plenty, being an innocent and, for all his efforts to right wrongs, almost a naïf, but Patoruzu had to earn all three feathers anyhow. Patoruzu went off on a long series of adventures, in Buenos Aires (where he picked up Renaldo, a sleaze trying to cadge some money from Patoruzu) and then in America, where he helped an Apache tribe and got, in return, a magic flute which would convert any listener to the "path of reform and goodness." Patoruzu used the flute on Renaldo and then went in search of the Devil himself.

Patsy. Patsy was created by Mel Graff and appeared in The Adventures of Patsy starting in March 1935 and running through 1950. Patsy was a moppet whose adventures began in a fantasy kingdom of Ods Bodkins before shifting to the real world; Patsy and her uncle Phil went to Hollywood, where she became an actress and began having the usual adventures, getting involved in the fight against crime, kidnapers, hijackers, escaped cons, and the like, traveling to the South Seas and the North Pole and other places. The most notable thing about Patsy is that in the Ods Bodkins section a character named the Phantom Magician appeared; the Phantom Magician could perform a number of magical deeds and could even turn invisible, which makes him the first costumed superhero in comics, preceding even the Phantom.

Paulding, Roger. Roger Paulding was created by Edward Beach and appeared in the four-book "Roger Paulding Series," which ran from 1911 to 1914 beginning with Roger Paulding, Apprentice Seamen. Paulding was a teenager who entered the U.S. Navy and worked his way up from Apprentice Seamen to Ensign as he helped the Navy rescue lost boaters and fight against smugglers.

Pauline. Pauline debuted in The Perils of Pauline (1914), a Pathe serial written by George B. Seitz; she's appeared in numerous other media since then. Pauline Hargrav is an heiress, engaged to be married to stalwart boyfriend Harry Marvin, but those things aren't enough for her. She wants to be a writer, and to that end begins traveling, collecting ideas and situations and locales for her stories. Harry pursues her. Unfortunately, she's also pursued by Owen Koerner and his men, all of whom have lustful, greedy eyes on Pauline's money. After a number of adventures, including attacks by Owen and his men, Indians, lions, snakes, and rats, an avalanche, a runaway train, and poisoned candy, Pauline gives up writing and marries Harry.

Pawang Ali. Pawang Ali was created by E. Hoffmann Price, author of a number of weird fiction and horror stories, and appeared in Clues Detective from 1933 to 1936. Pawang Ali was the turbaned "Sherlock Holmes of Singapore." [More information on him from readers would be welcome--Yr. Humble Webmaster]

Peace, Addington. Addington Peace was created by B. Fletcher Robinson and appeared in eight stories in The Lady's Home Magazine of Fiction from 1904 through 1905; the stories were later collected in The Chronicles of Addington Peace (1905). Peace is "a tiny slip of a fellow, of a bout five and thirty years of age. A stubble of brown hair, a hard, clean-shaven mouth, and a confident chin was my impression." He's an inspector with the Criminal Investigation Department of Scotland Yard and is Watsoned by Phillips, a young painter who lives in the same building as Peace. Peace works with the police, unlike Holmes, and is free of eccentricities but is just as much of a loner as Holmes is. His cases involve things like Nihilists, murderous Russian secret agents, the deaths of English Barons, diamond theft, blackmailed politicians, and possibly possessed former soldiers.

Pearl. Pearl appeared in Pearl of the Army (1916). She was an agent for Army Intelligence whose assignment was to save the Panama Canal from the Yellow Peril/Fu Manchu-like "Silent Menace" and his band of Asian spies. She won, of course, and freed her sweetie, Major Brent.

Peart, Mary. Mary Peart was created by Horace G. Plympton and appeared in What Happened to Mary? (1912), the first movie serial (and, really, the reason she's included here). Mary was left on the doorstep of a small-town storekeeper along with five hundred dollars in cash and a note promising more money if the child was to be married off to one of the local bachelors. Years later the eighteen-year-old Mary found out about her parentage and left, to go on a series of adventures, including early action sequences (leaving a seventh-story window by a rope of knotted bedclothes) but no cliffhangers. Eventually she finds happiness with the Salvation Army.

Pedley, Ben. Ben Pedley was created by Stewart Sterling and appeared in stories in Detective Book beginning in 1942. Ben Pedley is a Fire Marshal in New York City who solves crimes that involve fires (usually arson and murder). He's essentially Mike Hammer in fireman's togs, although not nearly so psychotic and evil as Hammer is.

Peepe, Bill. Bill Peepe was created by Fred MacIsaac and appeared in various issues of Argosy through the 1930s. Peepe was a cynical, wise-cracking private eye who made his living in the sewers of Hollywood. And by "sewers" I mean where the scum and vermin and human waste of Hollywood are: in the movie studios. Peepe had to deal with kidnaping, con games, and crooked gambling rings. He was married to a hot young actress, but...well, he was "unprincipled, shifty and unable to resist strong drink for very long." Additionally, he was a ho; although he did love his wife, and killed to rescue her, he would sleep with the first woman who'd look invitingly with him: "Bill loved his wife but she was away on location."

Pending, Pat. Pat Pending was created by Nelson Bond and appeared in a series of stories in Bluebook from 1942 to 1957. Pending is an eccentric inventor whose creations are ingenious but led Pending into various adventures, often with his Russian counterpart, Regis Patoff.

Pennington, Arthur Stukeley. Pennington was created by John Gordon Brandon and appeared in 30 novels, beginning with West End (1933) and running through Death of a Mermaid in 1960. I was ready to dislike Pennington on aesthetic grounds--he's a "hard-bitten, world-wandering scion of aristocracy whom some wit once christened 'The Monocled Tramp,'" and is given to using words like "blinkin'," "drivel and tosh," and "bally" in conversation--but then he had to start in on xenophobic and anti-Semitic speech. So he solves mysteries--I'm not going to read any more of them. He's a hateful ass, and nobody needs to read any books where that type of person is the putative hero.

Oh, alright. Pennington sometimes helps/is helped by Detective Inspector Patrick Aloysius McCarthy, but in general gets by with the assistance of his manservant, the reformed crook "Flash" George Wibley. He is chauffeured by the "taximan" Big Bill Withers. His original appearance was in Brandon's "The Survivor's Secret," in Sexton Blake Library: Second Series #365, 1 January 1933, under the name of Ronald Sturges Vereker Purvale, aka "R.S.V.P." Brandon brought him in to all but one of his Sexton Blake stories, and he proved popular enough to spin off into a novel. Brandon changed R.S.V.P.'s name to A.S.P., but kept Wibley and Withers. Interestingly, in Murder in Pimlico Pennington's father and grandmother are named (Viscount Ebdale, K.G., and the Dowager Duchess of Faulkside). They happen to have the same name as R.S.V.P.

Pennoyer, Miles. Miles Pennoyer, one of the many occult detectives on these pages, was created by Margery Lawrence and appeared in a series of short stories during the early 1940s, with at least one collection, The Master of Mysteries, appearing in 1945. Pennoyer, a "doctor of souls," has a "lean, dark face," and is on the older side (he's got a good amount of grey hair). Pennoyer is a psychic sensitive, open to various vibrations and mental influences. He is capable of entering a trance state and communing with his "Masters," the ones who trained him and who give him advice on tough cases. He is well-read (naturally) and can speak any number of languages, both Eastern and Western. (It turns out he has been reincarnated several times, and in a former life was a Chinese teacher of philosophy to the Mandarins) He also knows various rituals, undetailed but interesting-sounding, that seem to be magical, rather than purely psionic. And he is capable of a kind of mind control in the form of mental commands, of building "mental barriers" that prevent psychic possession, . Pennoyer is a bachelor (of course) and lives in a well-appointed flat at #7, Queer Street, Blackfriars, overlooking the Thames. He is both a vegetarian and a teetotaler, as alcohol or meat would interfere with his "psychic vibrations." He has an "old Bavarian housekeeper," Friedl, and a wolfhound named Hans. Pennoyer is assisted by Jerome Latimer, the narrator of the stories, who regards Pennoyer as his mentor and who has a certain amount of "psychic sensitiveness" which helps Pennoyer in cases.

Penton & Blake. Penton & Blake were created by John W. Campbell, no less, and appeared in a series of stories in Thrilling Wonder Stories from 1936-1938. (The stories were later collected in The Planeteers.) Penton and Blake were a pair of explorers who found alien planets and got into various thrilling adventures on them, as with the planet of alien pseudomorphs, all of which transformed themselves into duplicates of Penton & Blake.

Pentonville, John. John Pentoville appeared in Bullseye in the 1930s. To quote Len Wormull:

Gaunt House was as grim and forbidding as its name implied. Derelict, untenanted, and said to be haunted by the "ghost" of old miser Burch. Its massive front door was in itself a portal of gloom, with a rusted iron knocker in the shape of a grinning, evil mask which seemed to grimace and leer at all who passed, following them with empty eyes. Even dogs were said to bare their teeth as they scampered by. Enough, you'll agree, to scare anyone off. Anyone, that is, but "Fearless" John Pentonville, world famous thrill-hunter and now immobilized through a leg woound. Just right, thinks John, to pursue his favourite pastime. Let the mountain come to Mahommet! (sic) Advertise £100 reward for the best thrill story, that'll bring the customers in. It did, swarms of 'em. In this bizarre setting John would await his callers, immaculately attired in evening dress with diamonds a-glittering, a gold-knobbed cane for support. And what weird and wonderful tales came out of this house of thrills.

A novelty of the series was the stunts used by callers to gain a hearing. One came disguised as a gorilla--'to create a bit of atmosphere'--a man-ape from a travelling menagerie. Another as the "ghost" of miser Burch, this time an actor. John disturbs a burglar who by chance has a tale to unfold. He leaves richer than anticipated! Odd characters and winners all in this strangest of contests.

Percy the Mechanism Man. Percy appeared in a self-titled comic strip in the Boston Globe in the early years of the 1910s. He was a roughly-man-shaped android who served a genial professor type. Percy couldn't speak, and his inability to comprehend subtle commands led to various comedic entanglements.

Perks, Matilda. Matilda Perks was created by R.C. Woodthorpe and appeared in Death in a Little Town (1934) and The Shadow on the Downs (1935). She is a "plump, acid-tongued former teacher."

Perry, Dan. Dan Perry was created by Kent Sagendorph and appeared in the three-book "Dan Perry Adventure" stories, which began in 1938 with Radium Island. This series actually sounds interesting to me, based solely on the titles: Radium Island, Beyond the Amazon, and Sin-Kiang Castle. I picture a teen-aged Indiana Jones.

Perry, Nat. Nat Perry was created by Edith & Ejler Jacobson and debuted in the January 1939 issue of Dime Mystery Magazine. Perry, like Seekay and a few other characters on this site, was a "defective detective." Perry's defect was that he was a hemophiliac, so that "the slightest scratch could bring death." He was well-known as "the Bleeder," a detective par excellance, but few knew that Nat Perry was The Bleeder, and Perry was assiduous in avoiding publicity for that reason.

Peter the Brazen. Peter Moore, aka the Brass Man, aka Peter the Brazen, was created by George Worts and appeared in The Argosy in two different segments, the first from 1918-1919 and the second from 1930-1935. Peter is a radio operator for a ship (which ship varies from story to story). His hearing is incredible, almost beyond human potential; he is as far above ordinary wireless operators as Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were above Michael Jordan. He set every record there was to set in the south Pacific, made supervisor, and then was transferred to one of the best jobs in his field, on the Latonia on the China run. Understand that Peter is an adventurer, not a mild, stay-at-the-radio-set type, as well soon become clear; it's just that his job was as radio operator for ships at sea.

But Peter rarely stays at the set for long; adventure and his enemies await. Peter's first opponent is the Gray Dragon, a Chinese Emperor of Crime who rules from Len Yang, a walled city about 50 miles from Chungking. The Dragon is very rich (from cinnabar mines), very powerful, and very twisted; he collects beautiful women, but hates them, and kidnaps them from around the world, with the help of his many agents. Peter begins by helping a pretty woman who is in danger of being kidnaped and ends by battling his way into the very heart of the Dragon's stronghold and killing him, clubbing him with a rifle butt.

Peter's second opponent is also Chinese, the sinister Fong-Chi-Ah, another schemer and plotter like the Dragon, surrounded by cohorts willing to kill for him. Fong lusts after a golden cat necklace, and tries his best to get it, but Peter, after withstanding torture and numerous firefights, including a bloody shootout at the Indian border, puts paid to Fong.

In a later story arc he pursues a woman into Vietnam, she keeps getting involved in businesses she shouldn't, with tongs and opium shippers and the evil Sultan of Sakala, and it keeps falling to Pete to rescue her. And then...well, then there are tangles with the Blue Scorpion, the "absolute master of China," and then Zarlo, the Filipino "Master Magician" and murderous user of hypnotism and black magic. Peter kills them both.

Peter is well-tanned, handsome, with blue eyes and curly blond hair; he's tall and well-muscled, naturally, and undoubtedly covered with scars from the many beatings, shootings, and knifings he's taken.

Peter, Dick.Dick Peter was created by "Ronnie Wells" (the pseudonym for Jerônimo Monteiro) and appeared in fifteen novels in the late 1930s and 1940s; Peter was originally created for a radio drama series in Sao Paulo. Peter is Brazil's first serial detective and is very derivative of the American hardboiled model. However, many of his mysteries use the tropes of "classical" mysteries, including puzzle and locked-room crimes

Phantom. The Phantom, one of the most influential of all costumed comic strip characters, was created by Lee (Mandrake) Falk and debuted on 17 February 1936, and continues through the present. The Phantom is "the ghost-who-walks," the latest in a long line of warriors for truth and justice, whose headquarters is deep in the Indian jungles in a skull-shaped cave. But the Phantom really is rather well known, and (as with a few other major characters on this site) I'm not going to repeat what others have done better than I. So I'd recommend going to these other sites and read what they have to say about the Phantom:

The Deep Woods
A decent effort, with good images and a nice set of links.

Patrick's Phantom Page
Another decent effort, with good images and information.

Phantom FAQ
An excellent FAQ on the Ghost Who Walks.

Phantom Web Ring
Contains 15 Phantom sites.

Phantom Crook. The Phantom Crook, also known as Ed Jenkins, debuted in Black Mask in January 1925 and appeared there for the next 18 years. He was created by Erle Stanley Gardner. The Crook was, indeed, a crook, wanted in three nations and six states (immune to extradition from California “because of a technicality”), although he’s not, strictly speaking, a fugitive from the law. But both the police and criminals know who he is, and both sides attempt to victimize him because of it. (This is a mistake that both sides pay for) The public knows who he is, too; a Sunday supplement article on him named him, described his faithful dog Bobo, and exulted in the police’s failure to catch him. The Crook is similar to the Lone Wolf, in that he works on his own, for his own reasons, which are usually to help others and to stop criminals from doing wrong and profiting from it. He began respectably, but the woman he had loved had been mowed down by a gangster's machine gun, and the police had arrested him rather than going after the real criminals. The Crook is tough and quick, although he relies on his wits, guile, and skill (he’s the world’s best safecracker, for one, the “man who can open anything”) far more than his abilities at violence. He does not carry a gun, although he could certainly use one; his world is a rough one, with vicious, betrayal-happy criminals and corrupt police. Jenkins does have one sizable advantage, however: the friendship of Soo Hoo Duck, the "undisputed dictator of all Chinese activities on the Pacific Coast." Any spot in Chinatown is safe for the Phantom Crook, and any Chinese-American the Crook's friend, as long as he drops Soo Hoo Duck's name.

The Crook meets and falls in love with Miss Helen Chadwick, and they eventually marry, although he has some reservations about her exalted social class and his own, correspondingly low one. (She dies saving his life, later on) He is an ace safecracker, as mentioned; he is also a master of disguise and carries with him a walking stick which contains a burglar’s kit and a blade. Bobo is a large, blond dog of unknown breed, and is much more intelligent than the average dog, able to track and watch people and communicate what he sees, in his own fashion, to Jenkins, who is very proud and fond of Bobo. Jenkins is small and wiry, but not unhandsome, with curly brown hair.

Phantom Detective. Created by D.L. Champion and debuting in Phantom Detective v1 #1, in October 1933, the Phantom Detective appeared in the third most stories of the pulp era, after the Shadow and Doc Savage. He was Richard Curtis Van Loan, who had gained a taste for adventure during World War One and then grown bored when he returned to the big city. He was challenged by his friend Frank Havens, the publisher of the New York Clarion, to solve a case that the police couldn't. Van Loan did and discovered that he had a talent for crime fighting. He did not put on his trademark tuxedo and mask and jump in against the bad guys, however. He began learning everything he could, training himself to be an expert in crime detection, disguise, criminal psychology, hand to hand combat, and anything else that would help him. Then he went to work. He built a secret "crime laboratory" that he used as his headquarters in the war against evil; in it he had all the latest equipment and science that could be used against criminals. Among Van Loan's assistants in the war were Frank Havens and his sister Muriel; the reporter Steve Huston; and the closest thing Van Loan had to a kid sidekick, Chip Doren. Van Loan only had one repeating villain, Clifford Boniface, and he only appeared twice. The Phantom (he was never called "the Phantom Detective" in the books themselves; that was only the magazine title) was summoned by Havens, who shone a red beacon against the clouds. (Sound Bat-familiar?)

Phantom Detective
A short summary of Van Loan, with a couple of images.

Phantom Fed. See the G-X entry.

The Phantom of Cursitor Fields. The Phantom appeared in Bullseye in the 1930s. By day the Phantom was Mr. Jolly, Warden of the Cursitor Fields prison. By night, he was the daring Robin Hood of crime, the Phantom of Cursitor Fields, who stalked all of London and whose goal was to give stolen land back to the poor.

Mr. Philibus. Created by Leslie Gordon Barnard, Mr. Philibus ran (intermittently) in Detective Fiction Weekly and Detective Story Magazine from 1928 to 1935. Mr. Philibus...well, hell, not for nothing are his stories called "incoherent plots, improbable situations, and mechanical prose." He's a crook of some minor imagination who got his money in illegal ways. He's not worth much more prose than this.

The Picaroon. Created by Herman Landon, the author of the Grey Phantom and Godfrey Usher, the Picaroon (go ahead, look up the definition, I'm not going to do all the work around here) was introduced in "The Benevolent Picaroon" in the 16 July 1921 issue of Detective Story Magazine; his stories ran there through 1932, with three collections being assembled, The Green Shadow (1927), The Picaroon Resumes Practice (1931), and The Picaroon, Knight Errant (1933). The Picaroon works for the traditional Jimmie Dale formula. To society, he is known as Martin Dale, a well-heeled clubman and "genteel loafer." But to the police and the criminal element he is known as the Picaroon, a dreaded figure, a greedy and skillful thief. His illicit ways began when he was a teenager; he was wrongfully convicted of a crime he had nothing to do with, and he spent several years in The Big House. When he came out he was embittered towards society and the law, and got his jollies by playing "tricks" on the police. He also plays "tricks" on society, stealing anything of value, from cash to paintings to bonds, from those who don't deserve to have wealth. He doesn't keep the profits from his thefts, instead donating them to the Society for the Protection of Animals, unless the victims "voluntarily" donate 10% of the stolen goods' worth to the SPA themselves. He informs his victim of this last part by leaving a card behind, signed "The Benevolent Picaroon."

Dale lives in a luxurious brownstone on Forty-Eighth Street in New York City, assisted by his thuggish valet Bilkins. The Picaroon, on the other hand, has a dive apartment in a ruined house on West Third Street, near the L. When things get hot for him, he hides out in Chinatown, in various basements. These help initially, when he terrorizes society, and help even more later on, when he begins helping out troubled women.

The Picaroon is tall, "well proportioned," in good shape, and rather dark, with a too-prominent nose and very white teeth. He is hunted by Captain Summers, a police detective and a competent cop except where the Picaroon is concerned.

Pierce, Perry. Perry Pierce was created by "Clinton Locke" (a Stratemeyer Syndicate pseudonym) and appeared in the four-book "Perry Pierce Mystery Stories for Boys" series, which ran from 1931 to 1934 and began with Who Closed the Door, or, Perry Pierce and the Old Storehouse Mystery. Perry was a boy detective who took on bank robbers, counterfeiters, and spies.

Pinkerton, Evan. Evan Pinkerton was created by Leslie Ford (as "David Frome") and appeared in ten novels, beginning with The Hammersmith Murders (1930). Pinkerton is a "rabbity" little Welshman (a "shy...bullied bundle of nerves," in Michael Grost's words) whose nightmarish marriage to a domineering and miserly woman ended, thankfully, with her death and his inheriting £75,000. He uses his new freedom to go out, especially to the movies, and to help his friend J. Humphrey Bull, a Scotland Yard Inspector. Pinkerton often stumbles upon both the bodies that begin the crimes and the solutions that end them, and Bull, a friend from childhood, gets the credit for solving the case. Pinkerton is not a dummy, though, and is capable of insight and intuition.

Miss Pinkerton. Mary Vance, a.k.a. Miss Pinkerton,  debuted in "Miss Pinkerton, Inc.," an NBC radio serial that ran in 1941. Vance was a tough, wise-cracking, sexy blonde, a law school graduate who inherited her uncle's private detective agency. Unfortunately,  though she is accepted by the other employees of the agency, some of whom knew her as a girl, but she is not accepted at all by Sgt. Dennis Murray of the NYPD (not at first, anyhow, although romance was in the cards for the two of them), and they were rivals in solving crimes.

Pitt, Paul C. Paul C. Pitt was created by J. Lane Linklater and appeared in Detective Fiction Weekly in the late 1930s. Pitt was a gentleman of leisure, a world traveler and amateur detective.

Pitung, Si. Si Pitung was in real life a bandit and local strongman criminal in Batavia, in Java; his years of greatest activity were in 1892 and 1893. He was a jago, one of the legendary rural criminals of colonial Java who played (or was perceived to play) the role of the Robin Hood for the native Javans. Si Pitung is the best known and most legendary of the jago, and even today his grave is regarded as a powerful, magical place. A museum was even established on him. Si Pitung became the lead character, the hero, in a wide range of ballads, plays, and movies in the years before World War Two. Si Pitung, in his fictional form, is variously portrayed as a romantic Robin Hood type, a cultural hero of the orang Betawi, the long time natives of Batavia, or as a "proto-nationalist resistance leader," in the words of one critic. Si Pitung robbed the houses of wealthy landowners, giving the money back to the poor in some stories. He was full of charming bravado and was an accomplished thief and bandit, even having escaped from prison a few times. He was a very active womanizer. And, finally, he and his followers were thought to use magical weapons and to possess magical powers.

Planetarios, Professor. Professor Planetarious was created by Sophis Michaelis and appeared in Himmelskibet (The Airship), a 1914 novel and a 1917 movie. Planetarios is a pacifist inventor who despairs of Europe and humanity during the War. So he invents a spaceship and goes to Mars with his son. The Martians, a white-robed, peace-loving race of vegetarians, hear them out, and the daughter of the Martians’ high priest agrees to return to Earth with the Professor and help bring about peace on Earth. This call is met with enthusiasm by everyone except the Kaiser, who is then killed by a bolt of lightning sent by the Martians (or perhaps God).

Poggioli, Dr. Henry. Dr. Henry Poggioli was created by T. S. Stribling and appeared in various magazines and books starting in 1925 and ending in 1957. Poggioli is a psychologist and amateur detective. He is a Professor of Psychology at Ohio State University. At least, initially he is; his position and place of employment vary from story to story. (Stribling was not big on issue to issue continuity, and one arc of stories ends with Poggioli having been hanged. He got better, obviously) What does not change is Poggioli, who is extremely acute and insightful in his psychology, and his final inability to stop the crimes (sometimes monstrous) and criminals (likewise monstrous) that he encounters. (Not always, but often enough for it to be notable) Poggioli is a short, bookish-looking man with dark eyes and an owlish countenance. Besides his insight he is also somewhat abrasive and contentious.

Poictesme. The kingdom of Poictesme was crerated by James Branch Cabell and appeared in 20+ books, starting with The Eagle’s Shadow (1904) and running on for quite some time. Poictesme is a kingdom in Europe in which various wonderful events occur, involving Manuel, Jurgen, Koschchei the Deathless (who created the universe, and then created Jehovan God for Manuel’s grandmother, who got to Heaven and was upset to find that God wasn’t there), and, oh, somuch more.

Look, Cabell is a splendid writer, arch and hilarious, and the Poictesme/Manuel books are wonderful reading. I can’t possibly do them justice here. Go check them out from your local library (I’d recommend starting with Jurgen) and enjoy them for yourself.

Poiret, Jules. Jules Poiret was created by Frank Howel Evans and appeared in a series of stories in The New Magazine in 1909 and 1910 and then in The Murder Club. Jules Poiret--stop me if you've heard this before--is a French detective living in England. He's an exceptional detective with a luxuriant, well-groomed black mustache and a fastidious manner. Yes, Poiret is quite...similar...to Hercule Poirot. To quote from a London Telegraph article on Poiret and Poirot:

Both men were immaculately turned out, sporting large, well-trimmed moustaches and sharing a fondness for hats and odd hobbies. In the same way that Poirot lovingly tended his carnations, Poiret doted on his canaries, talking to them endlessly.

Poiret, wrote Evans, "spoke English without the trace of an accent . . . but with the English tongue he always confessed himself fogged." So, too, did Poirot. Each man exuded an air of being continually pleased with himself - Poirot claiming it was his "little grey cells" that made him "probably the greatest detective in the world," and Poiret "put his superhuman intelligence to work ... and his brain which cultivated trifles and made them bloom into facts."

In their careers, too, they trod similar paths. Just as Poirot had retired from the Belgian police force after a long spell as its most illustrious detective, Poiret had "a most distinguished career" working for the French secret service.

Another similarity was their decisions to retire to England where both opted to buy mansion apartments in the Mayfair district.

The most noticeable difference between the detectives was in their stature. While Poiret is described as a big man "who moved nimbly in spite of his bulk," Poirot was a diminutive 5 feet 4 inches tall.

I would tend to agree with the critics who say that the plagiarism was most likely unconscious on Christie's part, though.

Poirot, Hercule. Hercule Poirot was created by Agatha Christie and debuted in The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), lasting through…oh, I don’t care. Look, I know there are lots of Poirot fans out there, and I admit that Christie had technical skill and that Poirot is a memorable character, but gads, was he insufferable. Not, perhaps, as bad as the unspeakable Raffles, but close. Ego, affectations, mannerisms…yes, he’s a brilliant detective, but not someone I care to spend any time with or reading about.

Policy Sleuth. Robert Brewer, the “Policy Sleuth,” was created by Edgar Wallace and appeared in The Sunday Post from 28 September through 16 November 1919. Brewer is the best agent of the Federated Assurance Corporation, a cunning and intelligent Scotsman with foresight, aplomb, and an admirable wardrobe. He’s also got a photographic memory, something he uses on the many crooks that prey on Federated Assurance and its clients. His main enemy is the Big Four Syndicate, four groups of criminals who focus on jewels, most especially insured jewels.

Pons, Solar. Solar Pons was created by August Derleth and debuted in the February 1929 issue of The Dragnet. Pons was the most naked of the Holmes' rip-offs, I mean copies, I mean pastiches, I mean "homages." Yeah, "homages." Pons lives at 7B Braed Street in London, is Watsoned by Dr. Lyndon Parker, has his flat cleaned by Mrs. Johnson, and is Moriarty-ed by Baron Ennesford Kroll. But don't bother reading the Pons books. Stick with the original.

The Annotated Solar Pons Biography
A decent site on Pons' appearances.

Pony Rider Boys. The Pony Rider Boys were created by Frank Patchin and appeared in the dozen-book "Pony Rider Boys" series, which began in 1909 with The Pony Rider Boys in the Rockies or the Secret of the Lost Claim. They were adventurous teens who rode ponies across the US, from Maine to Montana to the Grand Canyon, having frontier-style adventures.

Popeye. Popeye was created by E.C. Segar and first debuted in Thimble Theater on 17 January 1929. You probably all know about him, but there's a lot that's not widely known about the Sailor Man that is memorable. But I can't do him justice here, so instead I'm going to send you to three sites that do:

Absolute Popeye
The best Popeye site on the Web.

Official Popeye Fanclub
What it says.

Popeye's Thimble Theatre
Another darn good Popeye site, this one giving more information on Elzie Segar.

Porter, Dave. Dave Porter was created by Edward Stratemeyer and appeared in the fifteen-book "Dave Porter" series, which began in 1905 with Dave Porter at Oak Hall, or the School Days of an American Boy. Dave was a heroic American teenager who adventured at school, out West, and abroad, finally helping fight the Hun as a combat engineer during WW1.

Poten, Victor. Victor Poten was created by Rock Hawley and appeared in Shadow of Chinatown (1936). Poten wasn't the hero of the serial, but was certainly more interesting than Martin Andrews, the putative hero. Poten is a Eurasian scientist who hates whites, the Chinese, and just about everyone else. The Dragon Lady, the head of crime in San Francisco, hires Poten to keep the tourists out of Chinatown and therefore hurt the businessmen of Chinatown, who are daring to disobey her. Poten agrees, and uses a hypnotism machine, bombs, and poisoned darts to kill off any intruders in the area.

Potter Brothers. The Potters were created by the Saalsfield Publishing Company under the house name of "Colonel George Durstan" and appeared in the six-book "Stars and Stripes Series" (and possibly in an earlier "Boy Scouts Series"), running from 1915 to 1919 and beginning with Winning in the Air. The Potters were Boy Scouts who somehow got involved in fighting for the Allies in World War One, both in the skies and in the trenches of the front lines.

Power, Paul. Paul Power appeared in Bullseye in the 1930s. He was a superhumanly strong adventurer who took on the Twelve Evil Men, a dozen wicked criminals who are plaguing London and who Power takes in, one at a time.

Powers, Roy. Created by Paul Powell, Roy Powers, Eagle Scout ran from March 1937 through 1942. Roy Powers, "17 years old and a leader of boys," is the leader of a scout troop called the "Beaver Patrol." (No jokes, please) The only other notable character on the Beaver Patrol was "Chunky," the fat stereotype and Roy's best pal. Roy led the Beaver Patrol (I know you're tempted, so am I, but don't make the jokes, okay?) on various adventures, starting small, with the disciplining of bullies and local burglars, and ending on a larger scale, with the Beaver Patrol (I want to make the jokes, but I'm refraining, so you do, too) going to Africa on a photo safari, to the Caribbean hunting sunken treasure, and to Egypt, where they delved in to a pyramid's mystery.

Preed, Havlock. Havlock Preed was created by Ladbroke Black and appeared in several dozen stories in The Thriller, Detective Weekly, and Sexton Blake Library: Second Series, beginning with "The Society of the Snake" in the 7 September 1929 issue of The Thriller. Preed was a solicitor, the only surviving partner of Manson and Preed, Solicitors of Lincoln's Inn Fields. He is something of an eccentric, given to strange behavior (in and out of court), unusual dress (top hat, morning coat, striped trousers, gloves, and a tightly rolled umbrella--this is all he wears, all the time), and a taste for adventure that many who deal with him find not quite respectable. But his success rate cannot be quibbled with, both as a solicitor and as a solver of crimes.  Preed is "eminently respectable," has a "rather wooden face" and a voice "like the crinkling of old parchment." His former partner, Manson, is dead, and his son turned out to be a bit of a rotter--his brain was warped by having been blown up during an anti-submarine campaign during World War One. But Preed is a good friend of Sexton Blake, so things balance out. (Any resemblance to J.G. Reeder must be coincidental, surely?)

Prescott, Dick. Dick Prescott was the creation of H. Irving Hancock and appeared what for lack of a better phrase I'm calling the Dick Prescott Cycle. The Cycle consisted of a whopping nine boys' fiction series, which surely must be some sort of record. His story began with "The High School Boys Series," in 1910, and through 1920 appeared as either a primary or secondary character in "The Grammar School Boys Series," the "High School Boys Vacation Series," "The Annapolis Series," "The West Point Series," "The Dave Darrin Series," "The Boys of the Army Series" (aka "Uncle Sam's Boys Series"), "The Conquest of the United States Series," and the "Young Engineers Series." Dick's Droogs consisted of Dick Prescott, Greg Holmes, Dave Darrin, Dan Dalzell, Harry Hazeltine and Tom Reade. Dick et al. had various adventures in grammar and high school (Gridley High), in the "Grammar School Boys Series," "High School Boys Series," and the "High School Boys Vacation Series," proving themselves against various small-time bad guys (bullies and cruel teachers) and big-time villains (crooks, kidnapers, etc). On graduating they went their separate ways. Dick and Greg entered Annapolis and fought the Germans as Naval officers in the "Annapolis Series" and the "Dave Darrin Series." Dick and his best pal Greg entered West Point in the "West Point Series" and then fought the Germans as Army officers in the "Boys of the Army Series." Dick and Greg were active on the West Front and behind enemy lines and killed, oh, lots of those brutish Germans. Then Hancock brought all six of the High School Boys together again for the "Conquest of the United States Series," which ran for four books beginning with The Invasion of the United States; or, Uncle Sam's Boys at the Capture of Boston (1916). Dick leads the other men in a courageous fight against the invading German forces; after Boston and Philadelphia are lost, Prescott and the boys slaughter the Germans in the Appalachians and then at sea.

See also the Tom Reade entry.

Sgt. Preston. See the Yukon King entry.

Price, Detective Inspector. Det. Insp. Price was created by Vince Kelly and appeared in at least three books, probably beginning with The Last Minute Clue (1943). Det. Insp. Price is an Australian police detective who works the mean streets of Sydney.

Priest, Judge. Judge Priest was created by Irwin Cobb and appeared in at least nine novels, beginning with Back Home (1912). Priest is a Kentuckian, a broad, stoop-shouldered, fat-legged, easy-going  Confederate veteran, a large man in perpetually wrinkled clothes who likes his mint juleps, likes his old Kentucky home just fine the way it is (naturally the books are full of the most unreconstructed type of racist stereotypes), likes his west Kentucky circuit court peaceful (it so rarely is), and likes quiet and calm, although he always seems to be dealing with criminals. He's very much a common sense kind of detective, though not ungifted with intelligence.

Priestley, Dr. Lancelot. Dr. Lancelot Priestley was created by John Rhode and appeared in, oh, at least three dozen novels beginning with The Paddington Mystery (1925) and continuing through 1961. Priestley is an English mathematician and former professor who was forced to resign his position after an ugly argument with the university authorities. Because of his personal income and intelligence he was able to spend his time writing books on math and popular myths, which he would debunk through the application of logic. For fun he spends his time solving crime problems, upon which he brings his considerable intellect and abilities and logic to bear. Priestley is a somewhat cold person, although he can be a friendly host; he has a marked disappreciation for the human element of the crimes he solves. He lives and works in his house in Westbourne Terrace in London.

Prike, Leonidas. Leonidas Prike was created by Lawrence Blochman and appeared in three novels beginning with Bombay Mail (1933). Prike is an Inspector with the British C.I.D. (Criminal Investigation Department) in India in the 1930s; in Bombay and Calcutta he solves crimes (usually murder) among both British expats as well as the Indians themselves.

Primrose, Colonel John. Colonel John Primrose, and his partner Grace Latham, were created by Leslie Ford and appeared in fifteen novels, beginning with 1937's Ill-met by Moonlight. Primrose is a former Army Colonel who was forced to retire from service due to wounds he received during WW1. After the war he became a consulting detective, often doing special jobs for the government. In the beginning he is mainly aided by Sergeant Phineas T. Buck, who shields him from "designing females," but once Grace Latham appears on the scene Buck's job is pretty much over. She is young and pretty, the widowed mother of two; her husband was killed in a plane crash. She is energetic and spunky, but lacks the objectivity and clear thinking that Primrose uses to solve cases.

Prince, Harry. Harry Prince was created by Cecil Freeman Gregg and debuted in "A Tale Without Moral," in The Ten Black Pearls in 1935. He was a somber anti-hero, a thief without apology who was driven to a life of crime due to the death of his wife Ethel.

Prince, Ronald. Inspector Ronald Price was created by "Joanna Cannan," aka Josephine Pullein-Thompson, and appeared in at least three novels, beginning with The High Table (1930). He is an ironic, sophisticated investigator.

Pringle, Romney. Romney Pringle, that master of disguise, only appeared in 13 stories, but they were a memorable thirteen. He was created by "Clifford Ashdown," the pen-name of R. Austin Freeman and Dr. John Jones Pitcairn (1860-1936). Freeman (1862-1943) is better known as the creator of Dr. Thorndyke, the first scientific detective; for more information on Freeman, see Thorndyke's entry. Pitcairn was a prison doctor whose identity as Freeman’s collaborator was kept hidden for years, Freeman steadfastly refusing to acknowledge his contributions.

But what matters to us here is Romney Pringle. As mentioned, he appeared in thirteen stories, most appearing in Cassell's Magazine from June 1902 through November 1903 but one appearing in the May 1903 issue of Windsor Magazine. (The stories were collected in two books, one in 1902 and one in 1970) Pringle is rather a cool customer, unhampered by friends, lovers, or other hobbies, and untroubled by worry even in the most pressing of situations. Although he is known publicly as a literary agent, the stories show him remarkably unbothered by would-be writers. The whole of his life seems to be devoted to his crimes. Pringle is no ordinary thief, however. He is, as one critic put it, an "urban buccaneer," but Pringle's victims are other criminals. Pringle is adept at disguise, although he does not go to the extremes of Colonel Clay and assume new identities. For Pringle, simply altering his hair and face and stature, with the help of wigs, make-up, and clothes, is enough. Using these simple artifices he robs blackmailers, steals from diamond thieves, and robs a man trying to have a wealthy relative committed to an insane asylum, among other stories.

Unlike many another of this sort of character, Pringle's end is known to the reader. The conceit of the series, explicated in the framing sequence, is that a retired gentleman, one Mr. Romney, recently died in his home at Sandwich after having spent years there in retirement, quietly bicycling around the English countryside and tending to his gem collection. After his death a group of manuscripts were discovered at the home, and what we read about Pringle are the manuscripts presumably written by him.

Privet, Barbe. Barbe Privet was created by Herman Petersen and appeared in Air Stories and Wings from October 1927 through March 1930. Barbe was a female pilot who flew around the South Seas, looking for buried treasure and fighting pirates and other vile men, sailors and pilots. She was assisted by Roy Burnett, a treasure hunter in love with her.

Prosecutor. The Prosecutor, whose name I have unfortunately been unable to discover, was created by the Egyptian writer Tawfiq al-Hakim and appeared in Yaumiat na'ib fi al-ariaf (Maze of Justice), written in 1937. The Prosecutor is a disillusioned, sarcastic prosecutor/district attorney who is forced to deal with a murder in the countryside. However, the Prosecutor finds that “justice,” in rural Egypt, is a complete misnomer, with the laws and judges of 1937 Cairo being entirely foreign to rural village life. Similarly, the peasants who are the Prosecutor’s only hope for solving the case are useless and no better than animals, in the Prosecutor’s eyes. Finally, after being given only eleven days to wrap up the case, he figuratively throws up his hands, chooses the most obvious suspect, the village idiot, convicts him and then returns to his home, filled with hopelessness about the legal system of Egypt. The Prosecutor is a “slim, sensitive” soul whose bitter cynicism covers a sorrow at what his country is.

Pry, Paul. Paul Pry was created by Erle Stanley Gardner and appeared in Gang World and Dime Detective from 1930 to 1939. Gardner created Lester Leith, who the "audacious" Pry is more-or-less a direct copy of.

Psyche, Mr. Mr. Psyche, the occultist, was created by Henry A. Hering and appeared in Windsor magazine in the late 1920s. To quote Hering himself on Psyche,

There are many curious trades and occupations in England, and there are many merchants of great respectability; but no merchant is more eminent or carries on a stranger business than does Psyche of Archipelago Street, Soho. He sells liquid air, buys, sells, or exchanges ghosts of repute, stocks old and decayed brains with new ideas, and has many other out-of-the-way branches of trade.
Psyche's firm, "Psyche & Co--Ghosts and Spectre Purveyors," is a consulting business. When, for example, a man has leant money to someone who then dies, Psyche & Co are retained to get in touch with the dead man's ghost (by whatever means possible) so as to help pay off the debt. Psyche & Co are somewhat sizable, employing several mediums (although Psyche & Co's hold on the "occult market" was slipping, as their former monopoly was no more). Psyche & Co also use a "Telepather," a machine "invented by an adept in Thibet for establishing communication with the spirits of the departed." Psyche himself is a jovial businessman, curious about which methods will work best, but capable of severity if need be.

Purple Scar. The Purple Scar was created by John Endicott and appeared in Exciting Detective beginning in 1941. The Scar is Dr. Miles Murdock, "the most brilliant young plastic surgeon of his time." Murdock is handsome and successful, but had to deal with the horror of his brother, a policeman, being killed and mutilated by gangsters, who had destroyed his face with acid. Murdock was the one to identify his brother in the morgue, and it might be said that this event unbalanced his mind, for Murdock swore to fight crime in the name of his brother. That in itself is not so bad, but what he did after his vow indicates a disturbed personality. He made a mask based on the police photographs of his dead brother's face. The mask was a perfect duplicate, with "torn, acid-destroyed tissues, features almost totally eaten away, eyes only empty shriveled sockets, mouth a twisted slash." Then, aided by the usual group of helpers, he put on his mask and fought crime.

Pursuivant, Judge Keith Hilary. Judge Pursuivant was created by Manly Wade Wellman and appeared in four stories, beginning with "The Hairy Ones Shall Dance" in Weird Tales in 1938. Pursuivant is a WW1 vet, where he served as a member of Military Intelligence. He's also a lawyer, scholar, epicure, and retired judge. What he is mostly, though, is an occult detective, along the lines of Jules De Grandin and Gees. He's a large man, strong but surprisingly quick on his feet. He's also very bright, being not just learned but intelligent and insightful. Although he has a genial manner, he has little mercy for the evil brutes he fights. His greatest weapon against his enemies, besides his mind, is his silver-bladed sword cane. The cane was said to have been one of several forged by St. Dunstan, the patron saint of silversmiths and a noted enemy of the Devil. On the sword is inscribed the prayer from the Book of Judges: Sic pereant omnes inimici tui, Domine (Thus perish all of your enemies, O Lord). Pursuivant lives in a secluded West Virginia home.
 

Introduction
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
Links.
 
 

Write me!

Go to the Main Pulp Heroes page.





1