"What did you say?"

"I said: Fantomas."

"And what does that mean?"

"Nothing... Everything!"

"But what is it?"

"Nobody... And yet, yes, it is somebody!"

"And what does the somebody do?"

"Spreads terror!"

A century ago, a new villain was born. The Founder of the Criminal Feast of 20th Century Supervillains is one hundred years old now, still surprisingly fresh and spine-tingling with its gory Grand Guignol blood spattering and grisly tortures of flesh and spirit. And even now he is being reconceived and reborn as a film by Christophe Ganz, director of Brotherhood of the Wolf. Fantomas returns yet again to haunt our nightmares.

In 1911, French readers discovered their Horror-Shock, Grisly Pulp Fiction, Arch-Criminal: Hannibal Lecter, Freddy Krueger, and Jason Voorhees rolled into one. Europe’s original pulp fiction, the “Lord of Terror” Fantomas, is the anti-hero of France’s best detective thrillers. Written by Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain, it is one of the most influential and enduring works of popular culture published in the 20th Century. From Fu Manchu, Doctor Mabuse, Lex Luthor, to Ernst Stavro Blofeld, to Dr. Evil, the chameleon face of criminality, ever changing, ever renewing is shaped by the character Fantomas, Emperor of Crime. He relishes the lurid details of criminality, crimes, and savage mayhem, clothed in royal robes, or the rags of a street musician, or the simple habit of a homicidal nun. His last-chapter escapes surpass even those of the legendary Harry Houdini, then in his prime and height of worldwide fame.

The initial five books in the series are collected in this Fantomas Centennial Omnibus Edition. You'll find FANTOMAS: The Adventures of Detective Juve in pursuit of a master in crime. FANTOMAS vs. JUVE: In this continuation Fantomas appears as the leader of a gang of French Apaches, and as a physician of standing. Juve tracks the criminal to his secret hiding-place, but Fantomas escapes. THE VENGENCE OF FANTOMAS: Filled with hair-raising incidents, this tale is a fascinating recital of remarkable happenings in the life of the master-criminal of Paris. FANTOMAS AND THE NEST OF SPIES: In this volume Fantomas is an ambassador for a foreign power engaged in Paris in obtaining important military secrets for Germany. Detective Juve unmasks him, but the criminal again escapes. FANTOMAS AND THE ROYAL PRISONER: This volume tells of the daring exploits of Fantomas in his attempts to get possession of the King of Hesse-Weimar's famous diamond.

[With special introduction about the Fantomas phenomenon, with bibliography and filmography.]

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