MORGAN THE RAIDER

 
Full Name: Morgan
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Crook

Creator: Mickey Spillane
Time Span: 1967 - 2011
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Morgan the Raider is a pirate.
       That is how the man who has been chasing him for the past three years at the start of the first recorded adventure describes him. A pirate from another era, one of a particular breed who lived outside the boundaries of normal rules and regulations, gaining a reputation and following and loyalty such that over time they become almost a "government unto themselves". Such was how Morgan is described by one of the men tasked with tracking him down.
       There is a lot of intended mystery to the backstory that is Morgan. Real name, for one. He is Morgan. First name? Last name? Not really stated but since he is called Mr. Morgan by at least one person, we will go with that.
       Occupation? One does not put 'pirate' on any application but since Morgan is unlikely to be filling out any forms with the truth, that is not really an issue. If he did, though, it likely would have been 'entrepeneur' since that is how Morgan sees himself.
       But 'pirate' is definitely how the rest of the world sees him. He might operate outside the laws of the land but he is not a snatch-and-grab kind of criminal. He has higher sights.
       As the first adventure begins, Morgan is the unfortunate victim of a car chase having been in the wrong place at the wrong time when a punk fleeing the police smashed his car into the building Morgan was at. For the three previous years Morgan had lived on the lam, sought unsuccessfully by the Federal authorities even as he sought someone he very much wanted to get his hands on.
       Before that, he was a 'guest' at a maximum security prison. He and an associate or two had plied his pirate trade on the byways of the Eastern seaboard and had intercepted an armored vehicle carrying $40 million in cash. The money and the culprits vanished. Some time later, though, a tip led the Feds to Morgan's doorstep where he was found with a few thousand of the booty cached away. It was not long before Morgan was locked away.
       Someone like Morgan, though, does not like being locked up. He also does not like the idea of someone framing him and taking off with such a large sum as a result. Locked up was an inconvenience he overcame.
       Which is why, when misfortune caused him to get recaptured, the CIA came calling. If he could get out of one of America's strongest prisons, he might get someone else out of a different establishment. So a Pirate becomes a Privateer.
       The concept definitely fits someone like Morgan the Raider.

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1967
Last Appearance:2011

1 The Delta Factor The Delta Factor
Written by Mickey Spillane
Copyright: 1967

Morgan is offered a chance for parole from his 30-year prison sentence if he will help a female CIA agent rescue a scientist from a Caribbean prison where he is being tortured for information. It also give Morgan a chance to find the man who framed him, and his $40 million.

2 The Consummata The Consummata
Written by Mickey Spillane, Max Allan Collins
Copyright: 2011

Morgan owes a big debt to the Cuban refugees of Miami so when they tell him about the $75k, all they had, that was stolen, he decides getting it back will help pay them back.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:1970
Last Appearance:1970

1 The Delta Factor The Delta Factor
Director: Tay Garnett
Writers: Tay Garnett, Mickey Spillane
Actors: Christopher George as Morgan, Yvette Mimieux as Kim Stacy, Yvonne De Carlo as Valerie
Released: 1970

Morgan is in prison when the CIA offers him a chance to get out in exchange for working with female agent Stacy to rescue a scientist held hostage in the Caribbean by an island dictator.

MY COMMENTS

       Several places have written about the first book, The Delta Factor, citing indications from the author, Mickey Spillane, that he was so unhappy with the movie version of the adventure that he put aside the sequel and never finished it. Mucho years later, talented author Max Allan Collins struck up a friendship with the aging author. One of the outcomes from that relationship was the right to complete that story and thus the second book comes to us many years later.
       I have read two less-than-flattering commentaries on the second book going on how it was not the same the original. Why the not-same aspect is true, I cannot understand the belittling because it is different but it is still a good adventure. Let's face it. You never got Hemingway or even Chandler from Spillane but darn it all, you got SPILLANE! How can you not like Mike Hammer or his spy alter-ego, Tiger Mann.
       With Spillane you get two fisted action, both of 'em smacking you with terrific one-two punches. You get wisecracking dialogue where the good guys and the bad guys all get razzed by the wit and satire of the main character. You get dames that have legs that reach all the way to the floor (never quite understood that one since, well, most legs do!). You get action and more action and when you want it, even more mayhem.
       As spy novels go, this is on the edge of what cloak-and-dagger fiction is but I liked it.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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