James Lowder’s ‘The Corpse’ Stories

In the shadowy underworld of Prohibition-era Chicago, where mobsters run rampant and crime bosses rule the roost, one mysterious vigilante will stand against them. They call him the Corpse, and whether he’s living or dead, man or monster, nobody seems to know.

He appears and disappears like a specter, he leaves grave worms as a calling card, and those who’ve seen him — and survived to tell the tale — report that his tattered cloak and bullet-riddled clothing cover a cadaverous form, his face pallid, his eyes haunted as the eyes of the damned.

His solitary dark crusade against the forces of evil unfolds through several stories by acclaimed editor (and no slouch of an author either) James Lowder.

“King of the Frozen Men” — short story in Sojourn 2

“Orphans of the Air” — short story in Peel Back the Skin

“The Crooked Smile Killers” — novelette in Genius Loci

“The Night Chicago Died” — illustrated novelette in Pulp Zombies

I recently read them all back-to-back, and can say with certainty that these need to be a collection, especially as I’m told there are more stories on the way. They hit all the right notes for me, great characters and action, the wonderful sense of historical accuracy, the angst and pathos, the rough justice of the street.

Moody and broody, atmospheric and gritty, hearkening back to the classic pulps and cliffhangers … if Daredevil had been made like an old-timey radio drama or black-and-white serial, it would be this.