Audiobook Review: “Battle for LA; Return of the Originals”
By C. J. Henderson
Produced and Published by AudioComics & Moonstone Entertainment
Total Length: 41:56
I think I have just found the perfect combination of some of my favorite things; UFO conspiracies, pulp magazines, comic books and audiobooks. This audio production combines all these into one great production that keeps you hanging on to every sound and leaves you wanting more.
This audiobook is actually more of an audio drama, in that each character is voiced by a different actor. Each actor is able to portray the characters that are in the super-hero realm and make them sound life-like. The actors even add in that extra little bit of “oomph” that makes them seem larger than life like a real comic book or pulp fiction character should be. The sound effects surround the listener with realistic 3d effects that feel as though they are in the middle of the action. You may even find yourself dodging bullets.
Born out of pulp-fiction magazines from the early part of the 20th century, this story unites pulp heroes that influenced the creation of certain comic book heroes. Historically speaking the pulp magazines were the forerunners of comic books. The pulps were published weekly or monthly and featured stories that could be told in one issue or in some cases as serials that span several issues. This story features the following pulp heroes:
- The Black Bat came out about the same time as DC comics’ Batman, and each publisher said the other was a copy, eventually they were allowed to co-exist, but in the long run Batman became the more popular. The Black Bat is former District Attorney Anthony Quinn. He became the Black Bat after being blinded and having his face disfigured by having acid thrown in it. That origin story reminds me of Two-face from the Batman comics, but Two-face is a villain and not hero.
- The Phantom Detective was published from 1933 to 1953 and is in real life the wealthy Richard Curtis Van Loan. He uses his amazing skills of deduction to solve crimes that have the police puzzled.
- Domino Lady comes from the racier side of pulp comics. Educated socialite Ellen Patrick puts on a domino mask and a backless white dress to avenge the death of her father, District Attorney Owen Patrick. Armed with a .45 pistol and a syringe full of knockout serum she takes on the toughest of foes, but her beauty is her greatest asset. Using her feminine charms usually put these pulp magazines into the soft-core porn side of the genre.
Those are the main characters of this production but two other classic pulp heroes make a small cameo appearance in the final battle:
- Secret Agent X is a master of disguise, known as “the man of a thousand faces”, who adopts several different identities in each story. He is a dedicated crime-fighter working undercover for the U.S. government; this is unknown to the police who consider him an outlaw.
- Airboy, Davy Nelson II, the son of an expert pilot and, despite his youth, a crack flyer. His friend, inventor and Franciscan monk Brother Francis Martier, had created a highly maneuverable prototype aircraft that flew by flapping its wings, like a bird.
So now we know the heroes let’s get where this story really gets to be interesting. This audio drama brings to full 3d audio movie life the graphic novel by C. J. Henderson. Just three months after the U.S. became involved in World War II by the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor, the U.S. was on alert for further invasions from Japan. Especially vigilant was the West Coast. From late 24 February to early 25 February 1942 over Los Angeles, California an incident occurred that has had UFO conspiracists asking lots of questions. The Air Force has claimed the incident was caused by a “false alarm” in which a weather balloon became the focus of several hours of shooting and air raid warnings. Thousands of rounds were fired at an object that was tracked over Los Angeles. UFOlogists think this was an alien craft and when viewing the photos find further proof it was not weather balloon.
Henderson uses this event to bring together the original heroes and creates a villain with an occult background set to destroy the U.S. The event in question was just the launching platform for a group of “Orientals” to send cylinders with a strange power over the human mind to Los Angeles. Armed with knowledge of the mysterious cylinders, the Originals risk all to do what is right, no matter what the cost.
This audio drama takes just over 40 minutes to devour, but if you are on a trip or doing housework or some other chore that consumes time, this will make it seem as though only a couple of seconds pass because of the intense action taking place.