Secret Agent X

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Secret Agent X was the title of a American pulp magazine published by A. A. Wyn, and the name of the main character featured in the magazine. The magazine ran for 41 issues between February 1934 and March 1939.

The Secret Agent X stories were written by more than one author, but they all appeared under the "house name" of Brant House. The first Secret Agent X story, The Torture Trust was written by Paul Chadwick, who went on to write at least fifteen others. Later stories were produced by G. T. Fleming-Roberts, Emile C. Tepperman and Wayne Rogers. <>

In the stories, the true identity of Secret Agent X is never revealed. He is a master of disguise, known as "the man of a thousand faces", who adopts several different identities in each story. Although he is a dedicated crime-fighter working undercover for the U.S. government, this is unknown to the police who consider him an outlaw. His true role is known only to newspaper reporter Betty Dale and his mysterious Washington controller, K-9. Agent X come close to being undone once by a woman who could recognise him no matter what his disguise. She turned out to be blind and recognised his manner of walking.

Although ostensibly in the crime genre, the Secret Agent X stories were situated at the more far-fetched end of the spectrum, with a number of science fiction elements such as futuristic weapons and mad scientists. They were generally given highly sensational titles such as The Ambassador of Doom (May 1934), Servants of the Skull (November 1934), The Golden Ghoul (July 1935), Satan’s Syndicate (August 1937) and Curse of the Crimson Horde (September 1938).

[1] There were a number of similarities between Secret Agent X and other pulp heroes of the time such as The Shadow, the Green Lama and Operator No. 5. Authors such as Tepperman and Rogers produced stories for Operator No. 5 magazine as well as for Secret Agent X.

Beginning in 1996 Secret Agent X became the latest in a series of pulp heroes to be revived. In Tom Johnson's short story "Horror's Monster," published in Classic Pulp Fiction Stories Agent X's saga moved into the early days of World War II. Here he squared off against criminals who employed giant spiders to achieve their nefarious ends. Since publication of Johnson's tale, Stephen Payne has penned three novels starring the Secret Agent: The Freezing Fiends, Master of Madness, and Halo of Horror, all appearing under the aegis of Fading Shadows books. Halo of Horror has since been reprinted in a pulp facsimile format by Altus Press.[2] Altus Press has also published other Secret Agent X material: The Stolen Formula, [3] a rewrite of a Secret Agent X story written specifically for the Greek audience, and The Secret Agent X Companion, [4] a comprehensive history of the character by Tom Johnson and Will Murray. In addition, Wild Cat Books has issued two collections of novellas showcasing the Agent. And recently Stephen Payne has begun work on the fourth new Secret Agent X novel, The Resurrection Ring, which will reveal new facts about the origin of the Man of a Thousand Faces. <tty>

Issue:  Title:                      Auth: Date:     Vol:  Reprint:
 1     The Torture Trust            PC   02/01/34  01/1  Corinth #1, Hanos
 2     The Spectral Stranglers      PC   03/01/34  01/2  
 3     The Death-Torch Terror       PC   04/01/34  01/3  Corinth #5 
 4     The Ambassador of Doom       PC   05/01/34  02/1
 5     City of Living Dead          PC   06/01/34  02/2  Corinth #4  
 6     Hand of Horror               ET   08/01/34  02/3  
 7     Octopus of Crime             PC   09/01/34  03/1  Corinth #6, Odyssey
 8     The Hooded Hordes            PC   10/01/34  03/2  Hanos
 9     Servants of the Skull        ET   11/01/34  03/3  Corinth #2 
 10    The Murder Monsters          ET   12/01/34  04/1  Hanos
 11    Sinister Scourge             PC   01/01/35  04/2  Corinth #7, Hanos #9
 12    Curse of the Waiting Death   PC   02/01/35  04/3
 13    Devils of Darkness           PC   03/01/35  05/1 
 14    Talons of Terror             ET   04/01/35  05/2  
 15    The Corpse Cavalcade         GT   05/01/35  05/3  Hanos
 16    The Golden Ghoul             GT   07/01/35  06/1
 17    The Monarch of Murder        PC   08/01/35  06/2
 18    Legion of the Living Dead    PC   09/01/35  06/3  Hanos
 19    Horde of the Damned          PC   10/01/35  07/1
 20    Ringmaster of Doom           GT   11/01/35  07/2  Hanos
 21    Kingdom of Blue Corpses      ??   12/01/35  07/3
 22    Brand of the Metal Maiden    GT   01/01/36  07/4  Pulp Classics #4
 23    Dividends of Doom            GT   02/01/36  08/1  Hanos
 24    The Fear Merchants           PC   03/01/36  08/2  Hanos
 25    Faceless Fury                GT   04/01/36  08/3  Hanos
 26    Subterranean Scourge         GT   06/01/36  08/4
 27    The Doom Director            GT   08/01/36  09/1
 28    Horror's Handclasp           GT   10/01/36  09/2
 29    City of Madness              GT   12/01/36  09/3  Hanos
 30    Death's Frozen Formula       GT   02/01/37  09/4
 31    The Murder Brain             GT   04/01/37  11/1
 32    Slaves of the Scorpion       GT   06/01/37  11/2  Hanos #10
 33    Satan's Syndicate            GT   08/01/37  11/3
 34    The Assassin's League        GT   10/01/37  11/4 
 35    Plague of the Golden Death   WR   12/01/37  12/1
 36    Curse of the Mandarin's Fan  GT   02/01/38  12/2  Corinth #3
 37    Claws of the Corpse Cult     GT   04/01/38  12/3  Hanos
 38    The Corpse that Murdered     GT   06/01/38  12/4  Hanos
 39    Curse of the Crimson Horde   PC   09/01/38  13/1  Hanos
 40    Corpse Contraband            GT   12/01/38  13/2  Hanos
 41    Yoke of the Crimson Coterie  GT   03/01/39  13/3

Author Codes

  • ET - Emile C Tepperman
  • GT - GT Fleming-Roberts
  • WR - Wayne Rogers
  • PC - Paul Chadwick

See also

External links


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