Barry Reese

Pulp Writer Extraordinaire

lg03_femi_smallA good villain can make all the difference.

With The Rook, 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.”

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 is that really where she’ll remain? Given how many times she’s been revived in the years 1935-1937, it seems safe to assume that we haven’t seen the last of Femi.

For her roleplaying game stats, you can look here.

Our art today is courtesy of George Sellas.

One thought on “The Immortal Princess Femi

  1. P Casey says:

    Femi is a great female foil for Gray. A smoking hot goddess with an army of mummies is what every villain hopes for!

    I would really like to see the return of Lunt. His past history with Gray is great and I also like his connection to the Illuminati. The irony of Lunt’s pupil becoming his greatest adversary makes for interesting reading.

    I also think that the Darkling could be put in the “greatest foe” category. It was the Darkling who managed to turn one of Lazarus Gray’s trusted aids against him. Effectively “killing” the aid(no identity spoilers here!) and becoming Eidolon. Neither Femi nor Lunt have been able to do that!

    With that being said I would love to see the Darkling teaming up with Lazarus Gray in the near future. Perhaps the addition of Leonid Kaslov in the mix could be arranged?

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