“Not ‘llama’. ‘Lama’!”

Just finished the first issue of my subscription to “High Adventure” (pub. by Adventure House), and I think it’s gonna be a blast. Every other month, stories and articles from a different, lesser-known pulp magazine are reprinted.

My first issue is #93, featuring content from a 1940 issue of “Double Detective” magazine. The main story featured The Green Lama, an oddball pulp hero. A mysterious blend of mystic and detective, he was really Buddhist tulku Dr. Pali, who was really idle rich playboy and Buddhist scholar Jethro Dumont (we’re never really told this, but c’mon… it’s painfully obvious). Clad (of course) in a green hooded robe, the Green Lama runs about chanting/whispering “Om! Ma-ni pad-me hum!”, karate chopping crooks in the vital nerve areas and skulking around spying on criminals. At one point he drinks a solution of “radioactive salts” that causes him to mildly immobilize and blind a captive by touch. It probably should’ve caused The Green Lama to throw up, but whatever… it’s the pulps. The character and his background seems to be an anomaly for the time. It seems unusual that a sympathetic, even knowledgable portrayal of Buddhism should appear during a time period which the average American was, let’s face it, not always tolerant of other cultures.

Upcoming issues are keeping with the “hero pulp” vein, and are to feature Captain Future (a space-going Doc Savage-type), Captain Zero (a guy who turns invisible at midnight… wha?), and The Black Bat (precursor to Daredevil and Batman). All the pulpy thrills… without the aging newsprint-smell, though :(. Oh well, can’t have it all.

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Published in: on March 29, 2007 at 4:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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