Friday, May 8, 2015

The Invisible Blog: Invisible Men of film and literature

Each Thursday (or shortly after) I will be posting excerpts from the Horror Crossover Encyclopedia related to a series from film or television.  Today, I'm covering the Invisible Man.  I'm including both the film and original novel for this one.

Release Date: 2005 (Setting is 1753...and others)
Series: The Time Machine
Horror Crosses: Invisible Man (novel)
Non-Horror Crosses: Le Secret de Wilhelm Storitz; Wizard of Oz (film)
The Story: The Time Traveler visits 1753 and finds himself captured by Otto Storitz. Storitz finds the Traveler in possession of Griffin’s invisibility formula and attempts to recreate it (before it’s even been technically thought up). The Traveler did not get the notes from Griffin himself, but second hand from a Professor Marvel, a travelling “wizard” con artist, on his way to Kansas. Storitz is unable to solve the formula in his own time, but passes it on to his son, Wilhelm.

Notes: The Time Machine and its main character, the Time Traveler are from H.G. Wells. The original book is in, as well as any crosses mentioned in this book. This goes also for Le Secret de Wilhelm Storitz from Verne, a story of a villain with the power of invisibility. This story serves as a prequel and origin for that tale. Also, the film version of the Wizard of Oz is brought in, as Professor Marvel is from the film version, not the book. For Horror Universe purposes, only the classic film is in, not all Oz stories.

Release Date: 1992 - 2013 (so far) [Setting is 1888 -1991 (so far)]
Series: Anno Dracula
Horror Crosses: Dracula (novel); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Invisible Man (novel); The Island of Doctor Moreau; The Vampyre; Varney the Vampire; The Soft Whisper of the Dead; They Thirst; Hotel Transylvania; The Black Castle; The Vampire Tapestry; Stephen King Universe; Carmilla; Good Lady Ducayne; The Tomb of Sarah; Ken’s Mystery; The Mysterious Stranger (story); The True Story of a Vampire; Carnacki Ghost Finder; Black Sabbath; The Picture of Dorian Gray; Interview with a Vampire (Anne Rice Vampire Lestat series); The Werewolves of London (Brian Stableford); Count Yorga; The Fearless Vampire Killers; Brides of Dracula; Vampire Circus; Dracula (Universal); Dark Shadows; El Vampiro; Black Sunday; Martin (George A. Romero film); Kolchak the Night Stalker; Blacula; Nosferatu; Kiss of the Vampire; Mr. Vampire; Blood of the Vampire; Daughters of Darkness; Dracula (Hammer); Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Averoigne; Grave of the Vampire/Seed of Terror; Hellraiser; Alraune; The Black Cat (film); Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural; The Vampire Thrills; Faustine; Near Dark; Forever Knight; Fright Night; The House of Dracula (novel by R. Chetwynd-Hayes); Anak Pontianak; Necroscope; Revelations in Black; The Dragon Waiting; The Bloody Pit of Horror/The Crimson Executioner; The Playgirls and the Vampire; The Niece of the Vampire/Fangs of the Vampire; The Phantom of the Opera; Incense for the Damned/Bloodsuckers; Addams Family (television); Frankenstein (Universal); The Monkey’s Paw; Three Mothers trilogy; Toby Dammit; The Exorcist; Cave of the Living Dead; The Golem (1920 film); The Old Dark House; Cat People; Black Magic (film); Spirits of the Dead; Les Vampires; The Awful Doctor Orloff; A Bucket of Blood; Those Who Hunt By Night/Immortal Blood/Traveling with the Dead; The Hunger; Fevre Dream; Empire of Fear; Dr. Blood’s Coffin; The Vampire’s Ghost; The Horrible Sexy Vampire; Mark of the Vampire; Vampire (1979); Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Gray; El Hombre Lobo; Curse of the Undead; Circus of Horrors; The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus; Twice Bitten/Vampire Hookers; The Lost Boys; Deathmaster; Velvet Vampire; I, Vampire; Nancy Baker’s Vampire Stories; Sunglasses After Dark; Vamps (Vertigo Comics); Blade; Scooby-Doo; Hellboy; Nocturna; Rosemary’s Baby; American Psycho; Lost Souls; Elvira; Rosemary’s Baby; The Films of Tarantino and Rodriguez; Light at the End; Andy Warhol’s Dracula/Blood for Dracula; Geek Maggot Bingo; Daughter of Darkness; Nightmare in Blood; Madhouse; Vampire Junction/Vanitas; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Shadowman; Werewolf of London; Little Shop of Horrors; Texas Chainsaw Massacre; The Howling; Gremlins; Suckers: Bleeding London Dry; Desire the Vampire/I Desire; The Creature Commandos; The Vampire (1957); The Vampire (Sydney Horler)
Non-Horror Crosses: Too numerous to list.
The Story: In 1888, during the events of Bram Stoker’s novel, events diverge and Dracula marries Queen Victoria, causing a major alteration in the socio-political world for the next 125 years and beyond.
Notes: This is a divergent timeline, but not a parallel universe. In my theory, a parallel universe is created at the dawn of time at the same time as the main universe and other parallel universes. They may evolve similarly, but they are separate. Meanwhile, each universe has a main timeline, and at each moment, there are an infinite number of divergent timelines created off of the main timeline. When thinking of divergent timelines, try picturing a fork in the road. Both paths lead in different directions, but they both start at the same point, and once were the same road. The Anno Dracula timeline has shown to be an alternate timeline of the main Horror Universe in several other entries in this reference guide. Because it’s a divergent timeline, the above horror crosses, though depicted in an alternate manner, should still count for inclusions in the Horror Universe. Some of the above crossed series are already in, and the others are brought in via this crossover series despite being an alternate timeline series. For the record, the complete Anno Dracula series (thus far) consists of Anno Dracula, the Bloody Red Baron: Anno Dracula 1918, Judgement of Tears: Anno Dracula 1959 (aka Dracula Cha Cha Cha), Coppola’s Dracula (from the Mammoth Book of Dracula), Castle in the Desert: Anno Dracula 1977, Andy Warhol’s Dracula: Anno Dracula 1978 - 1979 (from the Mammoth Book of Vampires), Who Dares Wins: Anno Dracula 1980, The Other Side of Midnight (from Vampire Sextette), You are the Wind Beneath My Wings: Anno Dracula 1984) and Johnny Alucard.

Release Date: 1897 (contemporary setting)
Series: Invisible Man (novel)
The Story: A scientist named Griffin invents an invisibility formula with two drawbacks. The first is that it appears to be irreversible, something maybe he should have thought about beforehand, and second, it has a side effect of driving the user mad with power.

Notes: The novel version of Griffin shouldn’t be confused with the Universal films. Note that the first Invisible Man film from Universal is an adaption of this film. Though this book doesn’t give Griffin a first name, later stories will call him Hawley, while the film will call him Jack. Some might reconcile it as Hawley Jack Griffin, as it’s common for some folks to go by their middle name. The fact that the lead in Invisible Agent, taking place during World War II, is the grandson of Jack Griffin implies that the novel and first film tell the same story. Even H.G. Wells said that it was a pretty good adaption, except that perhaps Universal went too far on stressing the madness rather than the genius.

Release Date: 1944 (setting should be around when Fu Manchu was in London and after events of Invisible Man novel)
Series: Invisible Man; Fu Manchu
The Story: See Notes.
Notes: Sadly, my research couldn’t uncover a plot synopsis. I found lots of cover galleries for this series, but nothing else. I did find it for sale online, but the price wasn’t in U.S. dollars and my Spanish is a bit rusty to properly read it anyways. Alas, this researcher has failed you, the loyal readers. Fortunately you already bought the book.

Release Date: January 1, 1996 (setting is late 1800s, following events of the Invisible Man)
Series: Sherlock Holmes
Horror Crosses: Invisible Man (novel)
Non-Horror Crosses: Lost World
The Story: Holmes and Watson work with Professor Challenger against the Invisible Man.
Notes: I think I’ve said enough about Holmes, and other 19th century literary characters in the Horror Universe. The Invisible Man here is Murray Griffin, allegedly the same Murray from A Study in Scarlet. The original story only names the Invisible Man as “Griffin”, but many stories that have come since that are part of the Horror Universe have named him John, Jack (a derivative of John), or Hawley. Esteemed scholar Dennis E. Power (and a man whose opinions I respect) has concluded the first Invisible Man was John Hawley “Jack” Griffin, and that Murray must be another brother.

Release Date: March 20, 1996 and December 22, 1996 (Setting is late 19th century)
Series: Castle Falkenstein
Horror Crosses: Dracula (Castle Falkenstein); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Frankenstein (Castle Falkenstein); Invisible Man (novel)
Non-Horror Crosses: Sherlock Holmes; Pink Panther; Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea; Chronicles of Barsetshire
Series: A former game designer from the real world finds himself in a world where Victorian literature mixes with magical fantasy and steampunk adventure.
Notes: This is based on the role-playing games which takes place in a very alternate reality where Victorian literary characters are real, but it’s also a world with intelligent dragons used for labour and wizards openly practicing magic in public. The main character comes from the real world. Obviously, he can’t come from our real world, since he’s fictional to us. He must come from “Earth-Prime”, the same setting for Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Last Action Hero, an episode of Supernatural and others where a fictional representation of the real world appears. Earth-Prime is a term first coined by DC Comics in the 1960s.

Release Date: March 1999 to September 2000 (Setting is 1898, with the ending leading directly into War of the Worlds)
Series: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Horror Crosses: Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde; Invisible Man (novel); Dracula (novel); War of the Worlds (novel); the Picture of Dorian Gray; Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari; Varney the Vampire; Some Words With a Mummy
Non-Horror Crosses: See Notes.
The Story: Five unique individuals (Allan Quatermain, Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde, Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, and Mina Murray) are gathered together by British Intelligence and find themselves caught in a war between Professor Moriarty and Fu Manchu.
Notes: Boy oh boy. Where to start? This tale brings in War of the Worlds (yes, I consider it horror), Dorian Gray, Dr. Caligari, Varney, and Poe’s Mummy. Additionally, for all the crossovers listed above, dozens of non-horror crosses appear as well. I suggest if you are curious, first, read the book. I doubt you’ll find them all, but it’s more fun to read it first. Then, refer to Jess Nevins’ Heroes and Monsters: the Unofficial Companion to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Release Date: 2006 (Setting is 1898 during the events of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as well as 1626)
Series: Tales of the Shadowmen
Horror Crosses: The Invisible Man (novel)
Non-Horror Crosses: Joseph Jorkens; Allan Quatermain; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; The Time Machine; The Lost World; Sherlock Holmes; Ironcastle; Three Musketeers; League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; The Chase of the Golden Meteor; Doctor Omega; the Wandering Jew
The Story: At a club frequented by adventurers, a disagreement about historical events prompts the Time Traveller to return to the past to set the record straight.
Notes: Club members include Quatermain, Nemo, and Griffin (the Invisible Man). Note that Doctor Omega has been shown in other stories to be the same character as the Doctor from the television series Doctor Who.

Release Date: Fall 2013 (Setting is 1898)
Series: Sherlock Holmes
Horror Crosses: Invisible Man (novel); Invisible Man (Universal); Latitude Zero
Non-Horror Crosses: Moby Dick
The Story: MI6 recruits Sherlock Holmes to work with Jack Griffin, the Invisible Man, to investigate an island where a mad scientist is creating giant animals.
Notes: This is the untold tale of the giant rat of Sumatra that Watson mentions in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Adventure of the Sussex Vampire. Of course, if you’ve read this entire reference guide in order, you know it has been told by other authors, and those are just the versions that had horror crosses. Clearly, only one of these version fits in the main Horror Universe timeline while the others must be in divergent timelines. I leave it up to each reader to pick their favorite for the main timeline. The Invisible Man here is named Jack Griffin. In the original novel, he is only called Griffin. The Universal film calls him John, and Jack is a nickname for John. In League of Extraordinary Gentlemen he is called Hawley Griffin. Some creative researchers have presumed his full name to be John Hawley “Jack” Griffin, and the Horror Crossover Encyclopedia accepts that. The Horror Crossover Encyclopedia also conflates the film and novel as being the same event from different perspectives. This story likely takes place between League of Extraordinary Gentlemen I and II. Griffin is working for the government, having been recruited in volume I. He dies in volume II. The island visited and the mad scientist they face are from the 1969 Toho film Latitude Zero, bringing that film into the Horror Universe. Ishmael also appears. He is also in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, so the timing is right.

Release Date: 2002 - 2003 (Setting is 1898 immediately following volume I and concurrent with the events of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds)
Series: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Horror Crosses: War of the Worlds (novel); Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde; The Invisible Man (novel); Dracula (novel); Island of Doctor Moreau; Crystal Egg; The Raven; Picture of Dorian Gray; The Wolf Man
Non-Horror Crosses: See Notes
The Story: When the Martians invade, on the front lines of Earth defense are the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Notes: Way too many crosses too mention, so I refer you to Jeff Nevins’ A Blazing World: The Unofficial Companion to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II.

Release Date: May 2005 (Setting is 1898)
Series: War of the Worlds (novel)
Horror Crosses: Invisible Man (novel); Island of Doctor Moreau
Non-Horror Crosses: The First Men in the Moon; League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The Story: This is an alternate telling wherein H.G. Wells is directly involved in fighting the Martians.
Notes: Anderson, writing under the pen name of Gabriel Mesta, writes a tale that incorporates several of H.G. Wells‘ characters. Interestingly, he uses the first name of Hawley for Griffin, which originated in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, even though this story conflicts with League Volume II. Thus, this must take place in an alternate timeline of the Horror Multiverse.

Release Date: April 2004 (Setting is during the events of the film, prior to the main story, but just hours or less after his confrontation with Hyde -- See Notes.)
Series: Van Helsing (film)
Horror Crosses: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Invisible Man (novel); Island of Dr. Moreau
The Story: After thinking he has killed Hyde (and therefore Jekyll), Gabriel Van Helsing encounters Dr. Moreau and a beast of his creation that he has turned invisible with Griffin’s formula.
Notes: This story seems to make statements to place it before the Island of Doctor Moreau, but considering Hyde and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, it actually takes place after.

Release Date: 2003 (Setting is 1899)
Series: LXG
Horror Crosses: Dracula (LXG); Invisible Man (novel); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (novel); The Picture of Dorian Gray; Phantom of the Opera
Non-Horror Crosses: Allan Quatermain; Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea; Tom Sawyer; James Bond; Sherlock Holmes; Around the World in 80 Days
The Story: Allan Quatermain is called upon to lead a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen when a mysterious Phantom threatens to incite war in Europe.
Notes: This film takes the very basic premise of the comic book and goes wildly in a different direction from there. Because of that, many fans of the comic hate this film. However, I feel if taken on its own merits and not compared to the comic, it’s a great fun action crossover film. The league of this film consists of Allan Quatermain, Captain Nemo (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), Mina Harker (Dracula), Rodney Skinner (a thief who has taken the invisibility formula from the Invisible Man), Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde, Dorian Gray, and Tom Sawyer. The team reports to M (a precursor to the one James Bond reported to). After his long trip from Africa to London, Quatermain makes a remark about “Around the World in 80 Days”. The villain is the Phantom of the Opera. And spoiler, there is a character from Sherlock Holmes as well. Because this film can’t exist in the same reality as the comics, it must exist in an alternate timeline within the Horror Multiverse. This film has been referenced as fictional and paid homage to numerous times in other films and on television. It has also been spoofed in Lust for Dracula, The Venture Bros., The Simpsons, and 2 Broke Girls.

Release Date: 1991 (Setting is 1907)
Series: Sherlock Holmes; Invisible Man (Novel)
The Story: With Holmes away, Watson takes on his own case, investigating the origins of Griffin’s formula.
Notes: The Invisible Man doesn’t actually appear, but his tale is definitely a part of real life history in this story.

Release Date: February 2001 (Setting is 1919 - 1920)
Series: Planetary
Horror Crosses: Frankenstein (Wildstorm); Dracula (Wildstorm); Carnacki Ghost Finder; Invisible Man (novel/film)
Non-Horror Crosses: Sherlock Holmes; John Carter of Mars; Arsene Lupin; Steam Man of the Prairies
The Story: In the early 20th century, Elijah Snow uncovers a conspiracy to make the world better that instead makes its members darker.
Notes: In 1919, Snow’s investigation into the conspiracy takes him to Castle Frankenstein. Dracula is part of the conspiracy. This is the Wildstorm soul clone. Snow finds a copy of the Sigsand Manuscript, which was used by Carnacki to protect himself from dark magic. Snow tortures and kills an invisible man named Griffin. This isn’t likely the original Invisible Man. Radcliffe sometimes used the alias of John Griffin, and has faked his death several times. This may be Radcliffe. Sherlock Holmes is another of the conspiracy. I doubt that Holmes became evil. Indeed, he was likely only following what he felt to be reasonable measures that got out of hand. Since there are other Holmes tales during this period and after, and those show him in a not so dark tone, I presume he atoned for his mistake and tried to undo as much damage as possible in his remaining years. It’s mentioned that Snow previously met John Carter and a Frenchman that seems to have been Arsene Lupin. Snow steals the plans for the Steam Man on the Prairies, bringing that science fiction novel into the Horror Universe.

Release Date: 2008 (Setting is 1928)
Series: Tales of the Shadowmen
Horror Crosses: Fascinax; Invisible Man (novel); Phantom of the Louvre; Dracula (novel); Chandu the Magician
Non-Horror Crosses: Sherlock Holmes; Harry Dickson; James Bond; John Carter; Sexton Blake; Fantomas; Doc Ardan; Fu Manchu; Dr. Mabuse; Callan; Nyctalope; Nine Unknown; Shadow
The Story: Harry Dickson is asked by M of Her Majesty’s Secret Service to take the case involving three murders and is soon assisted by Fascinax.
Notes: Fascinax is a French occult investigator. There is mention of Griffin’s bandages and glasses from the Invisible Man. Belphegor is mentioned, from the Phantom of the Louvre. Seward’s Sanitarium is mentioned from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Roxor is mentioned, who is an enemy of Chandu the Magician. Dickson operates from Baker Street, residence of Sherlock Holmes. Professor Flax is also mentioned, a former foe of Dickson and Holmes. M here is probably the one after Mycroft Holmes, brother of Sherlock, and the one before Sir Miles Messervy from James Bond’s era. There is a mention of a U.S. Cavalry sword, likely (considering the context, the author, and the anthology) that of John Carter of Mars. Sexton Blake’s enemy M. Zenith is mentioned, as if Fantomas. Dr. Natas is also mentioned. Dr. Natas is from Doc Ardan: City of Gold and Lepers, and in the English translation was identified as Fu Manchu. Dr. Mabuse is also mentioned. He is the star of several silent films. Also mentioned are Callan (from the British television series) and the Leonid Zattan, enemy of the Nyctalope. The Nine Unknown are also mentioned. Though an immortal group secretly running the world, they are not so supernatural or horrific to be considered of the horror genre. Finally, Benedict Stark is mentioned, enemy of the Shadow, a hero of pulp and radio, who seems supernatural but in fact isn’t.

Release Date: 1933 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Invisible Man (Universal)
The Story: Dr. Jack Griffin develops an invisibility formula, but goes quite mad with power as tends to happen with this invisibility process.
Notes: See my Notes for the Invisible Man novel by H.G. Wells. This film is followed by The Invisible Man Returns, The Invisible Woman, Invisible Agent, The Invisible Man’s Revenge, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Invisible, and the Invisible Man (in development). It has been “non-cross” referenced in films and shows such as Mad Monster Party, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and The Ghost Busters. It has also been spoofed in such films as Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein, Still Smokin, and Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfolds.

Release Date: 1936 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Invisible Man (Universal)
The Story: A scientist creates a super powerful telescope that not only sees far away, but also can see the light from Earth that has traveled there, light from long ago. Thus, he can see into Earth’s past. When he sees a meteor hit Earth, he and a team of scientists go to search for it. They find it in Africa, and dub it Radium X. It turns out that it can heal people, and even cure the blind, but the scientist’s constant exposure to the radiation makes him sick and quite mad, so he goes to seek revenge on the other scientists, for um, listening to his ideas.
Notes: OK, if you’re saying that this film has nothing to do with the Invisible Man, you are right. There isn’t even invisibility. But it is a Universal film with “Invisible” in the title, so in my mind, I always feel the need to lump it in with the rest of Universal’s Invisible films. But the Invisible Ray is still connected to the Horror Universe on its own, as there is a reference in Jeff Rovin’s Return of the Wolf Man bringing it in, just as that novel brings in virtually every classic Universal horror film. This film has been “non-cross” referenced in The Phantom Creeps, You’ll Find Out, Monster of Terror, Ed Wood, and Rewind This.

Release Date: 2005 (Setting is 1940)
Series: Femme Noir
Horror Crosses: Dracula (novel); Invisible Man (novel)
Non-Horror Crosses: Captain Marvel (Fawcett)
The Story: A mystery for the detective known as Femme Noir.
Notes: Femme Noir is a comic found on the web, but because the comic was referenced in a book, it meets the exception to my rule on web based material by being referenced in a published book. At a side show are allegedly the remains of Dracula, the Invisible Man, and Shazam. I’m presuming that they are referring to Stoker’s Dracula and not some other version. Likewise I’m presuming they are claiming to have Griffin from Wells’ novel. Whether they really do have Vlad Tepes and Hawley Griffin or are lying is unknown. If it is Dracula, he is merely dormant. I doubt they have the remains of Shazam, though it’s possible. Shazam’s ghost is at this time serving as mentor to Billy Batson, who has recently become the heroic Captain Marvel. But that’s his ghostly body. His remains may be possessed by the sideshow, but I’m not sure Shazam would allow it. Nevertheless, this crossover story brings Captain Marvel into the same universe as Dracula and the Invisible Man. However, the canon for the Horror Universe version of Captain Marvel should be confined to only his Fawcett Comics adventures and not the later DC owned versions.

Release Date: 1940 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Invisible Man (Universal)
The Story: Geoffrey Radcliffe is falsely accused for murder and set to be hung. His friend, Dr. Frank Griffin, whose brother was Jack Griffin, uses his brother’s formula on Radcliffe to allow him to escape and clear his name, but Radcliffe must do so before the madness of the formula overcomes him.
Notes: It seems that Frank must be the brother of Hawley Jack Griffin, and likely Frank had used the notebook that was found at the end of the original novel. Though Radcliffe is cured and restored to normalcy at the end of this story, he will later return in Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein, invisible once more. However, the full story behind that cameo is still unknown. But we do know from Revenge of the Invisible Man that when the formula (not the ray) is used, that a blood transfusion is indeed the cure (as in this film), but only temporary. This film follows the Invisible Man and is followed by The Invisible Woman. This film is spoofed in Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Release Date: 1940 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Invisible Man (Universal)
The Story: Model Kitty Carroll responds to an ad from a Professor Gibbs to become his subject to test his invisibility ray. The ray actually requires a formula that must be ingested first, or else the ray instead messes up one’s voice. Meanwhile, a gangster wants the ray, and sends his goons to take it. In the end, the ray is rescued, Carroll’s visibility is restored (though she finds alcohol consumption will return her invisibility), and Carroll ends up marrying playboy Richard Russell, who had financed Gibbs. Their child, a year later, is able to turn invisible when exposed to alcohol.
Notes: Though it seems as if this film has nothing to do with the Invisible Man, it is considered part of the series and thus part of the canon. It should be noted that that film is more of a comedy than the rest of the series. Additionally, the three gangster henchmen strongly resemble the Three Stooges, and one of them is indeed played by Shemp Howard. This film follows The Invisible Man Returns and is followed by Invisible Agent. A remake of this film is currently in development at this writing. This film has been “non-cross” referenced in Six Feet Under, Take Me Home Tonight, Orange is the New Black, The Angry Video Game Nerd, and Comix From the Underground.

Release Date: 1942 (Contemporary Setting starting just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor)
Series: Invisible Man (Universal)
The Story: Jack Griffin’s grandson has emigrated to the U.S. and changed his name to Frank Raymond. Frank has opened a small shop, and has a copy of the original invisibility formula. In late 1941, Frank is approached by the Nazis and the Japanese who want the formula. He manages to escape from them with the formula, but doesn’t want anyone to have it. But after Pearl Harbor is attacked, he decides to allow the U.S. to have it, under the condition that it only be used on Frank and no one else. So Frank becomes a special operative of the government, infiltrating enemy lines on special missions.
Notes: Because this clearly takes place at the onset of America’s entry into World War II, and Frank is the grandson of Jack Griffin, I’ve calculated that the original film must have taken place around the time in which the novel occurred, thus the novel and the original Universal film must be two different tellings of the same story. This film follows The Invisible Woman and is followed by the Invisible Man’s Revenge.

Release Date: 1944 (Contemporary Setting )
Series: Invisible Man (Universal)
The Story: Dr. Peter Drury has seemingly independently come up with the invisibility formula, and decides that the best test subject would be a man who happens along to his home, who he’s never met before and knows nothing about. Of course, that makes sense. Turns out the man he turns invisible is a psychotic escaped fugitive with plans of revenge on a family that he believes to have cheated him. Coincidentally, this lunatic is Robert Griffin, who surely is implied to be of some relationship to the original Invisible Man. No need to worry about the madness side effect. This one’s already quite mad.
Notes: Technically, there’s nothing in the content of this film to make this a sequel, other than the title and that it is considered part of the Universal canon. This film follows Invisible Agent and is followed by Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man.

Release Date: January 1 - April 1, 2007 (Set in April 1945, following Hitler’s death)
Horror Crosses: Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde; Invisible Man (Universal); Dracula (IDW); Frankenstein (IDW); Hellboy (Comics); Fiend without a Face
Non-Horror Crosses: Spider-Man; Forbidden Planet
The Story: Nazis are trying to raise Hitler to lead an army of the undead.
Notes: The story opens with Jekyll a captive of the Nazis who want his secret formula. They also had a scientist with the secret of invisibility but he escaped and died of exposure. Griffin died in 1898 (per League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), but there have been stories that feature Geoffrey Radcliffe (from the sequel) posing as Griffin. It may be that it was Radcliffe that they had captured. I doubt claims of his death in this story though. The Dracula of this story would be the IDW version, brought in by this story. IDW also published Spike vs. Dracula, but that is the Dracula of the Buffy series, who is not the same. LIkewise this is the IDW Frankenstein being brought in here. Both Dracula and Frankenstein fit into the Nazi plot. There is also a gorilla with a brain visible in a glass dome, a reference to Hellboy. One of the brain monsters from the Fiend Without a Face also appears. Another monster is an SS officer made of bugs, perhaps referencing Spider-man’s foe Swarm. Finally, Robby the Robot appears. Robby is from one of the possible future timelines of the Horror Universe. Despite that, Robby tends to show up several times in the 20th century, likely thanks to time travellers.

Release Date: 2007 (Setting is August 1946)
Series: Tales of the Shadowmen
Horror Crosses: The films of Tarantino and Rodriguez; Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; The Thing; Invisible Man (Universal); Little Shop of Horrors; Daughters of Darkness
Non-Horror Crosses: So full of crossovers
The Story: Doc Ardan gathers a team to retrieve the Eye of Oran from the evil Madame Elisabeth.
Notes: Again, author uses Red Apple Cigarettes from the films of Quentin Tarantino. The Eye of Oran was last seen in the story of the same name from Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 2, where it was explained to be linked to Dagon and the fish men from Lovecraft’s tales. Doc Ardan is another name for Doc Savage. In this tale, Doc recalls having been involved in the events from “Who Goes There?”, later made into the film The Thing. Doc’s involvement in that story comes from Philip Jose Farmer’s Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. Madame Elizabeth owns a chain of brothels, with its headquarters on the site of the events of the film Invisible Ray. Even though Invisible Ray has no actual connection to the Universal Invisible Man series, I consider it part of a series of loosely connected Universal “invisible” film series. In this story,the Eye of Oran is used to explain the creation of the Audrey Junior from Little Shop of Horrors. The main villain of this tale is actually Countess Elizabeth Bathory. She was a real historical figure, who often gets portrayed in fiction as a vampire. I don’t count her as a horror cross because of her historical status in reality. However, here I do count that this version of Bathory is the same one from the film Daughters of Darkness.

Release Date: June 15, 1948 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Abbott and Costello (Non-Horror); Frankenstein (Universal)
Horror Crosses: Dracula (Universal); Wolf Man (Universal); Invisible Man (Universal)
The Story: Bud and Lou are now working as shipping clerks in La Mirada, FL under the assumed names of Chick Young and Wilber Grey. Two crates arrive for a wax museum, containing Dracula (in coffin) and Frankenstein’s monster. But in reality, it is Armand Tesla and Henry Frankenstein’s monster. Tesla, using the alias Leighos, has come to seek the aid of Doctor Mornay, to get a docile brain put into the monster. She has the perfect candidate: Wilber. Meanwhile, Larry Talbot (the Wolf Man) has arrived in La Mirada in pursuit of this Dracula. To make matters worse, Wilber and Chick are accused of thievery when the wax models they were supposed to deliver disappear (because they got up and walked away, naturally.) This brings insurance investigator Joan Raymond to town. In the end, everyone ends up on the island of Doctor Mornay. (Really.) Mornay’s assistant Dr. Stevens realizes his boss is up to no good and joins in on the heroics. Mornay is turned into a vampire. Wilber keeps his head. Apparently Tesla flees when chaos ensues, while the monster and the Wolf Man end up in suspended animation. The bumblers flee on a boat that just happens to have the Invisible Man Geoffrey Radcliffe in it, who was coming to play but missed all the fun.
Notes: I know there are entries before this one in this chronology, but from a real world perspective, this is where the Horror Universe begins. I know this film is preceded by other films with the three main monsters, but this one has Lugosi as Dracula, adds in the Invisible Man, and has my favorite comedy pair. This is absolutely one of my all time favorite films. So lets talk continuity and canon. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are always the same characters in everything they do. But here’s the thing. They show up four times in this book. In Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, we have the best clue that they are the same guys. First, their characters are Freddie Franklin and Pete Patterson, but when they get flustered they forget and call each other Bud and Lou, and at one point, Lou yells for “Abbooooooott!!!!” So we need to assume the film titles are accurate, and that we are talking about two characters, not actors, named Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who are flim flam artists, thus always moving and changing names. But let’s talk about Abbott and Costello meet Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. That takes place in the 1880s. No way that could be them. Well, I propose that it is Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, and that the other films feature Bud Jr. and Lou Jr. Now for the monsters. Dracula here is Armand Tesla, from Universal’s Dracula. (The name comes from the unofficial sequel with Lugosi Return of the Vampire.) He is not the infamous Count, but it’s likely he is one of the soul clones. Count Dracula from time to time turns others into vampires. Some of these he makes his agents while he rests. He controls them mentally, and grants them a limited amount of his powers, and memories. Often, because of the imposed personality, these clones begin to think they are the Count, and even reenact his former schemes. (Many end up in London trying to steal back their “true love”.) Tesla will later also use the alias of Doctor Leighos, but often refers to himself as Count Dracula. The Frankenstein Monster here is the original creature of Henry Frankenstein from Universal’s Frankenstein. The Wolf Man is Larry Talbot, from Universal’s Wolf Man. Geoffrey Radcliffe is the Invisible Man from Universal’s Invisible Man Returns, which is part of Universal’s Invisible Man series. Another note: Tesla casts a reflection in this film, while he cast none in previous films. This may be due to the human blood transfusions he received in his previous appearance. Also, Talbot’s cure from his previous appearance apparently didn’t take, and neither did Radcliffe’s. This film follows House of Dracula and is the final in the Universal Dracula/Frankenstein/Wolf Man franchise. The scene in this film where Lou keeps seeing the monsters move but Bud doesn’t is spoofed in The Best of Bert and Ernie, featuring the Sesame Street characters.

Release Date: September 2004 (Set in 1948 shortly after Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein)
Series: Phantom of the Opera; Invisible Man (Universal)
The Story: The Invisible Man show up at the Paris Opera House and battles the Opera Ghost.
Notes: A little thought has to go into this to make it work, but it should work as the whole of the Universal Monsters Kombat series works, and is tied to the Universal films. Based on the story “His Father’s Eyes” (seen elsewhere in this reference book), we know that Erik the Opera Ghost is the son of the Frankenstein creature. (The original one.) This may explain why he’s still alive in 1948. We could assume he’s a son, but the author implies this is the original. The Invisible Man here is “Jack Griffin”, allegedly the original, but additionally, the author states this is the Invisible Man who showed up (or spoke up at least) at the end of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. But that was clearly Geoffrey Radcliffe from the Invisible Man Returns. It was even the same actor, Vincent Price. Additionally, the original Invisible Man was torn apart by Mr. Hyde in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume II (occurring in 1898). So likely this is actually Radcliffe using the alias of Jack Griffin.

Release Date: January 2005 (Setting is 1948, following Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein)
Series: Dracula (Universal); Invisible Man (Universal)
Horror Crosses: An American Werewolf in London
Non-Horror Crosses: Abbott and Costello
The Story: A man named Mornay hires Jack Griffin to kill Dracula.
Notes: In Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Dr. Mornay was a female scientist turned into a vampire by Dracula, then apparently killed by the Frankenstein creature. It’s implied that this Mornay is a relative such as a brother, father, or even a husband who is out for revenge. The author implies that Jack Griffin was the Invisible Man from the same film, and also the original film’s villain. Since the first Invisible Man was killed in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume II, and since the voice actor for Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was Vincent Price, who played Geoffrey Radcliffe in Invisible Man Returns, it’s more likely that Jack Griffin is an alias for Radcliffe. The two do battle at an English pub called the Slaughtered Lamb, which was from the film An American Werewolf in London.

Release Date: 1951 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Abbott and Costello; The Invisible Man (Universal)
The Story: Lou Francis and Bud Alexander have just graduated from detective school and gotten jobs working at a detective agency. They are hired by Tommy Nelson, a boxer wanted for murder who had ingested Griffin’s invisibility formula provided to him from his girlfriend’s scientist father. Bud and Lou must help Tommy prove his innocence before Tommy is overcome with the madness side effect of the formula.
Notes: This is a sequel. There are references to Griffin’s formula, his notes, and of course the madness effect. Though they are still using aliases, these must be the same Bud and Lou who also encountered Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, and another Invisible Man. This film follows the Invisible Man’s Revenge and is followed by Invisible.

Release Date: February 21, 1954 (Contemporary Setting)
Horror Crosses: Invisible Man (Universal); Frankenstein (Universal); Creature from the Black Lagoon
Non-Horror Crosses: Abbott and Costello
The Story: There are various routines and sketches, but only one is relevant. Bud and Lou have been asked to guest host the Colgate Comedy Hour. They head to the Universal prop department in preparation for the show. There, in a room with life size figures of the classic Universal monsters, Lou encounters the very real Invisible Man, Frankenstein Monster, and Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Notes: Only the one sketch is part of the Horror Universe. The Invisible Man here is probably Geoffrey Radcliffe again. The Frankenstein Creature is likely the one created in Mad Monster Party. This is also probably not the same Gill-Man from the famous film, but another of the species. One might argue that these monsters are the models come to life, but this isn’t likely since there is a model of the Invisible Man in the background the whole time Lou is menaced by the real deal. Finally, there have been plenty of stories that demonstrate that these monsters exist in the same reality where the Universal films also have been made. Clearly in each instance, the events got told to somebody at Universal.

Release Date: 1954 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Body Snatchers (novel)
Horror Crosses: Halloween; Phantoms; Memoirs of an Invisible Man; Stephen King Universe; Scream of the Banshee; Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 film); Return of the Living Dead; Boo; Sharknado
Non-Horror Crosses: Airwolf; A Friend to Die For; Ben 10; Doctor Who
The Story: In Santa Mira, California, people are starting to act different. It turns out aliens are invading by slowly replacing the inhabitants and taking their forms.
Notes: Unlike the film versions, in this story, there is a happy ending and the aliens are defeated. And in fact, in the Katrina Protocol (aka Voodoo Twilight), it’s revealed that the Shop (the secret government agency from Stephen King books) sent in Ohisver van Helsing to take care of the situation. The Body Snatchers will invade again, as other crossovers will bring in the 1970s remake. This novel marks the first appearance of Santa Mira, California, a fictional town that will reappear in Halloween III: The Season of the Witch, Phantoms, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, The Dark Tower, Scream of the Banshee, the first Invasion of the Body Snatchers film adaption, Airwolf, A Friend to Die For, Ben 10, Redux of the Living Dead, Boo, Sharknado and Doctor Who: The New Adventures. In separate stories, the Doctor, Nathaniel Cade, and one of the van Helsing family have all been said to have been involved in these events behind the scenes.

Release Date: September 23, 1972 (See Notes regarding setting)
Series: Mad Monster Party?
Horror Crosses: Frankenstein (Universal); Frankenstein (Rankin/Bass); Dracula (Universal); Wolf Man; Mummy (Universal); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Universal); Invisible Man (Universal); Creature from the Black Lagoon; King Kong
The Story: When Dr. Henry von Frankenstein creates a bride for his monster, he decides to throw his creations a wedding.
Notes: Dear God, Henry! What have you done? Playing God. Reanimating the dead. Creating a Phyllis Diller. So this is a prequel to Mad Monster Party?, which came out in 1967, so this must take place before then. See my notes for Mad Monster Party? for my notes on the individual characters involved.

Release Date: March 8, 1967
Series: Mad Monster Party?
Horror Crosses: Frankenstein (Rankin/Bass); Dracula (Rankin/Bass); Invisible Man (Universal); Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde (Universal); Frankenstein (Universal); Hunchback of Notre Dame (Universal); Mummy (Universal); Wolf Man; Creature from the Black Lagoon; King Kong
The Story: Dr. Boris Frankenstein summons the members of the Worldwide Organization of Monsters to announce he has come up with the final solution for world destruction. He also invites his nephew, who is oblivious of his Frankenstein heritage, because Boris plans on passing everything on to him.
Notes: This is a fun homage to the Universal monsters, even with putting up with Phyllis Diller as the Bride of Frankenstein. However, it’s unlikely any of the monsters here can really be the original versions from the classic movies. Dr. Frankenstein here is Dr. Boris Frankenstein, and at least the storyline acknowledges the family legacy theory. The story also names him as the creator of this monster and bride. However, in the prequel, The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters, it is a Henry von Frankenstein who is shown to have created them. This is not the same Henry from the 1931 Universal film. Henry and Boris seem identical, and may be twins, or perhaps the same person (Henry Boris von Frankenstein). This helps explain the appearances of a Universal style monster (and sometimes bride) during the period of 1948 - 1998 when the actual Universal Monster is trapped in La Mirada. The werewolf is unnamed here, but in the prequel is named Ron Chanley , a tribute to the actor who played Lawrence Talbot, Lon Chaney. The Invisible Man here could be Geoffrey Radcliffe, though if so, he’d be a bit older (though sure doesn’t look it). In the prequel, he is shown to have settled down and has an invisible family. The Doctor Jekyll here is likely one of the many of the Jekyll family over the years to continue the research of the Hyde formula. This mummy isn’t Imhotep or Kharis, but it might be Klaris. Or it may just be another mummy. The Gill Man is likely another of the same species, and not the same from Creature from the Black Lagoon. The Hunchback also can’t possibly be the original. And the giant ape referred to as “It” can’t be the late King Kong, but is likely another of the same species. In the prequel, he is named Modzoola. Dracula is the only one who could be the same, if not for being so damn goofy. Let’s call this a soul clone. The prequel shows that this Dracula has a son. All the monsters die at the end, but that’s never stopped a good monster before from making a comeback. This film has been “non-cross” referenced in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Cleavagefield, and Hewy’s Animated Movie Reviews.

Release Date: 1967 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Horror Crosses: Invisible Man (novel)
The Story: A case involving an invisibility machine.
Notes: The scientist and his niece who are working on the device are named Griffin, a nod to the original Invisible Man, and in my opinion, intended to be a crossover. How Ms. Kerry Griffin and her uncle fit into the family tree is not something I’m concerned with. I’m sure there’s an implied relationship of some sort, and the creation of a valid crossover is enough for me. However, Dennis E. Power went a step further and linked all the Invisible Men, placing them on a family tree. You can find this on his Secret HIstory website.

Release Date: October 1989 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Hellblazer
Horror Crosses: Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Dracula (Bram Stoker); The Portrait of Dorian Gray; Invisible Man (novel) (See Notes)
Non-Horror Crosses: Maltese Falcon; Moby Dick; Alice in Wonderland; Peter Pan; Sherlock Holmes; Treasure Island; Oliver Twist; Tarzan; Hamlet; Cyrano de Bergerac; Winnie the Pooh; Lord Dunsany’s Joseph Jorkens; Fu Manchu (See Notes)
The Story: Jerry is a collector of unusual artifacts. Many of these are famed items of history and legend. He’s even gone so far as to start collecting items from other realms. But when he starts collecting items from the realm of fiction, the entities of that realm come after him, and he needs the aid of John Constantine.
Notes: Hellblazer is already in vias a cross with Doctor Who that also had a Lovecraft connection. Hellblazer and the other Vertigo series were only loosely connected to the DC Universe. For the most part, they maintained a separate reality, and instead of operating on “comic book time”, things moved in a normal time frame. Jerry has a copy of Jorkins' notes, the Unaussprechlichen Kulten, and the Necronomicon in his collection (all from Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos). He also has a coffin implied to be that of Dracula and Dorian Gray’s portrait. Additionally, he has the Maltese Falcon and remnants of the ship that chased Moby Dick. From other realms, he has the Mad Hatter’s Hat (from Alice’s Wonderland) and the corpse of the Tic-Toc Croc (of Neverland, as in Peter Pan). Jerry’s shop is in the same town as the Admiral Benbow Inn, meaning they are in Black Hill Cove from Treasure Island. The collector also has other non-cross items from fairy tales and folklore. All the other crosses listed above come from the land of fiction. This is a pocket realty within the Horror Multiverse where imaginary characters exist. This may be the same realm as Imaginationland that is attached to the divergent timeline of South Park.

Release Date: 1998 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Wolf Man (Universal)
Horror Crosses: Frankenstein (Universal); Dracula (Universal); White Zombie; The Deadly Mantis; The Monolith Monsters; Werewolf of London; Creature from the Black Lagoon; Man Made Monster; The Mad Monster; Night Key; Invisible Man (Universal); Mummy (Universal)
Non-Horror Crosses: Abbott and Costello
The Story: Caroline Cooke inherits a castle in LaMirada, Florida. The town ends up soon being threatened by a monster as Larry Talbot has returned, after having been frozen in suspended animation for 50 years.
Notes: This novel brings together pretty much all of Universal Horror into the Horror Universe, and is a sequel to Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. Both Talbot and the Frankenstein monster had been in suspended animation in LaMirada for the past 50 years, negating the possibility of any Talbot or Monster appearances being related to the Universal characters during that time frame.

Release Date: 2000 (Contemporary Setting)
Horror Crosses: Werewolf of London; Frankenstein (Universal); Dracula (Universal); Wolf Man (Universal); Invisible Man (Universal); Black Cat
Non-Horror Crosses: Fantastic Four
The Story: All the monsters rise...
Notes: Sequel to Jeff Rovin’s Return of the Wolf Man. Note that Latveria is mentioned, the nation ruled by Doctor Doom, foe of the Fantastic Four. We can assume that a version of the Fantastic Four must exist in the Horror Universe, though they likely operated only for a brief period in the early 1960s.

Release Date: July 2005 - April 2013 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Princess Resurrection
Horror Crosses: Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Dracula (Universal); Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Creature From the Black Lagoon; Invisible Man (Universal); Invasion of the Body Snatchers; The Fly; Evil Dead
Non-Horror Crosses: Day of the Triffids; Angry Red Planet; Back to the Future; Star Trek; It Conquered the World
The Story: In Japan, a young man is hit by a car. As he lay there dying, he is resurrected by the princess of the Monster Realm. Not only is he brought back from death, but he becomes nearly immortal, with great power, but must serve the princess as her warrior and protector.
Notes: The series has had many links to existing series, including the ones above. I admit there are probably more that I have missed. The “Monster Realm” is probably what the Watcher’s Council (from Buffy) would refer to as a Hell Dimension.

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