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Piel, Harry. Harry Piel (1892-1963) was a noted German film star and director from 1912 to the 1930s. In the 1920s he was protagonist of four German Celebrity Pulps: Harry Piel – der Abenteuerer König und Verächter des Todes Innen #1-18 (1920-1921), Harry Piel - der Tollkühne Detektiv #1-92 (1920-1923), Harry Piel Abenteuer #19-150 (1922-1926), and Heinz Barkhoff’s Harry Piel, Abenteuer #1 (1928); a revised and expanded version of Harry Piel – der Abenteuerer König und Verächter des Todes Innen appeared in Hungary in 1923, in Poland in 1924, and in Czechoslovakia in 1926.
The fictional Harry Piel is a crystallization of his film persona, with many of the stories being retellings of his film plots. The fictional Piel is a "gentleman of the world," a detective-adventurer at ease in the abysses of the wilds and in the big city, fighting for good, helping the poor and downtrodden, rescuing imperilled maidens, and so on. Piel encounters a scientist whose flying car is stolen and used by criminals. Piel fights an android used to commit crime and controlled remotely. For twenty issues Piel’s archenemy is the malign Mad Scientist Professor Terlan, who uses SCIENCE!, including anti-gravity and an invisibility gas, to commit crimes. He thrice duels with the Headless Rider. He fights the KKK, flying skeletons, a variety of Mad Scientists, costumed bad guys (like “the Man Without Nerves” and “the Man with the Devil Mask”), and would-be nemeses, sky-pirates, various death traps, mummies, vampires, Yellow Perils, Lupins, and a Lost Race Tibetan city.
Piel is occasionally Watsoned by Murphy, a newspaper reporter. Piel appears in stories with titles like “The Sky Pirate,” “The Smile of the Medusa,” “A Night of Terror in Paris.”
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