Hanna-Barbera’s adventure cartoon line had a lot in common with Red Star Mystery magazine. A ways down in my blog is a full description of The Scarlet Wizard, wherein he sounds a lot like the Scooby-Doo gang.
Dr. Thaddeus Harker sounds much the same…
Here’s what http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/pulpsh.html had to say about the character:
Doc Harker appeared in an eponymous pulp in 1940, and although his stories were interesting and on the better side they did not last. He was a tall, thin, older man who dressed in the style of an ante-bellum Kentucky colonel, complete with silver hair, mustache, and pointed goatee (Think “Colonel Sanders”). His profession was that of wandering salesman; he traveled around the country selling “Chickasha Remedies,” a cure-all for whatever ailed ya. While he was very good at selling the tonic, his real love was criminology. In his van, which doubled as a scientific laboratory and armed vehicle, he traveled with his two assistants, finding crimes wherever he went and solving them. Harker was not strong in the style of most heroes; he was the brains of the outfit. Brenda Sloan, a beautiful woman who lived in the van with Doc, did the legwork for him whenever they entered a new town. Herk Jones, a former wrestler, handled the heavy lifting.
It goes to prove that no idea is entirely new and the fact that the pulps had a profound influence on later forms of entertainment, if only to serve as a training ground for writers.
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