Kenneth Robenson - The Avenger


Richard Benson as The Avenger

The Avenger is a fictional character whose original adventures appeared between September 1939 and September 1942 in the pulp magazine The Avenger, published by Street and Smith Publications. Five additional short stories were published in Clues Detective magazine (1942 - 1943), and a sixth novelette in The Shadow magazine in 1943. Newly-written adventures were commissioned and published by Warner Brother's Paperback Library from 1973 to 1974. The Avenger was a pulp hero who combined elements of Doc Savage and The Shadow though he was never as popular as either of these characters.

The authorship of the pulp series was credited by Street and Smith to Kenneth Robeson, the same byline that appeared on the Doc Savage stories. The "Kenneth Robeson" name was a house pseudonym used by a number of different Street & Smith writers. Most of the original Avenger stories were written by Paul Ernst.

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From Uvula Audio:

1.  The Avenger #1: Justice Incorporated  (8 chapters):  Kenneth Robeson - Justice Incorporated  (The first Avenger novel) tells the story of Richard Benson, a 1940s pulp hero. Out of tragedy, a hero is born! In the roaring heart of the crucible, steel is made. In the raging flame of personal tragedy, men are sometimes forged into something more than human. Wealthy and successful at an early age, Richard Benson was preparing to enjoy a long and happy life with his family when crime took away his wife and young daughter. Once he was just a man, but now he is a machine of vengeance dedicated to the extermination of all crime. A figure of ice and steel, but more pitiless than both, Benson has become a symbol to crooks and killers--a terrible, almost impersonal force, masking cold genius and a nearly supernatural power behind a face as white and still as a dead man's mask. Only pale eyes, like ice in a polar dawn, hint at what awaits criminals when they invoke the rage of millionaire adventurer Richard Benson - The Avenger!


2.  The Avenger #2: The Yellow Hoard by Paul Ernst - Richard Henry Benson-- the Avenger-- returns in his second adventure. His new aid is introduced-- the dangerous and beautiful Nellie Gray. The mystery involves murderous explosive peanuts and "Mexican Bricks" that the bad guys will kill to obtain! And no, the Mexican Bricks are not what you think they are-- this story was written in 1939.

3.  The Avenger #3: The Sky Walker by Paul Ernst 
The Sky Walker seems to be a man walking in the air over Chicago, pushing a barrel-sized object. His appearance is associated with shattering glass, vanishing railroad tracks that cause a train to derail, the collapse of an office building and a pavilion. People panic, fearing foreign invasion. Inventors Max and Robert Gant are murdered by criminals, and Josh and Rosabel Newton, the Gants' servants, are enlisted by Benson to help in the investigation. The Gants invented a means of making a glassite airplane truly invisible (except for the engine) and a vibration mechanism that can reduce a target substances to hydrogen. The criminals use the plane and vibrator to cause the public to lose trust in any steel not made from ore taken from the Catawbi Range, controlled by the gang. The gang, well-organized and ruthless, almost succeeds. Benson disguises himself as a gang member, interferes with the plane's invisibility treatment, and frees himself and his aides from a death trap. The gang escapes in the now-visible plane, and is shot from the sky by the army.

1.  The Avenger Radio Programs:  This show was written by Walter Gibson (Maxwell Grant) and starred James Monks as Jim Brandon, and James LoCurto (who, along with Frank Readick voiced "The Shadow" before the advent of Orson Welles and Lamont Cranston).