Hello friends and welcome to another
edition of Wacky WWII Hijinks! Get hype, today we’re gonna learn
about rad spy shit
okay, first some
background: the OSS, or Office of Strategic Services, was an American
intelligence agency during WWII that was in charge of clandestine
shit like espionage, propaganda, and counter-intelligence. It was run
by a dude called “Wild Bill” Donovan, because that’s the kind of
name people had back then somehow
the SOE, or Special Operations Executive, was a British organization
in charge of espionage, sabotage, and assisting local resistance
groups in Europe. It didn’t have a director with a weird nickname,
but it was sometimes called the Baker Street Irregulars, which
honestly I think is even better
as you can imagine,
these two organizations came up with a lot of weird shit to help
their agents infiltrate into occupied Europe, so let’s get to it
this one comes to us courtesy of the SOE and were intended for use in
boiler rooms, because the british figured that anyone finding a gross
dead rat while stoking a boiler would probably just chuck the corpse
into the fire and be done with it. Except this time the boiler would
Rat asses, as you can see from the pencil fuse in the image, could
also be rigged for timed explosions instead, for those occasions when
you’re on a tight schedule about raining down petrified rat entrails
in your enemy’s basement
unfortunately (???), the RATS, EXPLOSIVE, never saw actual combat
use, as the first box the SOE dropped into Europe was intercepted by
the Nazis, who probably had a read good “what the FUCK”
moment when they opened it
along similar lines but far less fucking weird were coal
bombs, which were essentially the same thing as the rat bombs but
with hollowed out coal instead. Both the SOE and OSS actually used
Poop bombs (lol)
they then went a bizarre step further and developed mule dung bombs
for use in Africa- “specially sculpted” replicas of mule poop
that were packed with explosives. These weren’t meant to be chucked
into boilers, but rather left around for enemy forces to drive over.
Here is an actual American soldier talking about collecting mule shit
for war purposes, from O'Donnell’s book Operatives, Spies, and
Mule turds were to be found in great abundance…we added a few
samples of local mule dung, and this was carefully packed and sent to
London. We took care to explain that the full, rich horse dung of the
British countryside would not do in Morocco; it was the more watery,
smaller mule type that would pass there without suspicion. Also, it
was important to have it a deep sepia color, sometimes with greenish
shades, the product of straw and grass, not of oats and hay. In due
course of time the British London office made up explosive turds from
these samples, and we used them to good effect later in Tunisia.
You do you, mule-poop-connoisseur-OSS-agent.
this is not an actual picture of a bat bomb, but I found it while
googling for images to use and I love it okay thanks
anyway are you sensing a theme here?
This one was, surprisingly, not the product of OSS or SOE, but of an
American dentist named Lytle S Adams. Everyone needs a hobby I guess.
The idea behind bat bombs was that you take a bunch of bats
(specifically Mexican free-tailed bats), tie some little bombs to
them, and stuff them into a plane. Then the plane flies over Japan
(because Japan has a lot of wooden buildings and therefore is
particularly susceptible to incendiary use), and drops the bats. The
bats fall down to building-level, then start flying around looking
for somewhere to hide because they are having a seriously bad bat
day. In theory, the bats would fly up into the eaves and roofs of the
buildings, at which point the timers on their little bombs would go
off, sending both bats and buildings up in flames.
This idea actually, somehow, made it into the testing phase, but was
never used because honestly what the fuck
guess what it’s another bomb! In this case, a plastic explosive that
looked like flour (hence the name) and could even be baked into
something resembling food products, although just a tad more
poisonous than most food you find outside of school cafeterias. Aunt
Jemima was easy to smuggle through enemy lines due to its innocuous
appearance, and the OSS sent a bunch of it to Chinese resistance
fighters against the Japanese
“wait what?”, I’m sure you’re saying. “finally something that
doesn’t explode and it’s…just a totally normal thing?”
yeah. Here’s the thing: if you sent an agent or resistance fighter
into occupied territory, there was a pretty good chance they were
gonna get frisked at some point, because that was a pretty routine
occurrence in places like occupied France. If said agent/resistance
member were carrying, say, a map showing escape routes or a code
sheet for them to use to send information, and they got searched,
either that paper is gonna be found with their other papers or, if
hidden on their person, make a pretty distinct crinkling noise when
the Gestapo agent gets friendly with that area. Plus, you know, paper
doesn’t do great when wet
the solution to this was printing stuff on silk, like this:
this is Leo Marks, the creator of the silk code keys and one time
pads that SOE used for their agents, holding a one time code pad that has
been printed on silk
these silk documents could be sewn into an agent’s clothing while
still being totally undetectable to a pat-down, or even hidden
somewhere like rolled up in a thin tube and then stuck inside a
shoelace. If you went a step further and printed the document using
invisible ink, agents could carry maps around in plain view as
handkerchiefs or have their codebook printed directly onto their
underwear, because hey why not
I know it sounds boring after all this exploding wildlife, but
silk-printed documents were hugely important to covert
operations during WWII
should not be guns but are, in fact, guns
tbh I’m just gonna let the pictures speak for themselves on this one
apparently there was an umbrella one too but I couldn’t find a picture of that one
you’re dropping people into enemy territory to gather intelligence,
you need some way to communicate with them. This was a problem, since
cell phones hadn’t been invented yet and radios at the time were
like, fucking huge, which
is not great when you’re trying to hide them from the Gestapo
got around this problem by creating the suitcase radio, which is
exactly what it sounds like- a big old radio disguised as a suitcase.
Obviously they weren’t gonna stand up to any examination more
rigorous than “yes that is suitcase shaped”, but it allowed
agents to at least walk around in public with it without attracting
too much attention
keeping with the “problems with radios” theme, we have the OSS’
Joan-Eleanor system. See, normal radio frequencies were monitored by
both sides in the war, which was Not Great. It meant both that radio
transmissions could be intercepted by the enemy (and subsequently
decoded, like Germany’s Enigma messages), and also that you could use
radio direction finders to pinpoint the location of a broadcasting
radio. Every time a covert agent turned on their radio to report
something, they ran the risk of being located and hella murdered
the Joan-Eleanor (or J-E) system, in contrast, was a Very High
Frequency (VHF) system. VHF bands couldn’t be easily monitored,
unlike the frequency bands used by other radios.
Why? I actually have no idea. Listen I just read things and ramble
about them on the internet, I don’t know jack shit about radios
anyway, as a result the system was hard to detect but very short
range, so it worked by giving the agent on the ground a hand-held
transmitter (the Joan), that talked to a bigger transceiver (the
Eleanor) that was in a plane. At prearranged times the plane would
fly over wherever the agent was and they could have an undetectable
it’s a compass! It’s a button! It’s a compass hidden inside a button!
okay this one isn’t technically equipment, but it’s cool and
was used by spies so you can deal with it
it turns out that during the war pretty much everyone listened to the
BBC, even at risk of arrest in occupied territories. The SOE used
this to their advantage by working with the BBC to broadcast
seemingly meaningless words or phrases at certain times, which were
actually pre-arranged coded messages or orders to agents or
if an agent had to win over the resistance’s trust or prove they were
actually spies and not just random dudes, they could ask the person
whose trust they were trying to win to provide them with a personal
word or phrase. Then the agent could radio the SOE, give them the
word/phrase and ask it to be broadcast at a certain time, which the
other person would hear, and bam best friends
is there anything more quintessentially spy? agents were often supplied with a little vial of invisible ink before being dropped into occupied territory, for communications outside radio broadcasts. the ink could be developed (made visible) by means of chemicals or exposure to ultraviolet light (some invisible inks are developed by heat, but the SOE at least avoided those because of the worryingly high risk of accidental exposure. “whoops I sat to close to the fire and now everyone can see I actually drew little devil horns on this poster of Hitler you gave me”)
REAL COOL FACT: Josephine Baker, the famous Black singer, was actually a spy for the French Resistance during the war, and smuggled information during her concert tours of Europe by writing it in invisible ink on her sheet music! wow!
okay I’m gonna stop now because I keep thinking of more shit to add
and if I do this will literally never end (sorry). For further
reading I recommend the O'Donnell book mentioned above and Leo Marks’
Between Silk and Cyanide. Also apparently H. Keith Melton’s
OSS Special Weapons & Equipment is really good, but I
haven’t read it personally (though I totally stole the pictures of
the OSS guns from there, hooray the internet)
The most famous detective in the world, the brother of Mycroft Holmes and the archenemy of James Moriarty from the novels of Arthur Conan Doyle. With his companion, Doctor John Watson, Sherlock solved countless crimes and mysteries thought to be impossible through his incredible deductive reasoning, from his base in 221b Baker Street.
Other individuals such as Irene Adler and the Baker Street Irregulars were also impartial in his crime-solving career. Eventually, through perseverance and his own sacrifice, he rid the world of Moriarty forever and has become a legendary figure in the world of fiction. Countless other writers have continued his adventures, some even giving him an older brother, Sherringford or a younger sister, Enola.
Lent / Ash Wednesday
Sherlock: 243 types of tobacco ash. Deleted!
Sherlock TSoT: I know ash!
Creepy Guy SiB: I know human ash.
ACD: Holmes monograph on the subject of tobacco ash, first mentioned in A Study in Scarlet. Used to solve The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear (arguably the 40th story).
Observe animal behavior…
BBC Sherlock: Sherlock experiments on John in HoB by using idea of an animal that attacks in the lab, and Eurus makes remarks about experimenting on them in TFP. She also calls them pack animals, which could have two connotations: pack animals like wolves or pack animals like elephants. Mycroft refers to them as lab rats. Sherlock and John discuss murderous zoo animal in TLD. Murderous Mary elephant is placed on thelostspecial.com site. The Veiled Lodger has this attack animal concept, and is chronologically the 40th story.
The Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes (ASH for short), a scion of The Baker Street Irregulars, which was founded by female fans, because BSI did not allow women membership.
“We must certainly lose to them.” -TAB Mycroft (Who Sherlock gives 2 years, 11 months, and 4 days to live at the end of the bet. Oct 2018 from TAB release date?)
Observe the spirit…
Love /AMMO/, Faith (Culverton), Charity? The greatest of these is love, if Sherlock is a resurrection figure. And to have John. Originally, Mary meant love (Egyptian), then sea (Maria or Stella Maris connects it to Venus), then bitterness or wished-for child (Biblical).
Genesis has a creation story that is partially covered in the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Garden Of Paradise. This story also features the East Wind, North Wind, a fairy, water-phobia/a very wet Prince, talk of forests (we know part of Sherlock was filmed in a forest), angels, apples, panes of glass, mirrors, weeping tears of blood, what constitutes sin (desire itself or acting on it), defying death, and the Arctic (Sherlock North).
Matthew 13: 9-16 Jesus and the disciples discuss using parables to teach, but people that do not perceive what they should.
Is he not the celebrated author of The Dynamics of an Asteroid, a book which ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said that there was no man in the scientific press capable of criticizing it?
— Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear
This topic had been covered by *Newcomb about 20 years before, and it may have been him that inspired the character of Moriarty.
Mary reading Dynamics of Combustion, and 221B is blown up, but the book was written by Sherlock’s mother so in EMP, regular MP or John’s unconscious state, the boys would be unscathed. It represents the love of a true mother, rather than the feeling of AGRA Mary who leaves her child behind and jumps in front of a bullet in T6T.
Observe the sky:
Mid-March, observers equipped with binoculars may attempt to detect the tiny crescent of Venus (love). Telescopes show a large, thin crescent at this point, the image split into the /rainbow / colours by an effect called dispersion.
Currently the Obliquity of the ecliptic is around 23.4°, slightly less (by about 0.013°) than it will have been 100 years ago, when measured by the American astronomer and mathematician *Simon Newcomb. (This means things are off kilter, so consider the camera shifts in TAB and TFP.)
Things We Know About the Riddler from TheRiddlerSpeaks blog:
He considers himself the “information broker of
He’s fond of Harley Quinn to a certain extent,
but finds her tiring and the company she keeps unsavory.
He finds Scarecrow insufferable.
His worst fear is losing his intelligence and
thus making everything he’s worked for worthless.
He’s a coffee drinker (three milk, no sugar) who
doesn’t like tea.
He can finish any newspaper puzzle in less than
His favorite movies are Forbidden Planet and Dr.
Strangelove, and his favorite actor is Peter Cushing, whom he sees as a
He flat-out hates the Joker and his methods.
He used to love watching late-night horror
movies, especially the Hammer Horror films.
He swears quite a bit when he’s frustrated or
His morning routine consists of a copy of the Daily Planet and a large coffee.
His mother was a meek woman who often kowtowed
to his abusive father and would insist he change his behavior to make his
He doesn’t at all hate people with genuine
mental handicaps, reserving his ire for the proudly and willfully ignorant.
He considers Black Mask a decent cohort, if not
a decent human being, but doesn’t think he has the proper flair that a rogue
He has a great deal of respect for his
henchgirls, trusts them to take care of themselves, and feels secure enough
around them to poke fun at them in their presence.
He doesn’t consider killing an emotional
endeavor, preferring to look at the bigger picture the death would be part of.
He’s thought about pursuing martial arts, but
considers himself too old for it these days.
He used to be merely a petty thief, but dabbled
in blackmail with important figures, one of whom killed himself under his
He has quite a bit of disdain for the Mad
Hatter, thinking he’s a childish one-trick pony who takes the easy way out with
He dropped out of high school and never got a
He’s published quite a few of his riddles and
get annoyed at how many of these sites and books get the answers wrong.
He’s a history nerd who can quote several past
rulers and philosophers.
He has the following qualifications for henches:
You have to have survived in the Gotham
underworld for a minimum of four years (eight months for ex-Joker henches.)
You have to be able to shoot straight, knock a
man unconscious, crack a safe, create and use basic explosives, and answer
three out of five introductory riddles correctly.
You have to have at least somewhat stable mental
You have to have some intelligence and common
sense with a healthy enough ego not to take remarks personally.
He jokes that his dream pet is a robotic spider
with the brain of Albert Einstein.
He regards golf as “where testosterone goes to
He used to use “the Fish” (in reference to
Einstein’s logic puzzle) as shorthand for the answer that must be found, but
had to stop after the girls started making “fish stick” jokes.
He hopes that after his death his brain will be
preserved for a clone or robot body; if the brain is unsalvageable, he’s told
his henchgirls where he wants his ashes scattered.
He did appreciate his secretaries while he was a
private detective and is still fond enough of them to keep in touch.
He quit being a P.I. after he got bored and sick
of not getting any more respect than he did as a criminal.
He’s more scared than he cares to admit of
Poison Ivy and avoids her at all costs.
He gets his suits and masks from “Paul the crime
tailor”; he has suits based on seven different basic designs and prefers black
slacks because they show less blood. He
also prefers domino masks and three-piece suits.
He’d been working odd jobs at 19 years old and
making money on the side winning crossword puzzle contests until he was
blacklisted by the New York Times. His
first girlfriend convinced him he was better than the Minnesota education system
and gave him his first access to someone else’s private records, which he sold
for all the money he needed to get to Gotham.
He likes purple because it’s a royal color and
green because it’s the color of ambiguity and tends to stimulate critical
He used to be a hardline atheist, but now is
more of an agnostic.
He sees sex as an inevitable fact of life, but a
pointless and pleasureless one; he subscribes to the “Tesla method” of keeping
it from being a priority in his life.
He finds Victor Zsasz’s methods pretty genius in
their own way.
He doesn’t like villain team-ups, viewing the
clashing egos as a hindrance to accomplishing the task at hand.
He thinks the Baker Street Irregulars were an
ingenious use of resources and considers them one of the best parts of the
Holmes stories. He looks down on
Moriarty as a rarely-used plot device.
He doesn’t listen to music very much and sticks
to classical on the rare occasions when he does.
He was subjected to chemical injections that
gave him crippling migraines and a near-death experience under Lock-Up’s reign
of terror and was too ill to attend the famous hearing.
He does enjoy travelling, though he rarely has the occasion, and went on a national tour outside of Gotham City during No Man’s
Land. He’s also “unashamedly a town
He’s had his fair share of experiences with
groupies and can spot them on sight. He
once hacked a database and put Condiment King at the top of a popularity poll
just to see how many fangirls grouped to him at the Iceberg the next night.
He tends to mail back fan mail with grammatical
corrections, commentary, and the occasional letter grade.
He claims to have written part of the Evil
Overlord List and says that several of the points are impractical in real life.
He’s been inside The Pandora’s Box S&M club and didn’t think
it was that shocking.
He’s a Leo—he doesn’t put much stock in
astrology, but he finds horoscope descriptions fascinating in how broad and
scam-like they are.
He thinks fetish gear is ridiculous.
He has a scar on his shoulder from Query.
He denies that his pursuit of Jessica from his “Joker’s
Asylum” story ever happened.
He has no desire to get involved in any Gotham
turf wars, preferring to wait until all the rogues kill each other and Batman off
and rise to the top in their absence.
He does believe in multiple forms of
intelligence, but believes that certain forms and applications are more
valuable than others.
He doesn’t put much stock in modern art,
especially interpretive dance and mime.
He despises the “Why is a raven like a writing
desk?” riddle and feels similarly toward the riddles in The Hobbit.
He never sleeps with his henchgirls, considering
them too close to himself in intellect and personality.
He has a thing for “striking brunettes”.
He’s a big grammar Nazi.
He’s “crazy good” at Tetris.
He regards loyalty as the greatest weakness a
person can have and doesn’t think family is important.
He’s very sarcastic and is practically incapable of not taunting people, even
when he’s in no position to be mouthing off.
He used to have a bit of a crush on Catwoman,
but has become more disillusioned with her since the “incident in Rome”.
He doesn’t like being called “Mister”—he thinks
honorifics are a bit pretentious.
He felt a bit sorry for Enigma, but was largely
ambivalent to her, regarding her as more of an interesting case than any kind
of valuable relationship.
1 and 43 because I'm dying for good Sherlolly angst lol (with a happy ending of course)
( 1. “Do you want me to leave?”
43. “I am not losing you again!”
This is going to be a multi-chapter fic because while I have no problems doing short fluffy fics, I apparently cannot do short angsty fics. I’ll post the first chapter here, but this and the rest of the chapters will be on AO3 and FF.net)
Debt of Honor ch 1
Everyone knew the Holmes family was obscenely rich. Everyone
also knew the Holmes brothers were cold and calculating, but never cruel.
No, Dr. Molly Hooper
thought. To be cruel, you have to hate
something. To hate something, you have to be capable of emotion.
Part 32/83 of my Female Rogues of Gotham City series
Jervis Tetch by
himself is already a far more formidable threat than his small stature and
soft-spoken manner would indicate. But
put him with his loyal band of Wonderland citizens and he is
nigh-unbeatable. The motley crew known
as the Wonderland Gang is sometimes a dysfunctional one, with arguments between
members and accidental detonations in the lair all too common, but at their
core they are a family. And while the
gossiping Tweedles, the deceptive gentle giant the Walrus, and the fast and
furious getaway driver the Gryphon are certainly to be feared, one finds that
the female of the species in this case can be even more dangerous.
Harriet Barnes—The March Hare—was the only evidence of
the union between an innocent remarried civilian woman and a deceased high-tier
criminal henchman and grew up in an environment full of resentment and cold
stares; the only person in the world she loved was her younger sister, who
joined her in her new life’s mission to spite her new family. It was then she found a place among the Mad
Hatter’s gang, where she became a gunrunner and stuntwoman par excellence, finally
able to indulge in her love of adventure and perpetual adrenaline rush. At times, however, Harriet still feels a bit
of guilt for dragging her beloved sister into the underworld with her and in
her lowest moments finds comfort in the bottom of a bottle of scotch; as long
as her trigger finger stays steady, she’ll indulge all she feels like.
Trisha “Tick” Barnes—The White Rabbit—was the March Hare’s
half-sister and had never known her family’s criminal roots until recently; her
parents always pampered her and let her get away with everything, which planted
the seeds of her own immorality and resentment, leading her to abuse their
trust and side with Harriet over them.
Never having learned right and wrong very well, she’d always been
fascinated with Gotham’s rogues and even harbored crushes on a few, and so she
was thrilled to find a place in the Wonderland Gang alongside her childhood
heroes. As the gang’s youngest inductee,
Tick finds no greater joy than in making her own explosives and curious gadgets
and gleefully watching chaos unfold around her, her love of misadventure
managing to outstrip that of her sister.
Sayana Kapoor—The Dormouse—moved from India to Gotham
with her parents when she was six years old and, not long after, found herself
an orphan when her parents were slaughtered, their corpses fashioned to look
like human dolls; when she ran screaming for help, the killer found her and
sewed her own mouth shut so she wouldn’t blab to the police. Although her mouth has healed, leaving only
scars behind, and she has effectively found a new family among the Wonderland
Gang, the trauma remains so great that she is completely mute, preferring to
communicate in sign language with her friends translating for her. And with her new expertise in martial arts,
throwing weapons, and smoke and mirrors stealth, Sayana hopes to someday avenge
her parents’ murder.
Petra Tenniel—The Carpenter—was once a carpenter with
dreams of being an architect who had been thrown into a dangerous situation in
one of the buildings she was tasked with overseeing, resulting in a three-week
coma and the loss of her unborn child.
Outraged, heartbroken, and looking for justice, especially after the
arrest of her husband after he tried to fight on her behalf, she built an
elaborate trap and got revenge on the ones who’d wronged her; the Wonderland
Gang took notice and offered her a job, which she accepted if her husband, soon
to be christened the Walrus, was allowed to come with her. Now, Petra works as Jervis Tetch’s personal
deathtrap architect and technological consultant, and she’s all but adopted the
gang’s younger members, giving her purpose and happiness once again.
The Daisy Chain is the
Wonderland Gang’s eyes and ears; no one knows their names precisely or indeed
how many of them there are, but so many of these young women were once urchins,
streetwalkers, and desperate henchwomen looking for semi-honest work anywhere
they could. Now, they are the Mad Hatter’s
version of the Baker Street Irregulars, slipping unseen into nightclubs, bars, and any
seedy location in Gotham’s underbelly, sometimes in disguise, and gleaning what
information they can before reporting back.
And if things get violent, a hail of bullets, a whack with a mallet, or a flash of colorful
smoke certainly would not go amiss, and all the while they will never breathe a
word except to their boss.
The wonderful March Hare, White Rabbit, Dormouse, and Carpenter all belong to my good friend @mcgeeky25.
Solar Pons is a fictional detective created by August Derleth as a pastiche of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.
Upon hearing that Doyle had no plans to write more Holmes stories, the young Derleth wrote to him, asking permission to take over the job. Conan Doyle graciously declined the offer, but Derleth, despite having never been to London, set about finding a name that was reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, and wrote his first set of Solar Pons pastiches. He would go on to write more stories about Pons than Conan Doyle did about Holmes.
Pons is quite openly a pastiche of Holmes; the first book, (pub. 1945), was titled In Re: Sherlock Holmes. The similarities can hardly be missed: Solar Pons has prodigious powers of observation and deduction, who can astound his companions by telling them minute details about people he has only just met, details that he proves to have deduced in seconds of observation. The Pons stories are narrated by Dr. Lyndon Parker. The pair share lodgings at 7B Praed Street. Their landlady is Mrs. Johnson. Solar Pons has a smarter brother named Bancroft.
Solar Pons isn’t merely Sherlock Holmes with the name changed, because Sherlock Holmes also exists in Pons’ world: Pons and Parker are aware of the famous detective and hold him in high regard, but while Holmes’ adventures took place primarily in the 1880s and 1890s, Pons and Parker live in the 1920s and 1930s (when Derleth began writing). Pons fans regard Derleth as having given Pons his own distinctly different personality, far less melancholy and brooding than Holmes’.
The Pons stories cross over, at times, with the writings of others, such as Derleth’s literary correspondent H. P. Lovecraft in “The Adventure of the Six Silver Spiders,” Fu Manchu author Sax Rohmer, and Carnacki the Ghost-Finder in “The Adventure of the Haunted Library.”
(Derleth’s’ other great claim to fame, of course, is that he ensured Lovecraft’s body of work was not lost to the ages. He was a co-founder of Arkham House, the only publisher to reprint Lovecraft’s fiction until fairly recently.)
The tales in the Pontine canon (as the collected Solar Pons works are known) can be broadly divided into two classes, the straight and the humorous, the straight being more or less straightforward tales of detection in the classic Holmesian mode, while the others—a minority—have some gentle fun, most notably by involving fictional characters from outside either canon, most notably Dr. Fu Manchu, Hercule Poirot, and The Saint.
Several of the Pontine tales have titles taken from the famous “unrecorded” cases of Holmes which Watson often alluded to, including the matters of “Ricoletti of the Club Foot (and his Abominable Wife),” “The Aluminum Crutch,” “The Black Cardinal,” and “The Politician, the Lighthouse, and the Trained Cormorant.” Others are riffs on Holmesian tales, such as “The Adventure of the Tottenham Werewolf” paralleling (in some ways) Holmes’ case of the Sussex Vampire.
Solar Pons, in turn, inspired fanfiction that continued after his death in 1971, most significantly written by author Basil Copper.
A society, the Praed Street Irregulars (PSI), is dedicated to Solar Pons. The Irregulars were founded by Luther Norris in 1966 in the style of the better-known Baker Street Irregulars.
you've mentioned that Jason wasn't around for long, in or out of costume, and I was wondering if you could talk a little about his character, and why he's not as much of a player in the sorrowful and immaculate hearts verse?
Jason had a big impact on Bruce but that’s part of why I haven’t written him much - because even though I made his storyline a lot less being-dead-centric, it’s still kind of emotionally intense? I think that as of right now the most intense thing I’ve written is chapter two of Christmas in Kansas, which is still pretty chill.
I like Batman having his own sort of Baker Street irregulars. He’s got the networks of kids with their Batman superstitions, alerting him to things in their own various ways without directly interacting with him; he’s got the banshees, some of whom he learns to trust for their information networks; and then there’s just Misc. Various street kids or petty criminals (by which I mean, criminals whose only crimes are things like growing weed or sex work) that he’s able to work with on a semi-regular basis.
(Bruce owns a lot of homes for wayward youths but some kids will never trust the system no matter how safe he tries to make it; those kids trust Batman exchanging help for information more than they’ll ever trust someone offering help for its own sake)
Jason Todd in Sorrowful and Immaculate Hearts had a dead mom and an abusive father. He has an inherent distrust of male authority figures who say they want to help him. He doesn’t like to be touched. He learns, very slowly, to trust Batman. When Bruce finally brings him home and lets him in on the secret, it’s because Jason’s situation has become untenable and because Jason has more than proven himself. Jason is never officially adopted; the official line is that he’s the son of some cousin or another that left him with Bruce while they went gallivanting around on cruises or whatever it is that rich people do. There are limits to Jason’s trust, and giving Bruce legal authority over him is that limit.
He was always ready to leave, because he always assumed he’d have to.
(I’m being vague about a lot of things to avoid this being too spoilery or triggery and idk if it’s working).
When things go sideways with Jason, it’s because Jason has a hurt in him that Bruce will never really understand. It’s not like with Dick, where his hurt was like a mirror image of Bruce. It is a fundamental difference in the way they see the world. For Jason, there are some people in the world who are simply not worth saving; Bruce can’t accept that, but he also can’t say that he’s wrong.
Jason doesn’t stop being Robin because he dies. He stops being Robin because he leaves. Bruce doesn’t follow because Bruce doesn’t know what to do and he’s not sure if he’s ever known what to do but rather than appreciating the space Jason takes this as a final rejection. The fact that Bruce just let him go.
(and then there’s the red hood and then there’s talia and bruce has been keeping tabs in his own way and when things go sideways that time they really go sideways but that all comes later)
Rest in peace Jeremy Brett, who died on this day September 12th, 1995. I was fifteen years old, and–while I was introduced to Sherlock Holmes when my dad handed me the canon–we watched the Granada series religiously as a family. Or at least it was religiously for me, because now I am a Baker Street Babe, Adventuress of Sherlock Holmes, and Baker Street Irregular, I can look back and thank Mr. Brett for giving me the first version of Sherlock Holmes who wasn’t solely in my imagination, the first solid human Holmes I ever loved, and when people ask me my religious affiliation, my answer is “Sherlockian.”
Thank you for all you did for Holmes fans everywhere. – lyndsayfaye