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Full Name: The Red Menace
Nationality: American
Organization: MIC
Occupation Agent

Creator: James Mullaney
Time Span: 2011 - 2014


The Red Menace is an agent with M.I.C.

The Manpower and Intelligence Coordination is a member of the American Intelligence community's alphabet soup though at the time of the adventures depicted in the books, MIC was a pale reflection of what it had once been. Created in 1950 when the Soviets were making tremendous strides in military improvements, including getting the atomic bomb, it was meant to be the hub for all the intelligence gathering by the nascent CIA, the commie-hunters of the FBI, and the various military departments.

The 50's were its heyday but over the years, the turf wars brought about territoriality and the inclination to share their toys with others caused the various agencies to not cooperate so much. With only so much money to be doled out, MIC lost more of its funding and withered to a fraction of its size and struggled to remain in existance. It became "one of the worst kept secrets and most underfunded agencies in the spy game." Now in the 1970s, it had a handful of agents and little else.

When it was at its best, the MIC had one other thing going for it that none of the other bureaus had; it had the Red Menace. An athletic, strong, vigorous young man with an astonishing daring and a wicked sense of humor as well as a deep-set love of justice, the Red Menace also possessed a very special weapon - his uniform. Of a deep red color and consisting of a cloak and a hooded mask, this costume had properties that defied explanation. It seemed at times to change color and whenever near any decent sized shadow, it allowed the wearer to blend in to near invisibility.

With the ability to sneak into places usually deemed impenetrable and with the gall to do it, the Red Menace became a major force in the fight to keep the other side of the Iron Curtain on edge. For nearly a full decade, the Red Menace was a phantom in the nightmares of Communist operatives everywhere from the alleys of Washington to the Kremlin itself. Then in 1960, it vanished.

Patrick Becket, known to his friends as Podge, is the owner and founder of Becket International, Inc., a major player in the burgeoning world of mainframe computers and considered IBM's major competitor in that lucrative and growing industry. Considered a genius in his own right, Becket was able to put together a team that kept innovation going strong and as a result, kept him quite wealthy.

In his early 40s, Becket was almost a poster child for the rich and powerful, able to hobnob with fellow giants of industry as well as joke and laugh with the commoners. He joked that his grandfather had lost a fortune in steel and his father lost another one but the fortune that Becket enjoyed was greater than theirs had been and came from the hard work he put into his company. Becket was a successful man in anyone's eyes.

He was also the man who, 12 years before, had been the Red Menace.

For reasons few knew, the Red Menace has vanished in 1960, gone apparently for good.

Now the Red Menace is back.


Number of Books:5
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2014

1 Red and Buried Red and Buried
Written by James Mullaney
Copyright: 2011

Retired from action for over a decade, Patrick Becket, the Red Menace, finds he must return to the field to take on a Russian colonel with the ability to destroy the world. A lot can change in 12 years.
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2 Drowning In Red Ink Drowning In Red Ink
Written by James Mullaney
Copyright: 2012

The Red Menace, assisted by his mentor, Thaddeus, take on a band of domestic terrorists called The People's Brigade who attack Mt. Rushmore.
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3 Red The Riot Act Red The Riot Act
Written by James Mullaney
Copyright: 2012

A riot at a maximum security prison in the West is more than just unhappy inmates. Something is turning them into wild beasts, literally.

4 A Red Letter Day A Red Letter Day
Written by James Mullaney
Copyright: 2013

A top secret safe belonging to the late J. Edgar Hoover is discovered and then disappears. It is thought to contain all his secret files on the powerful. The Red Menace is not asked for help but his mentor, Thaddeus, is as he designed the safe years ago.
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5 Red On The Menu Red On The Menu
Written by James Mullaney
Copyright: 2014

A famous chain of restaurants, Franklin Morrow's, is suddenly the in-place to go if one is a murderer or other ne'er-do-well. MIC asks the Red Menace to look into it.
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I am a huge, huge fan of the Destroyer (well, most of them because some are written by people who had no idea about the characters and obviously did not care). There were several different authors, though, so it is inevitable that I would like one better than another. The original authors were terrific, of course, but without a doubt, James Mullaney was my favorite of all whose penned a Remo and Chiun adventure.

When that job came to an end, the talented Mr. Mullaney turned his attention to other matters but luckily for us one of those matters was the creation of a new, unique character called the Red Menace.

If you took a pulp hero from the 30's and transplanted him in the 2010's, you could not do better than Mr. Mullaney has done with the Red Menace. And if you want the witty, biting back-and-forth dialogue that was so delightful in the Destroyer books, you get a Red Menace version in these books that is understandably different but still as good.

These books are not to be read seriously. They were not written that way, I imagine, and to treat them as such would be to miss the point. They are over-the-top pulp adventures that are meant as fun and live up to that.


My Grade: B+


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