The Immortal Princess Femi

lg03_femi_smallA good villain can make all the difference.

With The Peregrine, most of his enemies were dead and buried by the end of each adventure, though he had a few (The Warlike Manchu, for instance) who made return appearances. When I created Lazarus Gray, I knew that one of the things I wanted to do with the series was to create a series of recurring villains. I wanted him to have a vibrant rogue’s gallery that could return again and again.

But which of his enemies stands above the rest? If our hero is defined by his villains, which of those foes is his dark mirror?

Obviously, Lazarus Gray has Walther Lunt, his former mentor. Lunt was a major force in Volumes One and Two but his death in 1936 (“Die Glocke”) has yet to be undone so aside from casting a looming shadow over the series, he hasn’t been a physical force since then.

So is he really Gray’s arch-enemy? I think he still qualifies but I do think honorable mention must be given to the immortal Princess Femi.

A beautiful Egyptian princess, Femi was involved with a cult known as The Undying. This group repudiated the Gods, believing that mankind was itself the highest form of life – they frequently shouted “God Is Dead!” as a way of displaying their blasphemous beliefs. In retribution, the priests of Egypt captured Femi and mummified her, using special magicks to keep her alive, in an eternal sleep.

In early 1935, she managed to make a psychic connection with a man who had bought her corpse, intending to display it in his house. The man used a powerful gem to revive Femi, who was reunited with the remains of The Undying. Femi was now able to control the undead but her power came with a price — she now had to feed on human flesh to remain young.The exact process that Femi uses to create her armies of mummified warriors is mystical in nature and bestows upon her followers great strength and durability. The tale of her resurrection and subsequent battle with Assistance Unlimited took place in “The Corpse Screams At Midnight!”

Her next appearance spanned late 1935 and early ’36, as Walther Lunt revived her to accompany him on his search for the Die Glocke.

Later in 1936, Femi was resurrected yet again by Constance Majestros, who formed Murder Unlimited in direct opposition to Assistance Unlimited. Femi and Constance were joined by Abraham Klee, Stanley Davis and Doc Pemberley. Femi and Pemberley became lovers at this point though the romance was a disturbing one for both parties. This time, Abigail Winters (a member of Assistance Unlimited) defeated Femi in single combat. She was placed in a locked room at 6196 Robeson Avenue, becoming a prisoner of Lazarus Gray. This adventure was detailed in “Murder Unlimited.”

At some unknown point, her body was stolen by the madman known as Dr. York, who attempted to revive her in Atlanta so that she might aid him against The Peregrine. This revival literally lasted only a few moments before she was put down once more and returned to the care of Assistance Unlimited (“The Peregrine Animated Script,” The Peregrine Omnibus Volume Three).

Unfortunately, she was freed a short time later (in the story “Eidolon”) and became involved in an attempt to revive an ancient devil. Working alongside a Nazi werewolf named Silverwolf, Femi ended up facing the mysterious vigilante known as Darkling. Darkling managed to destroy her once more.

Abigail vs. Femi, from Lazarus Gray Volume Three

Abigail vs. Femi, from Lazarus Gray Volume Three

In the forthcoming Volume Five, we will see that her remains are kept in an urn at Robeson Avenue (“The Felonious Financier”) in 1937 but she gets revived just in time for a group of Egyptians who serve the ancient gods to come calling in hopes of destroying her once and for all. Femi gains a handmaiden named Madison Montgomery, a girlfriend of Morgan Watt’s who becomes enamored of Femi’s power. The duo found themselves briefly allied with The Three Sisters (Selene, Phoebe & Fiona), three immortal witches that sought to control Sovereign City. At the end of this adventure, Femi and Madison escape the clutches of Assistance Unlimited. Madison is now empowered by a small fraction of the same energy that preserves Femi, making them a deadly pair (“Immortals”).

For her roleplaying game stats, you can look here.

Our art today is courtesy of George Sellas.

A Lengthy Review of Lazarus Gray Volume One

The Adventures of Lazarus GrayMark from Texas posted the following review on Goodreads. Here’s what he had to say about the first book in the Lazarus Gray series:

The Adventures of Lazarus Gray
Author: Barry Reese
Publisher: Pro Se Press
Published In: Batesville, AR, USA
Date: 2011
Pgs: 252

REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Summary:
Welcome to Sovereign City. A man awakens with no memory of who he is or where he’s from. A medallion hangs from his neck with the name Lazarus Gray on it. He along with his cohorts in Assistance Unlimited help people in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. The dark is rising. Mystic evil is coming. The man known as Lazarus Gray stands in the breach.

Genre:
Adventure
Crime fiction
Fantasy
Fiction
Horror
Pulp
Science fiction
Short stories
Thrillers
Urban fantasy

Why this book:
It’s Barry telling a story. I love when Barry tells stories.

The Girl with the Phantom Eyes:
Favorite Character:
The Aquaas. Love the concept of these little Cthulian horrors.

Least Favorite Character:
Walther Lunt. Mainly because

Character I Most Identified With:
Lazarus has a bit of the Mary Sue/deus ex machina about him. He’s everything that he needs to be. But he is the character that the reader is most likely to glom onto. I’m sure as his “secret” origin is revealed those shortcomings that I see in him will make sense. In this way, he is Sherlock Holmes, Hugo Danning, Doc Savage, Batman and Superman. And that’s not all bad.

The Feel:
Mr. Reese threw a “dark and stormy night” opening into this opening chapter of the Lazarus Gray chronicles, without saying “it was a dark and stormy night.” I tip my hat. Very well done.

Favorite Scene:
I could totally see this as a black and white, 20s/30s/40s era, crime noir movie with a supernatural tilt. Can just imagine the lightning in one of the Aquaas scenes. All black and shadow and a framed light hits the actress in the eyes as she stares at the next victim giving us the low budget special effect of a girl with glowing eyes.

Or a serial, a Lazarus Gray serial, this story could easily have been broken into six parts with a cliffhanger ending for each one. Pure gold.

Pacing:
The pace of the first act was slow, lots of exposition, lots of introduction, lots of world building, expected. The action that does happen is offscreen explained and exposited on afterwards. But when the kicker comes at the nadir of the first act, it is delicious.

Hmm Moments:
Love the lion staff. Totally glomming that for the next time I play D&D…whenever that may be.

Casting call:
I could totally see George Clooney as Lazarus Gray. Alec Baldwin wouldn’t be bad either, but he may have aged out of the role. I realize that they are within 5 years of one another. George just seems younger and more…robust. Course, I could see classic Hollywood actors in a lot of these roles as well.

Angus Scrimm as Walther Lunt. I know he’s in his 80s. But I love Angus and he could absolutely project the menace necessary for the role.

The Devil’s Bible:
Favorite Character:
Love the succubus/blood demon.

The Feel:
There’s a great 20s/30s detective movie feel with an Indiana Jones flair in some of this. Great stuff.

Favorite Scene:
Eun getting the drop on the ninja.

Hmm Moments:
Ninjas.

Casting call:
Devon Aoki as Maya Shimada

The Corpse Screams at Midnight:
The Feel:
This one feels more Hammer film than hardboiled detective drama.

Favorite Scene:
The Mummy awakening in the flashback to the previous owner and the horror that followed on afterward.

The mummy fight at the museum.

Pacing:
Page turner.

Hmm Moments:
Love the Cult of the Mummy stuff.

The Burning Skull:
Favorite Character:
Mr. Skull sounds like an awesome villain. His origin is well done.

Sovereign City is every bit as much a character here as the Hawaiian Isles are in Hawaii 5-0 or as Basin City is for Frank Miller. She’s every city…at least the dark and grimy parts of every city.

Favorite Scene:
When Lunt thinking that he is going to unbalance Gray or pull him offsides or back to the dark side by laying out his cards and telling him what he knows of his past and Gray basically says, “I see”, and hangs up on him.

Hmm Moments:
“I think I may have made a terrible mistake.” – Walther Lunt

This story gives us the origin of Lazarus Gray and Mr. Skull. Greatness.

The Axeman of Sovereign City:
Favorite Character:
Sovereign City is a rich panoply of diverse characters; mob bosses, houngans, Nazis, etc. I can see the city in my mind’s eye; a dirty, dingy mix of the worst city Bogie’s characters ever crossed a rainy street in, with some Gotham, both New York and Batman’s, and some Sin City thrown in.

Monique and Dinkins, those two are a helluva piece of work.

Least Favorite Character:
Morgan and Samantha’s dancing around one another is a distraction. It robs both characters and the story flow.

Pacing:
The pace takes a bip every time we slip into a longing looks Morgan or Samantha moment.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
Despite his promises to include them more, Lazarus continues to hold his team at arm’s length. Hopefully, the “go it alone” attitude that crops up in this story will give us a him on the end of a rescue from the other members of Assistance Unlimited.

Hmm Moments:
Mr. Dinkins unique heart condition is a great plot point.

Casting call:
Geoffrey Holder as Dinkins.

The God of Hate
Favorite Character:
Morgan Watts. The second he pulled the trigger on the thing in the box, great scene.

The Feel:
This is the best one of the set of shorts included here.

Favorite Scene:
When The Claw rises from the bed with the ladies of the evening scattered about him, secure in the knowledge that he has ruined them for the rest of their lives. It’s so horrible picturing that in your mind. For an alien monster, The Claw has a lot of carnal, abusive desires.

Morgan’s Paris adventure.

The fight with The Claw in the old abandoned church.

Hmm Moments:
The Claw’s invasion of the Assistance Unlimited HQ to deliver his challenge/warning to Eun.

Casting call:
What about Tom Hanks as Lazarus? I could see it being part his performance in Road to Perdition and part his performance in The Da Vinci Code.

Every time Eun appears on the page, it makes me wish that Bruce Lee was alive today.

Doug Jones as The Claw.

John Noble as Walther Lunt.

Josh Brolin as Morgan Watts.

Darkness, Spreading Its Wings of Black

The Feel:
Would have liked a more tender moment between Samantha Grace and Morgan Watts as he rescues her from the chains.

Favorite Scene:
The showdown in the basement

Pacing:
Probably the best paced of the stories in this volume.

Hmm Moments:
Love the idea of a Peregrine-Lazarus Gray team up.

Last Page Sound:
Well…that was nice. Wish Lazarus would have gotten the last word instead of the Peregrine, but still nice. More of a denouement with the Assistance Unlimited folks would have been appreciated.

Author Assessment:
I love Barry Reese’s work.

A hero is defined by his villains. Barry gives Lazarus Gray some great ones here.

Editorial Assessment:
A physical spell check in Darkness, Spreading Its Wings of Black would have been good, ie: made scientist.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
glad I read it

Disposition of Book:
e-Book

Would recommend to:
friends, genre fans

Thanks for the in-depth review and analysis, Mark! Much appreciated.

A Dark Review!

IMG_6232The Adventures of the Dark Gentleman Book One: The Judgment of the Shadow Court has received its first review on Amazon.com! Our old friend Raven gave the book 5 stars and said the following:

MINOR SPOILERS PERHAPS BUT TOTALLY UNINTENDED

Book Review: Monday, March 2, 2015

The Adventures of the Dark Gentleman 1: The Judgment of the Shadow Court by Barry Reese (Kindle© Version)

This is the introductory volume featuring Michael Groseclose, also known as Sovereign City’s latest vigilante, The Dark Gentleman. The Dark Gentleman at first seems like a knockoff of The Phantom Detective. But readers of the old pulps will quickly spot differences enough to truly make The Dark Gentleman a hero in his own right.

Michael Groseclose was raised in Sovereign City where his father was the editor of the local paper, The Sovereign Gazette. But Michael could not understand why his father did nothing that could have helped stem the flow of crime and corruption that was normal for Sovereign City. To Michael, the newspaper was the perfect foil to crusade against the suffocating stench of suffering and despair in a city where anarchy was just an inconvenience.

So Michael Groseclose became a vigilante dressed almost like a fop, sharp suit, white shirt, tie, Opera cloak, top hat, gloves, and a large domino mask. The Dark Gentleman was born.

Back when Michael attended college, he became friends with William “Winkie” Smalls, who authors the stories. This doesn’t keep The Dark Gentleman from breaking “the fourth wall” and giving his direct opinion at times.

A new threat has come to Sovereign City. The Shadow Court is run by a masked Judge, and puts people on trial that have committed violent crimes, even if they have served their sentences. The Shadow Court has a prosecutor, a defense counsel, a Judge, and a jury—all just for show. Your guilt has already been ascertained, your punishment selected, and your fate determined.

Perhaps you will only have to pay a fine, usually monthly, to satisfy The Shadow Court. But if the Judge deems your actions as deserving, or if you miss your monthly “fine,” death is an acceptable alternative.

This book addresses the introduction of The Dark Gentleman and his style of crime fighting. It introduces the villains, The Shadow Court and its masked Judge.

Who is the Judge and who are the members of the court? What happens to those who face this Judge really, the rumor; or something more sinister? Why is The Dark Gentleman not willing to work with others, such a Lazarus Gray, Doc Daye, Fortune McCall, The Peregrine, or The Gravedigger?

This is a fine introduction to a hero with high potential when fully settled and integrated into the world according to Barry Reese. Five out of five stars.

Quoth the Raven…

Thanks for the fine synopsis and review, Raven! I wanted to make Michael a bit different than Lazarus and my other heroes — I’m glad you seemed to like that fact. Future installments will grow the supporting cast and continue to focus on street-level adventures.

Look for the second story in the next few months!

Timeline of My Pulp Adventure Universe (Updated March 2, 2015)

black_terror_01_smallMajor Events specific to certain stories and novels are included in brackets. Some of this information contains SPOILERS for The Peregrine, Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger and other stories.

~ 800 Viking warrior Grimarr dies of disease but is resurrected as the Sword of Hel. He adventures for some time as Hel’s agent on Earth. [“Dogs of War” and “In the Name of Hel,” Tales of the Norse Gods].

1748 – Johann Adam Weishaupt is born.

1750 – Guan-Yin embarks on a quest to find her lost father, which takes her to Skull Island [Guan-Yin and the Horrors of Skull Island].

1776 – Johann Adam Weishaupt forms The Illuminati. He adopts the guise of the original Lazarus Gray in group meetings, reflecting his “rebirth” and the “moral ambiguity” of the group. In Sovereign City, a Hessian soldier dies in battle, his spirit resurrected as an headless warrior.

1793 – Mortimer Quinn comes to Sovereign City, investigating the tales of a Headless Horseman [Gravedigger Volume One]

1865 – Eobard Grace returns home from his actions in the American Civil War. Takes possession of the Book of Shadows from his uncle Frederick. [“The World of Shadow,” The Family Grace: An Extraordinary History]

1877 – Eobard Grace is summoned to the World of Shadows, where he battles Uris-Kor and fathers a son, Korben. [“The World of Shadow,” The Family Grace: An Extraordinary History]

1885 – Along with his niece Miriam and her paramour Ian Sinclair, Eobard returns to the World of Shadows to halt the merging of that world with Earth. [“The Flesh Wheel,” The Family Grace: An Extraordinary History]

1890 – Eobard fathers a second son, Leopold.

1895 – Felix Cole (the Bookbinder) is born.

1900 – Max Davies is born to publisher Warren Davies and his wife, heiress Margaret Davies.

1901 – Leonid Kaslov is born.

1905 – Richard Winthrop is born in San Francisco.

1908 – Warren Davies is murdered by Ted Grossett, a killer nicknamed “Death’s Head”. [“Lucifer’s Cage”, the Peregrine Volume One, more details shown in “Origins,” the Peregrine Volume One] Hans Merkel kills his own father. [“Blitzkrieg,” the Peregrine Volume One]

1910 – Evelyn Gould is born.

1913 – Felix Cole meets the Cockroach Man and becomes part of The Great Work. [“The Great Work,” The Family Grace: An Extraordinary History]

1914 – Margaret Davies passes away in her sleep. Max is adopted by his uncle Reginald.

1915 – Felix Cole marries Charlotte Grace, Eobard Grace’s cousin.

1916 – Leonid Kaslov’s father Nikolai becomes involved in the plot to assassinate Rasputin.

1917 – Betsy Cole is born to Felix and Charlotte Grace Cole. Nikolai Kaslov is murdered.

1918 – Max Davies begins wandering the world. Richard Winthrop’s parents die in an accident.

1922 – Warlike Manchu tutors Max Davies in Kyoto.

1925 – Max Davies becomes the Peregrine, operating throughout Europe.

1926 – Charlotte Grace dies. Richard Winthrop has a brief romance with exchange student Sarah Dumas.

1927 – Richard Winthrop graduates from Yale. On the night of his graduation, he is recruited into The Illuminati. Max and Leopold Grace battle the Red Lord in Paris. Richard Winthrop meets Miya Shimada in Japan, where he purchases The McGuinness Obelisk for The Illuminati.

1928 – The Peregrine returns to Boston. Dexter van Melkebeek (later to be known as The Darkling) receives his training in Tibet from Tenzin.

1929 – Max Davies is one of the judges for the Miss Beantown contest [“The Miss Beantown Affair,” The Peregrine Volume Three]. Richard Winthrop destroys a coven of vampires in Mexico.

1930 – Richard Winthrop pursues The Devil’s Heart in Peru [“Eidolon,” Lazarus Gray Volume Three].

1932 – The Peregrine hunts down his father’s killer [“Origins,” the Peregrine Volume One]. The Darkling returns to the United States.

1933 – Jacob Trench uncovers Lucifer’s Cage. [“Lucifer’s Cage”, the Peregrine Volume One] The Peregrine battles Doctor York [All-Star Pulp Comics # 1] After a failed attempt at betraying The Illuminati, Richard Winthrop wakes up on the shores of Sovereign City with no memory of his name or past. He has only one clue to his past in his possession: a small medallion adorned with the words Lazarus Gray and the image of a naked man with the head of a lion. [“The Girl With the Phantom Eyes,” Lazarus Gray Volume One]

1934 – Now calling himself Lazarus Gray, Richard Winthrop forms Assistance Unlimited in Sovereign City. He recruits Samantha Grace, Morgan Watts and Eun Jiwon [“The Girl With the Phantom Eyes,” Lazarus Gray Volume One] Walther Lunt aids German scientists in unleashing the power Die Glocke, which in turn frees the demonic forces of Satan’s Circus [“Die Glocke,” Lazarus Gray Volume Two]. The entity who will become known as The Black Terror is created [“The Making of a Hero,” Lazarus Gray Volume Two].

1935 – Felix Cole and his daughter Betsy seek out the Book of Eibon. [“The Great Work,” The Family Grace: An Extraordinary History] Assistance Unlimited undertakes a number of missions, defeating the likes of Walther Lunt, Doc Pemberley, Malcolm Goodwill & Black Heart, Princess Femi & The Undying, Mr. Skull, The Axeman and The Yellow Claw [“The Girl With the Phantom Eyes,” “The Devil’s Bible,” “The Corpse Screams at Midnight,” “The Burning Skull,” “The Axeman of Sovereign City,” and “The God of Hate,” Lazarus Gray Volume One] The Peregrine journeys to Sovereign City and teams up with Assistance Unlimited to battle Devil Face. They also encounter a new hero – The Dark Gentleman. [“Darkness, Spreading Its Wings of Black,” The Peregrine Volume Two and Lazarus Gray Volume One)]. Lazarus Gray and Assistance Unlimited become embroiled in the search for Die Glocke [“Die Glocke,” Lazarus Gray Volume Two]

1936 – Assistance Unlimited completes their hunt for Die Glocke and confronts the threat of Jack-In-Irons. Abigail Cross and Jakob Sporrenberg join Assistance Unlimited [“Die Glocke,” Lazarus Gray Volume Two]. The Peregrine moves to Atlanta and recovers the Dagger of Elohim from Felix Darkholme. The Peregrine meets Evelyn Gould. The Peregrine battles Jacob Trench. [“Lucifer’s Cage”, the Peregrine Volume One]. Reed Barrows revives Camilla. [“Kingdom of Blood,” The Peregrine Volume One]. Kevin Atwill is abandoned in the Amazonian jungle by his friends, a victim of the Gorgon legacy. [“The Gorgon Conspiracy,” The Peregrine Volume One]. Nathaniel Caine’s lover is killed by Tweedledum while Dan Daring looks on [“Catalyst,” The Peregrine Volume One] Assistance Unlimited teams up with The Black Terror to battle Promethus and The Titan in South America [“The Making of a Hero,” Lazarus Gray Volume Two]. Doc Pemberley allies himself with Abraham Klee, Stanley Davis and Constance Majestros to form Murder Unlimited. Lazarus Gray is able to defeat this confederation of evil and Pemberley finds himself the victim of Doctor Satan’s machinations [“Murder Unlimited,” Lazarus Gray Volume Three]. Lazarus Gray is forced to compete with The Darkling for possession of a set of demonic bones. During the course of this, a member of Assistance Unlimited becomes Eidolon. [“Eidolon,” Lazarus Gray Volume Three]. Charity Grace dies and is reborn as the first female Gravedigger. [Gravedigger Volume One]. Dr. York attempts to revive Princess Femi so that she can aid him in battling The Peregrine [“The Peregrine Animated Script,” The Peregrine Volume Three]. The Dark Gentleman confronts The Shadow Court and brings them to justice. [“The Judgment of the Shadow Court,” The Adventures of The Dark Gentleman Book One].

1937 – Max and Evelyn marry. Camilla attempts to create Kingdom of Blood. World’s ancient vampires awaken and the Peregrine is ‘marked’ by Nyarlathotep. Gerhard Klempt’s experiments are halted. William McKenzie becomes Chief of Police in Atlanta. The Peregrine meets Benson, who clears his record with the police. [“Kingdom of Blood,” the Peregrine Volume One]. Lazarus Gray and Assistance Unlimited teams up with Thunder Jim Wade to confront the deadly threat of Leviathan (“Leviathan Rising”, Lazarus Gray Volume Four]. Hank Wilbon is murdered, leading to his eventual resurrection as the Reaper. [“Kaslov’s Fire,” The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine and Evelyn become unwelcome guests of Baron Werner Prescott, eventually foiling his attempts to create an artificial island and a weather-controlling weapon for the Nazis [“The Killing Games,” The Peregrine Volume Three] Gravedigger confronts a series of terrible threats in Sovereign City, including Thanatos, a gender-swapping satanic cult and The Headless Horseman. Charity and Samantha Grace make peace about their status as half-sisters. [Gravedigger Volume One] Lazarus Gray teams with Eidolon and The Darkling to combat Doctor Satan [“Satan’s Circus,” Lazarus Gray Volume Four]. Lazarus Gray battles the forces of Wilson Brisk and Skyrider. The Three Sisters are unleashed upon Sovereign City [“The Felonious Financier,” Lazarus Gray Volume Five]. Gravedigger confronts the twin threats of Hiroshi Tamaki and the immortal known as Pandora [Gravedigger Volume Two]. Lazarus Gray travels to Cape Noire to investigate the mysterious vigilante known as Brother Bones [“Shadows and Phantoms,” Lazarus Gray Volume Five]. The villain known as The Basilisk attempts to seize control of Sovereign City’s underworld [“Stare of The Basilisk,” Lazarus Gray Volume Five]. The Three Sisters unite with Princess Femi to combat Assistance Unlimited. Sobek’s attempt to destroy Femi helps lead young Madison Montgomery into a role as Femi’s handmaiden. Lazarus gets engaged to Kelly Emerson [“Immortals,” Lazarus Gray Volume Five]. Lazarus and Kelly are married. [“Wedding Bells,” Lazarus Gray Volume Five].

1938 – The Peregrine travels to Great City to aid the Moon Man in battling Lycos and his Gasping Death. The Peregrine destroys the physical shell of Nyarlathotep and gains his trademark signet ring. [“The Gasping Death,” The Peregrine Volume One]. The jungle hero known as the Revenant is killed [“Death from the Jungle,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. Gravedigger, Lazarus Gray and The Peregrine come together to confront the terrible events known as Götterdämmerung. Many other heroes – including The Black Bat, The Black Terror, The Darkling and Leonid Kaslov are caught up in the events, as well [Götterdämmerung].

1939 – Ibis and the Warlike Manchu revive the Abomination. Evelyn becomes pregnant and gives birth to their first child, a boy named William. [“Abominations,” The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine allies himself with Leonid Kaslov to stop the Reaper’s attacks and to foil the plans of Rasputin. [“Kaslov’s Fire,” the Peregrine Volume One] Violet Cambridge and Will McKenzie become embroiled in the hunt for a mystical item known as The Damned Thing [The Damned Thing]

1940 – The Warlike Manchu returns with a new pupil — Hans Merkel, aka Shinigami. The Warlike Manchu kidnaps William Davies but the Peregrine and Leonid Kaslov manage to rescue the boy. [“Blitzkrieg,” the Peregrine Volume One] The Peregrine journeys to Germany alongside the Domino Lady and Will McKenzie to combat the demonic organization known as Bloodwerks. [“Bloodwerks,” the Peregrine Volume One] Kevin Atwill seeks revenge against his former friends, bringing him into conflict with the Peregrine [“The Gorgon Conspiracy,” The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine takes a young vampire under his care, protecting him from a cult that worships a race of beings known as The Shambling Ones. With the aid of Leonid Kazlov, the cult is destroyed [“The Shambling Ones,” The Peregrine Volume One].

1941 – Philip Gallagher, a journalist, uncovers the Peregrine’s secret identity but chooses to become an ally of the vigilante rather than reveal it to the world [“Origins,” the Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine teams with the Black Bat and Ascott Keane, as well as a reluctant Doctor Satan, in defeating the plans of the sorcerer Arias [“The Bleeding Hells”, The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine rescues McKenzie from the Iron Maiden [“The Iron Maiden,” The Peregrine Volume One].

1942 – The Peregrine battles a Nazi super agent known as the Grim Reaper, who is attempting to gather the Crystal Skulls [“The Three Skulls,” The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine becomes embroiled in a plot by Sun Koh and a group of Axis killers known as The Furies. The Peregrine and Sun Koh end up in deadly battle on the banks of the Potomac River. [“The Scorched God,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. In London, the Peregrine and Evelyn meet Nathaniel Caine (aka the Catalyst) and Rachel Winters, who are involved in stopping the Nazis from creating the Un-Earth. They battle Doctor Satan and the Black Zeppelin [“Catalyst,” The Peregrine Volume One]. Evelyn learns she’s pregnant with a second child. The Peregrine solves the mystery of the Roanoke Colony [“The Lost Colony,” The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine battles against an arsonist in the employ of Bennecio Tommasso [“Where There’s Smoke”, The Peregrine Volume Three]. The Warlike Manchu is revived and embarks upon a search for the Philosopher’s Stone [“The Resurrection Gambit,” The Peregrine Volume One]

1943 – The Peregrine teams with Xander to deal with the Onyx Raven [“The Onyx Raven”, The Peregrine Volume Three]. The Peregrine is confronted by the twin threats of Fernando Pasarin and the undead pirate Hendrik van der Decken [“The Phantom Vessel,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. Evelyn and Max become the parents of a second child, Emma Davies. The Peregrine teams with the daughter of the Revenant to battle Hermann Krupp and the Golden Goblin [“Death from the Jungle,” The Peregrine Volume Two] The Peregrine battles Doctor Satan over possession of an ancient Mayan tablet [“The Four Peregrines,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. The Peregrine travels to Peru to battle an undead magician called The Spook [“Spook,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. The Peregrine clashes with Doctor Death, who briefly takes possession of Will McKenzie [“The Peregrine Nevermore,” The Peregrine Volume Three]. Baron Rudolph Gustav gains possession of the Rod of Aaron and kidnaps Evelyn, forcing the Peregrine into an uneasy alliance with the Warlike Manchu [“Dead of Night,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. Doctor Satan flees to the hidden land of Vorium, where the Peregrine allies with Frankenstein’s Monster to bring him to justice [“Satan’s Trial,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. Tim Roland is recruited by The Flame and Miss Masque [“The Ivory Machine,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. The Black Terror investigates a German attempt to replicate his powers and becomes friends with a scientist named Clarke [“Terrors”, The Peregrine Volume Two]

1944 – The Peregrine organizes a strike force composed of Revenant, Frankenstein’s Monster, Catalyst and Esper. The group is known as The Claws of the Peregrine and they take part in two notable adventures in this year: against the diabolical Mr. Dee and then later against an alliance between Doctor Satan and the Warlike Manchu [“The Diabolical Mr. Dee” and “A Plague of Wicked Men”, The Peregrine Volume Two].

1946 – The Peregrine discovers that Adolph Hitler is still alive and has become a vampire in service to Dracula. In an attempt to stop the villains from using the Holy Lance to take over the world, the Peregrine allies with the Claws of the Peregrine, a time traveler named Jenny Everywhere, a thief called Belladonna and Leonid Kaslov. The villains are defeated and Max’s future is revealed to still be in doubt. Events shown from 2006 on are just a possible future. The Peregrine also has several encounters with a demonically powered killer known as Stickman. [“The Devil’s Spear,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. The Peregrine encounters a madman named Samuel Garibaldi (aka Rainman) and his ally, Dr. Gottlieb Hochmuller. The Peregrine and his Claws team defeat the villainous duo and several new heroes join the ranks of the Claws team — Miss Masque, Black Terror & Tim and The Flame. [“The Ivory Machine,” The Peregrine Volume Two

1953 – The Peregrine acquires the Looking Glass from Lu Chang. [“Black Mass,” The Peregrine Volume One]

1961 – Max’s son William becomes the second Peregrine. [“The Four Peregrines,” The Peregrine Volume Two]

1967 – The second Peregrine battles and defeats the Warlike Manchu, who is in possession of the Mayan Tablet that Doctor Satan coveted in ’43. Evelyn Davies dies. [“The Four Peregrines,” The Peregrine Volume Two]

1970 – William Davies (the second Peregrine) commits suicide by jumping from a Manhattan rooftop. Emma Davies (Max’s daughter and William’s sister) becomes the Peregrine one week later, in February. [“The Four Peregrines,” The Peregrine Volume Two]

1973 – The third Peregrine is accompanied by Kayla Kaslov (daughter of Leonid Kaslov) on a trip to Brazil, where the two women defeat the Black Annis and claim the Mayan Tablet that’s popped up over the course of three decades. Emma gives it to her father, who in turn passes it on to Catalyst (Nathaniel Caine) [“The Four Peregrines,” The Peregrine Volume Two]

~1985 – Max resumes operating as the Peregrine, adventuring sporadically. Due to various magical events, he remains far more active than most men his age. The reasons for Emma giving up the role are unknown at this time.

Events depicted in the years 2006 forward occur in one of many possible futures for The Peregrine. As revealed in Volume Two of The Peregrine Chronicles, the events of 2006 onward may — or may not — be the ultimate future of Max Davies.

2006 – The Black Mass Barrier rises, enveloping the world in a magical field. The World of Shadows merges with Earth. Fiona Grace (descended from Eobard) becomes a worldwide celebrity, partially due to her failure to stop the Black Mass Barrier. [“Black Mass,” The Peregrine Volume One]

2009 – Ian Morris meets Max Davies and becomes the new Peregrine. He meets Fiona Grace. Max dies at some point immediately following this. [“Black Mass,” The Peregrine Volume One]

2010 – The Ian Morris Peregrine and Fiona Grace deal with the threat of Baron Samedi [“The Curse of Baron Samedi,” The Peregrine Volume Three]

2012 – The fourth Peregrine (Ian Morris) receives the Mayan Tablet from Catalyst, who tells him that the world will end on December 21, 2012 unless something is done. Using the tablet, Ian attempts to take control of the magic spell that will end the world. Aided by the spirits of the three previous Peregrines, he succeeds, though it costs him his life. He is survived by his lover (Fiona Grace) and their unborn child. Max Davies is reborn as a man in his late twenties and becomes the Peregrine again. [“The Four Peregrines,” The Peregrine Volume Two]

Another 5-Star Gravedigger Review!

gravedigger_small_colorAmazon user Ray Bara gave The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume Two a 5-star review. Here’s what he had to say:

Another Barry Reese masterpiece. I enjoy the way Barry writes. He writes action well, he writes characters well, he’s good with giving new stories that old pulp fiction feel.

I have to admit that when he first introduced the Gravedigger character, I was a little skeptical. He already had the Rook (oops, I mean the Peregrine) and Lazarus Gray in his Sovereign City world. How would the Gravedigger fit into that universe? Well, I loved the first Gravedigger volume, and I loved this current one as well.

Beyond the action and the Sovereign City setting that I really dig, I liked learning more about the Gravedigger’s associates in this one. Li Yuchun, Mitchell, Cedric were really filled out in this one. But more importantly, I liked how Mortimer Quinn was a focal point of this story, and that he will play a role in both Gravedigger Volume 3 and the next Lazarus Gray story as well. I like the idea of a former Gravedigger who doesn’t age taking a prominent role in these stories.

Barry Reese truly knows how to write. Gravedigger Volume 2 is not a long book; it won’t take more than a day or two to read. But that day or two will be great. Get this book and anything else Barry Reese writes!

Thanks very much, Ray! That’s high praise and I definitely appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed the way the supporting cast was handled — I have to admit, I find the personal lives of Li, Cedric, Mitchell and Mortimer just as interesting as the more melodramatic adventures that bedevil Charity!

The Dark Gentleman Is Here!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SOVEREIGN CITY’S NEWEST HERO DEBUTS-
BARRY REESE’S PRO SE SINGLE SHOT SERIES BEGINS-
THE ADVENTURES OF THE DARK GENTLEMAN!

From the creator of Lazarus Gray and Gravedigger comes another hero of Sovereign City! Award Winning Author Barry Reese takes the fight against crime in Sovereign to the city’s very own streets in his very own Pro Se Single Shot Signature digital single series- The Adventures of the Dark Gentleman!

Sovereign City has many champions but not all of them get the limelight. The Dark Gentleman is a crusader for justice, taking out the small fry criminals so that others can focus on the bigger picture. But for those whose lives are saved by the masked hero, he is just as important as Lazarus Gray or Doc Daye… He is the Dark Gentleman and he’s cleaning up Sovereign City, one petty thug at a time.

In his debut short story, The Judgment of the Shadow Court, The Dark Gentleman comes against a group intent on controlling the city by corrupting and perverting the law itself. A one man army against crime, The Dark Gentleman stands toe to toe with the Shadow Court, his life and the soul of Sovereign City hanging in the balance!

The Adventures of The Dark Gentleman- The Judgment of the Shadow Court features atmospheric cover art and logo design by Jeff Hayes and digital formatting by Russ Anderson. The first short story in this new series set in Sovereign City is now available for Kindle at http://tinyurl.com/nvaeknt and for most other digital formats at http://tinyurl.com/ov8wpp5 for only 99 cents.

For interviews with the author or more information on the Pro Se Single Shots Signatures, contact Morgan McKay, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

For more information on Pro Se Productions, go to http://www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

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Updates Galore

black_terror_01_smallHello, my friends!

Though things might have seemed quiet as of late, work has been going on behind the scenes. Within the next few weeks you should be receiving the first installment of The Dark Gentleman’s e-book series and the fifth volume of the Lazarus Gray series. I hope you’ll enjoy both!

I also have word that my Johnny Dollar story, written quite a ways back, will finally be seeing print from Moonstone! I had a blast writing it so I’m glad you’ll finally be able to read it.

I’m also working hard on wrapping up the crossover novel within the next month!

And I’m proud to say that I’ve been spending a good bit of time lately doing proof-editing on Will Murray’s The Sinister Shadow, which will not only be the 200th volume of the Doc Savage series but also returns The Shadow to the prose world that he best belongs in! I was deeply honored to be a part of this project and I think all of you will enjoy the end product. I know that I loved it!

I’m also hard at work on a new project that will feature The Black Terror. I’ve written this public domain superhero a few times in the past but this will be the first time that he’s headlined a project of mine. The cover will be by Anthony Castrillo with interior pieces by George Sellas! One of them accompanies this post, in fact — showing The Black Terror alongside Lazarus Gray. These two met in one of the Lazarus Gray volumes and I think you’ll enjoy what I have in store for The Black Terror… I tweaked his origins a bit in his Lazarus appearance and I think the new elements add some real depth to him.

Hope you agree!

In addition to all of the above, George Sellas is also designing two new pulp heroes for me that will star in their own projects in 2016!

I’ll be back soon with more news – and hopefully a few announcements that will knock your socks off.