The Best of the Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes: Sar Dubnotal

dubnotalDubnotal, Sâr. Sâr Dubnotal and appeared in Sâr Dubnotal, der Große Geisterbanner #1-9 (1909); the series was translated and then expanded by Norbert Sévestre in Sâr Dubnotal #1-20 (1909-1910). The series was reprinted in Spain and Portugal. Sâr Dubnotal is a Superhuman Occult Detective. He is the “Conquistador of the Invisible Ones,” the “Napoleon of the Immaterial,” “Great Psychagogue,” the “grand spirit guide”—in other words, a psychic investigator. Dubnotal also refers to himself as himself as “El Tebib,” “the Doctor,” to emphasize his learned nature; he is medically trained and is a top psychologist. He is also trained in the Lombroso method, and can recognize the criminal “type” by simply looking at them.

However, the Rosicrucian Dubnotal is better known as a master of “psychognosis.” He has a wide range of powers, including hypnosis, telepathy, and levitation. He is an expert, and there is “no phenomenon of somnambulism, of telepathy, of `telepsychics,’ of levitation, hypnotism, magnetism, suggestion and autosuggestion” which is beyond him. Though a Westerner Dubnotal was “instructed in the school of the brahmins and the most famous Hindu yogis” and has “victories without number over the battle champions of the invisible.” He is even capable of speaking to the spirits of the deceased.

Dubnotal, who wears a Hindu turban and affects a Hindu air, lives in a spacious apartment in the rooms below his laboratory. His best assistant is the delectable Gianetti Annunciata, a “petticoated” medium who combines, in her manner, the “gay working girl” and the “high priestess.” Annunciata translated the raps of the invisible world into French, and vice-versa, thus enabling Dubnotal to communicate with the dead. (Annunciata is assisted in this task by a small “spiritual telegraph” machine)

Dubnotal takes on a wide range of enemies, including Tserpchikopf the Hypnotist (who is actually Jack the Ripper) and Azzef, a Russian terrorist (very loosely based on Evno Azef). In Dubnotal’s final appearance he buries himself alive in order to dispel his lethargy. Dubnotal appears in stories with titles like “Dr. Tooth’s Turning Table,” “The Madwoman of the Rimbaud Passage,” “The Sleepwalker of the River of Blood,” and “Azzef, the King of the Agents Provocateurs.”

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