Nov. 19, 2018

In the roaring heart of the crucible, steel is made…

The Avenger Double Feature by Bobby Nash & Chuck Miller

The Avenger is Richard Henry Benson, a man forever changed by the murders of his wife and daughter. After their demise, Benson was cruelly treated in an effort to drive him insane. The shock killed the nerves in his face, turning his skin into a zombie’s gray pallor. The face lost movement but could be molded like clay. Benson was now a master of disguise and the underworld would come to know him as the Avenger; a pitiless scourge for those who would do evil…

Along the path of his adventures, Benson found companions to aide in his battle against crime. All of them had suffered at the hands of crime. Fergus MacMurdie, pharmaceutical chemist; Algernon Heathcote “Smitty” Smith, gigantic electrical engineer; Nellie Gray, five feet tall and delicate looking, but actually a female firebrand skilled at martial arts; Josh and Rosabel Newton, an educated, refined black couple treated as equals in a time when prejudice was rampant; and the final member, Cole Wilson, a fighter who often acts like a wisecracking Don Juan make up Justice Inc.

The first novel in this double feature is written by new pulp author Bobby Nash, creator of former undercover agent Abraham Snow. The novel is titled Black Water

A secret cabal of men and women who have worked behind the scenes for centuries seek the Black Water. The Tartarus Legion and their council of twelve Titans desire the dark liquid’s power. They also want the Avenger…

 Unlike the first Avenger stories, this case involves possible supernatural circumstances. It is a most unusual foe for the Avenger.  But it isn’t without precedent, as the final original paperback from Warner Books by Ron Goulart involves a ghostly foe. So it works better if you have read the novel Demon Island.

Replicating the Avenger’s odd skin color and malleability is The Tartarus Legion’s goal. I liked the story, but I didn’t love it. It could have been the Avenger meets the X-files. I did really like the epilogue…

The second and final novel (perhaps novella would be a better word) is by Chuck Miller, creator of the new pulp character, The Black Centipede. The story is more in line with the shorter stories from Clues Magazine written by Emile C Tepperman. It is titled The Face of Death. A woman brings a case to Bleek Street concerning a pale face in her neighborhood. It is apparently the face of serial killer Walter Emerson Porter. The problem is, Porter died in the electric chair thirty years ago…

All told, I found the book interesting for the unusual enemies created by these two authors. I give it four stars…

Quoth the Raven…

Buy it here>