‘The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 6’Lazarus Gray is a New Pulp character from writer Barry Reese (The Peregrine, Gravedigger, and other works) with several volumes out so far. The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 6 actually follows the events of Gotterdamerung, which was a team-up of Reese’s various pulp heroes (and a few others), to stop the end of the world.
That story ended with the death of Gray.
But clearly, Reese had other plans. And, so, yes, this volume has his return. And it has Gray and his friends of Assistance Unlimited — with some additional help — going after several foes, both new and returning.
For those who have yet to read Gray (and why haven’t you after six volumes?), he is sort of inspired by the classic pulp hero The Avenger. Gray 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.
As with past volumes, this one has four interlocking stories. Best to think of them as a novel in four parts, really. So instead of looking at each story separately, let’s instead look at the characters.
First off, Lazarus Gray. As noted, he died in Gotterdamerung, the previous crossover novel. And yes, he comes back. Not easily, but he does. And back in Vol. 5 he got married. In this volume his wife is pregnant. Looks like we’ll learn more about the kid when he’s born in the next volume or so.
A couple of former members of Assistance Unlimited return: Eidolon and Abby. They help in one story, and then Abby kind of returns to AU, but this time being in charge of AU’s special prison: Tartarus. It remains to be seen if Abby more fully joins AU.
And AU gains a new member: The Black Terror. Reese brought this classic Nedor comic character into his timeline with Gotterdamerung, and later had him join Peregrine’s group, The Claws of the Peregrine. So does this mean he will at some point leave AU?
We also met a new hero: Nakam, who is a German fighting against the Nazis inside Nazi Germany. The name is Hebrew for “Revenge.” He helps AU in one story. Will he return in the timeline?
As for the villains, we have several returning and some new ones. Mr. Death returns from the events of Gotterdamerung, now joined by another Nazi occult villain: The Flame. Lazarus and team take them on in one story. Princess Fermi and her new handmaiden return, and Fermi will continue to plague the group. A new and interesting villain is introduced: Nemesis, who we learn is in many ways Gray’s opposite. I hope we see more of this guy. And the Warlike Manchu and his Ten Finger gang tries to make inroads into Sovereign City, only to have Gray deal with them. The Peregrine will take care of him soon.
It’s clear from the end that further volumes are planned, as Vol. 7 is laid out in the timeline. I am still looking forward to the third (and final) Gravedigger volume, which I hope will be next. And would like to see a Dark Gentleman volume (and not just short stories on Kindle). I see a copy of volumes listed in the timeline. I’m still wondering when we will see another Peregrine volume, but I am sure Reese is busy putting out the others.
Thanks, Michael! Glad you liked Nemesis – I found him really interesting, too, so you can be sure he’ll return eventually.
As for a new Peregrine volume, it may happen eventually but there’s no plans for one in the near future.