Nightveil (Icons Writeup)

Nightveil
aka Laura Wright

Prowess 4
Coordination 5
Strength 3
Intellect 5
Awareness 6
Willpower 6

Stamina 9

Powers
*Magic 6 (Nightveil has mastered the following spells and can cast them without using the Performance Limit: Telepathy, Blast, Astral Projection, Illusion, Binding, Healing, Alteration Ray)
*Immortality 1
*Cloak of Darkness: The Cloak boosts the magical power of whomever wears it by +4, allowing her to use her Magic power at level 10. It also provides its wearer with Flight 5, Damage Resistance 3, and Cosmic Awareness (Mystic Threats) 7.

Specialties
Athletics, Investigation, Mental Resistance (Expert +2 bonus), Occult (Expert +2 bonus), Weapons – Handguns (Expert +2 bonus)

Qualities
*Mistress of the Mystic Arts.
*Mentored by Azagoth.
*Sometimes comes off as cold or even creepy to others.

Background

The sorceress of the Femforce, Nightveil is a delightfully sexy and creepy character. She’s very potent and usually displays a cooler head than some of her teammates. Nightveil operated as the Blue Bulleteer for years before gaining her magic, so she’s quite capable of Batman-type sleuthing.

Laura Wright, the daughter of Senator Thomas Wright of Florida, was born in Washington, D.C., to a household accustomed to the trappings of power. As a 21-year old debutante, she began a romantic relationship with Dan Barton, a government operative during World War II who fought a covert battle against the Nazi’s as “The Black Commando.” Dan was teaching Laura the tricks of his trade in order that she could be his professional, as well as personal, partner when Laura received word that Dan had been killed in a mission. Resolving herself to carry on in his stead, Laura continued to train and donned the crimefighting persona of the Blue Bulleteer. Her agility and expertise with the nickel-plated .45’s on her hips made her a thorn in the side of the Nazi’s for the remainder of the war and led to her becoming a founding member of the Femforce.

After the war, Laura continued to fight crime as the Blue Bulleteer but over time her prowess faded and eventually she found herself with her back to the wall, her bullets spent, as the kind of thugs she had spent a career defeating closed in for the kill. It was then that Azagoth, a powerful sorceror from another dimension, intervened and saved her life. Azagoth offered to teach her the intricacies of spellcasting and a gratified Laura Wright agreed to become his pupil. She spent years in a pocket dimension of Limbo learning the mental discipline required to manipulate magical energies and, when her training was nearly complete, Azagoth gave her the mystic Cloak of Darkness, a legendary power source, as a gift. Armed with her new powers of sorcery, Laura returned to this world and began her crusade against the wrongs of the world anew as Nightveil. Rejoining her former compatriots in the Femforce, Nightveil is most likely the most powerful entity on this planet. However, her great power has come at a cost to her humanity.

A Quiet Review

ChickJ, who has reviewed quite a few books from Reese Unlimited over the years, is back with a look at Nightveil: The Quiet Girls, a novel I wrote a few years back starring AC Comics’ Nightveil character. He gave the book 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon.com and titled his review A simple but enjoyable book. Here’s the rest of his review:

A very good old time pulp book. (It is really new but it feels like a pulp from the 40’s.) The side characters are more interesting then the heroine. Alonzo, Charlotte, Elizabeth, and Ghoulie really made the book. I wonder if they will show up in other of his books. Recommended for all pulp fans.

First off, thanks for saying that it felt like an old-school pulp novel. That was definitely the feel that I was going for! As for the characters you mention, I had a lot of writing them but I haven’t really thought about bringing any of them back… Now that you’ve put the idea into my head, I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks again!

The image accompanying this post is by Will Meugniot, an old friend of mine that’s worked with me on a handful of projects in the past. I’ve always loved his version of Nightveil!

Worlds Collide Review

Dale Russell gave the Reese Unlimited/AC Comics crossover a 5-star review. Here’s what he had to say:

1940 – Laura Wright – also known as Nightveil finds herself torn through time and cast into a time – and a body – not her own. Powers diminished; she has teamed up with Charity Grace who has survived her time of redemption as the supernaturally powered Gravedigger. After their latest battle, they have begun the travel home when serendipity brings them into the company of Lazarus Gray, returning from a mission performed at the behest of the French Government. But, as is the world’s wont, no good deeds go unpunished and soon the three heroes find themselves fighting against a demon from Nightveil’s world…one who magically restores a long thought dead enemy of Gray and Co. Soon, the friends become enemies and a new group of heroes is thrown into the conflict…the only hope to destroy the evil before it destroys them all.

Here is a great new entry in Pro Se Productions publishing the expanding universe of REESE UNLIMITED, created and populated by the fertile mind and storytelling of Barry Reese. Combining his iconic hero, Lazarus Gray, with the Gravedigger – another hero populating his world – and teaming them up with Nightveil – perhaps the strongest and long-lived of AC Comics FemForce, Reese delivers another fun and exciting story that readers of his books and one of comic fandoms’ favorite comic book run.

If you’re looking for great New Pulp adventures and fan-hoped for genre crossovers, this is the one.

Thanks for the kind words, Dale. This digest-sized story was a lot of fun to write. Nightveil is such a rich character and she fits right into my fictional world. Hopefully I’ll get to write the character again someday.

Worlds Apart Review

Amazon user ChickJ gave the book 5 stars and titled his review “Pulp and comics crossover done by a master.” Here’s his full review:

“A wonderful cross of comics and pulp. Lazarus Gray is my second favorite character in Reese’s world. But my favorite character did kinda show up as Lady Peregrine. Set in the 40’s, the battle between two evil villains and 6 heroines and one hero seems to be a little lopsided but lots of fun. (Scantily-covered females always interest us guys.) I notice this was written in 2017, it seems this was when Barry Reese was hitting all the right notes. (I have to go get Nightveil: The Quiet Girls. He really made me want to read it.)”

Glad you enjoyed the book! If you liked this one, definitely seek out The Quiet Girls as I think it’s one of the best things I’ve written.

Sunday Thoughts

Early reactions to Worlds Apart, the crossover novel between the heroes of the Femforce comics and my Reese Unlimited imprint, have been positive — and I heard from Sean Ali, the formatting genius who’s working on the 11th volume of Lazarus Gray. He said that he was genuinely shocked and thrilled by the ending to that book. Volume twelve has to do a lot of work explaining and dealing with what happens at the end of eleven… but Mike Hintze, who edited that one, said that he was impressed with how I resolved it all. Fingers crossed that everyone else agrees.

I’m working away on the first short story in the third Straw-Man book. This one brings in my modern-day updating of the American Crusader. She might stick around as a supporting character. We’ll see.

Our art today is by George Sellas and features The Peregrine making an emergency exit.

Worlds Apart!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EPIC CROSSOVER ACTION! NIGHTVEIL AND LAZARUS GRAY! BARRY REESE’S ‘WORLDS APART’ DEBUTS!

The heroes of two universes come together to face a threat to all reality! For the first time ever, AC Comics and Pro Se Productions’ author imprint Reese Unlimited cross over in Barry Reese’s WORLDS APART! Now available in print and digital formats and starring AC Comics’ Nightveil and Reese Unlimited’s New Pulp heroes Lazarus Gray and Gravedigger!

Nightveil, Femforce’s mistress of magic, is brought together with Assistance Unlimited’s founder, Lazarus Gray, to investigate an alliance between two of their greatest foes! And no universe may survive!

With guest appearances by a host of other heroes, this tour de force by award-winning author Barry Reese is a genre-breaking classic in the making! From Pro Se Productions, Reese Unlimited, and AC Comics!

Featuring an excellent cover by George Sellas and print formatting and logo design by Sean E. Ali, WORLDS APART is available for 7.99 via Amazon at https://tinyurl.com/mw94n2h7.

Formatted by lo Iaocono, this epic crossover is available as an ebook for only 99 cents for a limited time from Amazon at https://tinyurl.com/bdfmb5wv. Kindle Unlimited members can read for free!

Barry Reese’s THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY and THE ADVENTURES OF GRAVEDIGGER are available on Amazon from Pro Se Productions.

Nightveil leads the adventures in THE QUIET GIRLS by Barry Reese and CRISIS AT THE CROSSROADS OF INFINITY by Bobby Nash, both available on Amazon from Pro Se Productions and AC Comics.

For more information on this title, interviews with the author, or digital copies for review, email editorinchief@prose-press.com.
To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to http://www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at Pro Se Productions.

Anticipation!

Everyone at the Reese Unlimited HQ is waiting on pins and needles — WORLDS APART, the crossover novel featuring characters from my pulp adventure universe and the heroes from AC Comics’ Femforce series, is expected go live at any moment. Currently the Kindle version has been approved by Amazon but we’re still waiting on the physical copy to do the same. Can’t wait to share the cover here, which features Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger, and Nightveil! It’s a fantastic image by our old pal, George Sellas.

Stay tuned, true believers.

Lazarus Gray & Nightveil

A few years ago I got the honor of writing a novel featuring AC’s Nightveil character. The book, The Quiet Girls, turned out really well and I’m still extremely proud of it. Nightveil’s creator, Bill Black, mentioned to me that he would like to see some of his characters meet some of mine… and that sparked the idea that eventually turned into a novel pairing Lazarus Gray and Nightveil (and Gravedigger!). We deal with dopplegangers between characters in each universe, get to see one of Gray’s arch-enemies team up with one of Nightveil’s… and a whole lot more. I’m bringing it up because the novel has finally made it through the approval process and entered the formatting phase. Hopefully it’ll be released in the next couple of months!

Today you get to see a sneak preview of the cover of said novel, by my old partner, George Sellas. If that doesn’t get you excited for this, I don’t know what will!

Princess Femi

A good villain can make all the difference.

With The Peregrine, 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.”

At some unknown point, her body was stolen by the madman known as Dr. York, who attempted to revive her in Atlanta so that she might aid him against The Peregrine. This revival literally lasted only a few moments before she was put down once more and returned to the care of Assistance Unlimited (“The Peregrine Animated Script,” The Peregrine Omnibus Volume Three).

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.

We later discovered that her remains were kept in an urn at Robeson Avenue (“The Felonious Financier”) in 1937 but she was revived just in time for a group of Egyptians serving the ancient gods to come calling in hopes of destroying her once and for all. Femi gains a handmaiden named Madison Montgomery, a girlfriend of Morgan Watt’s who becomes enamored of Femi’s power. The duo found themselves briefly allied with The Three Sisters (Selene, Phoebe & Fiona), three immortal witches that sought to control Sovereign City. At the end of this adventure, Femi and Madison escape the clutches of Assistance Unlimited. Madison is now empowered by a small fraction of the same energy that preserves Femi, making them a deadly pair (“Immortals”).

Femi and Madison are joined by Paul Alfred Müller-Murnau (aka Nemesis) in an attempt to utilize the power of the Emerald Tablet in 1938 (“Nemesis”). Femi seemed to think that her trend of alliances was working for her because in 1939 she teamed up with El Demonio to summon the King in Yellow. Unfortunately, Madison is killed and Femi, after raging at the loss of her handmaiden, is once again returned to death (Lazarus Gray Volume Seven).

Once again, Femi was not dead for long. 1940 saw her in yet another villainous team-up. Gorgana, a foe from a universe protected by Nightveil and the Femforce, allied with Femi to try and wrest control of the world. The plan failed and Femi was, once again, destroyed. (Lazarus Gray/Nightveil: World’s Apart).

Femi was quiet from 1941-1945 and nothing is known about her post-war activities. Has her evil finally been defeated forever?

I’d Love to Write *That*!

In my career, I’ve been lucky enough to have worked on several licensed properties: The Avenger, Nightveil, and The Green Hornet to name just three. There are still quite a few characters out there that I’d love to get my grubby little mitts on for a prose story or two. Here’s a few that come to mind right away:

  1. Norgil the Magician – This character was created and written by Walter Gibson, the mastermind behind The Shadow. I’m a big fan of Norgil and even put together a package to try and get the rights a few years back. It didn’t work out but I still think it would be a blast to take this magician on a few crime-busting cases.
  2. Seekay – Created by Paul Ernst, this somewhat obscure character is fascinating and I think I could do some fun things with him.
  3. Batman – There have been great prose stories featuring the Batman over the years and I think every writer, whether in comics or in prose, wants to tackle the character at least once. I have a few ideas that I like to think would stay true to the hero’s character while also avoiding the familiar.
  4. The Shadow – Obviously, doing better than James Patterson’s recent reboot is a fairly low bar. I love the hero and his deep supporting cast — I’d like to stay true to the pulp version of the character and avoid the romance between him and Margot that keeps popping up in the comic book incarnations. The Shadow should be mysterious and aloof… and he’s Kent Allard at his core.
  5. Ghost — the Dark Horse heroine is definitely cut from the same cloth as many of my own characters. Honestly, she’d be right at home in Sovereign City. Having said that, I think it would be fun to take the ghostly avenger onto an adventure or two.