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This is an old revision of AvengerThe made by Vy0Xxj on 2007-08-27 14:54:58.


The Avenger

After the dread loss of his wife and child, millionaire adventurer Richard Henry Benson undergoes a terrible shock that paralyzes his face, turns his hair white and sets him on a mission to punish criminals the law cannot touch.


The AvengerThe Avenger
Publisher: Street and Smith
Publication range: September 1939-September 1942
The Avenger came from the hero-pulp factory Street and Smith in what was probably a last-ditch effort to create another best-selling magazine in the tradition of Doc Savage and The Shadow. Editor Henry W. Ralston, in a meeting with Walter B. Gibson and Lester Dent, created much of The Avenger mythos, handing the reins to reluctant sci fi and horror pulp scribe Paul Ernst. Ernst didn't really want the job, but Ralston made him an offer he could not refuse ñ $750 per month and ready-made plots. Ernst penned 24 novels from 1939-42, before the magazine folded due to war paper shortages and lower-than-hoped for sales.

The initial novel, Justice, Inc. ranks as one of the best pulp origins ever developed, and, despite Ernstís comments to the contrary, was far better written than the majority of material appearing at the time. It is in fact much more a mainstream novel with solid characterizations and motivations rarely found in pulp fiction. It was probably one of the most progressive as well, as evidenced by the inclusion of black husband and wife team members Josh and Rosabel Newton.

The first novel sets the tone for the series, and features the inclusion of The Avenger's first two aides, Scot pessimist Fergus MacMurdie and engineer Algernon Heathcote Smith (Smitty). The second novel adds the diminutive Nellie Gray; the third, Josh and Rosable Newton. The team is solidified until the 13th adventure, when Cole Wilson joins the band.

The Avenger is identified not only by his immobile face and white hair, but by the many trappings included in the series: his three buildings thrown into one headquarters on Bleek Street, myriad gadgets, death-defying escapes and the turn-about technique he used to vanquish his adversaries, his weapons Mike

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