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
Wu Fang (III). Wu Fang (III) was created by Robert J. Hogan (Captain Combat, Greaseball Joe, G-8, Red Falcon, Secret Six, Smoke Wade) and appeared in The Mysterious Wu Fang #1-7 (Sept. 1935-Mar. 1936).
Wu Fang (III) is an iconic Yellow Peril pulp villain. Like his forerunner, Fu Manchu (I), Wu Fang (III) is a scientist, capable of breeding monstrous new species of poisonous insects and snakes, as well as creating new species which combine the worst parts of the rat, the lizard and the toad. (He also makes use of ordinary spiders and bats and lizards). More sinister than than his biological experimentation is his affection for pain and torture. Wu is headquartered in Limehouse, in London, but his war on civilization spreads across the entire world. He has a number of aides, including Zaru, the part-ape beast-man, but Wu’s main helper is his daughter Mohra.
Pitted against Wu is Val Kildare, the former "number one investigator of the United States Secret Service" (and a Nayland Smith wannabe). Kildare is assisted by his best friend, Jerry Hazzard, a newspaper reporter, but Hazzard is eventually crippled at Wu's hands and is replaced by a square-jawed adventurer named Rod Carson. Kildare and his friends manage to stop Wu's plots on several occasions, although not without occasionally being tortured or badly beaten. Eventually Mohra falls in love with Hazzard, escapes from Wu, and marries him, and Wu is finally captured.
* I'm including Wu Fang (III) in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of his archetypal status. There's only room at the top of the archetypes for one, and that's as true for Yellow Perils as it is for any other character type. The archetypal Yellow Peril was, is, and always will be Fu Manchu (I)--of that there is no question. But the second-place archetype doesn't have much competition, either. It's Wu Fang (III), and then everyone else by a long distance. There's nothing average or common about Wu Fang (III); he's gloriously over-the-top in every way, from the new species he creates to his taste for causing pain--so over-the-top that he becomes just right. The Mysterious Wu Fang is adequately told, certainly, but Wu Fang (III) towers above his supposed nemesis and above everyone else opposed to him, so that the reader eventually comes to reluctantly cheer him on.
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