Starting this week and continuing every Thursday, I will be running a Pulp Review feature here on Super-Powered Fiction as a tie-in to new Pulp Empire stories. These articles originally will appear over at the New Pulp blog every Friday before appearing here almost a week later, so to keep up with them be sure to check them out at New Pulp!
The legendary Ron Fortier started writing pulp fiction while many other pulp authors just started to pick up their pen. After all, he chronicled the comic adventures of the Green Hornet for a large chunk of the 90s. In the last decade, he transitioned in to prose pulp and opened Airship 27 Publishing in the process. Along the way, he also created a true new pulp hero in Brother Bones.
Brother Bones originally debuted in prose form as a tie-in to Christopher Mills’ Femme Noir comic strip, but he’s a character that can stand on his own. Take his origin tale “The Bone Brothers”, now appearing at IPulp, as an example.
The first thing a reader notices is that Fortier’s prose is open and inviting. He invokes a yarn told over a cold drink in a dark corner bar where the wrong sort of folks dwell. The style holds together a tale that goes from a crime parable in to a supernatural adventure yarn.
“The Bone Brothers” tells the tale of Jack and Tommy Bonello, the aforementioned Bone Brothers. The twin brothers were a pair of brutal underworld assassins. Tommy cuts his own career short after one victim thanks him for the death he brings. Those thanks unnerve him so much that he disappears from his life of crime in to a nearby monastery.
Like so many great pulp heroes, Tommy’s serenity isn’t meant to last and a violent act not only ends his time in the monastery but moves him in to a battle with his brother and onward to become Brother Bones.
Brother Bones runs with a heavy paranormal element, almost like a more super version of The Shadow. Fortier’s crisp prose brings it all together smoothly and succinctly in to one neat origin story.
This one comes Recommended.
You can pick up Brother Bones in “The Bone Brothers” for $1 at IPulpFiction.com.