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Morton, Will. Will Morton was created by the German author Joe Morris (Jack Nelson) and appeared in Kleine Detektiv-Romane #1-370 (1919-1927); the series was reprinted in Denmark as Detektiven Will Morton’s Oplevelser #1-46 (1923).

Will Morton is a Great Detective modeled on Nick Carter (I). Morton is based in New York City but travels around the United States and occasionally Europe, solving crimes and helping people. He is assisted by a group of agents, including Bob Shaw, the Chick Carter to Morton’s Nick Carter; the German teenager Billy Hassell, Charly West, Dick Kaye, and the female agent Miss Fife, and on at least one occasion Harry Piel. He fights a white slaver, the Witch of the Bronx, vampires, a Maya cult in NYC, a factory which produces fake mummies, the Black Hand, the female gang leader the Lady in Grey, and a Yellow Peril opium lord. He chases a murderer through a maze of tunnels beneath New York City, he retrieves the Crown of the Inca, he cracks a Japanese spy ring, he stops a Mad Scientist’s Frankensteinian experiment-gone-wrong, and he catches the real Jack the Ripper. Morton also fights a Japanese Yellow Peril criminal who attempts to dig a giant golden meteor out of Greenland and use it to boost Japan’s military power.

Morton appears in stories with titles like “The Mayan Signal,” “The Terror Machine,” and “The King of Manhattan.”

* I'm including Kleine Detektiv-Romane in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of its imaginative content. Will Morton was far and away the most successful and long-lasting of the heftromane lifts of Nick Carter (I). And Morton was a lift, if the preceding description didn't make it clear. But what Joe Morris and the other authors of Morton's adventures did was focus on the fantastika in the Morton stories--to the detriment of ordinary crime stories, but who cares about that? Morris et al. gave their happy readers the Witch of the Bronx and the "real" Jack the Ripper being fought and caught by Will Morton. Imaginative content trumps dull routine, and Joe Morris et al. knew that and used it to their advantage. 

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