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The Original Action Heroes...

Before Krypton exploded, before Thomas and Martha Wayne were gunned down in Crime Alley, before Peter Parker felt the burning tingle of a spider's bite, there were the pulps. Cheaply printed on brittle pulp paper (hence the name) and housed behind luridly painted, poster-like covers, the stories within featured sensational and exciting stories, mostly thrown together by hack-writers. A few rose above the ranks, however: crime writers like Dashiel Hammett, adventure writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs (creator of Tarzan), and horror scribes like H.P. Lovecraft. The super-heroes of comic books had their ancestors here, too. But where the comic heroes mostly developed into a bunch of tights-clad superpowered boy-scouts, the characters featured in the so-called "hero pulps" were somehow more believable. Most of them (like Batman to come) were normal men who were masters of their chosen skills, who had practiced them to the point of perfection, and therefore seemed superhuman. Street & Smith were one of the top publishers of pulp magazines in the 1930's and '40's. Their stable was mostly normal crime, action, sports, and love stories. In 1931, they virtually jump-started the superhero movement with the publication of The Shadow. Following the success of the character, they released another hit magazine, the adventure equivalent of The Shadow called Doc Savage. In 1936, the creators of the two characters collaborated on a new character: The Avenger. These three, while similar in their own ways, all were unique and they are fondly remembered and appreciated by pulp fans old and new. Click on the links below to go to the individual pages...

What's in a name?
Just for fun: a Tarot Card game
Sign my guestbook...
A tribute to my late, great Uncle Russell