Pulp and Adventure Heroes: L

Lacy, Major John T. Major John T. Lacy was created by Theodore Tinsley and appeared in Black Aces, All Detective Magazine, Detective Book Magazine, and Bull's Eye Detective from 1932 to 1939. Lacy was a "Black Ace," "society's flaming sword, a lone wolf--the man who for one reason or another fights the common fight for all of us. Beyond the temptation of money or place he meets the criminal on even terms. Lacy, of mysterious but very complete background, had been a commander of the 697th Machine-Gun Battalion in France during the Great War, ahd fought at Chateau-Thierry as part of the Third Division and had helped stop the Germans from crossing the Marne. After the war he was at loose ends and, outraged by crime, brought together a group of like-minded veterans and formed Amusement, Inc., based in NYC. The Major was made Field Leader of the Emergency Council For Crime Control, working out of the Cloud Building. He was assisted in his war on crime by four men: Sergeant Dillon, with Lacy "for twelve years in Paris, two in the war," a larger, heavier, older man than Lacy; Charles Weaver, small, dark, and fast; Edward Corning, tall and heavy; and Pat Harrigan, a bad-tempered Irish cop who'd began as an enemy of Lacy but had been converted.

Lacy was tall and lean, with a trim, sandy mustache, a scarred upper lip, and an air of authority. He dressed well, including hat, gloves, and tailored top coat, and carried two Colt .45s in spring loaded shoulder holsters. He drove a fast roadster, used a Tommy gun when he had to, and was licensed to make arrests by the government. He lived in a penthouse apartment in the Olive Building, which also served as Amusement, Inc.'s headquarters.

Lady Luck. Lady Luck was created by Will Eisner and debuted on 2 June 1940, running through 1946 in the comic strips and a little while longer in the comic books. (The strip reached its peak under Klaus Nordling, but that's neither here nor there) Lady Luck was actually Brenda Banks, a "debutante crime buster bored with social life" who decided to become a "modern lady Robin Hood." Her costume was not a traditional comic book vigilante, but was something...well, it looked like something that a Will Eisner femme fatale would wear. It was an emerald green gown, emerald green tights, a green hat, and a green silk veil over her face to disguise her identity. She solved blackmail cases, kidnappings, spies, and any other cases that came her way. As Brenda Banks she was in love with Police Chief Hardy Moore, but Moore's job was to bring in Lady Luck.

Lady Molly. Lady Molly, most memorable of the early female detectives, was created by Baroness Orczy, the creator of the Man in the Corner, Skin O' My Tooth, and, of course, the Scarlet Pimpernel. Molly appeared in Lady Molly of Scotland Yard (1910). Lady Molly is the head of Scotland Yard's Female Department, which is a loosely defined and organized group of women working for Scotland Yard on various assignments. (Lady Molly actually has very little to do with them. She leads from the field, rather than as an administrator) She had begun her career as a simple secretary for the Detective Department and worked her way up through the department, earning her promotions on merit alone. By the time she was made head of the Female Department she was seen, because of her deductive skill and intellect, as "the greatest authority among them on criminal investigation." In her final story her back story is revealed. She is actually Lady Molly Robertson-Kirk, the daughter of the Earl of Flintshire. She loved Captain Hubert de Mazareen. However, Hubert's grandfather hated Molly's father and threatened to deny Hubert the Mazareen inheritance if he married her. The grandfather then died under mysterious circumstances, and Hubert was jailed for murder, just after he had secretly married Molly. Lady Molly worked her way up through the police ranks while secretly endeavoring to prove her husband's innocence. She finally succeeded, naturally.

Lady Molly reports to the Chief, who is very taken with her (as is all of Scotland Yard), and is assisted by Mary Granard, her former maid and best friend. Lady Molly is always well-dressed, short, graceful, and well-mannered. Lady Molly is skilled at disguise and play-acting, which is usually how she investigates crimes and solves them. She is also, as mentioned, very good at deduction.

Lady Molly
A few e-texts. From the Gaslight site.

Lakewood Boys. The Boys were invented by L.P. Wyman and appeared in the seven book "Lakewood Boys Series," which ran from 1925 to 1927 and began with The Lakewood Boys on the Lazy S. The Boys (don't know their names, sorry) adventured on the seas and on land, from a ranch out West to the mines of Colorado to the Arctic Circle to the Solomon Islands to Montana to the Congo.

Lal, Shanker. Shanker Lal was created by the Tamil detective writer Tamil Vanan and appeared in Marma Manithan (Mystery Man) and at least two other novels in the early 1940s. Lal was a detective (think Philip Marlowe, but without the wisecracks), serious (almost humorless) and very conscious of his “honor,” who investigated a wide variety of crimes across the strata of Indian society. Lal was more concerned with his personal honor than with Buddhist, Muslim, or Hindu religious creeds. Lal was much given to drinking tea in the course of his investigations.

Lance, Anthony. Anthony Lance was created by Paul Ernst and appeared in Thrilling Detective in 1934 and 1935 beginning with "The Hooded Killer" in the November issue.  Lance is a private investigator, one of "the best in the country," called upon first to stop a hooded maniac who is killing women, and then later to stop a variety of bad guys, from ordinary gangsters to mad scientists to serial killers. Lance is "...a shade under average height, with rather a pale face...he moved like a panther, thought like a fox, and was deadly to arouse as a cobra."

Lane, Andy. Andy Lane was a young aviator who appeared in the "Andy Lane Flying Series," written by "Eustace L. Adams," beginning with Fifteen Days in the Air (1928) and running for eight more novels and three more years. Andy was a dashing young pilot and inventor (primarily a pilot, of course) who with his stalwart chums flew around the world, set endurance records for air-to-air refueling, won a race to the South Pole, fought air pirates, and using his giant autogyro (his own invention) found buried treasure. Andy is the son of "one of the world's greatest inventors" but who is such an "impractical" businessman that the Lane family is always strapped for funds. Over the course of the series Andy and his crew, John Lawson (the other pilot), Steve Lewis (the "assistant pilot"), Sam Allen (the mechanic), Dick Williams (another mechanic), and Sonny Collins (the radio operator), (an actual crew's worth of members, unlike, say, Ted Scott's "crew") are required to build ever-bigger, ever-better planes. It's noteworthy that the planes are relatively technically accurate while varying in shapes and sizes. All very exciting, to be sure. Oh, and Andy has a faithful and intelligent dog, Scotty.

Lane, Bradley. Bradley Lane was created by George Bronson-Howard, the author of the Plantagenet Hock stories, and appeared in Radio News in 1922 as well as in a movie serial, "The Radio King." Lane is a radio detective--that is, he uses radios and radio technology (bugs, microphones, wiretaps, that sort of thing) to fight crime--and inventor who also happens to be a Crunk Thunkjaw two-fisted heroic type. He goes up against Marnee, an insane "criminal of scientist;" Marnee is a wheelchair-bound agent of the Russian Communists who plots the overthrow of the Western world. (The character is said to have appeared in another serial, but I can find no evidence of this) Marnee has various weapons at his disposal, including a "Master Wave" which will "nullify radio and electricity all over the world! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!" while Lane has an android he's built which he uses to fool a would-be assassin. Predictably, Lane wins and Marnee goes insane.

Lane, Drury. Drury Lane was created by Ellery Queen and appeared in four novels, beginning with The Tragedy of X (1932). Lane is a Shakespearean actor who is forced to leave the stage because of encroaching deafness. He goes to the Hamlet, his castle overlooking the Hudson, and occupies himself by dressing his friends and himself in the costumes of various Shakespearean roles. He is drawn into crime solving when he reads about a murder case that has baffled the NYPD, and he sends a series of letters to the police helping them on the case. This prompts D.A. Bruno and Inspector Thumm to begin asking him for help with other cases. Drury usually settles the cases and helps catch the criminals without leaving his home. He is assisted by Quacey, a hunchback who served as his wigmaker and makeup artist for over forty years.

Lane, Melody. Melody Lane was created by Lilian C. Garis and appeared in the nine-volume "Melody Lane" series, which began with The Forbidden Trail (1933). Melody Lane was a Nancy Drew copy, in spirit rather than in the particulars.

Lann, Tomas. Tomas Lann was created by Vsevolod Pudovkin and the great cinematographer and director Lev Kuleshov and appeared in the Russian film Luch Smerti (Death Ray) (1925). Lann is a downtrodden factory worker suffering under an oppressive capitalist dictatorship. He creates a death ray which can help him free the oppressed proletariat and achieve a revolutionary paradise, but Revo, an evil, smirking, bald Jesuit who is the leader of an international gang of anti-revolutionary reactionaries, finds out about the death ray and arranges to have it stolen. After 125 minutes of adventures, gunfights, thefts and counter-thefts, Revo is killed, Lann gets the death ray back for the final time, the capitalist pigs are deposed from power, and the workers reign supreme. Huzzah!

Larkin, Bob. Created by Erle Stanley Gardner, who created a surprising number of other characters besides Perry Mason, Bob Larkin debuted in Black Mask in 1924. Larkin was a (tough, wise cracking, and cynicaltm) private eye whose choice of weapon was a billiard cue. He'd been a juggler for fifteen years, and a good one, and somehow that had led me to use a billiard cue as a weapon rather than a gun. (Don't ask. Just accept. Or not. Larkin's not really worth it.)

Larocque, Jean. Jean Larocque was created by Duc D'oriant and appeared in Jean Larocque de la Gendarmerie Royale, les Exploits de la Police Montee (Jean Larocque of the Royal Gendarmes, the Exploits of the Mounted Police), a Quebec pulp which began publication in 1940. Larocque was a heroic Mountie, very similar to Sergeant Preston and Sergeant King but different from them in that he was (obviously) a Quebecois and his adventures, though ranging across Canada, were primarily centered around Quebec.

Larose, Gilbert. Gilbert Larose was created by the Australian writer Arthur Gask and appeared in a number of short stories and novels, beginning with Cloud the Smiter (1926). Detective Gilbert Larose is a member of the Sydney police force and solves crimes across Australia and even, on a number of occasions, in England, which apparently lacked brilliant policemen of its own.

Lash, Lynn. Created by Lester Dent, the man behind the Doc Savage, Lynn Lash appeared in Detective Dragnet starting in 1933. Lash was a scientific detective whose opponents were much more like Dent's usual characters than the enemies of other pulp detectives. One of them was actually a group of "Orientals" plotting to destroy the power grid of NYC and take over Gotham, then the U.S., then the world. Among some of the other similarities to the Man of Bronze was Lynn's ape-like assistant "Monk," who is similar to Doc's assistant Monk Mayfair.

Lash, Simon. Simon Lash was created by Frank Gruber and appeared in three novels starting with Simon Lash, Private Detective in 1941. Lash is a two-fisted wise-crackingtm private eye, a veteran and ex-lawyer and, of course, very hard-boiled. He has a foul attitude, excessively hostile and cynical and with a chip the size of the Ritz on his shoulder. He loves books, but that’s about the only good thing that can be said about him (besides his success rate, I mean).

Latham, Grace. See the Colonel John Primrose entry.

Latimer, Long-Headed. Long-Headed Latimer was created by "Cerdic Wolfe," aka Ernest Alais, and appeared in Puck in 1908. Luke "Long-Headed" Latimer was a pork butcher who happened to be clever enough to help the local police, in the person of Inspector Sharp, with a few mysteries. Latimer was a portly, middle-aged, ponderous man whose left hand had been lopped off in a moment of carelessness and replaced with a steel hook. For all that, however, he was quite shrewd and perceptive, and had a great knowledge of local happenings in Clayford, a little town northwest of London where he made his practice. He was popular with the locals, and more popular with those men and women who he saved from unfortunate fates or whose property was returned thanks to his efforts. He was assisted by Captain Kidd, a talkative jackdaw, and Dinky, a small, skinny delivery boy. (Thanks to Michael Holmes for this information)

Latin, Max. Max Latin was created by Frederick Davis and appeared in Dime Detective starting in July 1941. Latin, a thin man who dressed stylishly and had a “blandly confidential” smile, was the owner of a restaurant and was reported to be a crooked man. What he actually was was a detective, but his cover and his reputation helped him solve cases. His office was in his booth in the restaurant, which was a dump, but which had great food, due in large part to Guiterrez, a nasty, egotistical, master chef.

The Laughing Mask. The Laughing Mask was created by George B. Seitz and appeared in The Iron Claw (1916). All I know about the Mask is from the following passage, and if anyone has any more information I'd love to read it:

Throughout The Iron Claw...Miss (Pearl) White was helped by a hooded crime fighter known as the Laughing Mask. Though lacking the dash and sharp tailoring of a Batman, he was a good match for the one-armed, Fagin-like Iron Claw, who tutored Pearl in the ways of crime to revenge himself upon the father he had stolen her from years before. At the end of each episode the audience was presented with a question which grew more intriguing with each chapter: "Who is the Laughing Mask?" Not until Republic's The Lone Ranger of 1938 did a film serial gain more from the mounting curiosity surrounding the identity of a hero.
Lavender, Jimmie. Jimmie Lavender was created by Vincent Starrett and appeared in various magazines, including Short Stories, Real Detective Tales, and Mystery Magazine from 1923 to around 1939, with a collection being published, The Casebook of Jimmie Lavender, in 1944. He is a consulting detective, privately employed, whose office is his third-floor apartment on Portland Street in Gotham. It's a crowded place, full of both books and scientific instruments. Lavender himself is not that dissimilar from Holmes, although he has dark hair is leavened by a single, vivid white lock, and he is a golfer. He has Holmes' mind, though, and boredom afflicts him as it does Holmes. Lavender has twenty years of experience as a detective and is well-respected by the police in Gotham, Chicago, and London, the cities in which Lavender most often operates. However, although they accept and respect him, he does not look down on them, seeing himself as an equal and complement to them. One reason that they seem to respect and value him is that he is willing to bend, even break the rules to put a criminal away. (He will also destroy evidence if a good man or woman is guilty but has harmed no one, but the police don't seem to mind that) The criminals of choice are gangsters and gun molls. Lavender's Watson is Charles "Gilly" Gilruth, a colorless character.

Lawson, Bill. Bill Lawson was created by Louis L. Stevenson and appeared in Flynn’s Weekly from 1925 through 1928. Lawson is a heavy, aging police detective, paunchy and bald, a twenty-five year veteran of the force. His wife died before he joined the force, and he seems emotionally burned out, caring only for his shoes, for which he has fetish, and his niece. He’s good at catching criminals, though.

Lawson, Lanky. Lanky Lawson was created by the Stratemeyer Syndicate and appeared in the four-book "Lanky Lawson" series, which began with Lanky Lawson, the Boy from Nowhere (1929). Lanky was an orphan who joined the circus and had various adventures with his trained zebra.

Laxworthy, John T. John T. Laxworthy was the creation of the vile E. Phillips Oppenheim, author of The Mysterious Mister Sabin. Laxworthy debuted in The Popular Magazine in 1912, and his stories were collected in Mr. Laxworthy's Adventures in 1913. Laxworthy began as a crooked hero and then became a somewhat ordinary amateur sleuth. His first adventure had him directing his pupils, W. Forrest Anderson and Sidney Wing, to steal a pass on to a French battleship so that he can blackmail a German spy. All well and good, and in the vein of Oppenheim's other work, which is mostly concerned with espionage (what he called "diplomacy"). But the stories quickly degenerate into rather ordinary crime solving, with the only moments of interest coming in Laxworthy's clash with Dan Greenlaw, a master of disguise and murder. Laxworthy is an old, fussy man of frail appearance who nonetheless has "astounding" strength (and an unbreakable GI Joetm Kung-Fu Griptm) and "incredible powers of faculty."

Lee, Gaff. Gaff Lee was created by the Australian author W. T. Stewart and appeared in four books, beginning with Gaff Lee, Detective. Gaff Lee is a teenaged Chinese girl who fights against criminals and the enemies of China: in her first novel she defeats the enemies of Chiang Kai-shek; in her second novel she wars on Japanese spies, who in this case are led by “Wolf,” leader of the “dreaded ronin;” in her third novel she wins a return bout with the ronin; and in her fourth novel she encounters and defeats Japanese spies while traveling on the trans-Siberian railway.

Lee, Gypsy Rose. Gypsy Rose Lee, the fictional character, was created by "Craig Rice," aka Georgianna Ann Randolph, the publicity agent for Gypsy Rose Lee, the real-life ecdysiast. Randolph's Gypsy Rose Lee appeared in a series of novels and stories, beginning with The G-String Murders (1941). The fictional Gypsy Rose Lee was a stripper and amateur sleuth.

Lee, Judith. Judith Lee was created by Richard Marsh (author of The Beetle) and appeared in various magazines, including All-Story Weekly, and in two novels, Judith Lee, Some Pages From Her Life (1912) and The Adventures of Judith Lee (1916). Lee, a pleasant enough young woman, is not really exceptional but for her gimmick. Judith is a lip reader. Her mother was deaf and her father was a teacher of the deaf and mute, and Judith taught herself lip reading and teaches it to others professionally. With this sole skill, plus a certain amount of inquisitiveness and native wit, Judith has an exceptional amount of success in capturing criminals. She has a good reputation among them, too; one calls her “the most dangerous thing in England.”

Lee, Nelson. See The Nelson Lee Page.

Lee, Rex. Rex Lee, created by "Thomson Burtis" and appearing in the "Rex Lee Flying Stories," beginning with Rex Lee, Gypsy Flyer (1928) and running for ten more novels and four more years, was very much like Andy Lane (see his entry above). Rex flew with the American border patrol, encountering various nasty Mexican stereotypes (shame on you, "Thomson Burtis") and American gangsters; Rex flew with the "sky rangers," encountering air pirates; Rex flew for a circus; and flew with the airmail service, in addition to doing time as a solo detective.

Lee, Terry. Terry, of the immortal comic strip Terry and the Pirates, was created by Milton Caniff and debuted on 22 October 1934; the strip continued through 1973. Unfortunately, there aren't any good sites on the Web devoted to it, and I can't really do it justice here. Suffice it to say that it's about a young boy, Terry, his older pal/mentor Pat Ryan, their Chinese friend/sidekick Connie, and their adventures in China, where they took on everyone from pirates to evil bandits to the Japanese invaders to the classic Dragon-Lady, Lai Choi San, most memorable of any of the female comic strip villains. And they did it all in wonderfully written and drawn strips, with Caniff lasting through 1949.

LeGrand, Vivian. Vivian LeGrand, "The Lady From Hell," was created by Eugene Thomas and appeared in Detective Fiction Weekly in 1935. LeGrand was a criminal mastermind and adventuress, a poisoner, blackmailer, thief, and all-around swell gal. (She was also an excellent actress, of course) She reportedly began her career by poisoning her own father, and after her escape from a Turkish prison led a life of crime so remarkable and carefully planned out that no evidence ever existed against her.

Leith, Lester. Lester Leith was created by Erle Stanley Gardner and debuted in the 25 February 1929 issue of Detective Fiction Weekly; he appeared there, in Detective Story, and in Flynn's through 1943. Leith is a "gentleman trickster," a swindler, detective, and confidence man who preys solely on other criminals. (Yes, this is similar the X Crook set-up) Not that the police believe this for a moment. They are certain he's crooked, and have managed to place a clever cop, Edward H. Beaver, in Leith's household, as "Scuttle," the valet. Scuttle watches Leith very intently, waiting for the moment Leith's true nature will reveal itself. Scuttle even prompts Leith to take on crimes, reading him reports aloud from newspapers.

Leith knows what Scuttle is doing, and is vastly amused by his crude and clumsy attempts to entrap him. He's especially amused by the perpetually choleric Sergeant Arthur Ackley, Scuttle's superior and a very ill-tempered person. Ackley is obsessed with catching Leith, which Leith finds funny. Meanwhile Leith, a tall, handsome young man, lean with grey eyes, goes on robbing, hijacking, and enriching himself by punishing other criminals. Leith only keeps ten to twenty percent of what he robs, sending the rest to charities. But that's enough to make him wealthy.

Leith is a very skilled thief, good at disguise. Better still, he's a master manipulator, capable of confounding Scuttle and Ackley even when they have him arrested, the stolen goods in hand.

Lemurian Documents. The Lemurian Documents were created by J. Lewis Burtt and appeared in six short stories in Amazing Stories in 1932. The Lemurian Documents are a packet of papers from a chest which was found floating in the Pacific. They are accounts of the ancient civilization of Mur, aka Lemuria, and are euhemerisms, or attempts to explain ancient myths (Pygmalion, Perseus, etc) in terms of super-science.

Lend-a-Hand Boys. The Boys were created by St. George Rathbone and appeared in the four book "Lend-a-Hand Boys Series," which appeared in 1931 and began with The Lend-a-hand Boys of Carthage, or, Waking Up the Home Town. The four Boys (don't know their names, sorry) didn't fight crime so much as pitch in to help the afflicted. They raised money to help the homeless and jobless in Carthage (they were located in Pennsylvania), they helped clean up the town and contain an outbreak of "fever" in Blairstown, they organized and ran a food drive, and they helped protect wild game.

Lennox, Bill. Bill Lennox was created by W.T. Ballard, a writer for the pulps, and appeared in Black Mask, running from 1933 to 1942. Lennox lived and worked in Hollywood as a "trouble-shooter" for "General-Consolidated Studio." Lennox was very much in the Marlowe mode, tough, cynical and wise cracking, but capable of getting sappy over a dame. He reported to Sol Spurck, and while some called him Spurck's "watch-dog" he was independent and capable of defying orders. "Ex-reporter, ex-publicity man, he had drifted  into his present place through his inability to say yes and his decided ability in saying no."

Lê Phong. Lê Phong was created by the great Vietnamese poet Thê Lu (his last name should have a tilde over it, but I can't find an Ascii character set with that character in it) and appeared in a variety of stories and novels in the 1930s. Lê Phong was the "Vietnamese Sherlock Holmes," a private detective active in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. He combined the deductive acumen of Holmes with the trappings (but not the attitude) of the hardboileds. Lê Phong was a patriot who worked hard to make his world a better place. Among the enemies he dealt with was his version of Irene Adler, Henriette Mai Hu'o'ng, a Vietnamese women who became a French citizen; she was an adventuress and the leader of a band of assassins.

Lessinger. Lessinger, a desperado/thief, was created by Richard Essex and appeared in various books and stories (in Thriller, among other places). I don't really know anything else about him, I'm afraid.

Lewis, Eric. Eric Lewis and his friends and compatriots appeared in "Red Trails," which appeared in 1935 and was created by Stewart Sterling. Lewis was a Mountie of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, who with Sgt. Tim Clone and Eric's love interest Genevieve Clone (Tim's daughter) helped keep the peace and order during the 1875-6 rebellion in northwest Canada.

Lex, Len. Len Lex, the "Schoolboy Detective," appeared in Modern Boy in the early 1930s. He was a crime-solving schoolboy.

Liddell, Johnny. Johnny Liddell was created by Frank Kane and appeared in any number of short stories and 29 novels, beginning with his creation in 1944. Liddell is a tough-as-nails, hard-drinking NYC private eye who worked at first for an agency and then later on his own. Interestingly, he's shown in at least a few of the stories to have done work for and with the F.B.I. On some cases he's assisted by Sally Herley, the "ace feature writer for the Express."

Johnny Liddell
A good page on Liddell.

Lightbody, Ben. Ben Lightbody was created by Walter Benham and appeared in the two-book "Ben Lightbody" series, which appeared in 1913 and consisted of Ben Lightbody, Special Agent, or Seizing the First Chance to Make Good and Ben Lightbody's Biggest Puzzle or, Running the Double Ghost to Earth. Ben was a young FBI agent who took on strange crimes, such as the "double ghost," a ghost of one man appearing in two places at the same time.

The Lightning. The Lightning was created by Franklin Adreon and Ronald Davidson and appeared in The Fighting Devil Dogs, a 1938 serial. The Lightning was one of the great serial villains, with a wonderful costume, a great attitude, and lots of neat weapons. But rather than me do a mediocre job of describing him, I'm going to send you to the site below, which does a much better job of telling why The Lightning is great than I could:

Cliffhangers: The Fighting Devil Dogs
An entertaining recap of the Fighting Devil Dogs and the Lightning.

Li Ku Yu. Li Ku Yu was created by the bigoted writer of science fiction M.P. Shiel and appeared in "To Arms!," which first appeared in Red Magazine in 1913 and was later published as The Dragon (1913) and then as The Yellow Peril (1929). Li is in many ways like Shiel's earlier villain Dr. Yen How; Li Ku Yu was spurned by a white woman while at school in England, and so he yearns for revenge, not just on the woman but on the white race as a whole. Li Ku Yu's philosophy, though, is a warped version of social Darwinism, and Li feels that "Orientals" are the master race, and so it's only fitting for them to wipe out us honkies. Li, Fu Manchu character that he is, made the mistake of quarreling with Prince Edward, or "Teddy," over the woman, and that's what eventually stops Li's march to success. Teddy is actually the Prince of Wales, and he ends up being Li's nemesis. Li leaves England after being turned down by the woman and returns to China. He rises to power in China and begins engineering a conflict between European nations, one that he and China can take advantage of. So Britain and France end up warring on Germany and Russia, with Austria and Sweden warring on Russia, Denmark and Sweden fighting Germany, and Italy warring on France. Teddy leads the British navies against the enemies of the Crown, and after Chinnery, a brilliant British inventor, comes up with an antigravity machine, Teddy leads the antigravity fleet of aircraft against Britain's enemies. Unfortunately, Chinnery's mistress, Oyone, is Eurasian, and she steals the secret of antigravity from Chinnery and passes it on to Li Ku Yu, who builds a fleet of antigrav craft and then uses them, along with his vast horde-like army, to crush Asia and Europe. Unfortunately, Chinnery also invented the Redlike Ray, a laser-like beam that induces blindness, and Oyone did not get the Redlike Ray. Teddy uses the Ray on Li Ku Yu's forces, which are perched on the edge of the Channel, ready to invade England. The Chinese armies, blinded, surrender, and Li Ku Yu commits suicide after penning a note of congratulations for Teddy.

Link, Adam. Adam Link was created by “Eando Binder,” aka Earl Binder and Otto Binder, and appeared in a series of stories published in Amazing between 1939 and 1942. Adam Link is a sentient robot who is the narrator of his own stories. He’s very anthropomorphic, being portrayed as having feelings, a wife (Evie Link) who he loves, and a very human personality.

Linz, Baroness Claire. Baroness Linz was created by the quite unlikeable E. Phillips Oppenheim and appeared in ten stories, published probably around 1920 or so. She is supposed to be beautiful, glamorous, worldly, and alluring, but thanks to Oppenheim’s very dated style she and her stories come off as overbearing. She is the articulate and well-traveled owner and sole proprietor of Advice, Limited, a consulting detective agency located on Adam Street in London. She is known to and consulted by prime ministers, retired generals, and the Bank of England itself. By the end of her series of stories she has been wooed by and agreed to marry the Spanish nobleman Roderigo de Partegena de Cervera y Topete.

Li Shoon. Li Shoon was created by H. Irving Hancock and appeared in several short stories through 1916 and 1917 in Detective Story Magazine. Li Shoon was a chip from the Fu Manchu block, having "a round, moonlike yellow face" topped by "bulging eyebrows" and "sunken eyes." He's tall, stout, and "a wonder at everything wicked--an amazing compound of evil, a marvel of satanic cunning." He is the commander of the Ui Kwoon Ah-How society, a group of thousands (perhaps tens of thousands or more) of Asians ("Orientals" in the dated phraseology of the stories)--Chinese, Malays, Japanese, Filipinos, Indians, and every other ethnic group of the East--all of whom instantly obey his smallest commands and who will and do kill for Li Shoon. (He leaves a long trail of bodies behind him). He does what he does not for mere wealth alone; his goal, and that which he works for and collects so much money for, is to make the Ui Kwoon Aw-How "the wealthiest and most powerful body on earth" and of rousing China "from her centuries of sleep to take over mastery of Asia." He's aided primarily by two men: Weng-yu, his lieutenant, and Ming, a short, fat Mongolian who is Li Shoon's chief torturer and executioner. Both make use of Li Shoon's gas gun, who kills tracelessly, and lachesis venom, which bloats those it kills.

Of course, Li Shoon is opposed by a honkie. These wouldn't be the pulps if he weren't. His enemy is Donald Carrick, the "Human Hound," a vain, self-satisfied gentlemen adventurer who is supernaturally lucky and supernaturally aggravating. Rarely has one "good guy" been so capable of driving a reader into the arms of the story's putative "bad guy." After various feats of doing-der, chases by car and airplane, piracy and explosions, Li Shoon is killed. Then brought back in a sequel and killed again. But we all know a good bad guy never dies....

Little Orphan Annie. Most of you know about Annie, I'm sure. Created by Harold Gray, debuted in Little Orphan Annie on 5 August 1924 and still appearing today, Annie was a tough orphan girl adopted by zillionaire industrialist Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks and who has had, with Daddy and Punjab, Daddy's nine foot tall Indian valet, adventures all around the world. I don't really need to say much about the character or the strip, especially as there's a good site for you to go to:

Little Orphan Annie Home Page
The best site on the 'Net to visit for Annie information. (They don't address the distasteful politics of the strip, though)

Little Tuffy Muggins. Little Tuffy Muggins appeared in the British magazine Adventure in the 1930s; his creator is not known to me. He was a rough and tough street urchin who fought crime and had various adventures in urban London.

Livingstone, Dr. James. Dr. James Livingstone was created by L. Adams Beck and appeared in The Openers of the Gate. Stories of the Occult (1928). Livingstone is a specialist in nervous disorders, but his investigations bring him into occult detective territory. As E. F. Bleiler puts it, "the stories share a common background of occultism and spiritualism, in which the spirits of the dead are perceptible to the living and to a certain degree take part in life. There is also a glib, sentimentalized Orientalism." Dr. Livingstone's cases involve things like dogs returning as ghosts to help their former owner, dead children returning as ghosts to help their parents, generational curses, drug-induced astral forced suicides, ferocious reincarnated Hindu vegetarians (no, really), white men being the reincarnation of Thug leaders, ghosts trapped in their own Purgatories, and so on.

Lobangu. Lobangu, created by Cecil Hayter, first appeared in Union Jack Library in 1906 in "The Slave Market," and later appeared in the Brave and Bold Weekly, appearing in both magazines for at least a decade. In 1922 he was revived by Rex Hardinge in the pages of Union Jack, and he appeared there, as well as in Cheer Boys Cheer and a few other magazines, through the 1930s. Lobangu is a mighty African warrior of the Umslopogaas/Lobangu stripe. He is the chief of the Etbaia tribe of Zulus and began as the faithful native sidekick to Sir Richard "Spots" Losely, Her Majesty's Governor of the Province of Musardo, a kind of Sanders of the River who was responsible for maintaining the peace and British rule (not necessarily in that order) in Lobangu's section of Africa. (Losely had been Sexton Blake's fag at school and remained his close friend.) Later on Lobangu became the lead in various stories, becoming a noble chieftain, adventurer, and hero in his own right. When Blake came to Africa he usually was helped by Lobangu, although on at least one occasion (Union Jack: Second Series #1354, 20 September 1930) Lobangu went to England. Lobangu also teamed up at least once with Gordon Keith (see his entry in the Detectives section), in Brave and Bold Weekly #227, 27 April 1907. There was also at least one other story, the "In Search of the City of Gold" sequence in Cheer Boys Cheer in 1913, #28-52, which had Lobangu and Losely active on their own, fighting against rebel Senoussi in the desert city of Kupra.

Lobo, Senor. Senor Lobo was created by Erle Stanley Gardner and appeared in Detective Fiction Weekly beginning with "The Choice of Weapons" on 12 July 1930. Lobo was a hard-bitten soldier of fortune.

Locke, Ferrers. Ferrers Locke was created by Charles Hamilton in his Frank Richards identity. Locke appeared in a number of British story papers; he crossed over with Sexton Blake and was related to Dr. Locke, the Headmaster of the Greyfriars school. He was assisted by the Tinker-like Jack Drake, who also attended Greyfriars. Locke's enemies were often of the Yellow Peril variety; in one story he went to Pan-shan, in the heart of China, to rescue a group of kidnaped Greyfriars students (Harry Wharton, Bob Cherry, and Billy Bunter) from the Mandarin Tang Wang and his Red Dragon Tong, and in another, "The Curse of Lhasa," he and Jack Drake went looking for a lost expedition in Tibet. The party had unfortunately discovered Kang-Pu, a would-be world conqueror and local despot, and Kang-Pu held them hostage. Locke and Drake swooped in, rescued the explorers, and put paid to Kang-Pu and his plans. Not all of Locke's adventures were so world-spanning, though most were; sometimes he was involved in more mundane and closer-to-home crimes, as when Lancaster, the Greyfriars student who was also the legendary cracksman "The Wizard," finally had to deal with his two lives being in conflict.

Locke, Quentin. Quentin Locke (played by Harry Houdini) was created by Charles Logue and appeared in The Master Mystery (1919). Quentin Locke is a Federal Agent (for the Department of Justice) who takes on the gang known as International Patents, Inc., who are dedicating to stopping social progress and who are led by Q the Automaton, an evil (albeit clunky) robot. (Okay, technically speaking he's a man in a metal suit.) Q the Automaton has on his/its side the Dictagraph, an advanced eavesdropping device, DeLuxe Dora, a femme fatale, and the rare Oriental poison, Dhatura Stramonium, but they're all no match for Quentin Locke, an escape artist extraordinaire and creator of an explosive bullet which puts paid to Q.

Lion-Hearted Logan. Lion-Hearted Logan (or perhaps "Lionheart Logan," I've seen it both ways) appeared in The Wizard in the 1930s. He was a heroic, square-jawed Mountie.

Loman, Larry. Larry Loman was created by Edgar Wallace and appeared in The Popular Magazine in 1918. Loman is a member of the Criminal Investigation Department of New Scotland Yard. He's a good agent, and his superiors trust him--enough to send him to Europe and Asia on special assignments. Unfortunately, while abroad he was infected with a particularly virulent form of malaria. This disease causes him to suffer from blackouts for up to eight hours. This becomes a problem when he is assigned to deal with the Crime Trust, the syndicate which has organized every crook in England into one organization. Larry takes on the Trust, but keeps blacking out, and on waking finds that he's landed himself in more hot water than he was in when he blacked out, or at least acted far more violently than he would have while awake. Eventually he breaks the Trust and his disease goes into remission.

The Lone Eagle. The Lone Eagle was created by F.E. Reichnitzer under the pseudonym of "Lt. Scott Morgan" and appeared in The Lone Eagle starting in September 1933. John Masters, the Lone Eagle, “the World’s Greatest Sky Fighter,” was an air ace and veteran of both World Wars. During WW1 he worked as a special agent in France for Colonel Tremaine, the chief of American Air Intelligence. However, “John Masters” was only a dull newspaper reporter for a Chicago daily; he received none of the credit. It was the Eagle who received all the glory and fame, and only Tremaine and the French General Viaud knew of Masters’ deeds and were his friends. The Eagle had no other compatriots or assistants in his war on the Hun; he was truly the Lone Eagle. Among the other opponents the Eagle took on during WW1 were the Lemmings, a group of masked German suicide pilots; the Ring of the Nachrichtendienst, a group of German spies; and R-47, the best spy that Germany had and an air ace almost the equal of the Eagle. R-47 was a woman, and appeared in every issue, and if not for her nationality might well have been the Eagle’s lover. But such was not to be….

In February 1940 The Lone Eagle suddenly jumped ahead in time, from WW1 to WW2. Masters was returning to America on a liner when he a U-boat sank it. This spurred to resume the fight, and he returned to England, working with Pierre Viaud, the son of Masters’ old friend, and Henri Laval, a French pilot. During WW2 Masters fought a new R-47, the daughter of the original.

Lonergan, Leatherface. Leatherface Lonergan was created by the Australian Peter Renwick and appeared in at least two novels, beginning with Leatherface Lonergan Stakes a Claim (1936). Leatherface Lonergan is a miner and bush adventurer who works in the Victorian plains around the township of Tumbagabla. He has a running duel with the evil bushranger Black Hogan, and is forced to solve several of the crimes Black Hogan commits.

The Lone Rider. To quote from Crawford's Encyclopedia of Comic Books:

The first solo feature created (in 1938) by Jack Kirby, rancher Jim Larrimore donned a black hood to disguise his face as the heroic Lone Rider, receiving second billing to his white horse, Lightning.  He battled characteristically Kirbyesque villains as the 50,000 year old immortal telepath Dr. Chuda.
The Lone Wolf. Michael Lanyard, that celebrated cracksman and heroic amoral rightly known as the "Lone Wolf," was created by Louis Joseph Vance. Lanyard appeared in The Lone Wolf (1914), The False Faces (1918), Red Masquerade (1921), Alias the Lone Wolf (1921), The Lone Wolf Returns (1923), The Lone Wolf's Son (1931), Encore the Lone Wolf (1933) and The Lone Wolf's Last Prowl (1934); these novels in the main consisted of stories that appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine and the Saturday Evening Post. Vance (1879-1933) wrote widely in both the pulps and the slicks, selling well and publishing more than thirty crime and mystery novels.

The Lone Wolf stories work in two cycles. Like Jimmy Valentine and the other heroic amorals, Lanyard sins, then repents and redeems himself in the eyes of his lady love and becomes a hero. Lanyard worked in Europe and America, being familiar with the back alleys of Paris and the stone canyons of New York City.

Lanyard, born around 1888, is brought to France when he is five years old and is allowed to raise himself in an out-of-the-way hotel. He becomes a petty thief, and under the tutelage of the talented Irish crook Bourke is rechristened Marcel Troyon, in English Michael Lanyard. He is brought to America and taught the language and customs of Americans. He is also taught how to be a first-class cracksman. Bourke instills in Lanyard his own philosophy of crime: study the objective, strike fast, and rely on and need nobody.

Lanyard, as a young man, is tall, built lean to the point of gauntness, but with great strength. He wears his dark hair very long. His dark eyes stand out against his very pale skin. (The Byronic look is a deliberate reference, I think.) He is an expert fighter and a master of savate. He is fluent in French, German, English and American, and is self-educated in a variety of fields; he has an aptitude for mathematics, mechanics, and explosives, as well as a deep knowledge of precious stones and art.

Naturally he is a great thief, skilled at the mundane aspects of the job (safe-cracking, driving quickly, disguises) and at the more abstract (plotting escape routes and strategy, selecting targets), and is quite successful. He is "intelligent, controlled, precise," with "rationality, self disciplined competence, objectivity; intelligence and perception of the highest order."

So, of course, he throws it all over for a pretty face. He runs into Lucy Shannon, an agent for the British Secret Service. While she is not exceptionally pretty, she is self-sufficient with a good deal of self-composure and strength of character (the British Secret Service doesn't tolerate shrinking violets), and is attractive in large part because of this. Lanyard falls for her, hard, and resolves to reform, make restitution to his victims,  and support himself for a year and then woo her.

He does this successfully, and they marry and move to New York. Unfortunately, a Germany spy drives them from the U.S. They move to Belgium and Lucy gives birth to a son and daughter, but then World War One arrives and the Germans invade Belgium. Lucy and the children are murdered at the spy's instigation, and Lanyard pursues him without catching him. In New York Lanyard acquires Detective Crane of the NYPD as a rival and eventually a friend, the man on the force who bends the rules for the hero.

Lanyard variously works for the British Secret Service (fighting anarchists), alone in Spain and France (fighting a gang of jewel thieves), and alone in New York (against a mastermind of crime), ending up married after a seven month gap in his life (because of amnesia brought on by being hit with a car, of course).

That ends the first cycle of Lone Wolf stories. The second one starts up in 1931, with Lanyard's second wife having died and him now working as a dealer in antiques and art. He finds that his son Michael is still alive and now working Europe as Lone Wolf (II). An aged Lanyard watches out for Michael and vice-versa, and the series ends with both active, although Lanyard is old enough to retire.

The series began quite well and ended badly, but by all means read The Lone Wolf. It's a good'un.

Longstreet, Guy. Guy Longstreet was created by Julia Crawford Ivers and Frank Lloyd and appeared in The Intrigue, a 1916 film. Longstreet is a twentysomething American inventor who creates an electrocution gun. But when he tries to sell it to the U.S. government, he gets no takers, and so is forced to pitch it in Europe. Two warring countries both want his weapon, one represented by the evil Baron Rogniat and the other by the charming and beautiful Countess Sonia Varnli. After various fights and deaths and adventures Varnli gets the gun, Longstreet becomes Count Varnli, and good triumphs over evil.

Long Trail Boys. The two Boys (don't know their names yet, sorry) were created by Dale Wilkins and appeared in the six-volume "Long Trail Boys" series, which ran from 1923 to 1928 and began with The Long Trail Boys at Sweet Water, or, The Mystery of the White Shadow. The Boys were active adventuring and solving mysteries in America's West and Pacific Northwest.

Longuet, Theophrast. Theophrast Longuet was created by Gaston Leroux and appeared in La Double Vie de Theophraste Longuet (The Double Life of Theophrast Longuet, 1903). Longuet is a retired merchant who finds himself possessed by the spirit of Louis Dominique Cartouche, the notorious 18th century French highwayman. Cartouche was "L'Enfant," a schoolfellow of Voltaire and a man educated by "gypsies" in the ways of thievery and combat. Cartouche eventually came to command an army of more than three thousand "brigands," all dressed in cinnamon-colored coats, doublets of "silk and amaranthine," and showing "a piece of black taffeta underneath the left eye." Cartouche was eventually captured, tried for "more than one hundred and fifty personal assassinations," and "broken on the wheel."

Longuet, as Cartouche, has various adventures and discovers a secret society which had been living underground, in enormous caverns beneath Paris, since the 14th century. Cartouche is not a hero, however, but a villain, and tries to commit more crimes in the modern era. The secret society, for their part, are mutants, with ears like horns but no eyes; they are the "Talfa," and they live in a communist paradise, not possessing any code of morals but by reason of their even temperament not needing laws or police.

Longuet eventually shakes off the possession and escapes from the Talfa, but when he returns to the surface he discovers his wife Marceline and friend Adolphe embracing. Longuet is gripped with rage and kills them both, then lies down and dies from sadness.

Lord Snooty. Lord Snooty, of "Lord Snooty and His Pals," appeared in The Beano Comic and The Magic Comic, two British comics, beginning in 1938. He was created by Dudley Watkins. "Lord Snooty" was actually Marmaduke, the Earl of Bunkerton. Although his normal home was Bunkerton Castle, where he was cared for by his Aunt Matilda and an army of footmen and servants, Marmaduke loved to slip out of his aristocratic clothes and into more ordinary togs, and then to escape from the castle and into Ash-Can Alley, where he was known as "Lord Snooty" and was the leader of a gang of "beezers." Lord Snooty and his droogs fought against crime, even going on regular trips into Germany to fight the Nazis. Often they were helped by the eccentric inventor Professor Screwtop.

Los. Los was created by Alexey Tolstoy, an early Russian science fiction author, and appeared in Aelita (1922). Los is a Soviet scientist and inventor whose wife has recently died while he's been perfecting his rocket. Now the rocket is done, but Los is a widower. Despite (or perhaps because) if this he decides to go to Mars. He takes with him his friend Gusev, a Red Army officer. Once they get to Mars, however, they discover a fascist civilization of aliens who are the descendants of ancient emigrants from Atlantis. Los falls in love with Aelita, the daughter of the Martian dictator, and together they and Gusev lead a rebellion and overthrow the fascist government of Mars and institute a Communist paradise.

Lost Legion. See its entry on the Victoriana site.

Love, Lucille. Lucille Love was created by Grace Cunard and Francis Ford and appeared in Lucille Love - The Girl of Mystery (1914), an early serial. Lucille was a spy for an American intelligence agency who helped her sweetie, Lieutenant Gibson, recover secret plans from the evil Hugo, despite having to race around the South Seas, China, San Francisco, and Mexico to find them.

Luckcraft, Inspector. Inspector Luckcraft was created by the Australian writer Arthur Rees and appeared in a few short stories and novels, beginning at least with The Pavilion by the Lake. Inspector Luckcraft is an English police inspector.

Lu Ping. Lu Ping was the creation of Sun Liaohong and appeared in a number of stories beginning (I think) in 1925. He was described as the "Oriental Arsene Lupin," and is in most ways a Lupin pastiche. However, like Huo Sang, Lu Ping was created skillfully enough that he took on a life of his own, transcending the limitations of mere pastiche and becoming a notable character in his own right. Lu Ping is quite nonchalant about everything, whistling while he burgles, muttering wisecracks and asides to the reader in his snappy, American hard-boiled-influenced patois, disguising himself in any of a dozen identities, and so on. Like Lupin Lu Ping is owed favors from the vast Shanghai underground and from men and women in every walk of life. The police rarely if ever pose Lu Ping any difficulty; he's just too damn good at wriggling out of dilemmas and difficulties. Unlike Lupin, however, Lu Ping, charming as he was, lacked even Lupin's sense of honor and chivalric righteousness, stealing only to relieve his own poverty.

Lu Ping claims to be acquainted with the real Arsene Lupin. Even more interesting to modern readers are the stories in which Lu Ping duels with Huo Sang. These were a knowing evocation on the writer's part of the "Arsene Lupin vs. Sherlock Holmes" stories.

Lucky. Lucky was created by "Elmer Sherwood" (Samuel Lewenkrohn) and appeared in the nine volume "Lucky Series," which ran from 1916 to 1922 and began with Lucky the Scout. Lucky's real name was Ted Marsh, and with his friend Steve he has adventures in the Boy Scouts, in the American West, and then, during the war, as a soldier and sailor.

Lund, Inspector. Inspector Lund was created by Willy Corsari and appeared in a number of novels, beginning in 1935 with Het mysterie van de Mondscheinsonate. He was a police detective.

Lynch, Bertram. Bertram Lynch was created by John Vandercook and appeared in at least a few novels, possibly beginning with Murder in Fiji (1936). Lynch is “a slovenly, sweat-stained detective with a mind like a steel trap.” He is assisted by Robert Deane.

Lyon, John. John Lyon was created by Stephen H. Agnew and appeared in Nugget Library. He was a Sexton Blake-like detective whose enemies make up an interesting Rogues Gallery: the rogue Scotland Yard Commissioner Malcolm Drage, the adventuress Kitty Witch, Hugo Stark the Perfume Poisoner, and Vane Fetterless the Indiarubber Rogue.

Lyte, Langhorne. Langhorne "Steer" Lyte was created by Holman Day and appeared in The Popular Magazine from 1918 to 1919. Lyte is a big, cheerful barber in Anson, somewhere in the Midwest. In his past, however, he was a prizefighter, a heavyweight with seven knockouts. (Steer is a large, large man.) After that he worked at a carny as the bouncer, a one-man Brute Squad. But that life was put behind him, and he settled down to a peaceful life in Anson. Unfortunately, trouble keeps rolling into Anson, usually from wandering circuses. Steer deals with them, of course. Violently.
 

Introduction
A. The Abbey Girls to Dusty Ayres
B. Bagley to Scott Burton
C. Orhan Cakiroglu to Dr. Theodore Cunliffe
D-E. Dana Girls to Don Everhard
F. Ralph Fairbanks to Miss Fury
G. The Gadget Man to G-8
H-I. Dr. Hackensaw to Baron Ixell
J. Jack, Doc & Reggie to Justice Syndicate
K. Calvin Kane to Kwa of the Jungle
L. Major John T. Lacy to Langhorne Lyte
M. Professor Maboul to Mr. Mystic
N. Lee Nace to Nyoka
O. Fergus O'Breen to Ozar the Aztec
P.  Penny Packer to Judge Pursuivant
Q.  Oliver Quade to Sebastian Quin
R. Ed Race to Captain Rybnikov
S. The Safety First Club to Tom Swift
T-U. Tahara to Godfrey Usher
V. Lieutenant Valcour to Norton Vyse
W. Inspector Wade to Dr. Xavier Wycherley
X-Z. X Bar X Boys to Zorro
Links.
 
 

Write me!

Go to the Main Pulp Heroes page.





1