By then serials were dying anyway, and of what use was a green suit with a long cape and wings on the sides of its cowl? In the real world, there was no room for Green Falcons.
Got to work this morning and I couldn’t get “Night Calls the Green Falcon” out of my head. It’s from Robert R. McCammon’s Blue World collection, or at least that’s where I first read it.
A shriek like the demons of hell singing Beastie Boys tunes came from the speakers.
So I went looking, and bless the man, he has the whole thing up on his website. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised; it’s written as a serial, it really suits being posted online.
“No, I haven’t seen him for a while, but I know what his name was.” He grinned, gapped-tooth. “John Smith. That’s what all their names were.” He glanced at the Green Falcon. “Can you breath inside that thing?”
It’s about a man who used to play a hero in the old movie serials–you know the kind, right? Ten chapters to a story, dramatic cliffhangers, come back next week for the next thrilling episode in this dynamic mystery, “The Star and Question Mark”!
“Hey, amigo,” the man said, and flame shot from the barrel of the small pistol he’d just drawn.
I mean… okay, it is not entirely surprising that I am a sap for stories about people trying to live up to the stories; ones about the power of stories to change the world. Galaxy Quest. Shakespeare in Love–not the romantic plot or subplot or whatever it was, but the sheer weight of the theatre, the “I don’t know. It’s a mystery.” Hogfather, and the difference between the sun coming up and a giant ball of flaming gas illuminating the world.
He kept going to the stairs, burdened with age.
“‘Dear Davy,’” the voice rang out. “‘I am sorry I can’t come to Center City this summer, but I’m working on a new mystery…’”
The Green Falcon stopped.
I’m not saying it’s great art. It’s a four-colour story, bright and simple and clear. It has a grim and bloody moment or two, but then of course it does; they always did.
Who was he? somebody asked. The Green Falcon? Did he used to be somebody? Yeah, a long time ago. I think I saw him on a rerun. He lives in Beverly Hills now, went into real estate and made about ten million bucks, but he still plays the Green Falcon on the side.
Oh, yeah, somebody else said. I heard that too.
I heard that too.