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Half-Comanche, half-Irish and all Doc Savage rip-off, Jim Anthony, a pulp hero of the 40s, is resurrected here in an enjoyable, though forgettable, flip book by Off Trail Publications. Over the course of his brief career Anthony evolved from a kind of superhero--his five senses enhanced by his Indian upbringing--to a more traditional hard-boiled dick--and the two poles are represented in the two stories here.

Let me first confess here that I grew up a Doc Savage fanatic. I bought all the paperback reprints as they came out, along with Kenneth Robeson's (Lester Dent's) Avenger series and The Shadow. And, as reading these Jim Anthony stories really drives home, what set those pulps apart was the interplay amongst the sidekicks. The running "feud" between Monk and Ham was the high point, but Renny, Long Tom, and Johnny all added color too. On ocassion his beautiful cousin Pat showed up also. Doc was too distant to relate to and practically had no inner being, because that would have sacrificed the aura of mystery that surrounded him. So it was up to the "Fabulous Five" to carry us along, as much in awe of the Man of Bronze as we readers.

While Jim Anthony has his own crime-fighting crew in tow, they are nowhere as distinctive and entertaining as Doc's. So while the plots are no sillier than average, the narrative lacks the entree that the Fab Five afforded. Thus we're left with an interesting artifact more than compelling adventures. Perhaps best suited to buffs of the genre.


(Reviewed:)

Grade: (C)

  

Websites:

John Grange Links:

    -PROFILE: 'Savage-d' to a pulp: Two Oklahoma writers unearth and preserve a bit of superhero pulp fiction history (JAMES D. WATTS JR., 6/29/2008, Tulsa World)
    -Super Detective (Stories) (Philsp)
    -Jim Anthony (Thrilling Detective)
    -INDEX: John Grange Stories
    -REPRINT HISTORY: Jim Anthony by John Grange
    -Jim Anthony (Pulp Heroes)
    -
   
-REVIEW: of Super Detective by John Grange (Bill Sherman, BlogCritics)
    -REVIEW: of Super Detective (Barbara McDuffie, Breeni Books)
    -REVIEW: of Super-Detective Flip Book (Lillian Brummet, ezine)
    -REVIEW: of Super-Detective (Kevin Powers, Comics Bulletin)

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