Timeline of the Reese Unlimited Universe – Updated 11/12/2022

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. 

Continue reading Timeline of the Reese Unlimited Universe – Updated 11/12/2022

The Nature of Things

I hope you’re sitting someplace comfortable because this might take awhile. It all started when I was working on the 13th volume of the Lazarus Gray series. I’ve always loved public domain characters and I was aware that Fawcett’s Marvel Family was partially in the public domain – you could do stories with them as long as you didn’t veer into trademark territory by naming them on the covers and so forth. I had the fun idea of having an amnesiac Billy Batson show up in Sovereign City, eventually remember his magic word, and become Captain Marvel… though I considered having him adopt a new name since most of his memories wouldn’t be restored. My longtime friend, Sorella Smith, had another idea — why not substitute the potentially troublesome Captain Marvel with another character that was far safer to use. She suggested that I look into Nature Boy, an old Charlton character that starred in Nature Boy issues 3-5 (1956). The series had some really early John Buscema artwork and featured a Nature Girl in a one-page appearance in issue 5, as well as a Nature Man in issue who may or may not have been an adult Nature Boy. The potential for a “Nature Family” was right there. I loved the idea, commissioned Gilbert Monsanto to do updated costumes for both Nature Boy and Nature Girl, and set to work bringing Nature Boy into volume 13. Nature Boy later returned in a novel I wrote called Omnium Gatherum and this time he brought Nature Girl with him. A lot of people thought they were twins so they were often referred to as such but in actually Nature Boy was the older of the two. This is how Nature Boy explained his origins in Omnium Gatherum, keeping in mind that all references to Sovereign City and Dorcas Rose were mine:

“My full name is David Crandall. I was the son of a wealthy family who, when lost at sea, was saved from drowning by the gods who rule each of the elements. They each gifted me with their powers – from Neptune, water; from Gusto, winds; from Fura, fire; from Eartha, earth; from Allura, love; from Azura, the skies; from Electra, electricity; and from Friga, ice. I was eventually returned to my family in Sovereign City and I became Nature Boy, using my powers to fight crime. In the early days, I had to ask the gods to let me use their abilities but later on, they drifted away and trusted me to do what was right. It wasn’t all good times, though – my father was badly injured by an evil woman named Dorcas Rose and my mother was never really the same after. Over time I found that I don’t age like other people do… so even though I’ve thought about changing my name to Nature Man a few times, it just never sticks!”

Now in the original comics Nature Girl’s true name was never given so I decided to call her Darla. This was her origin, as she explained in the same book. Note that this origin was all mine as she didn’t have an origin in the old comics:

“After his dad was hospitalized, his mom was looking for something to keep her and Davey going so they adopted me. At first, I didn’t know that David was sneaking out at night to play superhero but when I saw him crawling out his window one evening, I followed him and learned his secret. The gods decided to give me the same powers so I could help him! Because we look so similar, people often referred to us as the Nature Twins… but he’s really older than me, which I never let him forget!”

Simple enough, eh? Well, I’ve never been one to leave well enough alone so it was revealed that both Nature Boy and Nature Girl were actually products of the same experiments that developed the Black Terror and the British hero known as Intrepid. A scientist named James Anderson was to become an integral part of the Nature Twins’ story.

In 1932 he was brought onto a military project as a consultant. His speciality had been herbology and at first he couldn’t fathom why the United States government wanted or needed him for Top Secret work.

Then he discovered that Uncle Sam was in the midst of trying to grow their own super-powered beings. In recent years, a number of masked vigilantes and well-known adventurers had captured the public’s attention and there were rumors that other nations were trying to create their own special agents of the same sort. Since all of the American-based heroes operated outside of government control, there were concerns about their trustworthiness and effectiveness – after all, men like Leonid Kaslov and The Peregrine had saved the nation’s bacon on many occasions… but Kaslov was a Russian and The Peregrine was deemed a loose cannon.

The process of making superhumans was mostly a theory when Anderson came aboard but it quickly became a reality. The idea was to take human cell tissue and bond it with plantlife, allowing them to grow pods that would contain an outwardly human being within. The pace of growth could be stimulated or slowed based upon the amount of hormones and sunlight that were given to the pods… and, more importantly of all, false memories could be implanted into the plant/human hybrids so that, for instance, they might remember having human parents, lovers, and more.

The experiment had yielded a major success in 1934 with the ‘birth’ of a hybrid that believed itself to be a human being named Bob Benton. In Benton’s mind, he was a chemist that had discovered a compound he dubbed ‘formic ethers’ and became a costumed vigilante known as The Black Terror. He was even given memories of a fictitious girlfriend and kid sidekick, along with a strong patriotic nature.

At first it had all gone perfectly: the Black Terror had been dispatched on one mission after another, smashing communist cells, bootleggers, and more, all in the name of the good ‘ol U.S.A. When he returned back to the plain, barely-furnished room that he lived in, he’d have a new set of updated, manufactured memories implanted — new dates he’d gone on with the fictitious Jean Starr, bonding experiences with his young ward, Tim Roland. It was all designed to give him the impression that he was a living, breathing man… and not simply a weapon to be rolled out when the time was right.

Eventually, however, The Black Terror uncovered the truth… and he fled from his government handlers. Encountering Lazarus Gray and his Assistance Unlimited team, the hybrid joined them and remained with them for several years, even aiding them in 1937 when they encountered another rogue creation of the American superhuman program: a madman dubbed Titan. In the aftermath, Bob Benton used the technology that had been used to create him to make ‘real’ versions of Jean Starr and Tim Roland, implanting them with memories to ensure their similarity to the ‘people’ he had known.

In 1938 the English equivalent was unveiled – a modern knight in shining armor known as Intrepid. Unlike the American versions, this one proved loyal and true. Wielding his sword (which the public believed to be the legendary Excalibur), the original Intrepid defended England well into the early 1960s.

It was 1943 before the United States had its first loyal test subject… and it came about after Anderson and the entire project had come under the auspices of Project: Cicada, a shadowy government agency that was American’s answer to the Nazi’s Occult Forces Project, which had produced dozens of superpowered agents. Cicada had divisions dedicated to occultism, mentalism, and every known branch of parapsychology… which led to some effective cross-pollination. One division had found the remains of an alien being several years before and it had been Anderson’s idea to mix that DNA into the cocktail used to create the Black Terror and Titan.

What emerged from this was a young man with an almost godlike-aura of goodness that surrounded him. With implanted memories of having been granted powers over nature by a plethora of gods (some of whom bore rather silly names in Anderson’s opinion), Nature Boy was released on his first mission towards the end of the year. Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t have been worse as a strange alignment of the stars wreaked havoc with Nature Boy’s implanted memories and for a brief time he wandered Sovereign City as an amnesiac. After teaming with Assistance Unlimited to save the city from a reborn Egyptian pharaoh named Rama-Memnon, Nature Boy was returned to the Project’s control.

He was pure of heart and eager to please but this led to some problems – he was not suited for certain missions because of his morals. When some people wanted to try and change his personality, Anderson had stepped in and protected the boy. In fact, he urged Project: Cicada to create other agents for those darker jobs… they should embrace Nature Boy for what he was: a loyal and heroic young man with tremendous power. There was something innately divine in Nature Boy and Anderson couldn’t help but wonder if this was because of the myth they’d spun in the boy’s false memories or if it stemmed from the alien DNA that was part of the proverbial soup from which David had sprung.

Anderson won the fight and was given control over the Nature Boy project. The first thing he did was create a sister for him, a Nature Girl, that would only solidify his feelings of loyalty to the program. The so-called Nature Twins were trustworthy agents of the American Government well into the 1970s… when changing politics resulted in Project:Cicada being shut down. Both Nature Boy and Nature Girl were designated for disposal but Anderson hid them away in suspended animation at an abandoned Cicada lab… and that’s where they remained until 2021 when they were awakened by a couple of teenagers, Jazlyn and Jimmy Tompkins. The Nature Twins were reunited with Prof. Anderson and aided a group known as E-Force in repelling an alien invasion.

Shortly thereafter, the siblings accepted a position overseeing the Tartarus Super-Prison on behalf of Assistance Unlimited. They were working at this job when Lady Grimdark was released.

Timeline of the Reese Unlimited Universe (Updated 9/13/2022)

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. 

Continue reading Timeline of the Reese Unlimited Universe (Updated 9/13/2022)

A Minor Update

Sorry for the lack of posts lately – I’ve begun work on the fifteenth volume of Lazarus Gray and I’ve actually written a few poems over the last week, which is pretty rare for me. I’m still waiting on Omnium Gatherum to move forward in the publishing queue, as well, so maybe there will be an update on that front soon.

Been playing some of the Marvel Multiverse Roleplaying Game Playtest. Has a few significant flaws but I also think it has a ton of potential. Hopefully the full version will come out next year and repair some of those problematic areas.

I’ll be back soon with more details about my various projects.

Busy Little Bee

Sorry for the long pause between blog postings – it’s the end of the school year and that means testing, special events, and lots more. As a result, I’ve been exhausted most evenings when I get home. I have been writing, though, and I approved edits on Omnium Gatherum so hopefully that novel will see the light of day at some point.

Reading-wise, I recently completed Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill and was blown away. Seriously, one of the best books I’ve ever read. I’ll be finishing Diablo Mesa by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child today and it’s been a fun addition to the Pendergast Universe (it’s part of the spinoff series starring Corrie Swanson and Nora Kelly).

In terms of my writing, I’m currently working on the final story for the third volume in the Straw-Man series. In volume two, I did one story that featured the supporting characters, without the Straw-Man even showing up and this story for volume 3 is much the same. It features a ‘stealth crossover’ with one of my favorite fictional characters but I can’t really name him. It’ll make sense when you read it.

Writing Updates

So things have been busy around the Reese Unlimited headquarters — we’re approaching the end of the school year so in my “day job,” there’s been testing galore, of course, but on the writing front, I’ve recently approved edits on OMNIUM GATHERUM and I’ve been working hard on volume three of the Straw-Man series. OMNIUM GATHERUM is a really odd novel but my editor seemed to enjoy it and the parts of it I’ve shared with various friends have been met with equal parts hilarity and acceptance so maybe my faithful readers will get a kick out of it. I can say that it’s an homage to BATTLE OF THE PLANETS, the films of Michael York, and that it also features the public domain heroes Nature Boy and Nature Girl!

Yeah, it’s strange.

The Straw-Man book is going well – just wrapped up a big story and now I’m moving on to what should be the final short story in volume three. As with the first two volumes, I’m trying really hard to create lots of new concepts rather than going back to the well of previously established characters and locations. In this volume alone, I’ve introduced an all-new heroine, debuted the new 21st century Catalyst, brought the American Crusader into the universe, and created a good half-dozen new villains.

Once I’m done with the Straw-Man book… I don’t know what I’ll be working on. It feels too soon to dive into Lazarus Gray Volume 15, I don’t have any immediate ideas for Straw-Man volume 4, and I haven’t stumbled onto a new concept, either. Of course, typing these words means I’m likely to come up with the ideas for two or three different novels later today lol

Edits? Edits!

Pro Se, always a busy place, has been really percolating behind the scenes lately with a lot of books in various stages of production — and among those are Lazarus Gray Volumes 11-13, plus the first Lilith novel.

In recent days, I’ve approved edits on Lazarus Gray 11 and on Lilith, plus I’ve heard from the editor on volume 12 about how much he’s enjoying it. I don’t know what the release schedule will be for these but there’s a good chance that you might see all of them sometime in 2022. That means that 2023 will probably see Omnium Gatherum (a novel), the first two Straw Man books, and possibly Lazarus Gray 14.

Speaking of volume 14, I’m about 30k into the writing of that one and I think it might be one of my favorites so far. It involves a new version of Murder Unlimited and this time the group is led by one of the most famous literary villains of all time… and he’s going to put Assistance Unlimited through the wringer. A word of warning: not everyone makes it out alive!

Reese Unlimited Timeline (1/13/2022)

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] 

1865 – Eobard Grace returns home from his actions in the American Civil War. Takes possession of the Book of Shadows from his uncle Frederick. [“The World of Shadow,” The Family Grace: An Extraordinary History] 

1877 – Eobard Grace is summoned to the World of Shadows, where he battles Uris-Kor and fathers a son, Korben. [“The World of Shadow,” The Family Grace: An Extraordinary History] 

1885 – Along with his niece Miriam and her paramour Ian Sinclair, Eobard returns to the World of Shadows to halt the merging of that world with Earth. [“The Flesh Wheel,” The Family Grace: An Extraordinary History] 

1890 – Eobard fathers a second son, Leopold. 

1893 – Eobard Grace successfully steals the Thirty Pieces of Silver that was paid to Judas for his betrayal of Jesus from The Illuminati. He melts the coins down into mystically-empowered silver and helps a friend forge these into bullets. They remain hidden in Atlanta, Georgia until the Forties. [The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 11] 

1895 – Felix Cole (The Bookbinder) is born. 

1900 – Max Davies is born to publisher Warren Davies and his wife, heiress Margaret Davies. 

1901 – Leonid Kaslov is born. 

1905 – Richard Winthrop is born in San Francisco. 

1908 – Warren Davies is murdered by Ted Grossett, a killer nicknamed “Death’s Head”. [“Lucifer’s Cage”, the Peregrine Volume One, more details shown in “Origins,” the Peregrine Volume One] Hans Merkel kills his own father. [“Blitzkrieg,” the Peregrine Volume One]. Abigail Cross is born in Tennessee. 

1910 – Evelyn Gould is born. 

1912 – Byron Mendicott travels to France to kill Lucy Hale. [The Chronicles of Lilith] 

1913 – Felix Cole meets the Cockroach Man and becomes part of The Great Work. [“The Great Work,” The Family Grace: An Extraordinary History] Bart Hill is born in Sovereign City [Revealed in The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 14]

1914 – Margaret Davies passes away in her sleep. Max is adopted by his uncle Reginald. 

1915 – Felix Cole marries Charlotte Grace, Eobard Grace’s cousin. 

1916 – Leonid Kaslov’s father Nikolai becomes involved in the plot to assassinate Rasputin. 

1917 – Betsy Cole is born to Felix and Charlotte Grace Cole. Nikolai Kaslov is murdered. 

1918 – Max Davies begins wandering the world. Richard Winthrop’s parents die in an accident. 

1922 – Warlike Manchu tutors Max Davies in Kyoto. 

1925 – Max Davies becomes the Peregrine, operating throughout Europe. 

1926 – Charlotte Grace dies. Richard Winthrop has a brief romance with exchange student Sarah Dumas. 

1927 – Richard Winthrop graduates from Yale. On the night of his graduation, he is recruited into The Illuminati. Max and Leopold Grace battle the Red Lord in Paris. Richard Winthrop meets Miya Shimada in Japan, where he purchases The McGuinness Obelisk for The Illuminati. Bart Hill begins adventuring as a teenaged Daredevil. 

1928 – The Peregrine returns to Boston. Dexter van Melkebeek [later to be known as The Darkling] receives his training in Tibet from Tenzin. Sheridan Masters loses his fiance Carmen in a terrible mystic storm in Egypt. He is trapped in Carcosa for several years. 

1929 – Max Davies is one of the judges for the Miss Beantown contest [“The Miss Beantown Affair,” The Peregrine Volume Three]. Richard Winthrop destroys a coven of vampires in Mexico. 

1930 – Richard Winthrop pursues The Devil’s Heart in Peru [“Eidolon,” Lazarus Gray Volume Three]. 

1932 – The Peregrine hunts down his father’s killer [“Origins,” the Peregrine Volume One]. The Darkling returns to the United States. 

1933 – Jacob Trench uncovers Lucifer’s Cage. [“Lucifer’s Cage”, the Peregrine Volume One] The Peregrine battles Doctor York [All-Star Pulp Comics # 1] After a failed attempt at betraying The Illuminati, Richard Winthrop wakes up on the shores of Sovereign City with no memory of his name or past. He has only one clue to his past in his possession: a small medallion adorned with the words Lazarus Gray and the image of a naked man with the head of a lion. [“The Girl With the Phantom Eyes,” Lazarus Gray Volume One]. The man who would eventually call himself Paul Alfred Müller-Murnau arrives in Sovereign on the same night as Lazarus Gray. [“Nemesis, “Lazarus Gray Volume Six]. 

1934 – Now calling himself Lazarus Gray, Richard Winthrop forms Assistance Unlimited in Sovereign City. He recruits Samantha Grace, Morgan Watts and Eun Jiwon [“The Girl With the Phantom Eyes,” Lazarus Gray Volume One] Walther Lunt aids German scientists in unleashing the power of Die Glocke, which in turn frees the demonic forces of Satan’s Circus [“Die Glocke,” Lazarus Gray Volume Two]. The entity who will become known as The Black Terror is created [“The Making of a Hero,” Lazarus Gray Volume Two]. 

1935 – Felix Cole and his daughter Betsy seek out the Book of Eibon. [“The Great Work,” The Family Grace: An Extraordinary History] Assistance Unlimited undertakes a number of missions, defeating the likes of Walther Lunt, Doc Pemberley, Malcolm Goodwill & Black Heart, Princess Femi & The Undying, Mr. Skull, The Axeman and The Yellow Claw [“The Girl With the Phantom Eyes,” “The Devil’s Bible,” “The Corpse Screams at Midnight,” “The Burning Skull,” “The Axeman of Sovereign City,” and “The God of Hate,” Lazarus Gray Volume One] The Peregrine journeys to Sovereign City and teams up with Assistance Unlimited to battle Devil Face. They also encounter a new hero – The Dark Gentleman. [“Darkness, Spreading Its Wings of Black,” The Peregrine Volume Two and Lazarus Gray Volume One]. Lazarus Gray and Assistance Unlimited become embroiled in the search for Die Glocke [“Die Glocke,” Lazarus Gray Volume Two] 

1936 – Assistance Unlimited completes their hunt for Die Glocke and confronts the threat of Jack-In-Irons. Abigail Cross and Jakob Sporrenberg join Assistance Unlimited [“Die Glocke,” Lazarus Gray Volume Two]. The Peregrine moves to Atlanta and recovers the Dagger of Elohim from Felix Darkholme. The Peregrine meets Evelyn Gould. The Peregrine battles Jacob Trench. [“Lucifer’s Cage”, the Peregrine Volume One]. Reed Barrows revives Camilla. [“Kingdom of Blood,” The Peregrine Volume One]. Kevin Atwill is abandoned in the Amazonian jungle by his friends, a victim of the Gorgon legacy. [“The Gorgon Conspiracy,” The Peregrine Volume One]. Nathaniel Caine’s lover is killed by Tweedledum while Dan Daring looks on [“Catalyst,” The Peregrine Volume One] Assistance Unlimited teams up with The Black Terror to battle Prometheus and The Titan in South America [“The Making of a Hero,” Lazarus Gray Volume Two]. Doc Pemberley allies himself with Abraham Klee, Stanley Davis and Constance Majestros to form Murder Unlimited. Lazarus Gray is able to defeat this confederation of evil and Pemberley finds himself the victim of Doctor Satan’s machinations [“Murder Unlimited,” Lazarus Gray Volume Three]. Lazarus Gray is forced to compete with The Darkling for possession of a set of demonic bones. During the course of this, a member of Assistance Unlimited becomes Eidolon. [“Eidolon,” Lazarus Gray Volume Three]. Charity Grace dies and is reborn as the first female Gravedigger. [Gravedigger Volume One]. Dr. York attempts to revive Princess Femi so that she can aid him in battling The Peregrine [“The Peregrine Animated Script,” The Peregrine Volume Three]. The Dark Gentleman confronts The Shadow Court and brings them to justice. [“The Judgment of the Shadow Court,” The Adventures of The Dark Gentleman Book One]. A few weeks later, The Dark Gentleman learns the truth about Amadeus Crouch [“The Silver Room,” The Adventures of The Dark Gentleman Book Two]. 

1937 – Max and Evelyn marry. Camilla attempts to create the Kingdom of Blood. World’s ancient vampires awaken and the Peregrine is ‘marked’ by Nyarlathotep. Gerhard Klempt’s experiments are halted. William McKenzie becomes Chief of Police in Atlanta. The Peregrine meets Benson, who clears his record with the police. [“Kingdom of Blood,” the Peregrine Volume One]. Lazarus Gray and Assistance Unlimited teams up with Thunder Jim Wade to confront the deadly threat of Leviathan [“Leviathan Rising”, Lazarus Gray Volume Four]. Hank Wilbon is murdered, leading to his eventual resurrection as the Reaper. [“Kaslov’s Fire, “The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine and Evelyn become unwelcome guests of Baron Werner Prescott, eventually foiling his attempts to create an artificial island and a weather-controlling weapon for the Nazis [“The Killing Games, ” The Peregrine Volume Three] Gravedigger confronts a series of terrible threats in Sovereign City, including Thanatos, a gender-swapping satanic cult and The Headless Horseman. Charity and Samantha Grace make peace about their status as half-sisters. [Gravedigger Volume One] Lazarus Gray teams with Eidolon and The Darkling to combat Doctor Satan [“Satan’s Circus,” Lazarus Gray Volume Four]. Lazarus Gray battles the forces of Wilson Brisk and Skyrider. The Three Sisters are unleashed upon Sovereign City [“The Felonious Financier,” Lazarus Gray Volume Five]. Gravedigger confronts the twin threats of Hiroshi Tamaki and the immortal known as Pandora [Gravedigger Volume Two]. Lazarus Gray travels to Cape Noire to investigate the mysterious vigilante known as Brother Bones /”Shadows and Phantoms, “Lazarus Gray Volume Five]. The villain known as The Basilisk attempts to seize control of Sovereign City’s underworld [“Stare of The Basilisk,” Lazarus Gray Volume Five]. The Three Sisters unite with Princess Femi to combat Assistance Unlimited. Sobek’s attempt to destroy Femi helps lead young Madison Montgomery into a role as Femi’s handmaiden. Lazarus gets engaged to Kelly Emerson [“Immortals,” Lazarus Gray Volume Five]. Lazarus and Kelly are married. [“Wedding Bells,” Lazarus Gray Volume Five] 

1938 – The Peregrine travels to Great City to aid the Moon Man in battling Lycos and his Gasping Death. The Peregrine destroys the physical shell of Nyarlathotep and gains his trademark signet ring. [“The Gasping Death,” The Peregrine Volume One]. The jungle hero known as the Revenant is killed [“Death from the Jungle,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. Gravedigger, Lazarus Gray and The Peregrine come together to confront the terrible events known as Götterdämmerung. Many other heroes – including The Black Bat, The Black Terror, The Darkling and Leonid Kaslov are caught up in the events, as well. The insane villain Mr. Death is created. [Götterdämmerung]. Three months after Götterdämmerung, Assistance Unlimited battles The Librarian and adds The Black Terror to the team. [“The Affair of the Familiar Corpse,” Lazarus Gray Volume Six]. Assistance Unlimited journeys to Europe where they reunite with Eidolon and Abby. The group then teams up with a Berlin-based hero known as Nakam to battle Mr. Death and The Torch. Lazarus Gray confronts the spirit of Walther Lunt and Baba Yaga. [“The Strands of Fate,” Lazarus Gray Volume Six]. Mortimer Quinn is elected mayor of Sovereign City. Paul Alfred Müller-Murnau learns of his role as Nemesis and becomes an ally of Princess Femi and Madison Montgomery. Femi gains possession of the fabled Emerald Tablet. Abby becomes warden of Tartarus. [“Nemesis, ” Lazarus Gray Volume Six]. Assistance Unlimited battles an out-of-control Golem and an agent of the OFP codenamed Heidi Von Sinn. Kelly’s pregnancy takes an odd turn after exposure to an Aryan idol. [“Tapestry,” Lazarus Gray Volume Six]. Daniel Higgins bonds with the Hell-forged armor and becomes Babylon. His sister Stella is killed. [The Second Book of Babylon] 

1939 – Ibis and the Warlike Manchu revive the Abomination. Evelyn becomes pregnant and gives birth to their first child, a boy named William. [“Abominations, ” The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine allies himself with Leonid Kaslov to stop the Reaper’s attacks and to foil the plans of Rasputin. [“Kaslov’s Fire,” the Peregrine Volume One] Violet Cambridge and Will McKenzie become embroiled in the hunt for a mystical item known as The Damned Thing [The Damned Thing] Assistance Unlimited teams up with Sheridan Masters to investigate a deadly alliance between Femi and a masked villain called El Demonio. The evils summon Hastur, the King In Yellow, and Lazarus is forced to travel to Carcosa. Kelly learns that their unborn child is infused with Vril energy. Femi and Madison Montgomery are both apparently destroyed. [Lazarus Gray Volume Seven]. Gravedigger engages in a war of wits with The King, a battle that leaves The Dark Gentleman dead and her forces in disarray. She uncovers the connection between The Voice and Nestorius – then stands for judgment before Anubis. [Gravedigger Volume Three]. Lazarus and Kelly Gray become the parents of Ezekiel Gray, Samantha Grace learns she’s pregnant [“The Santa Slaying”, Lazarus Gray Volume Eight]. 

1940-Samantha discovers that Paul Alfred Müller-Murnau is responsible for her mystic pregnancy. Müller-Murnau forms a new version of Murder Unlimited alongside Bushido, Brick, Vixen and Alloy. [“As Above, So Below,” Lazarus Gray Volume Eight]. The Warlike Manchu returns with a new pupil — Hans Merkel, aka Shinigami. The Warlike Manchu kidnaps William Davies but the Peregrine and Leonid Kaslov manage to rescue the boy. [“Blitzkrieg, “the Peregrine Volume One] The Peregrine journeys to Germany alongside the Domino Lady and Will McKenzie to combat the demonic organization known as Bloodwerks. [“Bloodwerks,” the Peregrine Volume One] Lazarus Gray encounters Gravedigger and a heroine from another universe while in Istanbul. The trio end up battling an alliance between Princess Femi and a villain from another world. A loosely-affiliated grouping of female heroes consisting of Lady Peregrine [Evelyn Davies], Jet Girl, Fantomah and Kitten is formed. [Worlds Apart]. Samantha Grace gives birth to her daughter Emily. Assistance Unlimited battle a werewolf and free a young woman whose dreams are incredibly powerful {“The Girl That Dreamed, “Lazarus Gray Volume Eight]. Kevin Atwill seeks revenge against his former friends, bringing him into conflict with the Peregrine [“The Gorgon Conspiracy,” The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine takes a young vampire under his care, protecting him from a cult that worships a race of beings known as The Shambling Ones. With the aid of Leonid Kazlov, the cult is destroyed /“The Shambling Ones,” The Peregrine Volume One]. Daniel Higgins and his sister Stella stumble onto a mob killing and Stella is badly injured. Daniel finds a strange suit of armor and bonds with it, becoming transformed into Babylon [The Second Book of Babylon]. Lazarus Gray and Assistance Unlimited travel to Kentucky to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. Eidolon quits the team after a debate about how to resolve the crisis [“It Wants To Kill You,” Lazarus Gray Volume Eight]. Nemesis and Bushido join up with the Occult Forces Project to resurrect The Speaker from the Stars. They are opposed and ultimately foiled by Assistance Unlimited and The Golden Amazon [“The Speaker from the Stars,” Lazarus Gray Volume Eight]. 

1941 – Philip Gallagher, a journalist, uncovers the Peregrine’s secret identity but chooses to become an ally of the vigilante rather than reveal it to the world [“Origins,” the Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine teams with the Black Bat and Ascott Keane, as well as a reluctant Doctor Satan, in defeating the plans of the sorcerer Arias [“The Bleeding Hells”, The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine rescues McKenzie from the Iron Maiden [“The Iron Maiden,” The Peregrine Volume One]. Asgard falls and Thor’s hammer ends up in the hands of his daughter, whose spirit is hidden away in the body of a young woman on Earth. Loki and his assistant Durok end up working alongside Murder Unlimited [Nemesis, Bushido, The Golden Amazon and Eidolon] to try and flood the world so that it can remade along Loki’s wishes. In the hidden world of Vorium, Assistance Unlimited teams with The Fighting Yank to foil their plans. The Golden Amazon and The Fighting Yank both become occasional members of Assistance Unlimited. Nemesis and Bushido are both killed. [“The Sinking World,” Lazarus Gray Volume Nine]. In November, The Golden Amazon, The Fighting Yank and The Black Terror journey to Manhattan to team with Olga Mesmer to stop a plot by Doctor Satan and his consort [Lady Satan]. The foursome remain together as The Heroes, an offshoot organization of Assistance Unlimited. The Black Terror agrees to serve as a liaison between the teams. [“Satan’s Lair”, Lazarus Gray Volume Ten]. Tommy McDuff is injured during the attack on Pearl Harbor – he is taken from the military hospital by Eris, the Goddess of Discord. She gave him great power but at the cost of his sanity – as Phasma, he embarked on a scheme to use ‘The Torch of Ç’thalpa to tear down many of the institutions of power. He worked with Rosemary Lunt [the daughter of Walther Lunt] and was opposed by Assistance Unlimited and Babylon. The villainous Billhook releases damaging information about Assistance Unlimited to the press. Lazarus Gray agrees to work with Major Caruso and Project: Cicada. [Lazarus Gray Volume Ten]. 

1942 – The Peregrine battles a Nazi super agent known as the Grim Reaper, who is attempting to gather the Crystal Skulls [“The Three Skulls,” The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine becomes embroiled in a plot by Sun Koh and a group of Axis killers known as The Furies. The Peregrine and Sun Koh end up in a deadly battle on the banks of the Potomac River. [“The Scorched God,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. In London, the Peregrine and Evelyn meet Nathaniel Caine [aka the Catalyst] and Rachel Winters, who are involved in stopping the Nazis from creating the Un Earth. They battle Doctor Satan and the Black Zeppelin [“Catalyst,” The Peregrine Volume One]. Evelyn learns she’s pregnant with a second child. The Peregrine solves the mystery of the Roanoke Colony [“The Lost Colony,” The Peregrine Volume One]. The Peregrine battles against an arsonist in the employ of Bennecio Tommasso [“Where There’s Smoke”, The Peregrine Volume Three]. The Warlike Manchu is revived and embarks upon a search for the Philosopher’s Stone [“The Resurrection Gambit,” The Peregrine Volume One]. Joseph Williams is born [son of Mitchell and Charity]. Assistance Unlimited is forced to work with Nakam and Lilith [leader of the Crimson Ladies] to stop a plot formulated by a mystic named Woland and The Black Terror’s archenemy, The Puzzler. The dead are raised in Sovereign City but Lazarus and his allies are able to eventually turn the tide with an assist from The Revenant and Baba Yaga. In the end, a shocking revelation is made that alters Morgan Watts’ life forever. [The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Eleven]. 

1943 – The Peregrine teams with Xander to deal with the Onyx Raven [“The Onyx Raven”, The Peregrine Volume Three]. The Peregrine is confronted by the twin threats of Fernando Pasarin and the undead pirate Hendrik van der Decken [“The Phantom Vessel,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. Evelyn and Max become the parents of a second child, Emma Davies. The Peregrine teams with the daughter of the Revenant to battle Hermann Krupp and the Golden Goblin [“Death from the Jungle,” The Peregrine Volume Two] The Peregrine battles Doctor Satan over possession of an ancient Mayan tablet [“The Four Peregrines,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. The Peregrine travels to Peru to battle an undead magician called The Spook [“Spook,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. The Peregrine clashes with Doctor Death, who briefly takes possession of Will McKenzie [“The Peregrine Nevermore,” The Peregrine Volume Three]. Baron Rudolph Gustav gains possession of the Rod of Aaron and kidnaps Evelyn, forcing the Peregrine into an uneasy alliance with the Warlike Manchu [“Dead of Night,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. Doctor Satan flees to the hidden land of Vorium, where the Peregrine allies with Frankenstein’s Monster to bring him to justice [“Satan’s Trial,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. Tim Roland is recruited by The Flame and Miss Masque [“The Ivory Machine,” The Peregrine Volume Two]. The Black Terror investigates a German attempt to replicate his powers and becomes friends with a scientist named Clarke [“Terrors”, The Peregrine Volume Two]. Assistance Unlimited and The Heroes come together to work with L’Homme Fantastique in returning Lazarus Gray to normalcy. El Demonio and a return visit to Carcosa are involved [Lazarus Gray Volume 12]. Rama-Memnon, Teddy Pumpkins, and Rose Dorcas lay waste to Sovereign City but are defeated by the combined forces of Assistance Unlimited, Nature Boy, Eidolon and Wynona Jones. Jakob Sporrenberg transitions from Eidolon to being The Observer. [Lazarus Gray Volume 13]. 

1944 – The Peregrine organizes a strike force composed of Revenant, Frankenstein’s Monster, Catalyst and Esper. The group is known as The Claws of the Peregrine and they take part in two notable adventures in this year: against the diabolical Mr. Dee and then later against an alliance between Doctor Satan and the Warlike Manchu [“The Diabolical Mr. Dee” and “A Plague of Wicked Men”, The Peregrine Volume Two]. Daredevil [Bart Hill] is recruited to join Assistance Unlimited [Lazarus Gray Volume 14] 

1946 – The Peregrine discovers that Adolph Hitler is still alive and has become a vampire in service to Dracula. In an attempt to stop the villains from using the Holy Lance to take over the world, the Peregrine allies with the Claws of the Peregrine, a time traveler named Jenny Everywhere, a thief called Belladonna and Leonid Kaslov. The villains are defeated and Max’s future is revealed to still be in doubt. Events shown from 2006 on are just a possible future. The Peregrine also has several encounters with a demonically powered killer known as Stickman. [“The Devil’s Spear,” The Peregrine Omnibus Volume Two]. The Peregrine encounters a madman named Samuel Garibaldi [aka Rainman] and his ally, Dr. Gottlieb Hochmuller. The Peregrine and his Claws team defeat the villainous duo and several new heroes join the ranks of the Claws team — Miss Masque, Black Terror & Tim and The Flame. [“The Ivory Machine,” The Peregrine Volume Two] 

1947 — The Peregrine and Lady Peregrine do battle with Dr. York once more, as the madman attempts to revive the elder gods. [“The Murder Mansion,” The Peregrine Volume 7] 

1948 — SIGIL [Supreme International Group for Illegal Liaisons] is formed out of the remnants of the Nazis and The Illuminati. [Assistance Unlimited: The Silver Age – Broken Empire]

1953 – The Peregrine acquires the Looking Glass from Lu Chang. [“Black Mass,” The Peregrine Volume One] 

1961 – Max’s son William becomes the second Peregrine. [“The Four Peregrines,” The Peregrine Volume Two] 

1964 – Mitchell Williams passes away from cancer. Charity Grace is invited to join Assistance Unlimited by her niece, Emily. [Gravedigger Volume Three]. Benjamin Falk, a former Secret Service Agent, is recruited into Assistance Unlimited. Alongside Emily Grace, Sato Shinji, Ezekiel Gray and Bart Hill, he assists in defeating an attempted Fourth Reich led by Marvin Levin and his clone army. Emily and Ezekiel then lead a battle with the forces of SIGIL [Supreme International Group for Illegal Liaisons] and a would-be god named Helios. [Assistance Unlimited: The Silver Age – Broken Empire] 

1967 – The second Peregrine battles and defeats the Warlike Manchu, who is in possession of the Mayan Tablet that Doctor Satan coveted in ’43. Evelyn Davies dies. [“The Four Peregrines,” The Peregrine Volume Two] 

1970 – William Davies [the second Peregrine] commits suicide by jumping from a Manhattan rooftop. Emma Davies [Max’s daughter and William’s sister] becomes the Peregrine one week later, in February. [“The Four Peregrines, ” The Peregrine Volume Two] 

1973 – The third Peregrine is accompanied by Kayla Kaslov [daughter of Leonid Kaslov] on a trip to Brazil, where the two women defeat the Black Annis and claim the Mayan Tablet that’s popped up over the course of three decades. Emma gives it to her father, who in turn passes it on to Catalyst [Nathaniel Caine] [“The Four Peregrines,” The Peregrine Volume Two] 

1977 – Project: Cicada is mothballed and both Nature Boy & Nature Girl are locked away in suspended animation. [Omnium Gatherum] 

~1985 – Max resumes operating as the Peregrine, adventuring sporadically. Due to various magical events, he remains far more active than most men his age. The reasons for Emma giving up the role are unknown at this time. 

2006 – The Black Mass Barrier rises, enveloping the world in a magical field. The World of Shadows merges with Earth. Fiona Grace [descended from Eobard] becomes a worldwide celebrity, partially due to her failure to stop the Black Mass Barrier. [“Black Mass,” The Peregrine Volume One]. An alien race known as Phantasma begins a stealth invasion of Earth. [Omnium Gatherum] 

2009 – Ian Morris meets Max Davies and becomes the new Peregrine. He meets Fiona Grace. Max dies at some point immediately following this. [“Black Mass,” The Peregrine Volume One] 

2010 – The Ian Morris Peregrine and Fiona Grace deal with the threat of Baron Samedi [“The Curse of Baron Samedi,” The Peregrine Volume Three]. Ian Morris briefly battles a confused Gideon Black in New York [The Second Book of Babylon] The Shining One murders actor Michael York [Omnium Gatherum] 

2011 – Gideon Black, Daniel Higgins, Jennifer Black, Topaz and Johnny Galahad become embroiled in a series of strange events in London. Jennifer temporarily becomes the host for the Spirit of Retribution and engages in a deadly war of wills with Damien, the son of Lucifer, and several of his agents, including The Furious and Dr. York. In the end, Daniel is restored to life and resumes his role as Babylon’s host. [The Second Book of Babylon]

2012 – The fourth Peregrine (Ian Morris) receives the Mayan Tablet from Catalyst, who tells him that the world will end on December 21, 2012 unless something is done. Using the tablet, Ian attempts to take control of the magic spell that will end the world. Aided by the spirits of the three previous Peregrines, he succeeds, though it costs him his life. He is survived by his lover [Fiona Grace] and their unborn child. Max Davies is reborn as a man in his late twenties and becomes the Peregrine again. [“The Four Peregrines,” The Peregrine Volume Two] 

2014 – The Black Mass Barrier falls and magic slowly begins to recede back to its pre-2006 levels. 

2019 – Lilith journeys to Atlanta where she teams with The Peregrine and Pam Shields to combat The Caretaker. [The Chronicles of Lilith] 

2020 – Sam Hain merges with Gwydion to form the Straw-Man. Together, they combat a series of threats, including The Midnight Goblin, Jupiter, Beltane, and Seraph. [The Adventures of the Straw-Man Volume One]

2021 – Nature Boy and Nature Girl are revived and become affiliated with E-Force, a team of enhanced young people that fight against the forces of Phantasma. Nature Boy and Nature Girl merge with Jimmy and Jazlyn Tompkins. [Omnium Gatherum] . Straw-Man continues to defend Grove’s Folly, battling the likes of the Grave Master, Rhiannon, and Ladybird. Straw-Man accepts honorary membership in the International Hero Corps, alongside Jupiter, Spook, Hush, and Thrud. [The Adventures of the Straw-Man Volume Two]

The Nature of Things…

I hope you’re sitting someplace comfortable because this might take awhile. It all started when I was working on the 13th volume of the Lazarus Gray series. I’ve always loved public domain characters and I was aware that Fawcett’s Marvel Family was partially in the public domain – you could do stories with them as long as you didn’t veer into trademark territory by naming them on the covers and so forth. I had the fun idea of having an amnesiac Billy Batson show up in Sovereign City, eventually remember his magic word, and become Captain Marvel… though I considered having him adopt a new name since most of his memories wouldn’t be restored. My longtime friend, Sorella Smith, had another idea — why not substitute the potentially troublesome Captain Marvel with another character that was far safer to use. She suggested that I look into Nature Boy, an old Charlton character that starred in Nature Boy issues 3-5 (1956). The series had some really early John Buscema artwork and featured a Nature Girl in a one-page appearance in issue 5, as well as a Nature Man in issue who may or may not have been an adult Nature Boy. The potential for a “Nature Family” was right there. I loved the idea, commissioned Gilberto Monsanto to do updated costumes for both Nature Boy and Nature Girl, and set to work bringing Nature Boy into volume 13. Nature Boy later returned in a novel I wrote called Omnium Gatherum and this time he brought Nature Girl with him. A lot of people thought they were twins so they were often referred to as such but in actually Nature Boy was the older of the two. This is how Nature Boy explained his origins in Omnium Gatherum, keeping in mind that all references to Sovereign City and Dorcas Rose were mine:

“My full name is David Crandall. I was the son of a wealthy family who, when lost at sea, was saved from drowning by the gods who rule each of the elements. They each gifted me with their powers – from Neptune, water; from Gusto, winds; from Fura, fire; from Eartha, earth; from Allura, love; from Azura, the skies; from Electra, electricity; and from Friga, ice. I was eventually returned to my family in Sovereign City and I became Nature Boy, using my powers to fight crime. In the early days, I had to ask the gods to let me use their abilities but later on, they drifted away and trusted me to do what was right. It wasn’t all good times, though – my father was badly injured by an evil woman named Dorcas Rose and my mother was never really the same after. Over time I found that I don’t age like other people do… so even though I’ve thought about changing my name to Nature Man a few times, it just never sticks!”

Now in the original comics Nature Girl’s true name was never given so I decided to call her Darla. This was her origin, as she explained in the same book. Note that this origin was all mine as she didn’t have an origin in the old comics:

“After his dad was hospitalized, his mom was looking for something to keep her and Davey going so they adopted me. At first, I didn’t know that David was sneaking out at night to play superhero but when I saw him crawling out his window one evening, I followed him and learned his secret. The gods decided to give me the same powers so I could help him! Because we look so similar, people often referred to us as the Nature Twins… but he’s really older than me, which I never let him forget!”

Simple enough, eh? Well, I’ve never been one to leave well enough alone so it was revealed that both Nature Boy and Nature Girl were actually products of the same experiments that developed the Black Terror and the British hero known as Intrepid. A scientist named James Anderson was to become an integral part of the Nature Twins’ story.

In 1932 he was brought onto a military project as a consultant. His speciality had been herbology and at first he couldn’t fathom why the United States government wanted or needed him for Top Secret work. 

Then he discovered that Uncle Sam was in the midst of trying to grow their own super-powered beings. In recent years, a number of masked vigilantes and well-known adventurers had captured the public’s attention and there were rumors that other nations were trying to create their own special agents of the same sort. Since all of the American-based heroes operated outside of government control, there were concerns about their trustworthiness and effectiveness – after all, men like Leonid Kaslov and The Peregrine had saved the nation’s bacon on many occasions… but Kaslov was a Russian and The Peregrine was deemed a loose cannon.

The process of making superhumans was mostly a theory when Anderson came aboard but it quickly became a reality. The idea was to take human cell tissue and bond it with plantlife, allowing them to grow pods that would contain an outwardly human being within. The pace of growth could be stimulated or slowed based upon the amount of hormones and sunlight that were given to the pods… and, more importantly of all, false memories could be implanted into the plant/human hybrids so that, for instance, they might remember having human parents, lovers, and more. 

The experiment had yielded a major success in 1934 with the ‘birth’ of a hybrid that believed itself to be a human being named Bob Benton. In Benton’s mind, he was a chemist that had discovered a compound he dubbed ‘formic ethers’ and became a costumed vigilante known as The Black Terror. He was even given memories of a fictitious girlfriend and kid sidekick, along with a strong patriotic nature. 

At first it had all gone perfectly: the Black Terror had been dispatched on one mission after another, smashing communist cells, bootleggers, and more, all in the name of the good ‘ol U.S.A. When he returned back to the plain, barely-furnished room that he lived in, he’d have a new set of updated, manufactured memories implanted — new dates he’d gone on with the fictitious Jean Starr, bonding experiences with his young ward, Tim Roland. It was all designed to give him the impression that he was a living, breathing man… and not simply a weapon to be rolled out when the time was right.

Eventually, however, The Black Terror uncovered the truth… and he fled from his government handlers. Encountering Lazarus Gray and his Assistance Unlimited team, the hybrid joined them and remained with them for several years, even aiding them in 1937 when they encountered another rogue creation of the American superhuman program: a madman dubbed Titan. In the aftermath, Bob Benton used the technology that had been used to create him to make ‘real’ versions of Jean Starr and Tim Roland, implanting them with memories to ensure their similarity to the ‘people’ he had known. 

In 1938 the English equivalent was unveiled – a modern knight in shining armor known as Intrepid. Unlike the American versions, this one proved loyal and true. Wielding his sword (which the public believed to be the legendary Excalibur), the original Intrepid defended England well into the early 1960s. 

It was 1943 before the United States had its first loyal test subject… and it came about after Anderson and the entire project had come under the auspices of Project: Cicada, a shadowy government agency that was American’s answer to the Nazi’s Occult Forces Project, which had produced dozens of superpowered agents. Cicada had divisions dedicated to occultism, mentalism, and every known branch of parapsychology… which led to some effective cross-pollination. One division had found the remains of an alien being several years before and it had been Anderson’s idea to mix that DNA into the cocktail used to create the Black Terror and Titan. 

What emerged from this was a young man with an almost godlike-aura of goodness that surrounded him. With implanted memories of having been granted powers over nature by a plethora of gods (some of whom bore rather silly names in Anderson’s opinion), Nature Boy was released on his first mission towards the end of the year. Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t have been worse as a strange alignment of the stars wreaked havoc with Nature Boy’s implanted memories and for a brief time he wandered Sovereign City as an amnesiac. After teaming with Assistance Unlimited to save the city from a reborn Egyptian pharaoh named Rama-Memnon, Nature Boy was returned to the Project’s control. 

He was pure of heart and eager to please but this led to some problems – he was not suited for certain missions because of his morals. When some people wanted to try and change his personality, Anderson had stepped in and protected the boy. In fact, he urged Project: Cicada to create other agents for those darker jobs… they should embrace Nature Boy for what he was: a loyal and heroic young man with tremendous power. There was something innately divine in Nature Boy and Anderson couldn’t help but wonder if this was because of the myth they’d spun in the boy’s false memories or if it stemmed from the alien DNA that was part of the proverbial soup from which David had sprung.

Anderson won the fight and was given control over the Nature Boy project. The first thing he did was create a sister for him, a Nature Girl, that would only solidify his feelings of loyalty to the program. The so-called Nature Twins were trustworthy agents of the American Government well into the 1970s… when changing politics resulted in Project:Cicada being shut down. Both Nature Boy and Nature Girl were designated for disposal but Anderson hid them away in suspended animation at an abandoned Cicada lab… and that’s where they remained until 2021 when they were awakened by a couple of teenagers, Jazlyn and Jimmy Tompkins. The Nature Twins were reunited with Prof. Anderson and aided a group known as E-Force in repelling an alien invasion. What the future holds for the good-natured duo is unknown.

My Year in Review

We’re nearing the end of 2021 and while it was much better than the past few years, it was still a stressful one. On the plus side, my mental and physical health are greatly improved. On the negative side, I lost my mom this year and I continue to sometimes make poor life choices (for those that don’t know, I struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder).

Publishing-wise, we saw the release of both The Sword of Hel and The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Ten. I also wrote Lazarus Gray volume 14, a short story starring the public domain character Auro, a novel titled Omnium Gatherum, the first Straw-Man volume, and I’m very close to finishing a second. So it was a good year, writing-wise.

I also rebooted the website – which has been a big success in my eyes. I’ve continued to podcast with my BFF LaToya Davidson-Perez on In the Stacks and I became the co-host of a podcast dedicated to the actors Johnny Depp and Tom Hiddleston (Deppheads & Hiddlestoners).

Hopefully next year will see several more releases from Reese Unlimited and continued improvements in my personal life. Hope all of you have a great New Year’s Eve and a terrific beginning to 2022!