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Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Allan, Frank. Frank Allan appeared in the German dime novel Frank Allan, der Rächer der Enterbten #1-612 (1920-1932) and Frank Allan- der Rächer der Enterbten #1-55 (1930-1932); the initial series was reprinted across Europe and Poland in the 1920s and 1930s.
Frank Allan was one of the longest-running of the heftromane heroes and was the model and standard for many similar world-traveling heftromane adventurer characters. He was not given a specialty such as pilot or detective, but rather was good at everything. “Frank Allan” is the pseudonym of Bob Harris, a rich American who as a hobby travels the globe, fighting for the underprivileged, the “disinherited,” and the poor. Only a few of his closest friends know that Harris is actually the “Frank Allan” who is dreaded by wrongdoers everywhere.
Allan helps free kidnapped children and endangered women, but his stories are often more fantastic than that. He fights his own doppelganger, Yellow Perils (opium smugglers in China and London, Li Fung's death-ship, etc), submarine pirates in the Pacific, evil Indians in the American West, mummies in Luxor, rioting prisoners in Sing-Sing, the masked criminal the Scorpion of New York City, the Devil of Chicago, the evil Chain Bearer of Krakow, jewel thieves on the Orient Express, pirates on the Yangtze, art thieves in Tokyo (who take the "urn of the Mikado"), the Wolf of Bucharest, the Mummy, the Vampires of Baltimore and Amsterdam, the Witch of Brooklyn, Mr. Satan, the Lupins J. Hopkins, Pitt, and Charles Dupin, the Black Rider, the Green Faust, the Devil's Mask, the Tomb of the Pharaohs, a Mad Scientist and his Death Machine, the Eyes of the Buddha, the Poison Drugstore of Baker Street (complete with a Sherlock Holmes reference), the antisemitic stereotype the Cabbalistic Magic Monk, the Sword of Damocles, the Magic Pen of the Princes of Abyssinia, the Man with the Death Glare, the Man with the X-Ray Eyes, the Six-Fingered Hand, an Evil Surgeon (Doctor Bink), a villain who wanted to CONQUER THE WORLD!, and many other, similar characters and devices.
Some of Allan’s opponents were unusually gruesome for the heftromanes, such as the “Butcher of the Rue Lafayette,” who pulls a Sweeney Todd and turns pretty young girls into hamburger, and the "Blood Brother of Whitechapel," who imitates Jack the Ripper. One of Allan’s recurring enemies is "Der Luftpirat," a thinly-veiled Captain Mors analogue. In Frank Allan #39, “Inspector Doodle of Scotland Yard,” Allan competes with and humiliates “Inspector Doodle,” a Sherlock Holmes analogue. Allan is assisted by a black servant, Sam, who is portrayed in stereotypical ways. After World War Two Frank Allan’s son appears in Frank Allan.
Frank Allan appears in stories with titles like “The Ghostly Hand,” “The Dwarf Nippor,” and “The Living Sphinx.”
* I've included Frank Allan in the Best of the Encyclopedia category for two reasons. The first is that he was historically important. Frank Allan, as mentioned, was one of the longest-running of the heftromanes, and Allan himself became one of two or three archetypal heftromane heroes. During the crowded 1920s and early 1930s, Allan and Frank Allan still stood out as one of the best heftromanes on the market. The second reason I'm including it on the Best of the Encyclopedia page is because of the immensity of the ideasplosions within. Just look at those villains! Every damned issue seemed to include a glorying in or a extrapolation of a pulp archetype, icon, or trope, and all comparatively well-written. Frank Allan was one of the heavyweights of the heftromanes and deserves our respect.
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