Friday, April 8, 2011

Forgotten Books: Secret Agent X - A History by Tom Johnson & Will Murray

I was privileged to visit Rick Robinson’s new reading room recently, and among the wonders were three beautiful volumes of Secret Agent X adventures published by Altus Press. Yes, I was jealous.

I do, however, have a fistful of X reprints in various formats from Corinth, Hanos and Adventure House. And I have this cool book published in 1980 by Robert Weinberg as Pulp Classics #22.

It’s sort of a shock these days to open a book and find it set completely by typewriter, but it seems appropriate, because the authors of these pulp adventures would have used one of those same quaint gizmos to compose the stories.

This book tells you dang near everything you could ever want to know about “The Man of a Thousand Faces.”  Chapters deal with:
- The creation and development of the character and the magazine
- X’s weapons, training, abilities and alter-egos
- Main and supporting characters
- The novels - authors, plot, location, characters, etc.
- Villains and deadly females
- The authors - Paul Chadwick, Emile C. Tepperman, G.T. Fleming-Roberts, Arthur Leo Zagat and R.T.M. Scott
- Captain Hazard
- Fill-in stories

There really is a ton of information here. 96 pages of small type with a scattering of black and white cover images. If you’re thinking this would make the perfect companion to the Altus Press series, you’re right.

Even better, a new revised and updated edition was published in 2007 as The Secret Agent X Companion, and though I haven't seen it, I don't doubt it's much prettier.

The images below were borrowed from the always amazing Galactic Central.

Need a Forgotten Books fix? Patti Abbott has the dope HERE.


Deka Black said...

I love hero Pulps, but Secret Agent X is one character i never read anything of he... I fear i'm losing something!

Yvette said...

I love this cover art, Evan! They are so much fun. How I wish they still did this sort of thing. I don't know much about these stories, never read them even when I was a kid. But I sure as heck love the artwork. They remind me of the comic books I used to read eons ago and the Saturday afternoon serials at the movies. :)

Anonymous said...

You're more then welcome to visit any time! This one sounds like something I should have, I'll keep an eye out for it.

BTW, my forgotten book is finally up.

George said...

Secret Agent X had some great cover artwork! I wonder if any of these great works will show up as an ebook someday...