Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, April 8, 2021


 The Avenger was a pulp magazine hero from Street & Smith, publishers of the Doc Savage adventures.  Just as Doc Savage was bylined by the house name "Kenneth Robeson," so too was The Avenger, although in this case the author behind the pseudonym was Paul Ernst.  The Avenger magazine lasted for 24 bimonthly issues (September 1939-September 1942), each with a complete novel about the mysterious hero; after the magazine folded six short stories appeared about The Avenger written by Emile Tupperman under the Robeson pseudonym.  The character was revived for a series of paperback original novels by Ron Goulart (1974-1976, again under the Robeson house name.  Beginning in 2008, Moonstone Books licensed the character and released six books -- novels and collections -- about the Avenger and his comrades.  Th Avenger also appeared sporadically in several comic books beginning in 1940 through 2014.  

The Avenger appeared in two radio programs, the first running from July 18, 1941 to November 3, 1942. Following the original pulp stories, this series featured Richard Benson, a globe trotting adventurer whose wife and daughter were killed by gangsters, as The Avenger.  Sadly, none of these episodes have survived,  In fact, there is no record of who played the title role.  One of the writers for this series was Paul Ernst, under the Robeson name.

The second radio series ran from October 25, 1945 to April 18, 1946 and was syndicated nationally.  this Avenger was "the poor man's version of The Shadow," according to radio historian John Dunning.  No longer millionaire adventurer Richard Benson, this Avenger was Jim Brandon, "a biochemist who inventor a Telepathic Indicator and a Secret Diffusion Capsule, both  of which helped him to fight crime."  Some of the episodes were written by Walter B. Gibson, who wrote most of the adventures of The Shadow.

James Monks played Jim Brandon, and was later replaced by Dick Janaver.  Monks also played John P. Marquand's Mr. Moto during the 1951 run of radio's Mr. I. A. Moto.  

"Ghost Murder" features James Monk as The Avenger.

"At the end of a dark table in her darkened seance room Stella the renowned mystic sits  motionless.  Opposite her a man leans forward nervous and expectant.  Suddenly out of nowhere a swirling s;piral of white mist appears taking shape and from it comes a ghastly voice..."


* Various air dates have been given for this episode; ,the one I give is the earliest,

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