Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Koh, Sun. Sun Koh was created by “Lok Myler,” the pseudonym of the German author Paul Alfred Müller-Murnau (Jan Mayen), and appeared in Sun Koh, Die Erbe von Atlantis #1-150 (1933-1936), #1-110 (1949-1953).
Sun Koh is a vigilante modeled on Doc Savage. Sun Koh was about the "inheritance of Atlantis." Sun Koh, the direct descendant of the "Mayan kings," is a tall, bronzed, muscular man who has a strange map tattooed on his body. He literally falls out of the sky, landing in front of amazed bystanders in London one rainy night. He has amnesia, but that doesn't stop him from quickly gathering a group of friends. His most faithful friend is the giant African-American boxer, Jack Holligan, whose Yoruban ancestors served the Atlantean kings, and when Sun Koh reveals himself as the inheritor of Atlantis Holligan is happy to become Sun Koh’s servant, renaming himself “Nimba.” (Nimba dies in Sun Koh #139). Sun Koh is later helped by Hal Mervin, an English hotel bellboy, by Jan Mayen and, in Sun Koh #49, by Alaska-Jim. Sun Koh is also assisted by a group of top scientists from around the world. (Sun Koh’s similarities to Doc Savage are not coincidental). Sun Koh eventually discovers that he was found by two German explorers in the ruins of the last Mayan city and raised in secret to be the savior of the world. He is the subject of many prophecies in the older cultures of the world, and many natives worship him as the “son of the sun.” He is even crucified, to drive the messianic point across.
Sun Koh is often called upon to rescue the beautiful young German, Joan, who he loves, and is even more often forced to counter the salacious scheming of the nymphomaniacal Femme Fatale Lady Houston and the wicked plots of the Satanic South American criminal mastermind, Juan Garcia. The series works toward the climax of Atlantis rising from its grave at the center of the Hollow Earth (Sun Koh is informed of this by a prophecy about it suddenly appearing on his chest) and Sun Koh being there and in a position of power to claim the rulership of Atlantis. There's a new ice age coming, and Atlantis will be the only city to survive it in order to make sure that the human race survives. (The theme of Sun Koh is eugenics, who will be the strongest and most fit to survive into the new age, and the racism of the series is overt). Sun Koh must rule Atlantis and make it strong. Toward this end he uses the SCIENCE! of alien astronauts which he and his friends discover, including the Martian anti-gravity material found in the Andes, the image-projecting Kataskop, an aquatic platform which gathers gold from the sea, and weapons which range from lethal sound waves, ray guns, one-man flying suits, and a knife capable of shearing through steel like butter.
* I'm including Sun Koh the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of his archetypal nature. Sun Koh really was the Nazi Doc Savage: wonderful ideas, shabby writing, High Pulp adventures, racism (which to be fair is less pronounced in the Doc Savage stories) and antisemitism, a talented team of supporting characters, high tech weapons and vehicles that eventually become SCIENCE! weapons and vehicles, and a protagonist who became an icon to readers. The main difference between the two is that Doc Savage is primarily about High Pulp adventures, with the racism and misogyny usually only subtly shown, while the Sun Koh stories are about promulgating Nazi philosophies via High Pulp adventures. One could say that Paul Alfred Müller-Murnau did his best to strike a balance between High Pulp and Nazism, except that there's no evidence that he wanted to. Keep in mind that Sun Koh was published from 1933-1936, when the Nazis were in charge and the heftromane that were published in Germany had to have the Nazi imprimatur upon them to be published. Sun Koh was Nazi enough for the Nazis; for that reason it should be shunned today by any right-minded person.
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