The Peregrine Omnibus Gets A New Review

IMG_6662A lengthy review of The Peregrine Omnibus Volume One was posted at Amazon by Wojtek. Let’s have a look at what he said:

The Peregrine is a character I was interested for quite some time due to his appearances in other Barry Reese’s books.

A mysterious gun toting vigilante butting heads with Lazarus Gray, kinda-sorta mentor figure to the newest Gravedigger with hints of the dark past, and supernatural powers… Unfortunately actually getting books starring him (Under his old identity “The Rook”) was nearly impossible to me, due to the fact, that shipping rates to Eastern Europe would slaughter my ever-empty wallet, and ebooks were sadly unavailable, leaving me with insatiable hunger.

And then a miracle happened, and an omnibus appeared, screaming to me to buy it. And how I could say no? And it was worth every dollar, even when taking some minor flaws into account.

But let’s start with the most important thing in every Pulp: The Hero himself.

Our costumed vigilante is Max Davies, an only son of the press magnate from Boston, Warren Davies. After witnessing his father being murdered by a contract killer hired by the mob, who wanted to silence the articles exposing their crimes in Warren Senior’s newspaper at the age of eight, young Max begins to experience splitting headaches, and vivid, chaotic visions.

Startled he realizes that those visions actually show him crimes that would be committed in future. After years of helplessly witnessing murders, rapes, kidnappings etc, now adult Max decides to do something about it, to honor the memory of his father, and preserve his own sanity.

Young socialite travels around the world for several years, learning various exotic disciplines, and honing his body into a perfect weapon, training martial arts, acrobatics, shooting etc, under various mysterious masters. When Max decides he’s ready he returns to America and begins his career as a vigilante named The Peregrine.

Soon enough masked avenger becomes the scourge of the underworld, and his trademark calling card with a stylized black bird on it rouses fear from the criminals, and fascination from media, and average citizens. On the other hand, police does not approve of his violent methods, considering The Peregrine to be nothing more than a common murderer, and fruitlessly trying to capture him.

Even though police can’t capture our vigilante, he becomes careless and soon enough Max comes under suspicion. He manages to fool the detectives, but decides it’s time for change of scenery. When we meet him, he’s just moved to Atlanta, deciding to leave his violent mission behind, and finally enjoy some peace and quiet.

Unfortunately for him (But very fortunately for the readers…) he is soon dragged into another case, when a party he attends is attacked by a group of… zombies. It turns out that the attack of the undead was just a distraction, to get a rare occult book from the host’s collection, a book that according to legends is a source of great mythical power…

Returning to business Max/Peregrine would cross blades not only with gangsters and occultists, but also vampires, ancient gods, warlocks, Nazis and few people from his turbulent past he would rather forget.

At first glance The Peregrine is an obvious homage to the classic characters like The Shadow, The Spider, and even bits and pieces of Batman, but it soon becomes apparent that Mr Reese used those familiar, and kinda boring elements to create something new, and fresh.

On one hand Max Davies only wants to honor his father’s memory and to control his mysterious “gift”, but he notices that this mission had devoured his private life, making The Peregrine more real, than he himself is. Also, while Peregrine has no problem with using lethal force against his enemies, lately mysterious Voice that he hears in his visions began to encourage him to be even more brutal, making him wonder if he would still be able to hold to his morals if it continues.

Unexpectedly he finds much needed help in form of Evelyn Gould, a young B-class actress he meets on the fateful party mentioned before. Soon she becomes not only Peregrine’s confidante and aide, but also Max’s lover and later wife.

During his quest Peregrine is also aided by the members of an elite club known as Nova Alliance. It’s members are other heroes and adventurers very familiar for Pulp lovers, for example stone-faced master of disguise Richard Benson a.k.a The Avenger, mysterious Domino Lady, or Russian-born superhuman Leonid Kaslov.

First omnibus of the series consists of seventeen stories in which Peregrine would face off with an occultist and necromancer trying to bring Satan to the human world using the artifact known as Lucifer’s Cage (Lucifer’s Cage”), stop a vampire cult of Nyarlathotep worshipers trying to create a new world ruled by undead (“Kingdom of Blood”), try to catch a modern Robin Hood-like figure called The Moon Man (“The Gasping Death”), confront his old teacher; Warlike Manchu who joined forces with an immortal Egyptian priest in trying to control a legendary monster (“Abominations”), battles a team of Nazi superhumans (“Iron Maiden”, “Three Skulls”, “Catalyst”), and matches his wits against first Pulp supervillain, Doctor Satan (“Bleeding Hells”).

In other words its a box filled with good old Pulp climate, but with a modern twist, that should satisfy fans of the classic 30’s and 40’s books, as well as the inexperienced readers of the genre, mainly thanks to Barry Reese’s writing style.

It’s dynamic, detailed and keeps You glued to the book until You end it, but at the same time leaving the reader wanting for more. It masterfully draws upon classic over the top Pulp style, but stops at the right place before it becomes grotesque, and overdone, instead modernizing it without losing it’s spirit.

IMO some elements are bit too graphic, bordering at disturbing, mainly “The Kingdom of Blood” and “Bloodwerks”, but since Mr Reese managed to affect a hardened gore fan like me it only speaks about his skill with the words, I guess…

I also felt, that the first volume of Peregrine’s adventures kinda lacks the connection to the wider Sovereign City universe. Despite knowing that Max’s adventures are the part of the franchise I felt it was disconnected from it. Our hero never visits Sovereign, nor he meets any other heroes like Fortune McCall, Doc Daye, or Lazarus Gray.

Only link between the books would be Leopold Grace, a patriarch of the Grace Family prominent in the Sovereign verse, but it’s a bit too little for me… Not that it makes “Peregrine Omnibus Vol.01” bad, but to me it was sort of missed opportunity. But that’s just nitpicking I guess.

However there is one big problem I have with this book.

It’s editor should be sent to Bloodwerks for a few weeks of fun, then left in tender mercies of Doctor Satan, hurled into Bleeding Hells, and then fed to The Shambling Ones, because Kindle version is one of the most sloppy edited books I had ever seen.

Avalanche of typos, disregard of grammar, disjointed layout, or simple mistakes, for example in “The Iron Maiden” Max is called “The Rook” once, even though he was renamed… It really does the book a great disservice, because it’s hard to fully enjoy author’s skills, when some butcher ruins it every few sentences.

And I am not even a native speaker, so for a person who uses English as a first language it would probably be even more painful.

But even with editor’s incompetence “Peregrine Omnibus Volume One” is a great read for any Pulp fan, or people who like well written, entertaining action adventure books. Coupled with a reasonable price I can really see no reason not to buy it.

So, give The Peregrine a chance, he really deserves it.

First, let me thank you for the lengthy review. The editing aspect – you may want to re-download the Kindle version as I know there have been later versions uploaded by Pro Se that have addressed the issues you cited. In my print edition that I have next to me right now, I think the editing is pretty tight!

Those Peregrine stories were written years before I created Lazarus Gray and Gravedigger so hopefully my writing style has evolved and the universe as a whole has grown tighter. You can definitely see me trying to find my way in those early days.

Again, thanks for the great review!

The Occult Forces Project

black_terror_03_smallOne of the background elements that has featured in a lot of my pulp adventure stories is the Geheimnisvolles Kraft-Projekt, also dubbed The Occult Forces Project or OFP. Founded in the late 1930s, the OFP was dedicated to utilizing super-science and magic in the name of The Reich and was a subset of The Ahnenerbe. The group had several notable successes when it came to creating larger-than-life figures who spread the Nazi ideals across the globe. Thankfully, they were defeated  at every turn by heroes like The Peregrine and Lazarus Gray. A division of the OFP was known as the Department of Occult Armaments (D.O.O.M.) and was headed by Dr. Meer.

Here are some of the more notable agents of the OFP that we’ve seen thus far:

Silver Wolf – This werewolf agent of the SS named Karl Raider battled Lazarus Gray and The Darkling in 1937 during the events of “Eidolon” (The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Three). He was enslaved by Princess Femi before he had a fatal encounter with The Darkling.

Geist – General Luther Strauss was a graduate of the OFP who encountered Assistance Unlimited in 1937. An accident in Tibet left him with the ability to manifest ghostly powers. Blackmailed by The Darkling, Geist worked as a double agent until his skills were no longer needed and The Darkling killed him. His story is told in “Eidolon” (The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Three).

Mr. Death – Otto Luther was a sadistic Nazi scientist before being transformed by the blood of The Mother of Pus into the skeletal figure known as Mr. Death in 1938. His madness became even greater than before and he clashed with Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger and The Peregrine during the events known as Götterdämmerung before later teaming with The Torch to combat Lazarus Gray in Transylvania. His body ended up being housed in Lazarus Gray’s super-prison, Tartarus (Götterdämmerung novel and “The Strands of Fate,” The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six).

The Torch – August Hauff was a famous scientist whose body chemistry was altered to the point that exposure to the air caused his body to burst into flame. He had to wear a protective suit that could also project fire – which he could then control via his mind. The Torch was sent after Mr. Death when Otto Luther went rogue and the two of them embarked on a scheme to capture the Eye of Cagliostro in Transylvania. He soon became a prisoner in Tartarus (“The Strands of Fate,” The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six). His exploits took place in 1938.

Heidi Von Sinn This young woman was a pseudo-vampire, afflicted with an enzyme disorder that forced her to consume human blood to survive. She was stronger and faster than a normal woman. Heidi Von Sinn was her codename, assigned to her by a fetishistic scientist who also designed her leather-clad outfit. She was sent to Sovereign City to retrieve a mystic artifact, which led her into a short-lived alliance with an out-of-control Golem. This was in 1938 and depicted in “Tapestry” (The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six).

The Iron Maiden – Kirsten Bauer ascended through the ranks of the OFP and gained possession of a deadly suit of armor. An expert in Norse mythology, she was involved in something called Project: Ragnarok, which sought to use ancient Norse relics to boost the power of The Reich. To this end, she pursued the so-called Sword of Hel to Atlanta, Georgia in 1941. Eventually falling in love with The Peregrine’s friend Will McKenzie, The Iron Maiden defected and began using her abilities to help the Allies. Her first appearance came in “The Iron Maiden” (The Peregrine Volume One) and she was a frequent supporting character in the series after that.

The Grim Reaper – Not long after Bauer’s defection, Werner Richter arrived in America. Using the fearsome identity of The Grim Reaper, Richter battled The Peregrine for possession of three crystal skulls that contained tremendous power. These events are shown in “The Three Skulls” (The Peregrine Volume One).

The Black Zeppelin & Sun Koh – Lamar Bane was a brilliant scientist who became involved in the creation of something dubbed The Un-Earth. This project resulted in the creation of a Nazi superman known as Sun Koh. Bane battled The Peregrine, Catalyst (Nathaniel Caine) and Esper (Rachel Winters) in 1942. That adventure was depicted in “Catalyst” (The Peregrine Volume One) and The Peregrine’s encounter with Sun Koh was depicted in “The Scorched God” (The Peregrine Volume Two), also set in 1942.

The Furies – Three beautiful but deadly agents of The Axis Powers, the Furies were created by the OFP. They were feared throughout the world before they embarked on an adventure to locate Sun Koh. They were at his side when his plan to destroy Washington evaporated and all three women were killed. This adventure took place in 1942 and was shown in “The Scorched God” (The Peregrine Volume Two).

Steel Jaw – Albert Speiros was disfigured by a grenade blast but he was given new life as part of D.O.O.M., a subset of the OFP. After the large number of defeats the OFP had suffered, Steel Jaw was one of the few remaining from the original program as of 1942. Unfortunately, he had the misfortune of encountering The Warlike Manchu and during the two’s battle, Speiros was brutally murdered. This was shown in “The Resurrection Gambit” (The Peregrine Volume One).

Baron Rudolph Gustav – An ancient vampire with designs of his own for ultimate power, Gustav was loosely affiliated with the OFP before he gained possession of The Rod of Aaron and attempted to use it to take over the mind of The Peregrine’s wife — who was also Gustav’s reincarnated lover! This exciting battle, which culminated right in front of Hitler himself, took place in “Dead of Night,” from The Peregrine Volume Two. This was set in 1943.

Our art today is by George Sellas and it depicts the horrifying August Hauff, aka The Torch.

New Pulp Recommendation: Exciting Pulp Tales by Tom Johnson

EPTTom Johnson is simply not as famous as he should be. He’s one of those guys who really kept the pulp fiction flame burning during the long period between the end of the traditional pulps, their transition into men’s adventure paperbacks and finally the current New Pulp movement.

In this collection, he revives a handful of classic pulp heroes – some of whom were virtually unknown to me – and crafts new stories around them. In all cases, his writing is thoroughly pulp, with fast moving storylines and characterizations that perfectly reveal the characters without diving into the kind of depth that would detract from the real purpose of the tale: action.

My favorite stories were those featuring The Cobra, The Purple Scar, the Jungle Queen and Ki-Gor. The characters of The Angel and Funny Face were ones that I wasn’t familiar with but Tom Johnson does enough here to make me want to seek out more information.

If you like classic pulp action, this is perfect for you and can serve as a wonderful introduction to some characters that most pulp fans probably aren’t familiar with.

Timeline of My Pulp Adventure Universe (Updated November 2015)

allstarsquadron_homage_clean_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]. The man who would eventually call himself Paul Alfred Müller-Murnau arrives in Sovereign on the same night as Lazarus Gray. [“Nemesis,” Lazarus Gray Volume Six].

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]. A few weeks later, The Dark Gentleman learns the truth about Amadeus Crouch [“The Silver Room,” The Adventures of The Dark Gentleman Book Two].

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. The insane villain Mr. Death is created.  [Götterdämmerung]. Three months after Götterdämmerung, Assistance Unlimited battles The Librarian and adds The Black Terror to the team. [“The Affair of the Familiar Corpse,” Lazarus Gray Volume Six]. Assistance Unlimited journeys to Europe where they reunite with Eidolon and Abby. The group then teams up with a Berlin-based hero known as Nakam to battle Mr. Death and The Torch. Lazarus Gray confronts the spirit of Walther Lunt and Baba Yaga. [“The Strands of Fate,” Lazarus Gray Volume Six]. Mortimer Quinn is elected mayor of Sovereign City. Paul Alfred Müller-Murnau learns of his role as Nemesis and becomes an ally of Princess Femi and Madison Montgomery. Femi gains possession of the fabled Emerald Tablet. Abby becomes warden of Tartarus. [“Nemesis,” Lazarus Gray Volume Six].

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]


black_terror_01_smallThe crossover novel is in production and will hopefully be out before the end of the year – and I know that a new eBook version of my old Ki-Gor stories will be available soon, as well.

Work is also proceeding on volume six of Lazarus Gray – I’m about to wrap up the third of our stories that will appear in that one. What can you expect? An explosive follow up to the events of the crossover novel, some brand new villains, another battle with Princess Femi, a classic hero joins the ongoing cast and some major changes to Lazarus Gray and his world.

Stay tuned, folks. The best is yet to come.

From the Vault: Just Write, Stupid.

snoopy_writingPeople often ask me for advice about writing. I’ve even given talks about writing to would-be writers. But I don’t think people really like what I have to tell them. You see, a lot of them are members of “writer’s groups” where they swap stories, critique them and go into re-writes. I don’t really believe in those because they’re an example of why a lot of people never manage to finish that novel they’ve been working on for twenty years: they spend too much time talking about writing and not enough time writing. I once infuriated a room full of folks by saying that nothing was scarier to me than somebody with an English degree and a passel full of “How-To” writing guides.

Because that English degree person is probably never going to write a damned thing. They’re going to spin their wheels, talking about this and pondering that, instead of sitting down at the keyboard and pounding the keys.

Look, I’m not the world’s greatest wordsmith. But I write. I write a lot. I don’t sit around on my ass and say “Boy, I’d love to write a book.” I wrote a book. And then I wrote another one.

There’s no “one way” to do it, either. If you like to do 80 page outlines and that works for you, do it. If you like to have a swig of beer, unbutton your pants and then start writing without any clue where you’re going with the story, do it! Never ever, ever, let someone tell you that you’re doing it wrong. Hell, if you’re in a writer’s group and it helps you (ACTUALLY WRITING), then do it. It doesn’t work for me and I can count on one hand the number of folks I’ve met that it did work for, but hell, there are exceptions to every rule.

And by all means, DON’T FEAR WRITING CRAP. Even if you write the worst novel of all time, you’ve still written a novel. That puts you way ahead of all the Charlies and Nancys who spend their lives saying, “I always wanted to write a book!” Besides, you won’t be the first person to write crap and you won’t be the last. Enjoy the fact that you completed a project and then get to work on the next one, so you can move up to mediocre the next time around :-)

But my main advice to wanna be writers is this:

1. READ. A lot. Look at how things are written and dissect them. Think to yourself, “I like how writer x does that… HOW does he do that?” and try to learn from it.

2. WRITE. A lot. You get better the more you write. You really do. But don’t navel-gaze so much. Finish a damned project and then do some revision but then MOVE ON. Keep going forward. It will never be perfect. Accept that.

3. NETWORK. You need to meet other writers and make friends with them. You never know who might help you someday. How did I become a professional writer? Because a friend of mine worked for Marvel Comics and recommended me for a job. I didn’t submit anything to them — Marvel emailed me, on the basis of my friend’s recommendation. It went from there.

So… here’s my suggestion for today. Stop reading this blog. Stop flipping through that Stephen King book on writing. Stop over-analyzing the act of creation.

And then go CREATE.

New Lazarus Review

Over at, reader J.L. Stubblefield has posted a review of the Lazarus Gray Omnibus. Here’s what he had to say:

I have looked for novels that harken back to the pulp era, or for me the ’70’s when I first discovered pulp novels as pocket book reissues. Mr. Reese is a welcome find for me. The stories are well written action stories that don’t take forever to get to the point. Some of my problems with modern men’s fiction is that the books often clock in at over 500 pages. That is a major commitment! I digress. If you like quick paced, action stories. I recommend Lazarus Gray. It’s the second book I’ve found that actually got me to read with a kindle. As my family would probably tell you, that’s endorsement enough!

Thanks for the kind words! Obviously, I have a deep affection for those old Bantam Doc Savage paperbacks, as well as the Ace Conan reprints, etc. They were my own gateway into the world of pulp fiction and I’m pleased that you’d compare my work to them. I share your feelings about eBooks – I own a Kindle but I rarely use it as I still prefer the hard copy. The world is changing, though, and I know I have to try and change with it – glad that my stories are making that transition easier for you!