Monday, December 15, 2014

Season 3, Episode 02 - Red Shadows

"Warily he advanced, his eyes striving to pierce the darkness that brooded under the trees. This was a wild and menacing country; death might be lurking under those trees. Then his hand fell away from the hilt and he leaned forward. Death indeed was there, but not in such shape as might cause him fear.

"The fires of Hades!" he murmured. "A girl! What has harmed you, child? Be not afraid of me."

The girl looked up at him, her face like a dim white rose in the dark.

"You--who are--you?" her words came in gasps.

"Naught but a wanderer, a landless man, but a friend to all in need." The gentle voice sounded somehow incongruous, coming from the man."
"Men will die for this..."

 Greetings again, fellow travelers on the Road of Vengeance! We embark once again down for another leg of our journey with Solomon Kane - this time our sojourn takes us from the hills and forests of France to the shores of Africa all in the name of vengeance! The story is Red Shadows (read it on Project Gutenberg Australia), and it was published in the August 1928 issue of Weird Tales. The world gets its first glimpse at Solomon Kane via this story, and we spend a significant amount of time dissecting it.

Next time - Rattle of Bones! (Read it on Project Gutenberg Australia!)

Some "One Things" for you to check out:

Satan is Alive: A Tribute to Mercyful Fate and Morbid Tales! A Tribute to Celtic Frost!

Treat yo'self to a Good Old Game at

Doom Patrol! (Merry Doomsmas!

Don't forget that you can support The Cromcast by signing up for your free trial of Audible at We recommend trying out one of their THOUSANDS of titles! 

Our episode is freely available on and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. 

Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. 

Our closing theme for this episode is The Turkish Song of the Damned by The Pogues. No explanation needed - The Pogues rock, and this is a song about supernatural nautical vengeance. Seems fitting, yes? All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

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  1. Great episode.

    I haven't read the story yet - my copy of the Del Ray collection just came in the mail yesterday - but when you were initially talking about N'Longa transferring himself to the dead body I'd forgotten about the sacrificed man and pictured him going into the female gorilla. The image of a rotting gorilla zombie rising up and crushing a man to death was much more satisfying than just a regular man-zombie. I'm not sure what that would have done to the animal-vengence-satisfaction theme you discussed though.

  2. Really good episode, gents. I haven't read much Solomon Kane, but I've always assumed he is part of the same universe Conan and Kull inhabited. Given how many Lovecraftian beings were worshiped in the distant past of that world, there may not be a Christian god so to speak, but the religion itself may be formed around a half-remembered version of Mitra. Who knows if Mitra or any other deity from back then still listens or takes an active interest in humanity? Kane might as well be asking Crom for favours at that point for all the good it does him.

    1. Out of the four REH's big characters (Kull, Conan, Bran Mak Morn and SK), Solomon Kane is the hardest to link to the same universe. The others directly connect to each other but SK stories have a different description of Atlantis that does no match the others without some sort of 'fan' theories.

  3. The hosts of the (not-that-savage-at-all) Cromcast really should stop using so much cultural marxism, political correctness, feminism, white guilt and negro worship on their discussions. Ceasing to worship their own arseholes so fiercely and refraining from saddling us with a full 20 minutes of exposition about what they are drinking, have been doing and what kewl computer games they've found would also be an improvement.

  4. The early run of Dark Horse Conan comics was quite good although I wasn't that big of a fan of Busiek's many inventions. But it was the Brian Wood's Queen of the Black Coast adaptation that killed my enjoyment and I don't recommend it to anyone. It ended the established DH continuity, introduced a significant differently Conan, hardly featured any pirating despite taking place during Conan's pirate years and also had that one pretty infamous panel among its many silly things. This doesn't really look something from Beyond the Black River or The Black Stranger. :)

    The Savage Sword of REH comic has a good Dark Agnes adaptation and absolutely beautiful old Marvel black and white Bran Mak Morn story in color.

    Solomon Kane doesn't need an origin story, we get enough small glimpses of his past troughout the stories. In general the REH movie adaptations have suffered from the need to give his characters origin stories, I think.

    There is one interesting thing regarding N'Longa, pay attention how he speaks English and later in another story when he supposedly speaks not in a foreign tongue. In general pay attention to his and SK's relationship in addition to SK's righteousness or lack of it as you already have been discussing it.

    And about Solomon Kane being some kind of author avatar / Mary Sue fo Howard... of course not, he is a bloody Englishman! :D