Pulp Friday: Black Samurai

“The Black Samurai tangles with a human Satan in a hellish den of torrid sex and deadly violence.”

Today’s Pulp Friday is a series of covers featuring one of the best characters of US seventies pulp, Robert Sand aka Black Samurai.

Black Samurai was the creation of Black American writer Marc Olden. Olden wrote a total of seven books featuring Black Samurai, a US GI stationed in Japan who gets trained by a Japanese martial arts master and unleashed in to a series of bizarre adventures.

As was often the case with seventies pulp, Black Samurai’s plots were a mash up various hard boiled popular culture themes, including Eastern mysticism, the occult, organised crime, as well as lots of sex and bone breaking martial arts action.

My favourite of the covers featured in this post is The Warlock, in which Black Samurai tangles with an occult mastermind and his army of killer dwarfs.

Another of the releases featured in this post, The Katana sees Sand having to recover an ancient Samurai sword stolen by a army of thugs commanded by the Mafia and financed by Arab oil wealth.

The Black Samurai series were among the approximately 40 books, mainly suspense and thrillers, written by Olden, himself an expert in Akaido and Karate. One of the Black Samurai books was made into a 1974 Blaxsploitation film, Black Belt Jones starring actor/karate champion, Jim Kelly. I have not read any of the books featured in this post, but people who have read Olden’s stuff tell me he was pretty good writer.

The Black Samurai books are hard to get these days and usually pretty expensive when you do find them. I was lucky to snap up this lot cheaply online.

For those who don’t want to trawl the Internet searching for them, the US publishing house Mysterious Press recently re-released these and a number of Olden’s other works as digital books.



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