Over on the Pulp Super-Fan Blog, Michael Brown posted the following review:
Lazarus Gray is a New Pulp character from writer Barry Reese (The Peregrine, Gravedigger, and other works) with several volumes out so far. Now we get the fifth one.
Gray is sort of inspired by the classic pulp hero The Avenger. He has setup a group similar to The Avenger’s called Assistance Unlimited. He is located in a fictional town called Sovereign City (created by Pro Se Press publisher Tommy Hancock), and is part of the larger Sovereign City Project. He is also set in the same universe as Barry’s other characters, so has crossed over with them.
This volume has five short stories. There are connections between most of the stories, so it’s best to read them in order. The first has a crooked financier who has built a huge zeppelin (for what purpose, is not clear, and not clear what happens to it after the main action) and who is after treasure on an outlying island from Sovereign City. This leads to his death and the release of an ancient evil.
The second story has Gray and associates heading to Cape Noire, where Ron Fortier‘s Brother Bones operates.
The third story introduces a new foe, the Basilisk, who can kill with a glance. He is trying to take over the gangs of Sovereign City, and before AU can take him out, decides to strike out at Gray through his girlfriend.
The fourth story deals with the evil released in the first story: the Three Sisters. Assisting Gray and associates is Catalyst. But not the Catalyst we are introduced in the Peregrine series, but his predecessor. While they take care of the Three Sisters, Gray’s old foe Princess Femi, is released. Am sure she will be dealt with in a future story.
The fifth and last story deals with Gray’s marriage to Kelly Emerson. We get cameos of several characters from the series in this one. I was surprised by a couple that appeared. He also has his new character, the Dark Gentleman as well. I think he’s only appeared in one short ebook story, and it also set in Sovereign City. I hope we see more of him, maybe enough for his own volume. It remains to see how Gray’s marriage will affect the series going forward. Pulp heroes getting married is pretty much unheard of, but he had the Peregrine do so and it didn’t hurt that series.
Rounding out the volume is the two-page comic book origin of Gray, and a timeline of Reese’s works. However, this one is missing most of the later Peregrine volumes, most likely because they have not yet be converted over from using the Rook name.
I’m not sure what we will see next from Reese. I know that he has been working on a crossover work, which I think is next, that has Peregrine, Gray, and Gravedigger. I look forward to it. I would love to see a new Gravedigger work as well, and wonder when we’ll see another solo Peregrine story or a full Dark Gentleman volume.
Meanwhile, reader Jose Rivera said:
In this latest volume of Lazarus Gray we saw 3 witches unleashed, Lazarus going out of Sovereign to investigate the vigilante Brother Bones, we had a surprising reveal of The Basilisk, the return of an old enemy and a wedding. You think that sounds very complicated, but it’s not. This volume is broken up into 5 short stories which could be read on their own but have a running thread. This reminded me of the first volume of Lazarus Gray and that’s not a bad thing at all.
Getting a new volume of Lazarus Gray is something to look forward to. Reese makes it so that if you’re new, you’re not lost, but if you’ve been reading since the beginning, it’s like visiting old friends. These stories are amazing fun and deserve your time.
Can’t wait to see where we go from here!
Thanks, guys! I’m glad you both enjoyed the book and you’ll be glad to know that I’m working on Volume Six right now.