This series is kind of like DC’s old Showcase title or Street & Smith’s Crime Busters in providing a variety of New Pulp characters. With this one, we get four New Pulp stories, some with more than one hero! Surprisingly, most of these characters have appeared elsewhere rather than this being their first appearance.
Thomas Deja, who has created the Shadow Legion series, with two volumes so far from Airship 27, presents the first of a planned series of four stories which showcase a different character. This time we get The Ferryman, who is a blind man who can “see” through the eyes of ghosts. These are ghosts who have been victims of crimes, and so “haunt” him to help solve and avenge their deaths. Could almost consider him a kind of occult detective, but a different type.
The second in this series of stories will appear in the next volume.
From Joel Jenkins comes another story with his pulp heroes The Eel and The Adder. This time around they are joined by another character, The Bomber. This is the fifth story with these characters (they have a story in each of the three Weird Worlds of Joel Jenkins volumes, but I don’t know about the fourth story). The Eel is a former thief and escape artist, now reformed and fighting crime as a way of redemption. The Adder is a former actor and master of disguise whose career ended when a fire scarred him for life in more ways than one. Now he fights crime in a loose partnership with The Eel. Here, they go up against a dangerous gang of Thuggees. They are joined by another pulp hero, The Bomber, who has a tendency to blow things up. I’d like to find the other stories with these two, and look forward to future stories with them as the main villain gets away at the end.
The Bagman returns in another short story. B.C. Bell‘s character has appeared in three volumes of his own, as well as the first volume of this series. Set in Chicago, the Bagman is a former Mafia soldier who has turned against the mob. He, too, goes up against a dangerous cult of killers.
An new character, The Gray Mantis, is introduced by C. Williams Russette. The Gray Mantis is martial artist with an interesting past, and here he goes after a gang kidnapping children to sell.
It’s another good volume. The fifth volume is also out