Handsome Joe Explores A Garden

…with his pal Willie the Pug

 

The Doclopedia #1,412

Alt. Superhero Movies: The Pulps

While some people like to keep the great pulp era heroes separate from the costumed comic book superheroes, they were pretty straightforward precursors to them. In fact, both Doc Savage and the Shadow heavily influenced Superman and Batman.

On Earth 1-G, the pulp heroes got more movie exposure than they did here, but they got even more television exposure, especially in the 1980s.

One thing to note is that there were a couple of very popular female pulp heroes. The first was Lady Mystery, AKA Lady Katherine Walton, daughter of a famous British adventurer. Her stories found her and all female crew traveling the globe to solve mysteries of a supernatural nature. Lady Mystery magazine ran monthly from July1933 until September 1939.

The other big female pulp hero was none other than Pat Savage, Doc’s cousin. Her magazine premiered 3 years after Doc’s and ran for 5 years. Crossovers between the two magazines were common. Pat also had more recurring villains than Doc did.

Almost all of the pulp heroes that made it to the silver screen first got there in serials or lower budget movies. The sole exceptions in the 1930s were Doc Savage and The Shadow, who went straight from print and radio to feature films from Warner Brothers.

In the 1940’s, more pulp heroes got movies, though most were “B” movies made to run with the larger Hollywood films. By the 1950’s, the number of pulp hero movies produced was very small. By the early 1960’s, they had vanished from theaters altogether, although the serials were popular on television.

When the Doc Savage, Shadow, Lady Mystery and Pat Savage paperback reprints started in 1964, they were very popular with a new generation. This lead to other pulp reprints and, starting in 1970 and running to 1988, new movies. Eventually there were both live action and animated series, too.

After a 20 year hiatus from the movies, in 2008 Doc Savage made a comeback. The following year, the Shadow did the same. Both eventually found their way to Netflix original series, where one could also find series featuring pulp characters such as Jules de Grandin and Conan the Barbarian.

The List (by hero/character, instead of date)

The Shadow! (1933)
The Shadow Laughs (1935)
Revenge Of The Shadow (1936)
The Shadow Knows (1938)
The Shadow In London (1939)
Hand Of The Shadow (1942)
The Shadow In San Francisco (1944)
The Shadow (1970)
The Shadow VS The Crime Master (1973)
The Shadow On The Hunt (1977)
The Shadow Returns (2009)
The Shadow Laughs (2011)
The Shadow Knows (2013)

Doc Savage, The Man Of Bronze (1937)
Doc Savage And The Lost Oasis (1939)

Doc Savage And The Czar Of Fear (1941)
Doc Savage And The Spook Legion (1942)
Doc Savage And The Metal Master (1943)
Doc Savage And The Vanisher (1945)

Doc Savage And The Monsters (1946)
Doc Savage And The Cold Death (1948)
Doc Savage And The Men Who Smiled No More (1950)
Doc Savage (1971)
Doc Savage: He Could Stop The World (1973)
Doc Savage: The Phantom City (1975)
Doc Savage: Meteor Menace (1978)
Doc Savage: The Monsters (1980)
Doc Savage: Land of Always Night (1983)
Doc Savage: The Vanisher (1985)
Doc Savage: The Other World (1988)
The Return Of Doc Savage (2008)
Doc Savage: The Monster Maker (2010)
Doc Savage: White Death (2013)
Doc Savage: Sunlight And Shadow (2015)

Lady Mystery (1935)
The Secrets of Lady Mystery (1937)
Lady Mystery In New York (1939)
Lady Mystery And The Phantom (1940)
The Curse Of Lady Mystery (1942)
Lady Mystery (1982)
Lady Mystery: The Haunted City (1987)

Pat Savage And The Secret Of The Sun (1941)
Pat Savage And The Hidden City (1943)
Pat Savage In China (1944)
Pat Savage And The Curse Of The Cat (1947)
The Heart Of Dracula: A Pat Savage Adventure (1980)
Miss Murder: A Pat Savage Adventure (1983)
Spring Heeled Jack: A Pat Savage Adventure (1986)

The Avenger (1943)
Five Gold Rings (1945)

The Spider Strikes (1941)
The Spider On The Docks (1942)
The Spider Goes To War (1942)
The Spider: Master of Men (1954)

Secret Agent X (1941)

The Phantom Detective (1939)
The Phantom Detective VS Crime (1941)

G-8 And His Battle Aces (1938)
G-8 And The Death Squadron (1940)

G-8: Flying Ace (1973)

The Black Bat (1940)
The Black Bat Strikes Again (1942)
Mystery Of The Black Bat (1951)

The Continental Op (1941)

The Domino Lady (1940)
The Domino Lady Sets A Trap (1942)

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Tales Of Pirates & Dogs!

…and dog pirates

The Doclopedia #1,411

Alt. Superhero Movies: Other Companies

By the 1960’s on Earth 1-G, there were very few comics publishers in the United States. Less than 10, of which only 4 published superhero comics. Marvel and DC were by far the biggest and best known, but the other two, Nedor and Charlton, had been around almost as long. While each had a stable of superheroes, by 1969, they had only two 1940’s serials and a few 1950’s cartoons made about them. Both companies folded in the early 1970’s and their properties were bought up by other publishers.

Starting in the mid-seventies, independent publishers started popping up, many being former Marvel and DC employees. While their comics often did quite well, there were only a handful of movies made based on them. All of these movies were low budget and most were forgettable.

By the 1990’s, the successes or DC and Marvel caused Hollywood to have another look at superheroes from the lower ranks. While budgets for these movies were never on the Marvel/DC level, many were very well done and some became hits. By far the most successful were the movies based on Amalgam Comics heroes.

Amalgam Comics was a strange beast, born of Marvel and DC allowing both their writers and artists, as well as others, to create one shot comics blending properties from both companies. This resulted in comics like Doctor Strangefate, Spider-Boy, Dark Claw, Iron Lantern and Bruce Wayne: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., to name but a few. The comics were big hits and lead to several movies.

Perhaps the most controversial superhero movie from a “second” tier publisher was “Watchmen”, which had been published by Moonlight Comics. As in our world, Alan Moore wrote it and yes, hated the film version. Moonlight also published “V For Vendetta” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” The former became a moderate hit movie, while the latter (and it’s sequel) was a big hit. Moore hated both.

Very few, as in 3, superhero movies by Other Publishers ever got sequels, usually with good reason, but in some cases because the rights to the properties got bought up by Marvel or DC.

By 2012, the independent comics publishers had given up on the movies and started selling their properties to television, where they did much better.

The List

1974
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents (Low budget, weak script)

1975

The Jaguar (Very low budget. Made in Italy. A stinker.)

1976
Fly Man (Just terrible)

Herbie (Actually not bad. Funny. Made money until Disney sued over the name)

1977
The Ghost (Nedor Comics version. A pretty good movie. Made a modest profit)

1979
The Black Crusader (blaxploitation superhero. Pretty good movie. Got 1 sequel)

1981

Revenge Of The Black Crusader (not quite as good as the first. Way more violence)

1984
Robogirl (Medium budget. Decent script. Poor FX)

1991
The Adventures Of Captain Power (big budget flop. very good FX. Acting sucked)

1992
Amalgam: Spider-Boy (big budget. good writing & acting. Made big bucks)

1994
Amalgam: Dark Claw (big hit. dark & violent.)

The Blonde Phantom (moderate hit. good story set in 1940. made money)

1996
Amalgam: Doctor Strangefate (good movie, but not a huge hit)
The Blonde Phantom Goes To War (another good movie. Made decent money)

1998
Amalgam: The Fantastic League (big budget. monster fighting focus.)
The Crow (good movie, but it lost money)

1999
Darkman (just like our version, but spawned a television show instead of straight to video sequels)
The Rocketeer (just like our version, but with Doc Savage instead of Howard Hughes. made decent money)

2000
Amalgam: Iron Lantern (big budget. end of the Amalgam films)
Tank Girl (strange movie. lost money.)

2001

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (big hit. got a sequel)

2002

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2 (another big hit)

2005

V For Vendetta (good movie, but did poorly at the box office)

2007

Watchmen (a big hit. kept the original ending)

2012
Wild Cards! (huge budget. made gobs of money. lead to an HBO series that lasted 7 years and 100 episodes)

Not In This Issue: Prawns, Sports Cars,Violets, And Javelins

…but you will find scallops and dune buggies

 

The Doclopedia #1,410

Alt. Superhero Movies: DC

We all know how the DC superhero movies have gone in our reality (generally, badly), but if we hop over just a few quanta, to Earth 1-G, things went very differently.

To start with, DC has had a much longer place in radio, motion pictures and television. Both Superman and Batman had radio shows that ran from 1940 until 1946. They both appeared in serials (two each) and movies (two for Supes, 3 for Batman) in the years between 1942 and 1949. Wonder Woman also had a serial and a movie (1947), both of which were very popular. All three were the subject of cartoons.

The first Superman television series ran from 1952 to 1958 and was a big ratings success. The first Batman series ran from 1954 to 1963 and was an even bigger success, being somewhat more geared to general audiences instead of kids. Wonder Woman had a shorter life in her first series, running only from 1958 to 1962.

Starting in 1964, DC made a deal with three different production companies to do Saturday morning cartoon series based on Superman, Batman and the Justice League. All three series were huge hits and soon they were joined by a Wonder Woman series and a Flash series. From 1964 to 1984, DC never had fewer than 3 animated series running on Saturday morning and from 1968 to 1987, they had a full hour of animated adventures featuring rotating casts of heroes.

DC did make several animated feature films so as to compete with Marvel, but for the most part, they ruled television, especially when the live action Batman and Superman series both premiered in 1970.

DC beat Marvel to the live action movie arena with “Superman” in 1975 and “Batman” in 1977. These movies used different actors from the television series and were well made, both getting several Oscar nominations. That opened the gates for more movies between 1979 and 2000 . Most of these were Batman (6) or Superman films (5), but there were 3 Wonder Woman films, 2 each for Flash, Supergirl, Plastic Man and Green Arrow, 1 each for Green Lantern, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Justice League and The Doom Patrol.

At San Diego ComiCon in 2000, DC announced a 3 year hiatus from feature films, but a record 7 live action television series. Then, in 2003, they announced that they would be releasing two movies a year starting in 2004 with “Batman: Year One” and “Superboy”. As promised, by 2018, they had released 28 movies.

Something to point out here is the differing philosophy of Marvel and DC regarding their cinematic and television universes.

While all of the Marvel movies were taking place in the same universe and, in most cases linked directly to other movies, the MCU link to the TV shows (of which Marvel had surprisingly few until around 2014) was often very tenuous. Yes, they were all technically in the MCU, but crossovers of any sort were pretty rare.

DC took a whole different approach. First off, while most of their TV shows, including animated ones, were linked with most of their movies, with crossovers aplenty, not all were.

DC had series and movies that were Elseworlds based, took place in different times and sometimes were one shot comedies. Batman was especially varied, with three linked movies followed by an Elseworlds 1940’s noir and an action comedy set in the late 1960’s. Superman even went so far as to have a Star Trek crossover. Fans and the general public ate it up. DC also never had “phases” or an overarching plan for their movies. While Marvel films made more money (by sheer quantity), DC movies almost always got more critical praise.

LIST OF DC FILMS

1942

The Adventures of Superman (medium budget, not a bad movie)

1944

Batman (medium budget, very true to the comics, box office hit)

1945

Superman vs Monster Man (much better than the first one)

 

1947

Wonder Woman (surprise box office hit, mostly due to a large female audience)

Batman Returns (another hit)

1949

Batman vs The Joker (very good, but the Joker scared kids and some adults)

1975
Superman (huge hit)

1976

Batman (huge hit)

1979

Superman 2 (somewhat less of a hit than the first movie)

Wonder Woman (did very well, won 3 Oscars)

1980

Batman: Joker’s Wild (another huge hit)
The Flash (good story and FX, but not as big a hit as the other films)

1982

Superman 3 (did okay at the box office)

1984
Wonder Woman and the Amazon’s Secret (big hit)

1985

Green Lantern (FX not quite what they should have been, but made money)

1986

Batman vs The Penguin (darker in tone, big hit)

1987

Supergirl (despite a rather boring story, it did well)

The Flash Returns (much better FX this time, a solid hit)

1989

Superman: Last Hope of Earth (the big comeback, huge hit)

1990

Green Arrow (modest budget, but a solid story. another solid hit)

Wonder Woman: God of War (huge hit, won 5 Oscars)

1991

Martian Manhunter (a science fiction detective story. Moderate hit)
Plastic Man (unapologetic comedy. fans and critics loved it)

1992

Batman: Gotham Nights (darkest one yet. Catwoman/Batman scenes almost got it an R rating. biggest DC hit of the 90’s)

1993

Supergirl 2 (better story, more action)

Plastic Man Bounces Back (another big hit)

1994

Doom Patrol (had a good dose of humor. lead straight to a television series)

Superman vs Brainiac (almost non-stop action. a big hit and most popular of the series)

1996

Batman: Arkham Asylum (this one made almost as much as the last one and did get an R rating for violence)

Green Arrow: The Hunt (a hit. Nonstop action and very little dialogue. intense as hell)

1997

Aquaman (good story and FX. everyone expected it to suck. it didn’t)

1999

Batman Forever (much lighter than previous entries. Made a ton of money)

2000

Justice League (humongous hit. Beaten at the box office only by “Avengers: Ultron”)

2004

Batman: Year One (reboot of the series. all were major hits. No supervillain, but does have a crook fall into a vat of acid)
Superboy (another reboot. Lead to the tv series “Smallville”)

2005

The Adventures of Wonder Woman (massive hit)
The Flash: Fastest Man Alive (reboot. incredible FX. villains: Reverse Flash and Grodd)

2006

Batman: Year Two (villain: The Penguin)
Green Lantern: In Darkest Night (origin story. well received.)

2007

Superman: The Man Of Steel (he goes toe to toe with Luthor and Zod)
Aquaman: Unite The Seven (big hit. a mix of political thriller and action movie)

2008

Batman: Year 3 (Joker, Catwoman, Gotham City going to hell. Enormous hit)
Return Of The Doom Patrol (6 years after the tv series ended. big hit with even more humor.)

2009

The Justice League Of America (villains: bigass aliens)
Swamp Thing (a creepy hit)

2010

Batman: Gotham Kills (1940’s film noir. Won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture)
Supergirl: Breakout (villains: 3 sisters from the Phantom Zone)

2011

Superman In The 23rd Century (Superman meets Star Trek)

Flashpoint (despite a near mindboggling storyline, it was a big hit)

2012

Wonder Woman: The Cheetah (another big hit)
The Green Lantern Corps (epic space action made this a hit)

2013

Batman Rocks! (Batman in the 1960’s. plenty of humor. great soundtrack)
Hawkman (despite almost half of the movie being set in ancient Egypt, a decent hit)

2014

Plastic Man Comes Home (Plas returns to the big screen and earns 750 million bucks)
Swamp Thing 2: (another creepy one but this one co-stars Constantine)

2015

Justice League: Injustice (villains: the Injustice League)
Superman: The Coming Of Bizarro (heavy on the comedy. Made big bucks)

2016

Suicide Squad (dark & violent. marred by a weak story. still did well at the box office)
The Flash: Rogues Gallery (villains: Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, Mirror Master and others, mostly from the tv series)

2017

Tales Of The Batman (an anthology made up of 3 linked stories. An excellent movie)
Birds Of Prey (movie based on the tv series. A fan favorite)

2018

Supergirl: Underpowered (not unlike Iron Man 3 in our world. Kara has her powers seriously reduced just when she needs them most)

The Legion Of Superheroes (the movie fans waited 50 years for. made a billion)

 

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Juice For The Juice God

…he’s a very healthy god

 

The Doclopedia #1,409

Alt. Superhero Movies: Marvel

We all know how the Marvel superhero movies have gone in our reality, but if we hop over just a few quanta, to Earth 1-G, things went very differently.

In our world, aside from the 1944 “Captain America” serial, Marvel did not have any live action movies until the 1977 Spider-Man and Hulk movies that were really just backdoor pilots for the TV series that got a bit of limited theatrical release. And, of course, we all know that Marvel sold their rights hither and yon, a situation that means in 2018, Sony still owns Spider-Man and the X-Men and Disney/Marvel is only just about to get the rights to the Fantastic Four.

On Earth 1-G, things went very differently for Marvel.

First off, in February of 1966, a producer of animated cartoons cut a deal with Marvel to do 3 full length animated movies based upon Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and Iron Man. Stan Lee, who had recently been given pretty much total control over Marvel, stipulated that the movies had to use stories by him or another Marvel writer and they had to use full animation, not “that limited Hannah Barbera crap”.

In June of 1968, “The Amazing Spider-Man” debuted with near Disney quality animation, an excellent origin story featuring Electro as the villain and an opening box office gross that everyone liked. It was the first of 5 Spider-man movies made. It was followed by the Fantastic Four movie in December and Iron man in June of 1969.

By 1986, there had been animated Marvel movies coming out twice a year for 18 years. The final one, in December of 1986 was “Howard the Duck”, a box office and critical hit. And then, two months later, Marvel announced the formation of Marvel Studios, which would make live action movies.

Three years later, in May of 1989, “Spider-Man” was released and made 90 million dollars on a 12 million dollar budget. Ancillary merchandise added about 20 million to that. Marvel Studios was off and running. They released “Iron Man” the next December and made even more money.

Keeping with two movies a year for a while, then making three a year the norm, Marvel became a major player in the movie biz. As in our reality, they did things in phases that set up really big supergroup blockbusters like The Avengers and X-Men. As of 2018, they have 5 of the top ten grossing movies of all time. The other 5 are divided between Star Wars (3) and DC Studios (2). Marvel movies have won 30 academy awards.

LIST OF MARVEL FILMS

1989 (start of Phase 1)

Spider-Man (Villain: Doc Ock)
Iron Man

1990

Daredevil
Captain America (Origin story set during WWII)

1991

The Fantastic Four (Villain: Mole Man)
Blade

1993

Spider-Man 2 (Villain: Kraven)
The Incredible Hulk

1994

Iron Man 2 (Villain: The Mandarin)

Ant Man & The Wasp
Blade 2

1995

Fantastic Four 2 (Villain: Doctor Doom)
Thor
Daredevil 2 (Villains: The Owl and Kingpin)

1996

Captain America: The First Avenger (set during WWII)
Spider-Man 3 (Villains: Electro & The Green Goblin)
Black Panther

1997 (End of Phase 1)

The Avengers
Blade 3

1998 (Start of Phase 2)

Iron Man 3 (Villain: Aldrich Killian & AIM)
X-Men: Origins (told how Xavier and Magneto met)
Thor 2

1999

Spider-Man 4 (Villain: The Lizard)
Fantastic Four3 (Villain: Skrulls)

2000

X-Men: First Class
Howard the Duck
The Avengers: Ultron

2001

The Wolverine (origin story)

Black Panther 2

2002

Luke Cage: Hero For Hire (After this, Luke Cage went to TV as a series that ran 7 years)
The Sensational She Hulk (Action comedy that was moderately successful)

2003

The Avengers: Civil War (Huge movie chock full of heroes)
Marvel Team Up 1 (Spider-Man and Ant Man)
X-Men: Survival (Villains: Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)

2004

Black Widow 1
Fantastic Four: Inhumans

2005

Planet Hulk
Daredevil: Dark Days (Villain: Killgrave)

2006

Avengers: The Return of Ultron
Black Panther 3
Man Thing

2007

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Spider-Man 5 (Villains: Green Goblin & The Rhino)

2008

Doctor Strange
Marvel Team Up 2 (Iron Man & Hulk)

2009 (End of Phase 2)

Avengers: Infinity War (Filmed as one big movie with Endgame)
Guardians of the Galaxy
Avengers: Endgame

NOTE: After Endgame, most of the actors contracts were up, but all of them returned for one last picture “Avengers VS X-Men”)

2010 (Start of Phase 3 AKA “Females Assemble”)

Black Widow 2
Captain Marvel
The Sensational She Hulk Goes To Paris (Very successful comedy)

2011

Doctor Strange 2
The Inhumans
Spider-Man: The Sinister Six

2012

Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Jessica Jones (Almost a straight up detective story)
Deadpool (A huge hit for Marvel, who by now were no strangers to R ratings)

2013

Avengers VS X-Men (This film cleared the way for new versions of both teams)
The Inhumans 2

2014

Captain Marvel 2
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Another extremely successful comedy)
Marvel Team Up 3 (Storm & Scarlet Witch)

2015 (End of Phase 3)

Guardians of the Galaxy 3
Deadpool Returns (#5 highest grossing Marvel movie)
Doctor Strange 3

2016 (Start of Phase 4 and throttling back to only 2 films a year)

The New Mutants
Ms. Marvel

2017

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 2
Nomad (AKA “Captain America sneaks back into the MCU, sort of”)

2018

Avengers Reborn (Vision, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Iron Woman, She Hulk & Captain America/Sam Wilson)
A Very Deadpool Christmas (Huge hit and may have set up Marvel Zombies)

The Better Late Than Never Story of Mostly Purple Patty And The Doorway Into The Unknown.

…actually, it was the doorway to Cousin Mildred’s room

 

Confessions Of A Time Traveler

 

Holmes, Sweet Holmes

One of the big problems of jumping around time, space and alternate realities is that you very often meet people out of what some would call proper chronological order. No example points this out better than my long relationship with the Sherlock Holmes of Earth 199-D.

Earth 199-D, starting around 1830, is a more steampunk world than ours. The laws of physics are a bit looser to accommodate things like giant steam mecha and cities beneath the sea. There are no fantasy races or creatures, but there are lost civilizations, cryptids and odd powerful ancient relic. The whole world is just a lot more adventure filled.

Things on that earth are also much more egalitarian than they were (or are)on our Earth. Seeing women or people of color in positions of power is pretty common. And that leads us to Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective and his wife, Jenny Watson Holmes, Freelance Inventor.We’ll just let that sink in a bit.

So, to speed things up,Sherlock’s mother was Spanish, his older brother Mycroft is less fatand more entwined in the workings of the Empire, John Watson stillwrites up Sherlock & Jenny’s adventures (from his home in London), Jenny and Sherlock married young and they live on a cattle ranch east of Oakland, California, with their 5 children and Jenny’s mum.

Now, I first met the Holmes’ when I accidentally fell through a time portal into a warehouse in New York City in 1881. No sooner had I landed upon a very large and soft pile of wool blankets than a strong feminine hand clasped itself over my mouth and a Scottish tinged voice said “Please be quiet, Doc, or you’ll get Sherlock killed”.

Having become pretty used to weird shit happening to me over the years, I nodded and she let me go. Standing up, I saw a slightly taller than usual woman dressed in boots,trousers and a black cotton shirt. Her hair was red and cut in a bob.She was pretty, but not beautiful. She had a bit of grease on her cheek.

Obviously, she knew me pretty well, because after a second, she hugged me and told me in a whisper how glad she was to see me again. After the hug, she brought me up st speed on things,sort of.

It seems that I had met Sherlock first when he was a boy, then again just before their wedding. The current time was 8years after the wedding and Sherlock had let himself be taken prisoner by Professor Moriarty so he could find out about Moriarty’s latest plot. Now, she told me, was the time to rescue Holmes and give Moriarty his comeuppance.

A couple of minutes later, as the Napoleon of Crime raised his hand to shoot Holmes with a “freezing ray”, Jenny shot two of his henchmen with some sort of electrical tommy gun while I ran forward and body slammed Moriarty into a heavy wooden container. A couple of punches later and he was out cold. And his other two henchmen had run off at full speed.

Jennyreleased her husband from his bonds and then HE gave me a big hug.Then he kicked the awakening Moriarty in the head. I was processing everything that had just happened when the two of them started laughing.

“Oh Doc”, Jenny said, “The look on your face is priceless!”

“You might want to close your mouth, old friend. There are flies about.” Having said that, Sherlock laughed in what was, to me at least, a totally unHolmesian manner.

After another minute, they composed themselves and we set about tying up Moriarty and his thugs. We then loaded them into an impressive looking steam touring car and carted them off to police headquarters where Sherlock explained that Moriarty had planned to rob the North American Diamond Exchange later that night and make off with ten million dollars in diamonds. The police commissioner thanked us all profusely and then we left for the Holmes’ hotel suite to clean up before going out to dinner.

Along the way, Sherlock explained to me that I would meet him again when he was 10 years old and away at school. I would talk with him and give him some insight on both girls and doing what you loved to do in life. Apparently, that set him off on his adult path.

The second time I would meet him was two days before he and Jenny’s wedding at age 18. He was a bit vague about that meeting “so as not to spoil the surprises”, but it seems I had told him about meeting him tonight, which is why Jenny and the big pile of wool blankets were ready for me.

Like I said, time travel is seldom really linear. Or, as the other guy said, it’s all wibbly wobbly.

The rest of the evening was filled with a sort of mostly one sided chatting between old friends if one of those friends had just met you. It was a bit strange, but a couple of bottles of champagne smoothed things out. They were and are two wonderful people.

As we walked out to the car, Jenny again hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

“It was so very good to see you again, Doc. Give our love to Grace and the critters.”

Then it was Sherlock’s turn to give me a hug and shake my hand.

“So long, my dear friend. I look forward to seeing you again sometime, hopefully much less surprised.”

And then a time portal opened under me and I fell into the swimming pool on the Bus. From another room I heard Sasha yell, “Softest landing I could think of on short notice, Daddy”. I was home.