Pat Casey has posted a new review of The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Ten on Amazon. He gave the book 5 stars and had the following to say:
The newest adventure of Assistance Unlimited has arrived. Barry Reese has given his readers another double barreled shot of pulpy goodness!
This volume consists of two adventures. The first is a short tale introducing a new super hero team called “The Heroes” (hopefully Mr. Reese will change their team name to something a little more memorable!). The connection to Gray being the Black Terror(a member of Gray’s Assistance Unlimited) joining three other public domain heroes to take on Dr. Satan.
Mr. Reese is able to take public domain characters to their full potential on every occasion. An obscure villian like Dr. Satan turns into the next Doctor Doom under Mr. Reese’s guidance. I’m hoping to see this team again in the future and possibly broaden their membership with more PD heroes.
The second story is a full on Assistance Unlimited action tale that takes Lazarus Gray to his physical limit. The team is aided by Babylon, another original character created by Mr. Reese.
The story begins during the attack on Pearl Harbour and we see Gray and his associates agree to take on missions for the U.S. Govt in an official capacity with the newly formed Project: Cicada.
The ancient goddess of discourse makes her presence known trying to ensure continued world wide strife. She recruits and empowers a troubled young man who soon believes her twisted worldview and competes with Assistance Unlimited to obtain a weapon of incredible destructive force.
Gray’s past as a member of the Illuminati is spotlighted as Reese introduces characters that hold a personal vendetta against Lazarus Gray and want revenge for betraying their secret order.
Assistance Unlimited will need the help of Babylon and The Heroes in order to stop the world from being burned to a cinder. But will their combined efforts be enough?
In true pulp fashion the plot is action packed and moves forward at a quick pace. It’s not hard to tell that Barry Reese has a particular fondness for Gray and his team which is often passed on to the reader. The characters never remain stagnant and new life changing challenges are often introduced by the author in each new volume.
Lazarus Gray and Assistance Unlimited are characters that could easily be brought to life in graphic novels and Mr. Reese has the talent to make it happen.
If I’m not mistaken the editors of Pro Se have recently purchased the intellectual properties of the “Reese Unlimited” universe and some changes have been made. As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, the most recurring is the lack of interior black & white spot illustrations. These were often used in previous volumes and harken back to the fun of pulp adventure magazines. There are only two illustrations in this volume but i suspect they may have been older pieces included by the author. The second being the cover art by Jeffrey Hayes. Although a very talented cover artist (his work on “The Bishop of Port Victoria” and “The Mask of Beelzebub” being two of my favorites) the move from the unique style of George Sellas is off target. Whether its budgetary reasons or trying to shift audience perceptions of what these books represent I find the changes put forth lacking and hopefully veer back to their previous course.
This volume was another great addition to my Lazarus Gray collection and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment. If you are a fan of traditional pulp magazines/characters or new to the world of “new-age pulp” I would give any book featured in the Reese Universe a try.
Thanks for the thoughtful review, Pat! I’m glad you enjoyed the book overall – I agree that The Heroes is a rather boring name but that was actually what I was going for lol
Hopefully you’ll enjoy volume eleven when it drops!