A Perry Rhodan Spin Tale on the Double
Ten earth years have passed since the crew led by US Space Force Major Perry Rhodan made the first lunar landing in history. Near the moon's north pole, a few dozen kilometers into the dark side, the crew discovered a stranded alien Arkonide vessel with technology centuries ahead of earth's. They also discovered the Milky Way teems with intelligent, space faring, and at times openly hostile, life.
Human mutants appear on earth as an unintended consquence of atomic research. Many are now in league with Rhodan's Third Power. But one mutant named Monterny, who can hypnotise people on sight, bitterly resents Rhodan. Monterny uses his unparalleled mental power to enthrall over a dozen other mutants, including a bicephalous natural born bomb maker. Monterny intends to smash the Third Power and become world dictator.
Titles, teasers, covers, characters, & blurbs
Besides the story itself, this is a tale of two publishers: Moewig and Ace. German publisher Moewig released its first Perry Rhodan pulp magazine on March 26, 1961. Having sold more than two billion copies as of 2019, it is the most successful science fiction ever written. Eight years after Moewig’s debut, American publisher Ace Books published its first English translation in 1969. Ace Books ceased publication in 1979, even though the translations remained profitable at the time.
Wendayne and Forrest J Ackerman respectively acted as translator and editor for Ace. Although at first Forrest mostly copied Moewig’s cover and content verbatim, along the way he made the Ace translations his own, with unique covers, additional content, and out of order story telling. The left column below contains original content while the right holds Ackerman’s derivative work.
|Im Banne des Hypno||The Thrall of Hypno|
|Er wußte nicht, was er tat ... Ein Mensch als ultimate Vernichtungswaffe.||He didn’t know what he was doing ... A human being as an ultimate weapon of destruction.|
|Die Hauptpersonen des Romans:||THOSE INVOLVED IN THIS ADVENTURE|
Perry Rhodan – Der Herr der Dritten Macht.
Reginald Bull – Perry Rhodans Freund und Vertrauter.
Major Deringhouse – Er verliert sein eigenes Ich.
Clifford Monterny – Er nennt sich „Overhead“.
Iwan Iwanowitsch Goratschin – Die letzte und gefährlichste Waffe des Overhead.
Betty Toufry – Die stärkste Telepathin der Dritten Macht.
Gucky – Ein wichtiges Mitglied des Mutantenkorps.
Leutnant Bings und Sergeant Adolf – Zwei Raumfahrer mit einem seltsamen Hobby.
Perry Rhodan–Born on Earth, destined for the Stars
Reginald Bell–Rhodan’s rusty-headed, trusty friend
Maj. Conrad Deringhouse–daring astronaut dedicated to Perry’s plans
Clifford Monterny–supermutant dedicated to the downfall of Rhodan’s dreams
Ivan Ivanovick Goratschin–the Mutant Master’s ultimate weapon
Betty Toufry–small fry (age 12) who is nevertheless the most efficient esper of the New Power
Pucky–mischievous mouse-beaver with mutant powers
Lt. Bing & Sgt. Adolf–two spacemen sharing a xenolepidopteran hobby
Capt. Berner; Lts. Carell, Yomo & Hill; Sgts. Raab & Rouse; and Cadet Fowler–men of Perry Rhodan’s command
Wallers & Raggs–men under the Svengali spell of the Mutant Master
Die Dritte Macht – jene glückliche Mischung aus arkonidischer Supertechnik un menschlichem Tatendrang – kann, nach irdischer Zeit gemessen, bereits auf ein zehnjähriges Bestehen zurückblicken.
In diesen zehn Jahren ist vieles geschehen: die Mondlandung der STARDUST I, die erfogreiche Abwehr von Invasionen aus dem All, die Enträtselung de uralten Geheimnisse der Venus, der Kampf mit den echsenähnlichen Topsidern und die Entdeckung der Welt der Unsterblichkeit, um nur einige dramatische Höhepunkte aus der noch jungen Geschichte der von Perry Rhodan geleiteten Dritten Macht zu nennen.
Aber wenn auch die Dritte Macht alle im Weltraum lauernden Gefahren bish unbeschadet überstanden hat, so sieht sie sich jetzt einer ungerheueren Bedrohung gegenüber, die auf der Erde selbst ihren Ursprung Hat!
Diese Bedrohung geht vom „Overhead“ aus, einem machtgierigen Wissenschaftler, der die Dritte Macht zu zerschlagen sucht, um eine Weltdiktatur zu errichten.
Die geistige Kraft für sein Vorhaben besitzt der „Overhead“ zweifellos, denn er ist ein Hypno – und solange menschliche Gehirne IM BANNE DES HYPNO stehen, solange gibt es keine Atempause für Perry Rhodan und seine Leute ...
TWO HEADS BADDER THAN ONE!
A double-headed mutant as the special ally of Monterny the Mutant Master!
The Mutant Corps of Perry Rhodan never had it so bad!
The benign influence of the New Power is threatened by the power-mad evil scientist who would destroy all Perry’ work on Earth in order to create a dictatorship of the world with himself as supreme master!
Moewig's front cover, shown on the left, reveals plenty about this story. The bicephalous mutant's two heads go by the names of Ivan and Ivanovich. Of the two, the latter, the "son of Ivan," remains mostly in the background because he's younger. He saw the light of day three seconds after the elder head.
The cover also shows blonde, teenage girl genius Betty Toufry. She’s the most potent of telepaths and also telekinetic. Betty displays intuition about future events. Rhodan believes Toufry’s a girl ahead of her time who represents humanity’s ultimate destiny.
Toufry’s also kind, which leads us to Ivan and Ivanovich. Their superpower can destroy Rhodan's New Power. And both heads are under the thrall of hypno master mutant Monterny, who's able to instantaneously brainwash by bending other people's wills to his own. All Monterny need do is to catch sight of his intended victim once. Although human, Ivan and Ivanovich fall far outside the norm. Only Toufer’s touching kindness can sway them from the nihilism inculcated by their former Mutant Master.
The identity of last person shown on Moewig’s cover is an enigma. Most likely it’s either the French telepath André Noir or Perry Rhodan. Noir assists Toufry in her struggles to free Ivan and Ivanovick from Monterny’s thrall.
After Monterny’s weapon is neutralized, Reginald Bull, known as Bell in the Ace, takes command of a squad of space-interceptors assigned to locate and destroy the Mutant Master. A former Monterny ally turned foe joins Bull in his quest. Telepathic Tatjana Michalowna is one of the few mutants immune to the Mutant Master’s hypnotic thrall.
Gucky, whom the Ace christens Pucky, is the mouse beaver shown in the thumbnail at the top-right of this page. Gucky hails from the planet Tramp and possesses unparalleled telepathy, teleportation, and, telekinesis skills. He joins Bull and Tatjana on their quest.
Bull becomes so frustrated with the chase that he breaks out cussing in Tatjana’s presence. Whereupon the two cross swords. Bully’s rationalization as well as Tatjana’s reaction to it is funny in any language.
It’s always a relief for me as a reader to see the denouement of a story arc that spans several issues. Throughout the arc, tensions escalate and serve as a "hook" to maintain reader attention. After a while, readers become mentally fatigued and need resolution to take a break from the story.
This story was written when mutants filled the imaginations of the SF world. As you might surmise from Ivan Ivanovick Goratschin's names, Mother Russia "owns" this particular mutant; the result of sloppy research conditions. It's a handy archetype, which leaves atomic research conducted elsewhere out of sight and out of mind.
The settings of Monterny’s lairs in sparsely populated, rugged settings appeal to me. It’s easy for my mind’s eye to picture an underground fortress at the foot of Emmons Peak, sixty miles to the east of the great Salt Lake or a base on Mars. My favorite part of this story occurs near the end, when monstrous mutant master Monterny seeks refuge on a asteroid planetoid.
Most of the character development takes place within Ivan and Ivanovich. There’s also a tiny smidgen in mutant master Monterny, but, alas, his development comes far too late.
This is a better than average story to me. If you like Space Opera and find entertainment in the excerpts, you may also enjoy the story told in its entirety and think it better than average too.
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- Ace First Series Covers (1969-1972)
- English summary