THE WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE
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It appears that occasionally a member of the human race develops an affinity for or an empathic bond with a non-human species (as in the case of Willard Styles and the Hairy-Tailed Rat). Others suffer from a sort of "anti-affinity", or animosity, causing some animal species to stalk and assault them (as in the case of the Brody family of Amity Island and Great White Sharks). Both cases have been noted in relation to the feathered vertebrates that share our planet.
The birds' reaction to a perceived master or enemy seems unusually severe, sometimes resulting in thousands or millions of individuals acting strangely throughout entire countries. This is because there is an intelligent being, a "goddess" one might even say, that taps into the collective consciousness of our feathered friends.
Fortunately mass bird attacks are uncommon. I suggest that environmental factors build up a potential for avian aggression in certain areas, and that a human catalyst entering said area triggers behavioral anomalies. The prime example of a catalyst straying into "the wrong place at the wrong time" is the case of San Francisco socialite Melanie Daniels and her ill-timed visit to Bodega Bay, California.
An Avian Timeline
Date Unknown -- "Fear hovered in the moonlight over Lankhmar." In this great city of Nehwon, crow-like birds begin swooping down to steal jewels and gold, occasionally mutilating or killing the rich women wearing the finery. "Bowmen armed with triple-pronged fowling-arrows were stationed on the roofs. Timid women stayed indoors, or wore cloaks to hide their jewels. Shutters were kept closed at night despite the summer heat."
The thief-adventurers Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser intend to steal a particularly valuable jewel that Muulsh the money-lender is presenting to his shrewish wife Atya. A bird swoops in and carries off the jewel. The Newhonian rogues trace the bird to an abandoned tower. They enter from different directions. The Mouser is knocked unconscious and awakens, bound, among the birds. A robed figure appears.
"I am the winged priestess, mistress of the hawks. I am the clawed queen, the feathered princess, incarnation of She who has ruled here forever, despite priests' interdict and Overlord's command," says the figure. It turns out to be Atya, who claims to have been inhabited by the "spirit of Tyaa," an ancient bird goddess, since childhood. Fafhrd appears and frees the Mouser, and the master thief threatens Atya's life unless she keeps the birds away. Atya leaps through a window into the river below, and the birds fly off to the Mountains of Darkness.
Atya is presumed dead, but the Mouser admits that "as I lifted my head, I saw the end of that ragged procession of birds across the moon. Behind them came, I thought, a very much larger bird, flapping strongly." ("Claws from the Night" by Fritz Leiber)
Speculation: The being called Tyaa is a mass intelligence of birds, worshipped for centuries by the people of Nehwon. This intelligence forms an empathic bond with human females, allowing them to control avians of all kinds. As the ages pass, however, Tyaa cannot compete with the Gods of Lankhmar (and the Gods in Lankhmar). After this final attempt to revive its worship, Tyaa abandons Nehwon and passes through the dimensional veils to Earth.
The temporal relationship of Nehwon to Earth is difficult to pinpoint. One adventure of Fafhrd and Mouser takes place on Earth, in Tyre, several centuries B.C. ("Adept's Gambit"). In another Nehwon is visited by an explorer from our distant future (Swords of Lankhmar). I believe the Tyaa-intelligence erupted into the Wold-Newton Universe in the early 17th Century, in the British Isles.
October 12-14, 1621 -- A man named Nicholas Bourne collects testimonies from eye-witnesses about an incredible "bird war" and publishes a pamphlet entitled The Wonderful Battel of Starelings, Fought at the Citie of Corke, in Ireland, the 12 and 14 of October, 1621. "For several days before the battle of the starlings, the people of Cork observed the assembling of two great companies of the birds, one to the west and the other to the east of the city. They were making strange cries and calls, unlike anything that people had heard before," write John Michell and Robert J. M. Rickard. At 9:00 AM on October 12, the fighting begins. Bourne reports: "Upon a strange sound and noise made as well on the one side as on the other, they forthwith at one instant took wing, and so mounting up into the skies, encountered one another with such a terrible shock, as the sound amazed the whole citie. . . Upon this sudden and fierce encounter, there fell down into the citie, and into the rivers, multitudes of starelings, some with wings broken, some with legs and necks broken, some with eyes picked out, some their bills thrust into the breasts and sides of their adversaries."
The battle lasts all day, then, for some reason, the birds regroup and fight again over the Thames estuary, east of London, on the 13th. "On that day, passengers on the Gravesend to Woolwich ferryboat heard a noise in the sky above them, looked up and 'saw infinite multitudes of starlings fighting in all violent manner together, with a crow or raven flying betwixt them.'"
On October 14, the birds return to Cork. "More dead birds rained down upon the streets and houses, but this time among them were found the mangled bodies of a kite, a raven, and a crow." 
Speculation: The Tyaa intelligence takes over thousands of terrestrial birds, but the alien being is met by Earth's biosphere like an invading disease organism. Instead of single-celled white corpuscles fighting bacteria, this macroscopic disease takes the form of Tyaa-birds attacked by Gaia-birds. Tyaa loses -- for the moment -- and goes to earth, unconscious (in human terms) but gathering strength.
1621+ -- The Tyaa-intelligence ensconces itself near the small village of Heaven's Portal, near Colchester on the east coast of England. It occasionally strikes out through its avian underlings at the human population living nearby, but in an unfocused manner, like a sleeping person scratching fleas. The locals refer to Tyaa's activities as the "Hell Birds." "For more than three hundred years, strange things have happened in the village, and always the older people have shaken their heads and said that the Hell Birds are behind it all," Miss Polly Dempster explains to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. (Hellbirds, by Austin Mitchelson and Nicholas Utechin)
December 1914 -- "But in just the last few months, the Birds have been seen so many times," continues Miss Dempster, who worries about her missing uncle. Her uncle is discovered dead, his clothing and flesh torn by birds. However, this manifestation of "Hell Birds" at the beginning of World War I is a hoax perpetrated by German spies inhabiting a manor house near Heaven's Portal. "They were very clever men, Miss Dempster, and when they heard about the local story, they thought of a very clever idea," explains Sherlock Holmes. The Germans released trained hawks to attack anyone approaching the grounds of the manor, and, until Holmes reveals them, the locals live in terror of the demonic Birds. (Hellbirds)
Unfortunately for the people of Britain, the aura of fear permeating the area stirs up the being known as Tyaa, and reality copies the German fiction.
May 1915 -- While the world reels in the grip of a war to end all wars, a strange terror passes across the country. "To the best of my belief it was either towards the end of May or the beginning of June 1915." Flight-Lieutenant Western-Reynolds takes off in his biplane as his fellow airmen watch from the ground. Suddenly a black cloud billows up from the south. "I saw at once it wasn't a cloud," an aviator tells the narrator. "It came with a swirl and a rush quite different from any cloud I've ever seen. . . It altered its shape and turned into a great crescent, and wheeled and veered about as if it was looking for something. The man who had called out had got his glasses, and was staring for all he was worth. Then he shouted that it was a tremendous flight of birds, 'thousands of them.'" The birds smash Western-Reynold's propeller and wings with their bodies, and he dies in the crash.
Shortly thereafter people are found dead under mysterious circumstances in and around Meiron, a small Welsh town. Victims are found at the base of cliffs, in an abandoned quarry, in fields, and even right outside their homes. Some were pushed, some were smashed as if by clubs, and others are simply dead for no apparent reason.
The narrator and Dr. Lewis, Meiron's local physician, learn of similar strange deaths throughout Britain. The government warns all newspapers not to print any details. The deaths continue through the summer and fall and finally ceased during the winter. Lewis and the narrator finally learn that the scores of people across Britain were killed by animals: birds, cows, sheep, dogs, bees -- even moths, which flew into people's mouths and up their nostrils, suffocating them. The big question is "Why?" The narrator cannot tell us, but of the animal kingdom he writes: "They have risen once -- they may rise again." ("The Terror" by Arthur Machen)
Speculation The Tyaa-intelligence, awakened by the world-wide psychic shock of the First World War, wages a war of its own against the people of Britain. Its power has grown over the centuries to the point that it can possess and direct non-human species beyond avians. Fortunately this battery drains away in a few months, and Brits can once more work for the war effort. The Tyaa-entity goes into hibernation again, renewing its strength.
Fall 1941 -- Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot instinctively taps into the Tyaa intelligence and embarks on a career of crime, using the alias "Penguin". As a male his control over the avian mass mind is limited, but it is extensive enough to prove troublesome to the Batman time and again.
August 1951 -- Jack and Vi, two well-to-do young people, go driving across the English countryside in a fancy foreign car and get lost. Unworried, they look over the beautiful landscape and enter a patch of forest. The girl Vi hears bird cries and begins acting strangely. "I don't rightly know what came over me. . . I was listening to the birds. . . I never heard the like." The pair find an idyllic dell within a stand of trees and picnic there. "The singing of the birds went on. It seemed to gather volume until the whole world was filled with its chaotic whistling."
Suddenly the noise stops, and birds of various species appear on branches or hop across the grass toward the couple. One bird parts from the crowd and comes up to Vi, like an ambassador. Jack, frightened, kicks at the bird and kills it. The birds strike. "There were two feathered mounds which screamed and ran and leapt, and at last lay and were silent." ("Our Feathered Friends" by Philip MacDonald)
(The young woman Vi happened to stumble onto the resting place of Tyaa. Her trancelike fascination with the local birds' singing indicates that she possessed some empathic affinity. The entity might even have been trying Vi out as a possible priestess. However, when Jack killed its ambassador, the Tyaa-intelligence struck them down. Awake, it once again plots against the humans of Earth.)
December 4, 1951 -- A strange, cold, dry, east wind blows over England, caused by a shift in Arctic weather patterns. This wind is blamed for assaults by birds of all species on humans throughout the British Isles. Some people believe that the Russians "poisoned" the air somehow. The birds wreak havoc all over England, but their assaults are particularly murderous on the south coast of Cornwall, where only hardy individuals like war veteran Nat Hocken survive.Hocken notes that the birds' assaults come and go with the tides. After a few days, the avians' attack stops as abruptly as it begins, and people throughout the world convince themselves that the accounts of destruction and death are exaggerated. ("The Birds" by Daphne du Maurier)
April 1960 -- Strange behavior is noticed in birds in the USA, beginning on or about April 26, "in the Southern California town of La Jolla, where a thousand birds flew down a chimney and ravaged the inside of a house."  Soon thereafter "Residents in a quiet Midwestern town -- the quintessential American Hitchcock setting -- suddenly found themselves under invasion by a covey of barn swallows, who seemed to delight in dive-bombing newsboys on their paper routes. . . Flocks of screeching sea gulls were reported to be terrorizing fishing ports along Germany's North Sea coast, pilfering piles of fresh fish and attacking fishermen and chimneysweeps." 
August 17-18, 1961 -- "'Seabird Invasion Hits Coastal Homes', screamed the headline of the August 18, 1961 Santa Cruz Sentinel. Thousands of 'sooty shearwaters, fresh from a feast of anchovies,' had flown in from Monterey Bay overnight and smashed into fog-bound coastal areas near Santa Cruz. The gulls, migrating from New Zealand and South America in flocks numbering in the 'millions', crashed into cars and buildings, broke television aerials and streetlamps, and tried to enter houses when the residents ran out to investigate the noise at 3.00 a.m."  The birds "pecked people, smashed into houses and cars, knocked out car headlights, broke windows, chased people around the streets and staggered around vomiting pieces of anchovy over local lawns." 
Friday, March 7, 1962 -- Melanie Daniels, a spoiled young society woman, visits Davidson's Pet Shop in San Francisco, noting the clouds of sea gulls circling over Union Square. She meets Mitch Brenner, a lawyer who disapproves of her wicked ways. She traces his address via his car tag and buys two lovebirds for his much younger sister Cathy's birthday.
Saturday, March 8 -- Melanie drives north to the small coastal town of Bodega Bay. She meets schoolteacher Annie Hayworth, rents a motorboat, and crosses the bay to the Brenner farm. She leaves the lovebirds and motors back across, only to get hit in the head by a sea gull. That night she stays at Annie's house; their conversation is interrupted by a gull crashing fatally into the front door.
Sunday, March 9 -- The Brenners hold Cathy's birthday party on the lawn. Sea gulls attack the children. Later that evening thousands of sparrows and other birds spew down through the Brenner chimney and invade the house, as in the La Jolla case.
Monday, March 10 -- Lydia Brenner, Mitch's possessive mother, visits the Dan Fawcett farm to discuss the strange behavior of the local chickens. She finds her neighbor dead, his eyes pecked out by birds. Melanie Daniels offers to bring Cathy home from school. While waiting for the school to let out for recess, Melanie sits near the playground and notices crows gathering by the hundreds on the playground equipment. The children run for town with the crows clawing and pecking them all the way.
Melanie calls her father from a local restaurant. Mitch arrives, and the people in the restaurant argue about the reality of the bird attacks. Outside, a gull hits a gas station attendant; a motorist with a cigar ignites the gas, and the area is soon in flames. The sea gulls attack in force. Melanie is trapped in a phone booth until Mitch drags her back to the restaurant. A hysterical woman in the restaurant seems to think that Melanie is responsible for the attacks.
Mitch and Melanie find Annie Hayworth dead at her house. They return with Cathy to the Brenner house and board up the windows. Mitch has observed, like Nat Hocken before him, that the birds come in waves, with several hours between attacks. That night the birds assault the house in force, breaking windows and nearly pecking through a door.
Tuesday, March 11 -- Mitch sleeps in an armchair, exhausted after fighting off birds all night. When Melanie hears a shuffling in the attic, she investigates by herself. She is attacked by a contingent of avians who have broken through the roof. Mitch drags her out, and the Brenners escape in her car as a myriad birds watch from the roof, the trees, and the yard. As the attacks began with Melanie Daniels' appearance in Bodega Bay, so now do they cease. (The Birds, [Universal, 1963])
March 22, 1962 -- Famous movie director Alfred Hitchcock begins work on a film version of the bird attacks. Even now things have not settled down: Cinefantastique magazine mentions that "a Bodega Bay farmer approached Hitchcock during filming to report that he was having trouble with birds pecking out the eyes of his young lambs." And "on the same day that. . . shooting had begun on Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds in Bodega Bay in Northern California, another city paper described how a red-tailed hawk that had attacked small children in Victoria Park had been shot down by local police." 
1976 -- A British ornithologist, Dr. Zacardi, taps into the avian mass intelligence. He induces the local bird populace to attack a group of ecologists who wish to cull the flocks of overpopulated avian species. The birds follow his commands despite the fact he is a male because his desires are allied with their own. His hold is tenuous, however; the birds' collective intelligence is disrupted merely by the appearance of two hampers full of cats -- one carried by John Steed, the other by Mike Gambit. ("Cat Amongst the Pigeons," The New Avengers, 1976)
1985 -- John Martels, an English astronomer living in the USA, topples into a radio telescope and, due to a freak intersection of electromagnetic fields, is projected into the year A.D. 25,000. 
1994 -- A research biologist and his family move to the New England island of Land's End so the biologist can have privacy in his work. Inexplicably, the local avians begin attacking and killing people in the nearby town. A reclusive woman (apparently Melanie Daniels) speaks of the attacks on Bodega Bay, years before. While the assaults puzzle the local inhabitants, the presence of Melanie Daniels suggests that she is again an unwilling catalyst or host for the Tyaa-intelligence.(The Birds II: Land's End, 1994)
2085 -- In a possible future of the Wold-Newton Universe, Mankind barely survives a nuclear war. Those who climb from the rubble name this era of rebuilding Rebirth I. ("I originated some twenty-three thousand years in your past, possibly a century before Rebirth One," says John Martels. ) Not even the supercomputers of the future can pinpoint the exact dates between here and A.D. 25,000; the eras are known only under their "Rebirth" titles.
Rebirth II -- An unknown catastrophe destroys the civilization of Rebirth I; Rebirth II rises from the ashes and survives several thousand years. "Rebirth II had apparently been snuffed out by a worldwide glaciation." 
Rebirth III -- Arising after the glaciation, the new civilization builds technology aggressively and founds several cities in distant places where knowledge will be stored in case of another worldwide catastrophe. Such a catastrophe arrives when the earth enters a "hothouse" phase.
Rebirth IV -- The earth enters a steamy jungle era. Technology falls, and most of humanity lives simply in rain-forest villages. Only in three Rebirth III cities are computers and technology maintained, but the neo-savages of the jungles look upon science with fear and loathing. To add to the chaos, the Birds arise and take over the world.
25,000 -- Astronomer John Martels finds his mind imprisoned in the body of a humanoid oracle called the Qvant, who supplies answers (occasionally) to the neo-savages who ask for advice. The Qvant is more intelligent and more powerful than Martels and tries to push his mind into the endless darkness. Martels somehow holds onto a niche in the oracle's brain.
Martels slowly learns the history of the Rebirths. He finds that the Birds have all but eradicated humanity. The Qvant was meant to join cybernetically with a supercomputer in a Rebirth III city and help humanity overthrow their avian masters -- but the oracle has lost interest in the material world.
Martels possesses a native named Tlam and heads south toward the Rebirth city. He/they are captured by the Birds and brought before a vast, gold-white eagle, their King. The Birds recognize Tlam as a multiple being, and they wish to study him before killing him. Martels/Tlam escape, however; eventually they are discovered by an air patrol from the Rebirth city.
Martels' mind passes into the Rebirth supercomputer. He tells the techs of the city all he knows. Martels, joined with the supercomputer's knowledge, now turns to the task of dragging the neo-savages of the world together against the Birds.
25,100 -- After decades of training, educating, and battle, humans defeat the Birds at last, perhaps disrupting the Tyaa-entity as well.Humanity reclaims the earth, drawing upon the ancient knowledge and technology. The world passes from a steamy jungle mode into another Ice Age; life will be difficult, but this new era is called Rebirth V.John Martels' mind is to enter the brain of an unborn child, and he will grow to manhood in this strange, harsh, but human-held future."'I think,' Martel said, 'that I might even come to like it.'" 
1.Michell, John, and Robert J. M. Rickard.Living Wonders.(London: Thames and Hudson, 1983), p. 155.Quotes from Bourne are from this book.
2.Paglia, Camille.BFI Film Classics:he Birds.(London: British Film Institute, 1998), p. 10.
3.Counts, Kyle B., and Steve Rubin."The Making of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds."Cinefantastique 10:2 (Fall 1980), p. 26.
4.Paglia, pp. 10-11.
5.Fortean Times No. 83 (Oct.-Nov. 1995), p. 10.
6.Counts and Rubin, p. 26.
7. Paglia, p. 11.
8.Blish, James.Midsummer Century.(Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1972).At the time of his strange accident Martels is thirty years old, and on page 13 he gives his year of birth as 1955, thus making 1985 the year of his disappearance.
9. Ibid., p. 92.
10. Ibid., p. 20.
11. Ibid., p. 110.
All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 2000-2004 by the author, Michael D. Winkle. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.
Five thousand years ago, in a tiny Korean village a martial art was developed that was, and remains, the greatest of all fighting skills. The art was named Sinanju after the village and all other martial arts are but pale imitations of this great original.
Using this skill, the Masters of Sinanju have supported their poor village by hiring themselves out as assassins. Many of history's great empires have risen to power solely due to the influence of this tiny village.
In recent years Chiun, the reigning Master of Sinanju, has been exclusively employed by CURE, an agency so secret that only the President of the United States knows of its existence. With the aid of his student, an American named Remo Williams, the Master has spent nearly three decades dealing with super-criminals, mad dictators, and other threats to world peace. In the process Remo and Chiun have also has occasion to cross paths with a number of characters who are fixtures in the Wold Newton Universe.
In one of his earliest adventures (Destroyer #4: Mafia Fix) Remo crosses paths with a trio of secret agents. Remo has been dispatched to deal with a massive dope ring in New York City. Unfortunately, his progress was too slow to suit several other governments who have a vested interest in the matter...
The first word came from Great Britain. It came unofficially, so that it could be denied if need be, but it came accurately. Her Majesty's government regarded the lack of effective action on the part of the United States regarding the massive shipment of heroin an inexcusable error. And since so much of Great Britain's narcotics traffic was tied hand-to-hand with the availability of drugs in the United States, Her Majesty's government had decided it must protect its own best interests. And in Charing Mews, a hard-faced man who looked like Hoagy Carmichael put his exploding briefcase in the back seat of his supercharged Bentley to begin the drive to London Airport for a BOAC plane to New York.
Though not named, this British agent must be James Bond. Ian Fleming often commented on 007's resemblance to band leader Carmichael. The agent also makes reference to a superior named "M". When he meets Remo, Bond is accompanied by a bespectacled Japanese agent with a slight build, and a stout French operative with an egg-shaped head and a waxed mustache. Bond calls the French agent "Hercule" suggesting that he is none other that Agatha Christie's famous sleuth, Hercule Poirot. Just as clearly, the Japanese agent must be Mr. I.A. Moto, whose adventures were recorded by J.P. Marquand.
Mafia Fix was first printed in May of 1972, by which time Moto would be in his seventies, and Poirot would be even older. While they could have been helping Bond in an advisory capacity, it seems very unlikely that their scuffle with Remo really happened as it is told. It is also highly improbable that Bond would shoot himself in the foot. But, though the details of the encounter seem to have been changed for comic effect, it is certain that Remo met Bond, Moto, and Poirot in the course of this adventure.
A second link shows up in the movie Jake Speed when Jake tells his client that Remo Williams is a real person, not just a fictional character. When the client asks why they can't call Remo in for help Jake replies:
"He doesnt work for us."
"Well, who does he work for?"
A third link shows up in Destroyer# 83: Skullduggery. Remo has been questioning Chiun about who he worked for before joining the CURE. Chiun surprises him by saying that he once worked for a Chinese...
"Not the thieving Chinese, scourge of the Sinanju collection agency? The one who defaulted on a fifteen-dollar fee in 1421?"
"Not the Chinese, a Chinese. An individual. A mandarin."
"Not an emperor?"
"He was ambitious. This was before the Communists, of course."
"Would I know of him?"
"Not by his true name. But he was known to the West under a silly name, Fu Achoo or some such nonsense."
Remo made a face. "Fu . . . you cant mean Fu Manchu?"
"See? Even you understand what a ridiculous name it is. It was that lunatic British scribbler's fault. He disseminated all manner of lies and slanders about me."
"You? What are you talking about? I read those books as a kid. I don't remember any Korean assassins in them."
"Precisely, Remo. He changed everything willy-nilly. Where the Master of Sinanju was at work, he improvised dacoits. I think it was in The Ears of Fu Achoo. Dacoits are always cutting off their own fingers by accident. Poisonous spiders, venomous scorpions, and other insects abound in those ridiculous books. But not one single Korean. I ended up on the cutting room floor."
"You're mixing your media, but I get what you say."
"It was that so-called author who was mixed-up. Imagine a Chinese named Fu Manchu. The Manchus are not even Chinese. They are nomads, like the Mongols. It would be like naming you Remo Apache."
"Little Father, I think youre pulling my leg. Fu Manchu was a fictional character. He never existed."
"His gold existed," Chiun shot back.
As the story goes on it becomes clear that Wu Ming Shi ("Fu Achoo's" true name, according to Chiun) is the villain of the piece and that he is searching for the treasure of Genghis Khan. It also becomes clear that there are too many parallels to Fu Manchu to be ignored. Wu Ming Shi has discovered the secret of eternal life and Chiun estimates his age at 250 years old. He is also a brilliant scientist, and a powerful hypnotist. In short, he is the Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu.
Wu Ming Shi apparently dies at the end of the novel but, as the corpse is missing its head, it is impossible to properly identify him body. Given his past history it seems unlikely that we have seen the end of Fu Manchu. (Since this story was published in January, 1991 it seems that the Devil Doctor survived his final encounter with Shang Chi after all. See The Shang Chi Chronology.)
An interesting detail in this story is that Fu Manchu uses many gimmicks identical to those used by the second Green Hornet. A black limousine, complete with a black-masked Asian chauffeur and trick garage. He also made extensive use of the Hornet's green knockout gas. Ostensibly, this is all to humble Sagwa, Fu Manchu's chauffeur cum bodyguard who had dared to become a Hollywood actor during a period of inactivity in the Devil Doctor's career. As punishment, Fu Manchu had forced him to adopt the name Sagwa (Chinese for "idiot") and to wear the trappings of a character he had once played on television.
This seems an unusually petty for Fu Manchu, who has always evinced a more noble, and more practical, character. Also, while there was a television show based on the exploits of the Green Hornet, the Hornet was very real. It may be that the Devil Doctor and the second Green Hornet had crossed swords in an untold adventure. Since the Hornet was wanted by the law it may be that Fu Manchu found posing as him a convenient cover for operating in America.
Finally, in Destroyer #100: Last Rites, Remo has to undertake a series of Herculean tasks to prove his worthiness to become the reigning Master of Sinanju on Chiuns retirement. One of the tasks involves diving to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and confronting the ancient octopoid horror who sleeps there in the ruins of an ancient sunken city...
Chiun spoke up. "Do you remember my telling you of Sa Mangsang?"
"What Master was he?"
"Sa Mangsang was no Master of Sinanju. He was---and is---the dragon of the abyss. In Korean, Sa Mangsang means Dream Thing. In Japanese, he is known as Tako-Ika, Octopus Squid. To the Vikings, he was Kraken. To the Arabs, Khadhulu. To the Moovians, he was Ru-Taki-Nuhu, the enemy of life."
The Moovians, as the last remnants of the ancient civilization of Mu are called, had the most fully developed legends of the creature. They said he was a great octopus who had fallen from the stars, and who now slept beneath the sea. When he awakened, Ru-Taki-Nuhu would drink the sea dry, devour all life on earth, and end the world.
This legend, and Chiuns claim that the creatures name in Arabic is Khadhulu, make it clear that this is nothing less than the great Cthulhu, about whom H.P. Lovecraft and so many others have written. For all his skills, Remo was really lucky to make it out of this adventure in one piece. It seems incredible that even Remo could stun Cthulhu with a kick, but the story was published in August, 1995 and the world is still here. Remo must have done something right!
The Destroyer stories are sometimes light-hearted, and often satirical. It is easy to suspect that there are some distortions and exaggerations in them. Can Remo really hold a car in place bare handed? Could Chiun break a railroad car free of a train with a single stamping kick? Could Remo really dive an eighth of a mile deep in the ocean without any gear? Could he outrun a speeding auto?
There is no doubt that the art of Sinanju can enable its students to do things far beyond the abilities of ordinary mortals. Sinanju is, after all, the sun source of all martial arts. Even the most refined of other styles compare to it only in the way a cheap flashlight compares to the sun. Even so, some of Remo and Chiuns feats seem incredible.
More to the point, some of the characterizations of the other characters appearing in the series seem incredible. James Bond, Fu Manchu and the others are given odd quirks so that they seem almost parodies of themselves. They are so different in the Destroyer series than they seem in their own stories that one cannot help but wonder if their involvement is being distorted, or misrepresented for satirical purposes.
I would not for a minute attribute this to the glorious Master of Sinanju! The integrity of the revered Chiun and the (slightly less) revered Remo is beyond reproach! If there is any distortion here it cannot come from our heroes! of course, Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir are another matter! The duplicity and incompetence of these authors has been commented on by Chiun at some length. In their desire to sell their books to the American public they have distorted the true history of Sinanju (they dont even print the beautiful bon poems of Chiuns homeland!)
And, if there were any doubt of the lack of integrity extending to the publishers, it was settled when Murphy and Sapir left the series. Rather than bring in someone who could tell the glorious and true history of Sinanju, they have hired a string of non-Korean writers!
In light of all this it is clear that straining out the true story behind the Destroyer stories is a difficult task. For our purposes here though we can safely say that Remo Williams and Chiun are members of the Wold Newton Universe, that they have met all the persons (and entities) listed above, but that these stories should be read with the following in mind (in the Wold Newton Universe at least):
All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 2000-2004 by the author, Matthew Baugh. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.
I received the following via e-mail in early November 2000. Though I can neither confirm nor deny its veracity, I am nevertheless publishing this account for two reasons: (1) there is just the bare possibility that it may be true; and (2) if it is not true, enlightened self-interest dictates humouring this man who claims to be from another universe. Of this, I can say nothing more....
Dear Mr. Eckert,
As I was reviewing your site, I noticed that while you included the incident which Mr. Farmer called The Spy with the Glass Eye or The Peerless Peer, (if you prefer your universe's title), you however made little mention of the man Mowgli. Now, I, of course realized that in your Universe Mr. Farmer wrote differing versions of the same incident, purportedly because the Burroughs Corporation did not want the Tarzan character so used. The true reason is however a bit more complicated than that.
Although Philip Jose Farmer wrote two accounts of the same incident, first told in The Adventure of the Peerless Peer, then in a revised version entitled The Adventure of Three Madmen in which Mowgli was substituted for for Tarzan, in reality both occurred more or less as written. Tarzan and Mowgli were both present and interacted with Holmes, Watson, and Von Bork. However incredulous as this may sound, it is nevertheless true.
Holmes, Watson, and Tarzan discovered the movie crew and Mowgli. Mowgli was not the first fellow feral child that Tarzan had encountered he had previously met Kazar and Kaspa. Tarzan however found Mowglis ability to communicate with animals to be astounding, even though, he too possessed a lesser form of it. Mowgli, as later scientific investigation would reveal, did not really vocally talk to the animals but rather possessed a low-level form of telepathy which allowed him to communicate with animal. As revealed in The Adventure Of The Peerless Peer and in The Adventure of Three Madmen, both Tarzan and Mowgli had a similar childhood, They were also similar in that they had mysteries surrounding their present stations in society.
The action of the incidents or actually, I should say incident since they were actually the same incident only two differing versions of it, was generally as Mr. Farmer described it. The meeting between Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and Merrivale was more accurately described in The Adventure of the Three Madmen, with both Tarzan and Mowgli being discussed. Farmer however leaves out the detail that even though Von Bork was in Cairo, there was a good possibility that he would be going to Africa and aid the Germans beleaguered efforts on that Continent.
In such as case, Holmes and Watson could rely on either Greystoke or Mowglis assistance. They did indeed end up traveling across Africa. If you recall a Zeppelins crew captured Holmes and Watson but due to extensive damages the Zeppelin sank. Once earthbound, Holmes and Watson eventually eluded their German captors.
While in the African jungle, Watson and Holmes were attacked by a cobra. In The Adventure of the Three Madmen (hereafter referred to as ATM), Watson says that Mowgli rescued them by talking the cobra out attacking them. In The Adventure of the Peerless Peer (hereafter referred to as APP), Tarzan shot it with an arrow. Which was true? Both. Mowgli did indeed talk the cobra out of attacking Holmes and Watson but as it crawled away from Watson and Holmes and towards Mowgli, an arrow appeared its head. As can be guessed the first meeting of Mowgli and Tarzan did not go well. Mowgli was upset that Tarzan had killed the snake after Mowgli had talked to it and asked it to leave them alone. Tarzan at first disbelieved Mowglis ability to talk to animals. However, when Tarzan began to eat the snake, Mowgli was a bit mollified, after all the Law of the Jungle was to kill to eat.
When Holmes and Watson mentioned there were Germans in the area, Tarzan explained that he had vowed to kill every German he could find for they had murdered his wife. He hurried off to hunt. Mowgli had Holmes and Watson follow him. They soon encountered a beautiful woman in an torn gown.
This was Liza Borden, Mowglis co-star in the film epic Mowglis Revenge. She was a loud-mouthed, spoiled woman who claimed that Mowgli had ravished her, over and over again. Watson was immediately suspicious of her story since she used dialogue from her films. She had followed after Mowgli after a native tribe had attacked the movie crew shortly after Mowgli had departed from the finished movies set. Mowgli had been ordered by the British Army to report for duty in East Africa. Mowgli explained that she was the problem, not he.
Mowgli scouted ahead to find them food, telling them to come with him. Holmes balked at being ordered about. Holmes and Watson were left with the company Liza Borden . Despite her previous claim that she was running away from him, Miss Borden urged them, in strong language, to follow after Mowgli. They did so with some reluctance.
Mowgli had killed a boar and was eating its meat raw. Holmes and the rest while balking at the thought of eating raw meat, soon followed suite. They heard men approaching. Mowgli told them to stay put while he checked them out. Liza Borden refused to stay, stating that she had to relieve herself.
They heard a cry that in the ATM said was a wolfs cry, in the APP it was the victory cry of a bull-ape.
It was both, intermingled in one strange ululating cry.
Lets examine some of the clues Farmer provided for us.
In both APP and ATM natives who resemble Persians capture Holmes and Watson and take them to their village. A day later, two of the Germans are shoved into the hut with them. They tell identical stories in both APP and ATM with one minor change. They had heard the strange cry and hurried to see what the cause of it was. There were five dead men lying in a clearing. Six men were running in one direction away from the clearing and four others were running in another direction. Inside the clearing was a large dark man clutching a bloody knife his foot placed upon the chest of a dead man, screaming a strange cry. That is in the ATM version, in the APP version it is a large tanned man wearing a leopard skin he had his foot planted on a dead man. He also screamed a strange cry.
Three of the dead men had arrows in them, two had their necks broken, and possibly stab wounds since there was the bloody knife to consider.
Our clues to consider here are the presence of the arrows and the two directions in which the natives were running.
Mowgli was not depicted as having a bow and arrow previous to this incident although the German offered the suggestion that he had taken the bow from one of the natives. While it may be that Mowgli had acquired proficiency with the bow and arrow after his career was chronicled in the Jungle Books, in The Jungle Books themselves he used his teeth, nails and knife. As he apparently did in this case as regards to the broken necks and bloody knife.
However we know that in APP, Tarzan was depicted as having a bow and arrow and he was, as any reader of the Burroughs biographies of him, can attest, a superlative archer.
Captain Reich says that they were going to shoot the savage but he took to the trees before they could.
What evidently happened was that Captain Reich remembered the incident incorrectly, that is he remembered the events but not the exact sequence of events. He should not be blamed for this, he had seen his beloved Zeppelin destroyed, his marriage was in a shambles and he had been stuck in the Africa jungle for nearly a week. Although Farmer does not record it, Reichs men had been winnowed down as they trekked through the jungle. Someone, evidently Tarzan, was throwing nooses at and strangling the German soldiers when they were in nightly camps and while they were on the trail. The strangling noose was an old joke of Tarzans.
Both Mowgli and Tarzan had arrived at the clearing approximately at the same time. They had obviously heard the commotion and investigated. The natives had fired arrows at them. Tarzan retaliated by shooting back, killing three with arrows. Mowgli had dropped out of the tree cover and broke two of the mens necks. Both Tarzan and Mowgli had then taken the opportunity to yell their victory cries. Hearing cries the main body of the natives ran into the clearing. Mowgli and Tarzan then took to the trees, moving off in separate directions. The natives split into groups to chase them down. Tarzan and Mowgli then picked them off individually but forsook further victory cries, not knowing how many more natives were in the area.
Reich said that he and his men then headed east. An arrow pierced one of Reichs mens necks. The angle showed that it had come from above. A voice in excellent German but with a perfect Brandenberger accent orders them to turn back and head southwest. If they did not they would be picked off one by one.
Reich followed the voices orders. Once again we come to a slight difference in the two texts.
In APP Reich states that all of their food was stolen that night and it was evident that their stalker intended for them to starve to death. After two days Reich begged for food. Eventually a freshly killed boar was thrown into their campsite with the admonishment, "Pigs should eat pig."
However in ATM he does not mention the food being stolen.
The stolen food sounds like another Tarzan joke.
The freshly killed pig given to the starving Germans was however unlikely to have been given to the Germans by Tarzan considering his deep antipathy for the Germans was at this time. This was more likely Mowglis action.
Reichs men were attacked by a group of the savages that captured Holmes and Watson and only Reich and Von Bork survived the encounter.
The bits of dialogue in which Holmes, Watson , Reich and Von Bork discussed Mowgli and/or Tarzan, may have taken place but may have been just bits of expository dialogue. If these conversations did in fact take place then, in all probability they were not as extensive as Farmer has portrayed them. Holmes and Watson certainly would not have discussed the private lives of British aristocrats with Germans.
Watson and Holmes climb a tree to see what they can see in the natives great stone temple. While they are in the tree a hand clamps down on Watsons shoulder. Although the narratives of ATM and APP remain almost identical from the this point, with Mowgli or Tarzan being substituted for the Jungle Lord character, there are slight differences which give us a clue as to what actually happened.
It is Tarzan that greets them in the tree. The incident that follows is as Farmer relates in APP. In which Holmes ferrets out the truth about Tarzans assumption of his cousins identity after William Clayton had died in the jungle. Tarzan does put Holmes and Watson on a retainer to insure their silence about this matter. Tarzan also explains to them that this was the remnants of Zu-Vendis, the great land that H. Rider Haggard had written about in Allan Quatermain. The High Priestess is the granddaughter of Good and Curtis.
In APP, Tarzan relates how he went to check out a rumor that a white woman, An Englishwoman had been captured by a tribe of blacks. He states he fought his way to her, killing a dozen men and fought his way out carrying her with him, killing a dozen more men. When Tarzan had removed the gag he had put on her so she would stop screaming, she had told him that she was perfectly happy living with the Sultan and could he please return her, immediately. This incident is not related in ATM.
However, ATM does leave us with one mystery, whatever happened to Liza Borden? We are told that she eventually found her way back to England but nothing is told of her ensuing adventures. Liza Borden is the woman "rescued" by Tarzan and Mowgli. Yes, Mowgli was with Tarzan as he had been when they were trailing the Germans. After their battle in the clearing together they had become as blood brothers. It was Mowgli who convinced Tarzan not to kill the Germans outright, knowing something of Holmes and Watsons mission but not willing to disclose it to a civilian. When Tarzan had told Mowgli about his wife and then about the captive white woman, he agrees to accompany Tarzan and help free the woman. While, we can believe that Tarzan could have held off and killed 24 men in a matter of minutes, in reality he stated that it was he and Mowgli that did so. To Mowglis dismay, the woman turns out to be Liza Borden. True to form she demands to be taken back to the Sultan. Tarzan refuses. Mowgli agrees mainly because she despises the idea of her accompanying her and he likes the idea of her being sequestered in a harem.
Tarzan agrees to rescue Holmes and Watson, take the High Priestess and even take the Germans once Holmes has explained why Von Bork must be take alive.
They were forced to run from the Zu Vendians when a womans scream alerted the village. A compliment of warriors blocked their path and Tarzan fought their way clear. They ran and were pursued until they came to the hives of the Zu Vendians sacred bees. A vast cloud of bees attacked them from the front and the Zu Vendians attacked from the rear. Tarzan was knocked unconscious. Holmes used his apiary knowledge and diverted the bees to attack the Zu Vendians.
When Tarzan regain consciousness, he had reverted to a primitive state that he did every so often. He however did not regain his memory immediately as related in APP . Rather he took off and was not seen again by either Holmes or Watson for nearly three years. However Mowgli arrived the next morning having finished returning Liza Borden to her Sultan.
He led Holmes and the rest of the party to Nairobi, although he seemed anxious to report for duty. Holmes doubted this and when Mowgli asked him to explain his remark. Holmes launched into a discussion of his deductions about the origins of Mowgli. He claimed that Mowgli was not the Mowgli of Kiplings stories and he doubted if Mowgli was in actuality the true heir of Sir Jametsee JeJeebhoy, the Parsee Baronet of Bombay, which had in truth depended upon a birthmark on between the big toe. A mark which Mowgli possessed and which Holmes believed was a remarkable coincidence.
Although, Watsons account in ATM leaves one with the impression that Mowgli did indeed have something to hide, he is shown hiring Holmes to investigate the validity of his claim for an extremely high fee. They will begin the investigation at Mowglis request although he will pay the money up front. Holmes and Watson seem to believe that this is Mowglis manner in purchasing their silence, believing that the word to proceed will never come.
Mowgli leaves, Holmes, Watson, Nylepthah and Von Bork outside Nairobi and left to finally report for duty. Despite what is related in the ATM, Mowgli never lost his memory nor was he subject to fits of amnesia. Von Bork made a dash for freedom but ran into a tree escaping from a rhinoceros. His eye popped out and it was revealed that the plans for the secret weapon were etched on his glass eye.
Watson and Holmes became very wealthy as a result to these two big fees. Greystoke recovered his senses and personally brought Holmes two cheques three years later. Each of the clients stipulated, out of courtesy to his Jungle Brother, that if Watson should ever write up a narrative based on the case to leave the other feral man out of the story. Watson did so, writing two separate but nearly identical volumes, which he hoped would further muddy the waters. Another example of this was his increasing Mowglis true age while at the same time pretending to reveal the truth about Mowglis origins. Mowgli was actually around 33 in 1916 rather than 43. Even Rudyard Kipling hid Mowglis true age, telescoping events over several years. He had him to be 17 in 1894 when he was actually only 11.
The story might end here if it was not for Mowglis visiting of Holmes Sussex Estate and telling him to start earning his fee by investigating Mowglis claim to the JeeJeebhoy estate.
Holmes was frankly astounded by what he discovered.
Not only was Mowgli entitled to the JeeJeebhoy estate, he was also entitled to a larger, more prominent title.
The story went that Mowgli was the son of a woodchopper and his wife. A tiger had killed the Woodchopper and his wife but Mowgli had escaped from the tigers clutches and found refuge with the Wolf Pack. Mowgli had walked away from the carnage while the Tiger was occupied with his parents. The Woodchopper had been the only living relative of Sir Jametsee JeJeebhoy and had at one time visited his relative to show off his son. Now was this Jametsee JeJeebhoy, the same as Jametsee JeJeebhoy mentioned by Mr. Farmer in Tarzan Alive, Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life or The Other Log of Phileas Fogg as being related to Aouda JeJeebhoy? Or was that possibly his son? ATM does state that Jametsee, being childless, adopted Mowgli, believing him to be his relation.
Holmes' investigation revealed that Mowgli, while a relative of the JeJeebhoys, was not the son of the Woodchopper, except in the adoptive sense.
Mowgli had survived not one but two tiger attacks in his first two years of life. The woodchopper had seen a wounded tiger carrying a baby by its swaddling cloth. He had thrown his axe at it and chased it off. His own wife had just suffered a miscarriage. They raised the child as their own not realizing that this child was his cousins child. His cousin was the sister of Jametsee JeJeebhoy. Hearing that Sir Jametsees sister and her baby had perished in a tiger attack, the Woodchopper visited Sir Jametsee to partially as a condolence and partially to make Sir Jametsee aware of this child.
Shortly thereafter the formerly wounded now lame tiger returned to the area and killed the Woodchopper and his wife. The baby walked a short distance before finding sanctuary in a wolfs den. The tiger which had been injured and then lamed was Shere Khan, who became Mowglis mortal enemy.
Holmes dug up what he could on Mowglis mother and her husband and berated himself when he discovered the answer. It had been staring him in the face and he had missed it. Jaya JeJeebhoy had met and married upon sight a Captain of the Pioneers of the Corps of Madras Sappers and Miners. His name was Lord John Stavely, also John Clayton. It was 1883 and he was nineteen years old.
Holmes realized with a shock that Mowgli and Tarzan had looked exceedingly similar with the same general build and similar facial features. Mowgli possessed the Indians dark skin coloring, supraorbital ridges but lacked the gray eyes that often cropped up in the family tree. John had kept the marriage secret from his family partially out of apprehension of what they would think of an Indian wife but also because Jaya had yet to tell her brother, fearing much the same reaction. They were on a safari to see him, accompanied by a companion of Johns, a Colonel Moran.
They were attacked by two tigers and an apparently crazed hyena. Jaya was killed immediately by one of the tigers. Moran killed one and shot another as it was mauling John. The wounded tiger grabbed the baby and disappeared. The Wood chopper later encountered this same tiger. When a fairly cursory search for the baby turned up nothing it was assumed the tiger had eaten it. Although a woman, Messua and her husband would later claim that Mowgli was theirs, their child was more than likely yet another unfortunate babe who had met his death as a victim of Shere Khan.
Colonel Moran wrote of the incident in his book, Three Months in The Jungle (1884). As a side note, as it would later be revealed in The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, Moran was a Capellean agent, which begs the question was the tiger attack a legitimate one? If not, who was the target, John Clayton or Jaya Clayton, whose family, the JeJeebhoys, were known Eridaneans? Since Moran shot the tiger to save John Clayton, we can only speculate at this time.
While Clayton was recovering from his tiger mauling, he was told that his wife and child had perished tiger attack. He was sent to England for recuperation, he was persuaded by the East India Company that for the good of the Company and England not to press any of his supposed claims to wealth or property from his wifes relatives. Her family refused to acknowledge the marriage. To press the matter could lead to unnecessary unrest. While he was in England recovering from his mauling, Clayton met and fell in love with Alice Rutherford. Their union produced Tarzan, Mowglis half brother.
Ah hah, some of you might say, this explains Mowglis ability to survive in the Jungle, his hardiness, stamina etc. These and his other mutant abilities can be attributed to the Wold Newton Event. This is certainly not the case!
The Wold Newton genes merely reinforced Mowglis inherited abilities and gave new strength to some of the traits that were becoming latent. The JeJeebhoys were members of the Jahangir meteorite India family, whose extended family produced several superior persons such as Ram Singh, Ram Dass, Chadra Lal, Inspector Ghote and Hadji.
Among the abilities derived from this meteorite were increased strength and stamina, heightened sensory abilities, and on occasion, the ability to talk to animals, something he shared with his distant kinsman, John Doolittle and to some degree Tarzan. (How Dr. Doolittle came to be part Indian is a story for another article). Tarzan, however, received his diluted ability from his ancestor Sigfried.
Holmes discovered that, as the elder brother, Mowgli had a claim on the Greystoke estates and titles. When he passed this information onto his client, he was sorry for his earlier words about his character and morality. Mowgli did not want to press any claim, he did not want the publicity, nor did he have any wish for the titles and property that accompanied it. Nor did he want to expose his or Greystokes feral nature and past. Mowgli was instead satisfied to know that his Jungle Brother was in fact his true brother.
All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 2000-2004 by the author, David Vincent, Jr. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.
LA! LA! LA!
LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA!
(Chant sung by bestial worshippers of La in the City of Opar. Popularized by Bajo (Bingo)
a Bestial Oparite who found his way out of the Jungle and became a Rock and Roll star.)
The revelations which arise from Tarzan On Mars are staggering to say the least. We are forced to re-examine the character of La from the Burroughs books and also re-evaluate the recently revealed origins of Modesty Blaise. I must admit, I was at a loss as to how we were going to do this, until fellow researcher Win Eckert discovered the date of 400,000 BP, which he had found in an old translation of the remnants of an Arabian history of Kôr. It describes a Barsoomian expeditionary force which has crash-landed and been permanently marooned on the island continent of Atlantis. Among the survivors is La herself, daughter of Tario of Lothar on Barsoom.
A diligent search through the David Vincent Papers turned up a document dictated by John Carter to his nephew, in which he discusses his involvement in what became known as the Tarzan On Mars. In it, he relates a bit of background material for the benefit of said nephew.
I have taken the liberty of changing the following account from the form of expository dialogue and made it into a straight narrative. I hope this does not offend the purists.
The Priestess of Issus and a few of her followers, were forced to flee Barsoom because the continuing ecological changes on Barsoom have caused a religious crisis and the people have turned violently against religion. They arrived on Earth carried by Issus in her personal sky-chariot. (Issus may nor may not have been one of the many powerful and advanced alien beings who often pretended to be gods to various planetary populations.) Issus gifted the Barsoomian colonists with texts and technology which would allow them to create a new homeland. The Barsoomians set down on an island continent in the Atlantic and, along with refugee Lemurians, built a civilization which became known as the first empire of Atlantis.
There were, however, immediate problems.
The oviparous nature of human Martian females was, as John Roy Flint suggested in his seminal work A Guide to Barsoom, a survival mechanism implemented (probably by Issus) when Barsoom began losing its oceans and most of its plant life. The oviparian system was merely a modification of the existing viviparian system, causing certain changes to be made to the embryo that would allow for survival in an egg and causing the mother's body to channel various resources into creating the shell. The oviparian system was triggered by a variety of environmental and dietary factors which have to do with the level of certain gases in the atmosphere, the degree of moisture in the air, etc.
If the conditions are correct, however, then the Barsoomian females revert to the viviparian reproductive cycle. Unfortunately for La and her Priests, the conditions were correct. The exiled Barsoomian females reverted to viviparian birth. Since the oviparian birth process was seen as a gift from the Gods, La was seen to have failed in her duties somehow. This brought about the disfavor of the Gods.
La and and a core group of her followers were driven away from Atlantis. They hid in the vastness of Africa. Fortunately for most of terran humankind, the Barsoomians of Atlantis felt themselves superior to the native Lemurians and did not interbreed with them, for the most part. What interbreeding there was eventually made the oviparian gene into a nearly extinct recessive gene. The Barsoomians who remained on Atlantis eventually destroyed their own civilization, causing the great portions of the island continent to sink.
Africa, despite the cartographic theorizations of R. E. Howard and others, was primarily in the same shape and dimensions of its present state, albeit with a land bridge connecting it to Europe through Gibraltar and to Asia, through the area which would be become the Red Sea. The Cataclysm as related by Howard filled in the Mediterranean and the plain that became the Red Sea, but other than minor to major ecological changes, Africa was pretty much untouched by the Cataclysm.
La and her followers first attempted to use the technology provided by Issus to re-create Barsoom on Earth, "Barsoom-forming" part of Africa with plants and animals from Barsoom's recent pre-drought era. However, the earth flora and fauna exerted an influence on their creation, forming odd hybrids of plant and animal with terran and Barsoomian characteristics. They were forced to abandon this particular project and area of Africa. However, some of the Barsoomians stayed behind to intermarry with the earth natives. This area was later explored by Hareton Ironcastle, as recorded by J. H. Rosny and further expanded upon by Philip José Farmer. As Ironcastle remarked about his friend Darnley's description of Gondoroko, "He says it's almost like being on Mars!" The Ironcastle partys later speculation that the environs of Gondoroko was the result of an alien life form arriving in a spaceship, causing its own planetary environment to take root in Africa and then to be changed and incorporated by terran life forms, is a fairly accurate guess, given the information that they had.
The race to which Issus and others belonged probably was responsible for human life existing on Mars, as it were. The Tree of Life was partially mythology, but it was also possibly some sort of automatic gestation/birthing and teaching machine which would cause human embryos to be gestated, matured, and taught rudimentary languages and skills. When enough humans were created for a diverse population, they were then launched in degradable lifepods and scattered across the globe. They, however, had to adapt to Barsoomian life on their own.
Issus gave La and her followers two Life-seeds, one of which was intended to grow Barsoomian plants and animals. This one came with strict instructions to only plant them in a desolate wasteland, such as a sandy desert. Otherwise, the native flora and fauna would interfere in the growth of the Barsoomian plants and animals, as has already been described.
Issus instructed La and her followers that the second Life-seed was to be used only in absolute dire straits, for instance, if the area in which they were living was undergoing a drastic ecological change like Barsoom had. Being human, they ignored the warnings of the Gods and planted the seed.
The seed grew a tree that was along the lines of a communication device, which when fully grown would allow La to contact Issus no matter where or when she was. However, La and the Barsoomians believed they could improve upon the Gods' work and so attempted to recreate the Tree of Life on Earth. However, because of the changes that they made to the Tree, this project would take millennia. So La left two of her children begotten by one of her few Black Martian followers in charge of the project.
La decided to recreate the land of Atlantis in the heart of Africa. Searching for likely spots, the few remaining Barsoomians met up with a band of Caucasian nomads named the Khoklem. La quickly became a holy woman to them. Upon discovering the inland sea, she urged the Khoklem to explore it, thinking that the new Atlantis could be centered there. On a large island in the inland sea, La founded the city of Khokarsa (Tree of the Hill of Kho); given her Barsoomian bias, the tree name is understandable. The few Barsoomians dominated the religious life of Khokarsa, "Kho" being the Khoklem name for their Great Mother which La and the Barsoomians equated with Issus. The secret language of the temple was the language of the First Born of Mars.
Eventually all of the Barsoomians except for La and her children perished from accident or despair, including La's lover, Gahete, who had discovered Khokarsa. She later, under the name of Hala, wrote an epic poem, The Song of Gahete.
A note on La's longevity: Priestesses of Issus were given one special biological gift from Issus to maintain the direct descent of the line and the history of worship. When they neared their thousand-year life cycle, the Priestess gave a parthogenic birth to an exact duplicate of themselves with all their ancestors' memories and their mothers' memories up to the time of birth.
The Daughters of Issus, the Las, however, could and did have children by the regular method as well. The children of these unions however had the DNA of both parents, although, La's special DNA and memories were passed onto the females of natural birth as dormant traits; her genes remained dominant in the female children but differences in looks did occur. La mated every few hundred years with the immortal god Sahindar, and this line of descent eventually produced Hadon of Opar and Lalila, whose daughter was also named La. Hadon's daughter married a son of La and Sahindar, reinforcing La's dominant genes and ancestral memories. Hadon's son founded the city of Kôr. His daughter, however, became the ancestor of Tarzan's La in Opar.
Eventually, the great Khokarsian civilization died, its main island sinking in the inland sea in an eerie duplication of the death of Atlantis. Because of the cultural ties between Atlantis and Khokarsa and the odd parallel of its destruction, Khokarsa was often referred to as Atlantis. In fact, when many of the Lost Cities and peoples of Africa are stated to have Atlantean orgins, it is most likely that they were in fact derived from Khokarsa. This is not to say that Africa did not have refugee survivors from fallen Atlantis, but they were probably not numerous, nor was their presence or influence all that marked. The Atlanteans depicted in the annals of the great African hero Imaro were most likely references to both of the great fallen Empires: Atlantis, the sunken Island Continent of the Atlantic Ocean, and Khokarsa, the sunken African Atlantis of the Inland Sea.
Fallen Khokarsa brought remnants of the great Atlantean civilization to yet another great African Empire, the still young Egyptian civilization. It was one of the daughters of La, as the Priestess of Issus, who gave the Egyptians the gift of barley and the grape, and also made refinements to the art of brewery and wine-making.
Issus was syncretically attached to the already existing Egyptian Goddess named Isis. One of the descendants of La and Sahindar was Ayesha, Priestess of Isis and She Who Must Be Obeyed.
Ayesha, the Cult of Isis, and how they relate to Gypsies and the Mummy will be dealt with in a forthcoming article.
Hundreds of years after the fall of the Khoklem civilization, not having heard anything from the twins at the Tree of Life, La dispatched another pair of twins to take their place. The original twins were not gone or dead, but rather had become gods to the natives. The second pair of twins tried to usurp the Tree and return it to its original purpose. Tarzan later, in 1918, encountered this abandoned Tree of Life, which was renamed by the natives, who utilized many of the elements of the historical story and added them to their own mythology. Because even the not-fully-developed Tree allowed a person a glimpse of the past or future, it was called the "Dark Heart of Time." This incident was related in a fairly accurate manner in Tarzan: The Dark Heart of Time by Philip José Farmer.
Eventually the parthogenic Las died out through misadventure, leaving the daughters of La to carry on the lost abilities and memories of the Priestesses of Issus.
The La that Tarzan met during his adolescence, young manhood and mature years was in fact the descendant of the original La, Tarzan (Sahindar), Hadon of Opar and Lalila. She, however, carried in her genes as dormant recessives the oviparian birth process and the original La's memories. In 1937, Tarzan made a foray to Opar, as seen in Barton Werper's unauthorized biography, Tarzan and the Silver Globe. Tarzan had been going through one of his periodic cases of amnesia. He had a romantic interlude with this La, as described in The Daughters of Tarzan. Shortly after this encounter, Great Star of Issus activated. In addition to its other abilities, this artifact was a signaling device from Issus to her High Priestess. When La touched it, her dormant abilities were activated by the Star, including her "lost" memories. Unbeknownst to her, it also activated her oviparian reproductive system, sealing her budding embryo in a Barsoomian egg, which she soon expelled.
La watched over the egg for the five years necessary for it to hatch, which it did, in 1941. The name given to child from mother, we may never know. Fearful that the beastmen of Opar might discover that the infant girls father was the hated white ape, La instructed one of her handmaidens to take the child far away, perhaps to Tarzans Kenyan plantation, or just to abandon the babe in the woods to die. Either way, neither were accomplished. Both handmaiden and child were captured by a band of cutthroat Arabs and sold into slavery. Since the girl hatched at the age of five, her earliest memories were only of slavery and imprisonment. She did, however, remember living in a prison camp in Greece, and escaping as a preteen to a displaced persons camp in Persia, where she met her mentor, an old professor who named her Modesty Blaise. In a rather odd coincidence, the old Professor was Jane Porters uncle, Prof. Artimedidos Lobo Porter (see The Porters).
In Tarzan Alive, Farmer states that when Tarzan returned to Opar in 1946, he called for La, and she did not answer. This is a mystery that still remains unsolved.
In any event, in early 1948, the Star activated once more, and this time it transported La to Barsoom, where she became to all intents and purposes La, the incarnation of Issus. At the same time, Tario and his acolytes were on Barsoom trying to "create" a real Issus using the Lesser Star of Issus. (Their purpose was to foment a religious revolution against John Carter, who had revealed the then-reigning Issus as a fake in The Gods of Mars). Also at the same time, Kar Komak was attempting to mentally "create" his perfect woman (just as Kar Komak was mentally "created" by Tario in The Chessmen of Mars).
Though never really explained clearly (in true Burroughsian tradition), La was sent to Barsoom, to Kar Komak's location, by the power of the Great Star of Issus. Meanwhile, La's priests found Tarzan and gave him the Great Star (which did not get drawn to Barsoom with her). Of course, no one knew what the Great Star really was, and so he gave it to Jane. She was also sent to Barsoom by the power of the Great Star, and she arrived where Tario and his acolytes were located. Jane Porter possibly having some of the La genetic material as well, Tario and his cronies established her as their own Issus. (Tario controlled Jane's mind, so she did not resist.)
Tarzan actually spent several years searching for Jane, to no avail, although he knew her disappearance was connected with the object, the Great Star of Issus. He finally encountered Jason Gridley once more, who introduced him to John Carter's nephew, Jules Carter. At last it became clear to Tarzan that Jane had been somehow transported to Barsoom, and the rest of the events of Tarzan On Mars followed (see the Crossover Chronology, Part V).
Toward the end of this epic, La is revealed as the true Martian goddess Issus. She is a really a white Martian woman. This is confirmed by the fact that the ancient form of the language spoken by the First Born of Barsoom is exactly the same as the secret ancient language of Opar. It is further confirmed by the fact that, soon after La finds her destined mate, Kar Komak, she, in the Martian fashion, lays an egg.
The revelation that La of Opar is a Barsoomian woman certainly sheds some light upon her daughter Modesty Blaise's mystery-shrouded childhood and background. (For more on this see The Daughters of Tarzan). Las physical differences from White Martians can be explained by her being a terran descendant of La. As for her memories and lack thereof as regards to Kar Komak and Tario, the reason Tario did not recognize her was because she was, in fact, a different person. And Tario, well, he was just nuts. Komak may have left some of his memories behind when he was manifested into a physical shape from the aether to which he had gone after death. As for La, well, not all the memories of the Original La could have been contained; there was simply not enough room.
Whether or not La is the actual Issus as, Tarzan On Mars suggests, or rather a vessel (or series of vessels) which the real Issus manifested or directly communicated with, is for each devotee of Issus to decide.
While it is remotely possible that La is actually 400,000 years old and that she merely pretended to age and have daughters to take her place, this seems to rule out any genetic connection between Hadon's La and Tarzan's La. There are also the physical differences between the White Martians and La which are not resolved, if this is indeed the case.
Mr. Farmer, writing in 1972, was not told by Lord Greystoke of the events surrounding his Barsoomian sojourn (Farmer would not have believed him in any event, and such a tale would have cast doubt upon Tarzan's confirmation that Farmer had, indeed, tracked down the real Lord Greystoke). Mr. Farmer also could not know that Tarzan would again meet La, some twenty years after 1972. But La, at some point, was transported back to Earth, and Tarzan and Jane did encounter her again in Opar, in 1991, as told in the Malibu Comics mini-series Love, Lies, and the Lost City, by Henning Cure.
All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 2000-2004 by the authors, Dennis Power, Win Eckert, and Chuck Loridans. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the authors.
THE KISSABLE MRS. HUDSON
by Dennis E. Power
On his most scholarly of websites, a Wold Newtonian researcher writes:
Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds is a novel by Challenger's biographer, Edward D. Malone, and Holmes' biographer, Watson, edited by Manly W. Wellman and Wade Wellman, Warner Books, 1975 (although it remains unclear why the editors added a purely fictional romance between Holmes and his landlady, Mrs. Hudson).
Was this romance in Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds purely fictional? Perhaps not. It might just be that Wellman knew something and was tweaking Holmes with it.
Sherlock Holmes did have a love affair with this Martha Hudson but this was not the Martha Hudson as described by Doyle. Okay, it was not really Martha Hudson at all, it was someone pretending to be Martha Hudson. Someone famous who loved Holmes and was loved by him. Someone who could not be seen visiting or having any real contact with Holmes lest his enemies discover the relationship (as eventually did happen.) Someone with enough acting ability to successfully portray an older woman enough to fool those that knew her.
The Martha Hudson of Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds was in fact Irene Adler. Her portrayal of Mrs. Hudson allowed her to stay with Holmes without drawing any sort of suspicion or the slightest bit of scandal, as might have been the case if a young woman suddenly started visiting with Holmes. As for the boys absence from this particular memoir, well, tweaking Holmes was one thing, actually angering him was another. Wellman knew better than to mention Holmes's progeny, especially since one of them had become a rather well known Detective in his own right.
It is possible that this subterfuge was carried out every so often. In Rasputin's Revenge, it is revealed that John Hamish Adler would visit his father with some frequency and at such times would train with him in the art of deduction, his visits then were more likely longer than those of his twin brother Scott. It is possible that Irene would stay with Holmes as Mrs. Hudson when John was being trained. Although this did not make the Chronicles, the boys were probably stated as being Mrs. Hudson's grandchildren. The actual Mrs. Hudson would travel to New York to stay with Scott and Nina. Scott Adler had apparently no interest in the art of Detection and so was more distant from his father. He later rejected the Holmes name entirely despite his father's heroic efforts to save him in 1901. Possibly he blamed his father for the harrowing incident.
Mrs. Hudson's cross Atlantic trips did catch the watchful eye of one of Holmes' enemies, in fact his greatest enemy. Moriarty's agents in New York nabbed Scott Adler shortly after Irene and Mrs. Hudson had switched places again, with Mrs. Hudson making the return trip to England. This time however, John was staying a bit with his uncle Mycroft, who despite his portrayal by Doyle did enjoy the company of children, especially those with brilliant minds.
The incident of the Kidnapping took place in March-April 1901 -- as related in Sherlock Holmes in New York, as told by Watson, D.R. Bensen, ed., in which the first Professor Moriarty attempts to strike at Holmes through abducting his nine-year-old son, Scott Adler (aka Marko Vuckic). The events surrounding Holmes' relationship with Irene Adler in Montenegro in 1891 are also mentioned. Curiously, there is no mention of Scott's twin brother, John Hamish Adler, the man who would later be known as Nero Wolfe. There is also no mention of Scott Adler's older half-sister, Irene Adler's daughter, Nina Vassilievna.
Few people knew that John and Scott were twins and so Moriarty may have thought he had nabbed Holmes' only son, or that half a loaf was better than none. Nina was present at the house at the time of the abduction but was not considered a viable bargaining chip, not being Holmes' daughter. Her presence was kept out the press reports and so subsequently from the book later written based on published accounts.
Watson did not leave a full account of the incident due to discretionary reasons, so Benson reconstructed the memoir using notes and newspaper account.
All rights reserved. The text of this article is © 2000-2004 by the author, Dennis Power. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.