Public Domain Super Heroes


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Real Name

Joseph "Rouletabille" Josephin

First Appearance

Le Mystère de la Chambre Jaune (The Mystery Of The Yellow Room, October 19, 1907)

Original Publisher

L'Illustration (newspaper)

Created by

Gaston Leroux


Rouletabille (Joseph Josephin) was a brilliant 18-year-old investigative journalist, raised in a religious orphanage in Eu, a small town near Fécamp, France. He was the son of an evil mastermind, but decided to put his own genius to work for the law. In his first adventure, Rouletabille opposses Ballmeyer, a notorious international criminal with many identities, who poses as police detective Frederic Larsan.

After defeating Ballmeyer, Rouletabille is summoned to Russia by the Czar, where he solves a murder at the Imperial Court. In 1914, the fearless journalist marries the beautiful Ivana Vilitchkov and defeats the mad Turkish warlord Gaulow, Lord of the Black Castle.

Later, Rouletabille became a French secret agent, infiltrated the Krupp factories and saved Paris from being annihilated by a German missile.

In Le Crime de Rouletabille, the detective is almost framed for Ivana's murder. Then, in Rouletabille chez les Bohémiens, he helps recover the "Book of the Ancestors" stolen from the Gypsies and thwarts Madame de Mayrens, aka La Pieuvre (The Octopus).

Public Domain Literary Appearances

  • Le Mystère de la Chambre Jaune (The Mystery of the Yellow Room, 1907)
  • Le Parfum de la Dame en Noir (The Perfume of the Lady in Black, 1908)
  • Rouletabille chez le Tsar (Rouletabille and the Czar, 1913). Reprinted as The Secret of the Night in the U.S.
  • Rouletabille à la Guerre (Rouletabille at War, 1914); reprinted as 2 vols: Le Château Noir (The Black Castle) and Les Étranges Noces de Rouletabille (The Strange Wedding of Rouletabille, 1916)
  • Rouletabille chez Krupp (Rouletabille at Krupp's, 1917)
  • Le Crime de Rouletabille (The Crime of Rouletabille, 1921)
  • Rouletabille chez les Bohémiens (Rouletabille and the Gypsies, 1922)

Public Domain Film Appearances

  • Le Mystère de la Chambre Jaune (1913)
  • Le Parfum de la Dame en Noir (1914)
  • The Mystery of the Yellow Room (1919)
  • Rouletabille chez les Bohémiens (1922)

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