website statistics The Phantom Detective - Murder Empire - December, 1935 12/2 - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

The Phantom Detective - Murder Empire - December, 1935 12/2

Availability: Ready to download

THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE - destined to fight crime. Committed to righting the wrongs of petty and super criminals. Published for three decades, the Phantom Detective was a direct competitor to The Shadow. THE MURDER EMPIRE Unleashed by a sinister oriental menace, a mysterious death rey wreaks grim havoc and takes grisly toll Follow the Phantom on a baffling trail of crime


Compare

THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE - destined to fight crime. Committed to righting the wrongs of petty and super criminals. Published for three decades, the Phantom Detective was a direct competitor to The Shadow. THE MURDER EMPIRE Unleashed by a sinister oriental menace, a mysterious death rey wreaks grim havoc and takes grisly toll Follow the Phantom on a baffling trail of crime

14 review for The Phantom Detective - Murder Empire - December, 1935 12/2

  1. 5 out of 5

    Leothefox

    Before I review the title novel and the stories that are added for padding, let me just say that I really adore this vintage presentation of the 1935 issue, with the ads intact (Get a Good Job in RADIO! Cure Piles! Read this frank book about SEX! And, of course, get your Phanton badge). The best way to read 1930s pulp dreck is the same way the shlumps who had to fork over an entire dime for it did back then. Thank you, Adventure House! Okay, now down to it: The Phantom Detective. Never read thi Before I review the title novel and the stories that are added for padding, let me just say that I really adore this vintage presentation of the 1935 issue, with the ads intact (Get a Good Job in RADIO! Cure Piles! Read this frank book about SEX! And, of course, get your Phanton badge). The best way to read 1930s pulp dreck is the same way the shlumps who had to fork over an entire dime for it did back then. Thank you, Adventure House! Okay, now down to it: The Phantom Detective. Never read this character before. This is riding along on the same masked-detective / master-of-disguise train as “The Shadow”, “The Black Bat”, “The Spider”, “Captain Satan”, and “Secret Agent X”. The difference being that most of these fellows were vigilantes and had to stay ahead of the cops while tracking the crooks, and even G-man “Secret Agent X” must avoid law enforcement due to his high level of secrecy. However, Richard Curtis Van Loan, or “The Phantom”, doesn't have this problem. He flips through brilliant disguises more often than most folks change clothes, but if a cop interferes with him, he needs only to show his official Phantom Detective badge and they're suddenly helping him instead of hindering him. “The Murder Empire” is a “yellow-peril” tale involving a plot, possibly run by Chinese crooks in San Francisco, to smuggle “unwanted” Chinese people into the US through Mexico and force them to commit crimes to earn their passage. There's an echo there of a human rights abuse that occurs in real life, but the version portrayed here is all 30s pulp. The Phantom Detective gains information with his advanced makeup skills, disguising himself as Chinese and Mexican (and he is a super sleuth, so he speaks all the languages perfectly). There are white heavies too, who are more typical gangster types. Since Van has the cooperation from the government, all the space that might have been spent avoiding police is given over to a nearly endless series of short action vignettes: fighting, shooting, running, but never being inconvenienced for very long. This is told in the 3rd person, and yet the reader is always with Van. The result is something like a Republic 12 chapter film serial, complete with a whodunnit list of suspects. There is a Fu Manchu clone Chinese villain, who claims to be immortal, but who Van suspects may be somebody else in disguise. The level of racism is about what you'd expect, actually more than what I expected. A certain slur appeared quite a bit. It wasn't quite to the shameful level of some of Lester Dent's pulps, but it was easily worse than Sax Rohmer. There are sympathetic and even heroic Chinese characters, although they are very much branded apart and seem to be depicted as less clever than the whites. John L. Tiernan's story “The Ranger Guy” has a bunch of gangsters from Chicago laying low in a cabin in a national forest, sometimes menaced by Chief Ranger Tom Mallory. Two of the hoods decide to “bump off” their leader during a deer hunt, but of course then they have Ranger Mallory to deal with. I'm not sure if the title is meant to be gangster slang or if some dope actual thought it was cool back then, either way: bad title. It's a quick one, but it is also a shameless advertisement for park rangers, who are also “G-men”, the story tells us. Lameness the height of the Rockies. C.K.M. Scanlon's “Eyes of Death” involves the murder of a rich patriarch and his blind brother, and a house full of suspects that the police must sort out. This is even more of a quickie, it's all done in one scene. I can appreciate the time worn detective trope of this one, although it doesn't really leave time for suspense or anything else. Walter Marquiss' “Exclusive” is set in a newspaper office, and has a crusty editor barking at a reporter he believes to be drunk who stumbles in to write an exclusive on the mayor's murder. O. Henry level twists at work here make this a cute quickie. Emile C. Tepperman's “Marked for Salvage” has Andy Bold, badass insurance man, getting a phonecall from a terrified woman about a stolen ruby and getting his trusty cab-diver pal to take him to a club run by gangster for a war of wills. This one packs in shooting, blackmail, a frame, torture, and all that jazz. It's the 2nd longest entry in the issue and it is wisely used to close it out. More than most of the pulps I've read, “The Phantom Detective” is screechingly and unmistakably shouting “Hell Yeah, Law and Order!!!” on every page. The “The Phantom Speaks” segment even has a quote from J. Edgar Hoover, which pretty much outs the whole thing as glaring propaganda. In “Marked for Salvage” the insurance man beats the frame of an innocent with merciless beatings and another frame, in front of police and with their approval. The good guys are the good guys, no matter what they have to do to get the bad guys. Is it fun? Sure, plenty. There's either light serial-style thrills or stuff to giggle at. Is it great? Not at all. This is actually below the level of “Captain Satan” and “Secret Agent X”. I do add points for the full magazine reprint. Call it 3.5 with the vintage factor, 2.5 or less for content.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    In a nutshell: pure 1930s pulp fiction swill that panders to the entire political spectrum from xenophobic racists to paternalistic racists. Shameless, unrepentantly sensational garbage, it is enjoyable on that level. This racism is not particularly offensive in this context. In fact it's welcome because of the idiotic company it keeps. This is a magazine that makes no secret of its flagrant disregard for taste, intelligence or reality. If you despise an idea, you could wish no greater misfortune In a nutshell: pure 1930s pulp fiction swill that panders to the entire political spectrum from xenophobic racists to paternalistic racists. Shameless, unrepentantly sensational garbage, it is enjoyable on that level. This racism is not particularly offensive in this context. In fact it's welcome because of the idiotic company it keeps. This is a magazine that makes no secret of its flagrant disregard for taste, intelligence or reality. If you despise an idea, you could wish no greater misfortune to its credibility than to be endorsed by this rag. Example: a feature on criminology exhumes the "scientific" ideas of a long discredited 19th century Italian phrenologist. Example: A "believe it or not" style cartoon recounts the tale of a French prisoner who escaped prison hundreds of times. The accompanying illustration brilliantly captures the essential points of the story by depicting the miscreant in question (a) wearing a striped suit (showing us he is a prisoner); (b)running away from a prison (showing us he is an escapee); and (c) carrying a baguette and wearing a beret (showing us he is an incorrigible free-thinker).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    Nice reprint of this pulp era story. recommended

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paula

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jess Ray

  7. 5 out of 5

    George Kraft

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mitsue

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Montero

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Malone

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Slater

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nesrine

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hank Thomas

  14. 5 out of 5

    libraryfacts

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...