A Wraith Adventure
By Frank Dirscherl
In the past five years there has been a tremendous resurgence in pulp fiction centering on the old heroic pulps. Young writers have started taking up the mantle of old masters like
Walter Gibson and Lester Dent and begun creating their own avengers in tales of genuine purple prose. Among the best of this new generation of wordsmiths is Australian, Frank Dirscherl and the exploits of his modern pulp paladin, the Wraith.
As the plot moves along, the Wraith discovers the villain behind the plague is none other than the beautiful Natalya Blackova, the Cobra’s chief aide, along with his former enforcer, the deadly Magnus Khan. Now it is up to the Wraith to find Blackova and Khan and stop them before they destroy the city he has sworn to protect.
Of all the classic heroes, Dirscherl clearly emulates the action-packed tales of the Spider and chronicled by the late Norvell Page, as his plots are always bombastic, over-the-top disasters where the body counts add up faster than the average reader can keep count. The atmosphere is moody, the action relentless and the villains always meet the fates they deserve at the hands of our warrior hero.
My singular quibble with the Wraith adventures is they occur in modern times and that is always an awkward fit, a 1930s hero operating in today’s computer saturated environment. Note, the pulps were never about logic and most of them ignored mountain size plot holes for the sake of action and melodrama. In reading a pulp, you accepted these flaws for the benefit of the ride. The Wraith’s setting just make that road a bit bumpier than it should be. It’s a venial sin I’m all too happy to forgive in lieu of Dircsherl’s writing. This is grand pulp!