Cover of New Nick Carter Weekly #372, 13 February 1904. I very much doubt that this issue was the origin of the cliche of the pulps: the outgoing writer of a pulp serial writes the hero into an impossible situation, trapped in a tiger pit while bound, tigers closing in an enemies shooting at him. The incoming writer thinks a moment, then begins the next story with “With a mighty leap, the hero was free.” Nonetheless, this is the earliest example of it I’ve found.
This issue introduces the Japanese detective “Ten-Ichi” as Nick’s assistant. “Ten-Ichi” is the teenaged son of the Mikado and is shown to be enormously capable. He doesn’t speak in a stereotyped manner, doesn’t act in a stereotyped manner, and is treated with complete respect by Nick Carter. Like the pulps, the dime novels had a huge amount of racism, but characters like “Ten-Ichi” were not as rare as you’d think.
Finally, some villain monologuing:
The Iron Maiden of the Venetians became tightly closed in about six hours after the springs were set, and death often resulted within three hours, but with the Maiden of Steel it is different. She requires forty-eight hours to envelope her victims in her embrace, and whoever is enjoying her caresses cannot possibly die until after the last click of the closing spring has sounded. Oh, it is exquisite! Exquisite!