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Astonishing Adventures Magazine

The Planet of Danger is home to 2,073,363,423 souls, each one with their own story, here are just a few of them…

The Electron Jockey first appeared in Astonishing Adventures Issue 1 September 2007.

The Steward, the Kriegsherr, his Femme Fatale & her Brother first published in Astonishing Adventures! Magazine Issue 2 (Mark Caldwell December 2007).

Mrs H’s Knitting Circle first appeared in Astonishing Adventures! Magazine Issue 3 (Mark Caldwell May 2008).

Final Confessions of Dale Hoover; Small Time Syndicate Realtor with a Gun, which follows on from Mrs H’s Knitting Circle (unpublised)

One of THOSE days was a web exclusive story that bridges the gap between The Steward, the Kriegsherr, his Femme Fatale & her Brother and…

Dirk Dangerous and the Giant Balls of Doom which appeared in Astonishing Adventures! Magazine issue #8 (Mark Caldwell Decemeber 2009).

Leads

Dirk Dangerous

British, fighter ace, Great War veteran, talented sportsman and adventurer Dirk Dangerous knows no fear. Unfortunately, when he gets excited, he doesn’t know the rule either. He once batted on for six hours, refusing to leave the crease, despite the rest of his side being bowled out. It might not have been a problem if he’d not been playing for England at Lords. This has caused certain difficulties for the MCC; a minor international incident and a premature end to Dirk’s sporting career. All records of the incident have been excised from the record books.

The heir to the vast Dangerous fortune Dirk has no need to work.  Instead travels the world so as to keep one step ahead of his grandfather’s plans to snare him into the family’s business empire.  As radical politically as he is in his interpretation of the rules of sport he lends his voice to many fashionable and unfashionable causes much to his grandfather’s dismay.

Dirk’s hobbies include sport, flying and young ladies not necessarily in that order. He supplements his allowance by writing for a variety of publications. He is accompanied on his travels by his faithful, long suffering, companion Johnny.

Featured In: Dirk Dangerous and the Giant Balls of Doom

Gina

Gina is one of the very capable young ladies who form the Knitting Circle under Mrs H.’s guidance. Employed by the FBI in the typing pool she uses the skills that don’t appear on her resume to fight crime.  Her father, a daring adventurer, trained her to be a crack shot with a pistol.  Her Grandfather, a cat burglar whose never been caught,  taught her how to crack any safe or lock.  Her mother taught her right from wrong.  Although her mother wouldn’t approve of her activities she tries to live up to the ideals she’s taught her to live her life by.

Featured In: Mrs H’s Knitting Circle and Final Confessions of Dale Hoover; Small Time Syndicate Realtor with a Gun (unpublished)

Roxie Ryan

Roxie Ryan aka Angelica French aka Lauren Rollins aka Della Molina aka Adele Molina

Roxie Ryan is one of the many aliases used by a dangerous international criminal.  Publicly she appears to be an accomplished singer whose never had a break.  A beautiful women she may appear to be the decoration on a powerful man’s arm. Don’t be fooled: thats just an act. If it’s got wings she can fly it. If it fires bullets she can shoot it. An expert in fencing with modern and ancient weapons she’s a match for any swordsman.

She manipulated Dale Hoover to steal the Jade Statue from Énigme. She’s the power behind the The Kriegsherr’s throne. She’s stolen guns, secrets and hearts along the way.  Now she wants to steal something else: a country.

Featured In: The Electron Jockey; The Steward, the Kriegsherr, his Femme Fatale & her Brother; One of THOSE Days and Final Confessions of Dale Hoover; Small Time Syndicate Realtor with a Gun  (unpublished)

Joseph Haynes

Joseph D. Haynes Junior aka Énigme aka Mot or simply Jo to his friends.

Énigme is arguably the finest hypnotist, escapologist and stage magician of his generation. His success has brought him wealth and respect. He has a personal collection of material related to his profession which is second to none.

Mot is Énigme’s crime fighting alter ego. Dressed in a long, dark coat with silver buttons his face wrapped in a dark grey cloth and his face hidden in the shadow cast by his wide brimmed hat only his unnatural yellow eyes can be seen. He uses his mystical powers of persuasion to defeat the forces of the Syndicate. He was recruited as a member of the Very Secret Service after he complicated one of their operations while working as a vigilante.

As Joseph and Énigme he usually wears experimental contact lenses to disguise his eyes. As Mot he uses their power to set wrongs right.

Featured In: The Electron Jockey, The Steward, the Kriegsherr, his Femme Fatale & her Brother; One of THOSE Days and Dirk Dangerous and the Giant Balls of Doom

Dale Hoover

Dale Hoover was a small time Syndicate flunky with no dreams. He didn’t have Gable’s looks or Bogart’s presence but he had a sharp suit, a pistol in his pocket and a pleasant charm with the confidence of knowing the Syndicate would back him up. His bosses knew he’d never be a threat – he didn’t have the drive and they knew the pistol wasn’t loaded. A reliable cog in the Syndicate’s machine he was happy with his place in the grand schemes of others. A clean record allowed him to move in polite society without attraction attention from the police or the Feds. His everyman appearance let him to move in all walks of life. He fronted a portfolio of the Syndicates’ legitimate business activities specialising in real estate.

All that changed when Roxie Ryan sang her way into his heart. Roxie wanted more. Roxie wanted money and jewels. Roxie wanted power. She whispered in his ears and made him believe he could be big time. He could be the man rather than the man the man relied on. Now Dale Hoover is a small time Syndicate flunky with big dreams and a loaded pistol in his pocket.

Featured In: The Electron Jockey, Mrs H’s Knitting Circle and Final Confessions of Dale Hoover; Small Time Syndicate Realtor with a Gun (unpublished)

Supporting Cast

The Planet of Danger is a world of heroes but it would be nothing without a supporting cast of characters.

Since I’m lazy, I dislike seeing characters called thug #1 in credits and finding an appropriate name for every character takes time most of the supporting cast get their names from the names attached to spam e-mail I’m sent.

Mr Cesar

The Syndicate’s boss on the west coast.

Mentioned In: Mrs H’s Knitting Circle

Raul Harrison

One of Dale Hoover’s crew for the heist to steal the Jade Statue.

Featured In: The Electron Jockey

Dorothy Hoover

Dorothy Hoover aka Mrs H. a former singer and actress married to J. Edgar Hoover director FBI.

Note: In real life J. Edgar Hoover never married but rumors exist of an affair with Dorothy Lamour which she did not deny after his death in 1972. Dorothy Hoover isn’t Dorothy Lamour but is slightly inspired by her.

Featured In: Mrs H’s Knitting Circle and Final Confessions of Dale Hoover; Small Time Syndicate Realtor with a Gun

Ferdinand Largent

A specialist in box jobs and locks recruited by Dale Hoover to provide specialist services when stealing the Jade Statue.

Featured In: The Electron Jockey

Doctor Ryan

Roxie Ryan’s brother – a doctor and scientist devoted to her since their parent’s death.

Featured In: The Steward, the Kriegsherr, his Femme Fatale & her Brother

Dusty Sellers

Former racing car driver and an antiquarian book seller.

Featured In: The Electron Jockey

Prof

A British boffin whose problems with authority have left him in the wilderness. Dirk Dangerous’ grandfather ignores the funds diverted to him in the hope that Dirk will eventually entangle himself into gainful employment by supporting one of the Prof’s inventions.

Mentioned In: Dirk Dangerous and the Giant Balls of Doom

Vincent

Friend of the Electron Jockey.

Mentioned in: The Electron Jockey

Wu Xiong

The Steward mentioned in the title of The Steward, the Kriegsherr, his Femme Fatale & her Brother

Featured In: The Steward, the Kriegsherr, his Femme Fatale & her Brother

Gear

Where would a pulp hero be without a car, a gun and a fedora? A villain without a ray gun and a stolen diamond?  A grease monkey without a plane and a wrench?  A detective without their badge and a bottle of whiskey?  A dame without her lipstick, compact and a .22?

Lee-Enfield Rifle

The bolt action Magazine Lee-Enfield rifle first went into production in 1895 and variants served as the British army’s standard rifle until 1957. Johnny’s prefered rifle is the SMLE Mk III (Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk III) intoduced in 1907. With over seventeen million Lee-Enfield rifles produced it is hardly surprising it often appears in films of the period as the stereotypical British and Commonwealth rifle.

Featured In: Dirk Dangerous and the Giant Balls of Doom

Suomi M/31

Suomi M/31 is a submachine gun of Finnish manufacture prototyped in the early 1920s it went into production in 1931. It is favoured by Dirk Dangerous over the more famous Thompson because a variant with an underslung flamethrower proved useful when facing a mummy that had escaped from the Derby Museum in William Brown Street, Liverpool.

Featured In: Dirk Dangerous and the Giant Balls of Doom

Thompson Submachine Gun

The famous Thompson submachine gun, originally called the Annihilator I during development, entered production in 1921. It became infamous during prohibition in the US picking up nicknames including Tommy Gun, Chicago Typewriter, Chopper and Chicago Piano.

Featured In: The Steward, the Kriegsherr, his Femme Fatale & her Brother

De Havilland D.H.42 Dormouse

Dirk Dangerous and Johnny fly a second hand 1923 De Havilland D.H.42 Dormouse which has been heavily modified by the Prof. Capable of speeds of up to 200km/h (125mph) and with a ceiling of 4900m (16000ft) their Dormouse has had its three machine guns removed to reduce weight so it can still take off with Dirk’s cricket gear and the odd case of champagne stowed aboard.

Featured In: Dirk Dangerous and the Giant Balls of Doom

Douglas DC-3

The iconic Douglas DC-3 first flew in first flew on December 17th 1935. A twin engined passenger plane with a crew of two and space for twenty-one to thirty-two passengers it cruises at 240 km/h (150mph). Famous for its ruggedness and its capability to take off and land on grass or dirt runways.

Featured In: The Steward, the Kriegsherr, his Femme Fatale & her Brother

Wood’s Glass

ina uses a Wood’s Glass in Mrs H’s Knitting Circle.

Robert Wood developed the Wood’s Glass during World War I. The Wood’s Glass filters light removing the visible components of a beam of light leaving the ultraviolet and infrared components. This “invisible radiation” was used during World War I as an invisible signal beam.

Wood’s Glass is a barium-sodium-silicate glass with 9% nickel oxide. The glass is a deep violet-blue to the eye. It is more vulnerable to thermal and mechanical damage than normal glass. It is also prone to slowly developing a layer of hydroxides and carbonates when exposed to atmospheric moisture and carbon dioxide. Wood’s glass undergoes solarisation becoming less transparent to ultraviolet light over time. As a Wood’s Glass bulb produce little visible light a user may accidentally overexpose themselves to ultraviolet light.

Modern Wood’s Glass bulbs are often made from other types of glass with an ultraviolet filtering enamel surface coating because of these problems. These bulbs pass far more visible light than a genuine Wood’s Glass bulb.

Wood’s Glass is often used to create filters instead of being used for the material of a light bulb. These are placed in front of a bulb to remove the visible light. Wood’s Lamps are made with Wood’s Glass and are used in medicine for diagnosis. Wood’s Glass is used in photographic filters and some black lights.

Featured In: Mrs H’s Knitting Circle

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