A Ki-Gor Review

James Elfers posted a review of The New Adventures of Ki-Gor on Amazon. He gave the book 3 out of 5 stars and titled his review “Just OK Pastiches”. Here’s his review in full:

Despite the author’s contention, he doesn’t really get or understand Ki-Gor. First off, these stories are way too short, without the depth of character and plot of the originals. Secondly and most importantly, he really doesn’t appreciate Helene and does not come close to emulating the sensuousness of the original tales. Helene is not just an exceptionally beautiful and capable woman, she is also a free spirit who got naked regularly in the original stories. Here, she swims with her leopard skin shorts on! Seriously? In the stories, Helene got naked or was rendered naked all the time. Among her adventures in the pulp stories were being stripped and her skin dyed brown by a miscreant to hide her from Ki-Gor and try to pass her off as a native. In another, she was imprisoned naked while an evil villainess donned her leopard skin bikini to impersonate Helene and lay a trap for Ki-Gor. You get the idea. The author comes nowhere near emulating the eroticism of the original adventures. The Ivory Goddess of the first tale should be a lot more sultry. Ki-Gor, despite being a one-woman man, certainly could appreciate female forms that weren’t Helene Vaughn’s. Often, the scheming women Ki-Gor encountered appealed to his ape-man desires, even though he never faltered and fell off the fidelity wagon. The villains in the second story are little more than cardboard cutouts. Yes, they are stereotypes, but a competent author can breathe life into even the hoariest of cliches. This guy either can’t or won’t put in the effort. Are these stories worth reading? Hard to answer. If you have read the best of the original Ki-Gor adventures, these will feel like shallow, by the numbers exercises. If you have not read Ki-Gor and want to get a sense of what the character was all about, these stories are an adequate and just adequate fix. If they make readers seek out the original stories, then this collection has real value. Otherwise, they are simply an amusing, if predictable, time filler.

Sorry you didn’t enjoy the stories to the fullest, James. I’m actually a big fan of Ki-Gor and have read many of the originals. As always with reviving older characters, it’s a measure of trying to emulate what worked in the old stories while blending in my own style. My attempts at doing so worked better for some readers than others. I appreciate the feedback.

The Torch (Icons Writeup)

The Torch
aka August Hauff

Prowess 2
Coordination 3
Strength 3
Intellect 6
Awareness 3
Willpower 3

Stamina 6

*Fire Control 7
*Protective Suit – Damage Resistance 3, Life Support (oxygen) 1, Blast (flame) 7 (Limit: Without the suit, the Torch’s body ignites with contact to the air)

Science (Expert +2 bonus)

*Nazi Super-Agent
*Touchy about his appearance


August Hauff was a famous German scientist whose body chemistry was altered to the point that exposure to the air caused his body to burst into flame. He had to wear a protective suit that could also project fire – which he could then control via his mind. The Torch was sent after Mr. Death when Otto Luther went rogue and the two of them embarked on a scheme to capture the Eye of Cagliostro in Transylvania. He soon became a prisoner in Tartarus (“The Strands of Fate,” The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six). His exploits took place in 1938.

Fear Devil (Icons Writeup)

Fear Devil
aka Brandon Hill

Prowess 4
Coordination 4
Strength 4
Intellect 3
Awareness 4
Willpower 4

Stamina 8

*Boomerang 2
*Fear Control 6 (Extras: Detection, Emotion Control; Limits: May only sense and induce fear)

Athletics, Martial Arts (Expert +2 bonus), Stealth, Weapons – Boomerang

*Heroic Legacy
*Thrill of Adventure
*Bad Luck


Brandon Hill is the great-grandson of Bart Hill, the original Daredevil. Brandon was obsessed with his great-grandfather’s career, mastering the boomerang and becoming a brown belt in karate. His life was rather mundane until the Chaos Wave unleashed by Thanatos awakened latent powers within him – he was now able to sense and track large levels of fear, as well as induce the same in others. After coming to the attention of the Dark Society, Fear Devil quickly became a member and helped them save the world from a demonic invasion. He now works as a full-time hero with the team, doing his best to live up to the legacy he’s inherited.

Timeline of the Reese Unlimited Universe – Updated 2/17/2023

Major Events specific to certain stories and novels are included in brackets. Some of this information contains SPOILERS for The Peregrine, Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger and other stories. 

~ 800 – Viking warrior Grimarr dies of disease but is resurrected as the Sword of Hel. He adventures for some time as Hel’s agent on Earth. [The Sword of Hel]. 

~ 1620 – Gwydion fab Dôn is captured by the witch Rhianna in France. She punishes him by binding his spirit to a bundle of rags. [“Gwydion,” The Adventures of the Straw-Man Volume One]

1748 – Johann Adam Weishaupt is born. 

1750 – Guan-Yin embarks on a quest to find her lost father, which takes her to Skull Island [Guan-Yin and the Horrors of Skull Island]. 

1774 – On June 23, 1774, General Benjamin Grove led the British forces through the air en route to Sovereign. What he did not know was that several local militia groups lay in wait for him. The resulting battle had been ferocious and deadly for both sides — in the end, only two men were left, one representing each side of the conflict: General Grove himself and a local youth by the name of Emmett Hain. [“The Choice,” The Adventures of the Straw-Man Volume One]

1776 – Johann Adam Weishaupt forms The Illuminati. He adopts the guise of the original Lazarus Gray in group meetings, reflecting his “rebirth” and the “moral ambiguity” of the group. In Sovereign City, a Hessian soldier dies in battle, his spirit resurrected as a headless warrior. 

1782 – The man that would eventually be known as Gideon Black is born. [The Second Book of Babylon] 

1793 – Mortimer Quinn comes to Sovereign City, investigating the tales of a Headless Horseman [Gravedigger Volume One] 

1802 – Gideon Black’s son is born and the chain of events that leads to Gideon being bonded with a suit of armor forged in Hell begins. Gideon is transformed into Babylon, a force for cosmic retribution. [The Second Book of Babylon] 

1835 – Lucy Hale goes to work at Mendicott Hall. She meets Byron Mendicott and Lilith. [The Chronicles of Lilith] 

Continue reading Timeline of the Reese Unlimited Universe – Updated 2/17/2023

The Occult Forces Project

One of the background elements that has featured in a lot of my pulp adventure stories is the Geheimnisvolles Kraft-Projekt, also dubbed The Occult Forces Project or OFP. Founded in the late 1930s, the OFP was dedicated to utilizing super-science and magic in the name of The Reich and was a subset of The Ahnenerbe. The group had several notable successes when it came to creating larger-than-life figures who spread the Nazi ideals across the globe. Thankfully, they were defeated at every turn by heroes like The Peregrine and Lazarus Gray. A division of the OFP was known as the Department of Occult Armaments (D.O.O.M.) and was headed by Dr. Meer.

Here are some of the more notable agents of the OFP that we’ve seen thus far:

Silver Wolf – This werewolf agent of the SS named Karl Raider battled Lazarus Gray and The Darkling in 1937 during the events of “Eidolon” (The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Three). He was enslaved by Princess Femi before he had a fatal encounter with The Darkling.

Geist – General Luther Strauss was a graduate of the OFP who encountered Assistance Unlimited in 1937. An accident in Tibet left him with the ability to manifest ghostly powers. Blackmailed by The Darkling, Geist worked as a double agent until his skills were no longer needed and The Darkling killed him. His story is told in “Eidolon” (The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Three).

Mr. Death – Otto Luther was a sadistic Nazi scientist before being transformed by the blood of The Mother of Pus into the skeletal figure known as Mr. Death in 1938. His madness became even greater than before and he clashed with Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger and The Peregrine during the events known as Götterdämmerung before later teaming with The Torch to combat Lazarus Gray in Transylvania. His body ended up being housed in Lazarus Gray’s super-prison, Tartarus (Götterdämmerung novel and “The Strands of Fate,” The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six).

The Torch – August Hauff was a famous scientist whose body chemistry was altered to the point that exposure to the air caused his body to burst into flame. He had to wear a protective suit that could also project fire – which he could then control via his mind. The Torch was sent after Mr. Death when Otto Luther went rogue and the two of them embarked on a scheme to capture the Eye of Cagliostro in Transylvania. He soon became a prisoner in Tartarus (“The Strands of Fate,” The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six). His exploits took place in 1938.

Heidi Von Sinn – This young woman was a pseudo-vampire, afflicted with an enzyme disorder that forced her to consume human blood to survive. She was stronger and faster than a normal woman. Heidi Von Sinn was her codename, assigned to her by a fetishistic scientist who also designed her leather-clad outfit. She was sent to Sovereign City to retrieve a mystic artifact, which led her into a short-lived alliance with an out-of-control Golem. This was in 1938 and depicted in “Tapestry” (The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six).

Nemesis – Nemesis was another name for Paul Alfred Müller-Murnau – the handsome Aryan that had once been an agent of The Illuminati. Nemesis was the result of a complicated mystic ritual that had imprinted all of Lazarus Gray’s skills onto another man. While this transformed Müller-Murnau into a dark mirror image of Lazarus, it also eradicated all traces of the man he had once been. In fact, Müller-Murnau was very possibly not even his real identity… his fingerprints were known to no agency on earth and there was no history of anyone with that name until he’d shown up in Sovereign City, on the very same night that Richard Winthrop had become Lazarus Gray. Nemesis had used his versatile abilities to rise to two positions of power in just over half a decade: he had been the President of a bank and also the head of one of the largest German-American Bund organizations in the nation. He had finally realized his true purpose as Gray’s opposite number and turned to a life of crime, allying himself first with the ancient Egyptian named Princess Femi and later with his own twisted version of Assistance Unlimited. It was during his imprisonment in Tartarus, the super-prison designed by Lazarus, that Nemesis had managed to cast his own spell, mystically impregnating Samantha Grace so that she could give birth to what he hoped would be the ubermensch. In late 1940, Nemesis resumed his ties to the Nazi party and was assigned a high-ranking position within the OFP. 

The Iron Maiden – Kirsten Bauer ascended through the ranks of the OFP and gained possession of a deadly suit of armor. An expert in Norse mythology, she was involved in something called Project: Ragnarok, which sought to use ancient Norse relics to boost the power of The Reich. To this end, she pursued the so-called Sword of Hel to Atlanta, Georgia in 1941. Eventually falling in love with The Peregrine’s friend Will McKenzie, The Iron Maiden defected and began using her abilities to help the Allies. Her first appearance came in “The Iron Maiden” (The Peregrine Volume One) and she was a frequent supporting character in the series after that.

The Grim Reaper – Not long after Bauer’s defection, Werner Richter arrived in America. Using the fearsome identity of The Grim Reaper, Richter battled The Peregrine for possession of three crystal skulls that contained tremendous power. These events are shown in “The Three Skulls” (The Peregrine Volume One). Though he died in battle with The Peregrine, he was restored through an OFP ritual. In 1944, he abandoned the German cause and instead pledged himself to an ancient being known as The Elder. When The Elder was destroyed, Werner willingly returned to Hell in hopes of learning black magic. This took place in The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Fourteen.

The Black Zeppelin & Sun Koh – Lamar Bane was a brilliant scientist who became involved in the creation of something dubbed The Un-Earth. This project resulted in the creation of a Nazi superman known as Sun Koh. Bane battled The Peregrine, Catalyst (Nathaniel Caine) and Esper (Rachel Winters) in 1942. That adventure was depicted in “Catalyst” (The Peregrine Volume One) and The Peregrine’s encounter with Sun Koh was depicted in “The Scorched God” (The Peregrine Volume Two), also set in 1942.

The Furies – Three beautiful but deadly agents of The Axis Powers, the Furies were created by the OFP. They were feared throughout the world before they embarked on an adventure to locate Sun Koh. They were at his side when his plan to destroy Washington evaporated and all three women were killed. This adventure took place in 1942 and was shown in “The Scorched God” (The Peregrine Volume Two).

Steel Jaw – Albert Speiros was disfigured by a grenade blast but he was given new life as part of D.O.O.M., a subset of the OFP. After the large number of defeats the OFP had suffered, Steel Jaw was one of the few remaining from the original program as of 1942. Unfortunately, he had the misfortune of encountering The Warlike Manchu and during the two’s battle, Speiros was brutally murdered. This was shown in “The Resurrection Gambit” (The Peregrine Volume One).

Baron Rudolph Gustav – An ancient vampire with designs of his own for ultimate power, Gustav was loosely affiliated with the OFP before he gained possession of The Rod of Aaron and attempted to use it to take over the mind of The Peregrine’s wife — who was also Gustav’s reincarnated lover! This exciting battle, which culminated right in front of Hitler himself, took place in “Dead of Night,” from The Peregrine Volume Two. This was set in 1943.

Marching On…

So we’re in February now, the second month of my big 20th anniversary celebration. I plan all year long to enjoy two decades of my professional writing career. There are a lot of completed books in the hands of my publishers and hopefully we’ll see a few of them before too long. For awhile now, I’ve been building up a whole new section of my Reese Unlimited universe — horror/superhero titles featuring Straw-Man and the Dark Society… I’m working on the 7th book in that area of the universe right now but you still haven’t seen the first of them! It’s frustrating because I want feedback and besides my editor, I haven’t gotten any yet.

I’m going for a feel like the Marvel horror books of the Seventies or the more modern Justice League Dark titles. It’s superheroics but with a pulpy horror feel.

For Lazarus fans, the next volume to see print will see him fighting against Fantomas!

Spook (Icons Writeup)

aka Jenny Dove

Prowess 2
Coordination 3
Strength 3
Intellect 4
Awareness 4
Willpower 4

Stamina 7

*Interface 7
*Invisibility 9
*Life Support 10
*Phasing 9

Investigation, Occult

*Ghost in the Machine
*Support player
*Living Dead Girl


Jenny Dove is a literal ghost, having died in 1979. For unknown reasons, her spirit remained on Earth and was able to visually and verbally interact with others. Eventually discovered by agents in the British government, she was recruited for use as a spy. Codenamed Spook, her features were reminiscent of actress Mackenzie Phillips, most popularly known for her role on the American sitcom One Day at a Time. For over a decade, she was one of Britain’s most potent secret weapons, despite the fact that he could not become tangible. After a chance meeting with the American hero named Jupiter, she fell in love with him and the two of them began a long-term affair that was constantly challenged by their inability to physically interact. When the United Nations formed the International Hero Corps (IHC), she was Britain’s resident member.

After finally gaining the ability to become solid, Spook has ‘married’ Jupiter and now functions as the Dark Society’s ‘director,’ sending members out on assignments that fit their unique skill sets. She has exceeded the limitations of her original human body and is now able to meld directly with technology, effectively becoming a ‘ghost in the machine.’

Kang (Icons Writeup)

Kang the Conqueror
aka Nathaniel Richards, Rama-Tut, Scarlet Centurion, Immortus, Iron Lad, Victor Timely

Prowess 5
Coordination 5
Strength 7
Intellect 8
Awareness 5
Willpower 7

Stamina 14

Kang has no powers aside from his advanced weaponry and technology. Kang is however a genius, a brilliant military strategist and an expert in hand-to-hand combat. Without the armor, reduce his Strength to 5 and his Stamina to 12. His suit provides him with the following abilities:
*Immortality (Longevity) 1
*Blast 8
*Damage Resistance 6
*Force Field 8
*Gadgets 6
*Life Support 10
*Time Control (Time Travel) 9

Leadership, Martial Arts, Mental Resistance, Pilot, Science (Expert +2 bonus), Technology (Expert +2 bonus), Weaponry

*Complicated history
*Council of Kangs
*Adventure Seeker


Nathaniel Richards was born in the calendar year 3000 of the alternate timeline Other Earth. Bullied as a youth, his throat was slit by a bully, Morgan, and he was hospitalized for a year. Recovering, he studied science and his ancestor’s history tapes of the heroic age of Earth-616, growing into a man of adventure in a time of complacency.

At age 25 he discovered his ancestor’s fortress and time machine. Following encounters with alternate Earth Fantastic Fours seeking to thwart his future self, which faded from his mind, Richards constructed an immense sphinx-shaped ship and travelled to Egypt circa 2950 BC. The ship crashed, blinding and stranding him there, but he subjugated the natives with his technology. He forced the natives to procure for him a radioactive herb which would restore his sight, then, as Pharaoh Rama-Tut, he ruled as a god for a decade. Eventually, a struggle with the Fantastic Four, forced Rama to flee that time period.

En route to the future, a “time storm” diverted Rama to the modern era and an encounter with a space-lost Dr. Doom. Inspired by Doom, he took the armoured identity of the Scarlet Centurion, travelled to another timeline (Earth-689) and duped its Avengers into neutralizing all their fellow heroes so he could rule; but he was defeated by the visiting Avengers of Earth-616 and cast outside time.

Following this defeat, he reinvented himself as Kang the Conqueror, and carved out a star-flung empire in his home universe. Kang then travelled to the 20th Century of Earth-616, seeking revenge upon the Avengers.

Star Sapphire – SSOSV (Icons Writeup)

Star Sapphire
aka Remoni-Notra / Deborah Darnell / Camille

Prowess 4
Coordination 5
Strength 5
Intellect 4
Awareness 4
Willpower 6

Stamina 11

All of her powers are granted by the Star Sapphire gem. Without it, her Prowess, Coordination, and Strength are all reduced to 3 and her Stamina is reduced to 9. With the gem, she also has the following abilities:
*Flight 9
*Life Support 1 (Harsh Environments)
*Blast 8
*Force Field 8

Aerial Combat, Leadership, Occult

*Prolonged use of the Star Sapphire Gem often drives the wearer insane.
*Romantically attracted to Captain Comet
*The “other” Star Sapphire


Remoni-Notra, of the planet Pandina, was chosen by the Zamarons to be their queen, an honor previously bequeathed upon Earth’s Carol Ferris, but refused. Remoni-Notra was given one of the five Star Sapphire gems and was told of the existence of the other four. Using her powers, she came to Earth to locate and steal Carol Ferris’ gem and joined the Secret Society of Super Villains as the new Star Sapphire in hopes of finding a clue to the gem.

On Earth she took the name Deborah Darnell and became a stewardess at Ferris Aircraft, in hopes of getting closer to Carol to take the Star Sapphire gem. As Debbie Darnell, she often dated long-time hero Captain Comet. She also sometimes used the identity Camille, a French real estate agent. Her whereabouts were unknown until recently when it was revealed that she was mind-wiped and put in a coma. She was most likely mind-wiped at the request of Green Lantern Hal Jordan to protect Carol Ferris. She was in a coma following the mind-wipe, and was revived by her teammates in the Secret Society. Together, they again battled the Justice League of America during the events of Crisis of Conscience.

During the events of Day of Vengeance, several magic-users (including Remoni-Notra) assembled at Stonehenge and summoned the Spectre. He singled out Remoni-Notra, condemned her, and transformed her into a star sapphire and shattered her, killing her.

Pulp Factory Awards Nomination Season

These books are (I believe) worthy of consideration for the Pulp Factory Awards. All of them were published in 2022 and were written by yours truly:

• The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Volume 11: Thirty Pieces of Silver

• The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Volume 12: The Life and Death and Life of Lazarus Gray

• The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Volume 13

• Worlds Collide

• The Chronicles of Lilith