Michael Brown has reviewed Die Glocke, which means his name is thrown into the mix to win a signed copy of the new edition of The Rook Volume One. I’ll announce a winner soon!
Michael gave the book 4 out of 5 stars. Here’s what he had to say:
Lazarus Gray is a new neo-pulp character from writer Barry Reese. I have been reading his Rook series (he has other works as well, but those are the ones I’ve been reading). Lazarus Gray is sort of inspired by the classic pulp hero The Avenger. He is also set in a fictional town called Sovereign City (created by Pro Se publisher Tommy Hancock), part of the “Sovereign City” project that will see collections of at least 2 other characters from Pro Se.
Lazarus Gray is also set in the same ‘universe’ as Barry’s Rook character, and we get an updated chronology of his “universe” in the back of the book that places both the Lazarus Gray stories (including the works to appear in the next volume) plus the Rook stories and a few others by Reese.
Who is Lazarus Gray? Well, he’d like to know as well. We find out in the first volume that he woke up on the shores of Sovereign City with no memory of who he is, and with a strange medallion with the name “Lazarus Gray”. He started to work to help people, formed “Assistance Unlimited” with 3 associates he helped out. As noted, this is similar to the origin of The Avenger and his Justice, Inc, but also different. He learned more about himself in the stories in that collection.
This volume has 2 Lazarus Gray stories. One is a very long, almost novel-length story, the other is a short story.
The novel is “Die Glocke”, from which the overall volume gets it name. Among other things, Assistance Unlimited gain 2 more associates (similar to how Justice, Inc added members over several stories).
The short story is set after that novel, and also includes the golden age comic book character “The Black Terror”, whom Barry has used in several of this “Claws of the Rook” stories. In this story he also gives a new origin to the Black Terror.
We know a third volume is coming, and there is an interview in this volume about it, and the stories are listed in the timeline. So I look forward to that.