And who are the arch enemies of the giant manfaced bats? Giant bat men of course! A depiction of one of those (on the cover of The Popular Magazine) can be found here.
Surrilana, the vast system of caverns beneath the Himalayas (as described in the pulp serial Morgo the Mighty), is home to a variety of weird creatures. The first such species that McRory and company run into (literally, with their airplane) is the giant manfaced bat. This creature is huge – about the size of a human being, and somewhat intelligent – enough to follow the orders of the masked tyrant Zorimi,
One of my favorite Frankenstein sequels is the short story “Black as the Pit, From Pole to Pole” by Howard Waldrop and Steve Utley. It picks up where the novel left off with Frankenstein’s Monster wandering across the polar ice cap. He has discovered that Frankenstein made him too well – the ice and cold won’t kill him. He doesn’t want to try drowning himself – it might not work. So he keeps walking – right into the northern opening to the hollow earth.
He makes his way through the Earth encountering all manner of monsters, beasts and weirder things, conquers kingdoms, finds love, and sows fear and destruction in his path. Eventually he comes out at the South Pole. I liked the story so much that I bought the book Custer’s Last Jump just so that I wouldn’t have to check it out of the library the next time I wanted to read it. One of these days I’ll have to get around to reading the other stories that keep it company.
Morgo was a boy, traveling with his family in the Himalayas, when they were killed. He became trapped in the caverns of Surrilana. Because he was a white man (in a pulp novel written by a white American male in 1930) he grew up strong and powerful and a ruler of the other beings in the caverns.
Sometimes an author picks the wrong character to be his protagonist. For his novel Morgo the Mighty, Sean O’Larkin chose the pilot Jerry McRory. Jerry isn’t necessarily a bad character. I imagine O’Larkin figured that he needed an ordinary guy to lead his ordinary guy readers through the underworld of Surrilana. He is not, however, as dynamic as Morgo. Morgo fights the giant chickens, negotiates with the giant ants and does all the primitive man heroic stuff. Poor Jerry is a lost guy with a gun who knows that when he runs out of bullets he’s screwed.
Morgo the Mighty takes place in a series of massive caverns located beneath the Himalayas. Each cavern is lit by a different degree and spectrum of light. The deeper one goes into the caves the brighter the light becomes. The explanation of where the light comes from is a bit ridiculous but probably no more so than the idea of a series of massive caves, teeming with life, located beneath the Himalayas.
If I ever do manage to do a rewritten and illustrated version of the story I plan to have the light originate from a different source than in the original novel. That source will probably be no less ridiculous than the source in the original.
Morgo the Mighty takes place in Surrilana, a vast cavern – series of caverns actually – beneath the Himalayas. Our protagonist, Jerry McRory, is hired to fly a plane through the mouth of a cave in the side of one of the mountains. While McRory believes that his employers claims of a great treasure are nonsense he never stops to ask what seems like a more obvious question – “Where I going to land this plane in a cave?”