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Glossary and Character Taxonomy  Breakdown by Country of Origin   Bibliography   Table of Contents    The Best of the Encyclopedia

Kling, John. John Kling was created by the German author Alfred Bienengraber (Carlo Aldini) and appeared in over 1,000 stories in several heftromanes, from 1924 to 1954, beginning with Welt Kriminal Bucherei #1 (1924).

John Kling is a Great Detective. Kling was one of the two or three most popular German pulp characters. Initially he is a Lupin, but he was quickly remade into a detective modeled on Sexton Blake (who Kling eventually teamed up with on a case). Kling’s Rogues Gallery is not in the class of Blake’s, but Kling has a series of adventures the equals of Blake’s. Kling’s home and office is in Berlin at Wallotstraße 5 (an address which received a great deal of fan mail, just as 221B Baker Street continues to receive mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes), but Kling travels around the world in the course of his adventures.

Kling fights occultists, "Satan," "Madame Satan," and boxing champions; he discovers a Lost Race of Mayans, is appointed King of a European operetta kingdom, discovers Martian gold, encounters the "Three-Eyed Buddha," and teams up with Sexton Blake in John Kling's Abenteuer #501, "The Man From Baker Street." Kling visits an atomic-powered city on whose walls appear the words “mene mene tekel,” a reference to the Biblical book of Daniel. Kling fights Mad Scientists whose SCIENCE! creations go out of control, or are used by criminals. Kling fights Chinese Yellow Perils who have atomic-powered weapons and vehicles at their disposal.

Kling is Watsoned by Jones Burthe; his love interest is Mary; his Lestrades are Commissioner Bowery and Inspector Chester.

Kling appears in stories with titles like “The Orchestra of the Invisible,” “Satan’s Mask,” “Night Without End,” “Flame in the Underworld” and “Death Trombones.”

* I'm including the John Kling stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of their archetypal nature, historical importance, and ideasplosions. Everything I said about Harald Harst? They're all true about John Kling as well. Really, Kling is effectively Harst's twin, with the exception of not having been killed off due to pressure from the Nazi censors. Kling was as influential on German detective readers and writers as Harst was, his stories as full of ideasplosions as Harst's were, his popularity as enormous as Harst's was, the ideasplosions as wonderfully imaginative as Harst's were. And like Harst, the John Kling stories taken as a whole is one of the best pulp series in all of creation--top five at least. 

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