Sunday, September 20, 2009

Super-Detective: Doc Savage Wannabe

Jim Anthony, Super-Detective, got into the pulp hero business in October 1940. This issue, which I think is the earliest I own, is number 3. The mag was a product of Trojan Publications, the same folks who brought us Spicy Detective and Hollywood Detective, which I why I bought it. Jim Anthony is said to be the creation of Victor Rousseau, a British subject who moved to the U.S.. Rousseau wrote forgotten fiction in several genres, and saw a few of his stories made into forgotten silent westerns. Rousseau is believed to have authored at least the first three issues.

Page 22 of the magazine has a little feature called “Introducing Jim Anthony.”
Those of you who have read previous issues of SUPER-DETECTIVE won’t need to be introduced to Jim Anthony now. For those of you didn’t we offer this little forward. Jim Anthony isn’t essentially much different from any ordinary red-blooded American citizen. It just happens that accident of birth brought to Jim Anthony rather an usual heritage. Of both Irish and American descent, he has inherited both immense wealth and extraordinary physical prowess. He can see in the dark like a cat, follow a trail like a hound, hear sounds inaudible to other ears . . . Perform almost superhuman feats of strength. Moreover, his phenomenal mentality has brought him to the forefront in scientific circles.

What they fail to mention is that he was also the grandson of a Comanche chief, giving him a sort of Spider-sense to danger. And the fact that he seldom wears more than a pair of swimming trunks, presumably to be prepared for any sort of action.
Jim was in full Doc Savage mode only for the first ten issues. After this (like Doc in later years) he was toned down to a somewhat normal detective, often with one helper instead of a gang.

Several Jim Anthony reprints are available from Adventure House (look for Pulp Review #s 2 & 13, High Adventure 104 and Super-Detective Flip Book), and a collection of newly written stories is offered on Lulu.


Craig Clarke said...

That Super-Detective Flip Book is a lot of fun, provided you're not looking for real quality writing. :)

Evan Lewis said...

I don't have that book, Craig, but I understand the second story was written by Robert Leslie Bellem and W.T. Ballard. I like them both seperately and in the several collaborations I've seen. But you're right, no one's going to mistake it for fine writing.