Creeping Dawn: The Rise of the Black Centipede By Chuck Miller is a foray into a world of two-fisted adventure, possessed by the spirit of the 20’s, its hands filled with repeating automatics spitting hot lead until the barrels are little more than red-hot messes of twisted metal.
“Do a Barney Old Philip, Howard m’boy”
Saved by a race of hyper-intelligent lemurs and taught the secrets of every martial art in the world when his parents’ scientific vessel sank near the coast of Sullaballu (just outsde Madagascar), William Williams became an adept of the occult and a master of all sciences, the swift hand of justice…The Black Centipede!
Or was he? Well, he was certainly the Black Centipede, but could he hope to stand up to the published superman of the pulps? Is there any truth to his exploits? If so, how much of the actual horror has been hidden from the public? Is the Black Centipede our best and brightest hope, or is he a crook who thinks himself above the law?
“The weed of crime bears bitter fruit.”
Let me tell you about Greece and the pulps. Back in the day, when I was still a kid, we used to have those and they KILLED the superheroes in the newsstands. There was the Invisible Spy, the Little Hero, there was Ghost Flier and there was this other one that was about football, so I didn’t really give a damn about it. And while their scope was limited and some of them contained plenty of risqué subjects, each had its own wonderful and weird world of Greek resistance fighters going toe-to-toe with zombie Nazi zombies of the LuftWaffe, werewolf murder mysteries and daring 24-hour extractions into and out of the Soviet Union.
They were zany stories with madcap premises and I LOVED them, same as it was with all pulps, each of them created by desperate writers who wanted to bombard their readers with thrills just to make rent. Now granted, Chuck Miller did not strike me as a ‘starving artist’ but that doesn’t mean that every chapter of the Black Centipede doesn’t punch you in the face while raining 20’s slang down on you.
Chuck Miller has created a character who embodies the best of the pulps and manages to pull off the cynicism and dry wit of those proto-superheroes, while still pulling off a character you can absolutely root for. And that’s no small feat, considering that the Black Centipede is a pretty grim dude, all things considered.
- 50,000 words’ worth of two-fisted adventure!
- Chuck Miller has a website, featuring lots of free Black Centipede content, which you can visit here.
- This book features perhaps one of the BEST incarnations of Howard Philips Lovecraft I’ve seen in pop culture. And I’ve seen ‘mad god Howard’
- Buy the book here.
Konstantine Paradias is a Greek science fiction and fantasy writer. He has a blog, called Shapescapes (shapescapes). He’s also hard at work writing a book about Mongols in Zastavas, tearing through Asia all the way to your back yard. He has been offered a chance to know the moment of his demise, which he described as ‘hillarious’.
For comments or plain old contact, you can find him at firstname.lastname@example.org