Fairy-Tale Files, published once weekly, feature three variations of a fairy tale chosen by one of Fairy Tale Review’s editors, readers, editorial assistants, or contributors.
One-half flame belcher, two parts phantom lore, the British wonder jumper dubbed Spring-heeled Jack terrorized Englanders over a period of 67 years beginning in the late 1830s. Accounts place him at 10 feet tall, his appearance helmeted, clawed and cloaked—all of which added to the paranoia surrounding a man who hurdled carriages and houses with nefarious ease. Fodder for penny dreadfuls and The Illustrated Police News alike, Jack has inspired such present-day authors as Derek Landy, Stephen King and Elizabeth Bear.
Legendary Pérák, the Spring Man of Prague was a thorn in many a Nazi’s side. Rare will you find the words “vigilante chimney sweep” in the hero’s pantheon, but Pérák, with his couch-spring shoes, was just that. Czech author and comic-strip raconteur Ondřej Neff gave him a new purpose with Pérák kontra Globeman, the titular foe sharing a similar appearance with a certain arch-golden, billions-serving clown.
Bruce Banner takes the stairs, his alter ego the Incredible Hulk leaps the spheres. The Hulk’s jumps defy physics thanks to gamma-irradiated leg joints, re-enforcing the notion that what goes up forms craters coming down. While his 70s television series lacked the special effects to depict such launches, it made up for with Ted Cassidy’s dour intro and Lou Ferrigno’s spinach-colored wig.
Bonus trivia: Banner once landed a 747 plane mid-metamorphosis, proving that even mega-leapers occasionally need to gate check it.
This edition of Fairy-Tale Files is brought to you by poetry editor Jon Riccio.