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Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Brandt, Heinz. Heinz Brandt appeared in the German dime novel Heinz Brandt der Fremdenlegionär #1-332 (1913-1921). Heinz Brandt der Fremdenlegionär was the most popular of the Foreign Legion heftromanes.
Heinz Brandt is a Legionnaire. Heinz and his brother Fritz are a pair of patriotic Germans who join the French Foreign Legion for undisclosed reasons. They enjoy the adventures that serving in the Legion brings them, and because they are good, decent men they try to help the indigenous peoples they travel among. But the French commanders of the Legion are brutal sadists, to the point where one of them is willing to use Heinz Brandt as a living target in order to test out a new weapon. With the Legion the Brandts travel across North Africa, go to Asia, and then to Southern Africa, fighting a French traitor, the Witch of the Sahara, a Bedouin air pirate, Muslim rebels, Malay pirates, Yellow Perils in China and French Indochina, white slave traders, Amazon river pirates, and Lost Race Inca in Peru, among others.
When World War One began the focus of the stories shifted, and Brandts travel to Belgium to fight the evil, cruel, barbarous, atrocity-loving French Army. The Brandts are made Corporals in the German Army and win the Iron Cross, fighting in every famous battle in France, Russia and the Balkans. They gain a canine assistant in Roland the War Hound, fight antisemitic stereotypes, and venture into "the Cavern of the Inca." When the war ends the Brandts re-enlist in the Legion and resume service in North Africa.
The Brandts appear in stories with titles like "The Secret of the Sunken City," "The Amazons of Dahomey," and "The Cannibals of Kitumbo."
In 1956 a sequel to Heinz Brandt der Fremdenlegionär appeared: Fremdenlegionär Brandt #1-5, about Rolf Brandt, the son of Heinz Brandt, and a Legionnaire just like his father.
* I've included Brandt in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of the ideasplosions within Heinz Brandt. An "ideasplosion" in pulp terms--at least, as used by me here--generally means a concept or trope or idea that explodes in the text due to its imagination and vividness. Most ideasplosions have at least a tinge of science fiction or science fantasy. The ideasplosions of Heinz Brandt aren't like that, but I applied the term to the heftroman because there's no similar word for "adroit deployment of a combination of often well-worn pulp concepts, ideas, tropes, and cliches to such a degree that they regain lustre and lose their triteness and cliched status." Yellow Perils and white slavers and Lost Race Inca are, if I'm being honest, concepts that were...over-used, let's say, in the pulps and dime novels and heftromanes and etc etc etc of the world during the Pulp Era. But the writers of Heinz Brandt used them so skillfully, and in many cases put enough small spins on the cliches that they became original again, that the cliches became iconic ideas, and the readers of Heinz Brandt didn't shake their heads with "oh god not this again!" irritation at the use of the cliches, but rather thought "oh good this again!"
And of course there are Heinz Brandt's wartime adventures, which are archetypal in their way: Brandt ranges over the entirety of the European and Russian theaters, fights in every battle one might think of, and is generally everywhere, always fighting, always winning. The heftromane had a few heroes like that. It's just that Heinz Brandt did it better than any other heftromane.
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