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Griffin. The Griffin was created by J. Allan Dunn (Ace Ainsworth, Boru, Bud Jones, Peter Prime, Sleepy Sloane, Henry Smith (I), John Strong, Whistlin’ Kid) and appeared in twenty-six stories in Detective Fiction Weekly from 1929 to 1935, beginning with “The Crime Master” (Detective Fiction Weekly, Nov. 30, 1929). The Griffin is a Yellow Peril. He is a thoroughly wicked criminal mastermind, and is unappealing, to say the least:
His face was covered by a yellow mask of gleaming fabric, finer than silk, resembling gold-beaters’ skin. It half-revealed the features, and made them hideous, seemingly leprous; clinging closely to the harsh contours; the high cheekbone, the beaked nose, the thin, cruel lines of the mouth. Black eyes gleamed through half-open slits. They were eyes without a soul behind them, the orbs of a murderous maniac.
The Griffin’s preferred crime is blackmail: he threatens wealthy men with death on a certain time or date unless they pay $50,000. Those who fail to pay die, regardless of bodyguards or police detection. The Griffin also uses blackmail to force men and women to carry out his orders or, if the men are of a scientific bent, to develop slow-acting poisons for the Griffin. The Griffin is assisted by the enormous, legless deaf-mute circus freak Al. The Griffin is opposed by two-fisted, ex-Military Intelligence “scientist, explorer and adventurer” Gordon Manning.
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