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
Wolf of Kabul. The Wolf of Kabul appeared in over 100 stories in Wizard, Hotspur, and Rover and Wizard from 1922 to 1972.
The Wolf of Kabul is an Afghani Fighter. He is 2nd Lieutenant Bill Sampson (sometimes “Samson”), an agent for the British Intelligence Corps who operates in the Northwest frontier of India, based from Fort Kanda, “right at the east end of the Khyber Pass.” “His real job is surveying the frontier and making maps of the mountains and passes, but he knows the native languages and customs so well he always gets the job of busting up any trouble among the Afghan and Pathan tribes. The natives call him the Wolf of Kabul.” Sampson always dresses as a native and could easily pass for one except for the little matter of his blue eyes, which inevitably betray him.
His enemies are usually “wily Pathans” but also include Nazis, Communists, evil Anglos, and even a giant walking stone statue, the Stone Man. Sampson is tough enough, and good enough with his twin knives, to fight his way to freedom and accomplish the goals which the B.I.C. set for him. In this he is aided by Chung, his native servant and friend. “He was a squat man, almost dumpy, and had enormous shoulders and very long arms. His ugly face was broad and flat, with greasy, black hair hung over his low forehead. He was dressed in the uniform of a Sepoy private, but there was no smartness about his uniform. Chung was a mountain man from the Eastern Himalayas.” Chung’s weapon of choice is his “clicky-ba,” or cricket bat. After killing men Chung would remark, his eyes tearing, “Lord, I am full of humble sorrow – I did not mean to knock down these men – ‘Clicky-ba’ merely turned in my hand.”
* I'm including the Wolf of Kabul stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because the Wolf's archetypal status and because of the fun of the stories. The Wolf of Kabul is an iconic and possibly archetypal Afghani Fighter; his character, his adventures, his enemies, and his supporting cast are all among the best and most influential in the genre. The stories are generally a lot of fun, because the authors often changed up the villains from the expected to the very unexpected (the Stone Man, for example). Now, I've said that, and it's all true. But unlike a lot of other Afghani Fighter stories and novels and series, the Wolf of Kabul stories do not examine the racism implicit in the Afghani Fighter genre, do not treat the inevitable Pathan sidekick in an enlightened or even particularly benign manner, do not attempt to present good Afghanis to oppose the bad Afghanis, and do nothing to downplay the jingoism that motivates the Afghani Fighter stories.
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