The Black Terror

The Black Terror is a character that dates all the way back to Exciting Comics # 9, published in January 1941 by Nedor Comics. His secret identity was pharmacist Bob Benton, who formulated a chemical he called “formic ethers”, which gave him various superpowers. He used these powers to fight crime with his sidekick, Tim Roland, together known as the “Terror Twins”. The character proved popular enough to survive until 1949 and his distinctive costume made for some truly memorable covers. After the Golden Age, the character eventually fell into the public domain – which led to a whole host of publishers reviving him for various projects. Over the years, he’s appeared in books published by AC, Eclipse, Wild Cat, Image, Moonstone and, of course, the Reese Unlimited imprint of Pro Se Press. I first wrote the character for Wild Cat back in 2008 as part of a book called Legends of the Golden Age and later used him in a couple of stories for The Peregrine. More recently, I’ve gone further back into his continuity to incorporate him into my Lazarus Gray stuff. Because his “later” appearances were written first there are a few discrepancies in how he’s portrayed.

In my universe, we first see The Black Terror in 1934 and learn that he’s the creation of a United States military operation overseen by General Arbogast and a scientist named Kenneth Butler. The Black Terror was, in fact, a plant-human hybrid — he had literally been grown in a tube. His memories (all the “facts” from the Golden Age comics) were implants designed to create a backstory that would make him a better soldier for the United States government — Jean Starr was there to give him a woman to fight to get back to and Tim gave him a sense of family. Neither actually existed, except in his own mind. When Bob found out the truth, he broke free and went rogue — but his programming was strong enough that he decided to continue fighting as The Black Terror. In 1936, this led him to Sovereign City in search of a man named Maxwell Schmidt. The German was running Omega Solutions. In conjunction with another product of the same government program that created The Black Terror — a man named McIness that was codenamed Titan – Schmidt hoped to transform himself into an entity dubbed Prometheus. In the end, Schmidt died for his hubris and The Black Terror was forced to kill Titan, the only other entity like him in the world. When all was said and done, The Black Terror used the technology that had created him to grow versions of Jean and Tim — he implanted similar memories into their minds and gave them life. All of this was recounted in “Making of a Hero” from Lazarus Gray Volume Two.

The next time we see Bob is in 1938, nearly two years after the previous story. The Black Terror was now well-known as a scourge of the underworld and this brought him into conflict with two superhuman criminals: The White Worm and Cassandra, the witch. During the events dubbed Gotterdammerung, The Black Terror confronted these two and learned that something greater — and more dangerous — was at play. Bob didn’t have much of a role in the affair beyond that. This was shown in the Gotterdammerung novel.

Three months after this (still in 1938), Bob is approached by Assistance Unlimited and offered a spot with the team. With Tim’s encouragement, he accepts and begins splitting his time between an apartment he shares with his young ward and a bedroom at 6196 Robeson Avenue. Jean gets a job as secretary to the new Sovereign mayor, Mortimer Quinn. Bob becomes the team’s scientific expert and also serves as the muscle in most battles. He forms close friendships with the team though he struggles with Eun’s homosexuality. Over the course of 1938 and 1939, The Black Terror aids Assistance Unlimited in battles against Princess Femi, The Librarian, Nemesis, Mr. Death, The Torch, Heidi Von Sinn and El Demonio. These stories are told in Lazarus Gray Volumes 6 & 7.

The Black Terror’s growing penchant for violence leads to him spending more and more time with his teammate, Eidolon. The duo begin sneaking away throughout 1939 and 1940, conducting their own crime–busting exploits. This eventually leads to Lazarus Gray drawing a line in the sand and demanding that they follow his rules about violence — The Black Terror agrees but Eidolon quits the team at this point. Later in 1940, The Black Terror encounters a woman known as The Golden Amazon and the two are highly attracted to one another but when push comes to shove, Bob remains faithful to Jean. Not long after, The Black Terror joined The Fighting Yank, The Golden Amazon and Olga Mesmer in forming a Manhattan-based team known as The Heroes (late 1941). The Heroes are considered a spinoff organization of Assistance Unlimited and Bob began splitting his time between Manhattan and Sovereign. The Heroes are known to have battled Doctor Satan and Lady Satan before uniting with the rest of Assistance Unlimited to battle Phasma in early 1942. All of these tales are depicted in The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volumes 8, 9 and 10. The Black Terror was also a stalwart member of Assistance Unlimited during their battles against Woland, The Puzzler, and a revived Doctor Satan (Volumes 11 and 12).

During all of this, Tim often accompanies his mentor on adventures and the two (dubbed “The Terror Twins” by the press) develop a reputation beyond Assistance Unlimited.

In 1943 Bob is asked by Project: Cicada to go on a mission behind enemy lines – he confronts a Nazi scientist that is trying to recreate the Formic Ethers (“Terrors,” The Peregrine Omnibus Volume Two). While this is happening, Tim is approached by The Flame and Madame Masque – they say they need his help with some sort of emergency and he departs with them (“The Ivory Machine,” The Peregrine Omnibus Volume Two and retold in slightly different fashion in The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 12).  Once Bob finds out that Tim has gone missing, he becomes more violent in his dealings with criminals and is briefly wanted by the authorities for his actions – he breaks off his association with Assistance Unlimited during this period, as he is obsessed with finding his partner. He is finally reunited with Tim in 1946 and aids The Claws of the Peregrine team (along with The Flame and Madame Masque) in defeating the threat of Rainman and Dr. Gottlieb Hochmuller (“The Ivory Machine, The Peregrine Omnibus Volume Two). In the aftermath, Bob and Tim are offered a place with the Peregrine’s Claws team and they agree to aid them when possible.

Bob next appears in 1964 where he’s serving as chief chemist for the now global version of Assistance Unlimited – though we don’t know the exact circumstances, they’ve obviously reconciled in the years since he left the group. We learn that The Black Terror adventured throughout the late Forties and most of the Fifties. It’s revealed that Tim has recently become the new Black Terror though it’s also stated that Bob occasionally still dons the costume to get in some action. No mention of Jean is given at this time.

I really like my version of Bob — he’s a solid, steadfast hero that occasionally gives in to his baser instincts. He’s sometimes troubled by his non-human origins but he’s too well-adjusted to dwell upon them.

Outstanding mysteries – Did he ever have any follow-up encounters with the agency that created him? What becomes of Jean after 1946? It should be noted that the Tim of 1946 doesn’t look much different than the Tim of 1936, implying that these plant-human hybrids may not age the same as normal humans – indeed, the Bob Benton of 1964 is described as still being quite youthful looking but it is suggested that Tim has finally moved into what appears to be adulthood. Also, The Black Terror of 1946 doesn’t seem very familiar with The Peregrine, despite the fact that Assistance Unlimited and The Peregrine were allies. Is it possible that The Black Terror we saw in the 1946 story (and possibly the 1943 one) is actually a second version, grown at a later point? Or is it simply a case of an author writing stories out of sequence and screwing up?

Only time will tell!

Our artwork today was produced by Anthony Castrillo and was commissioned by yours truly.

Frankenstein’s Monster…

Frankenstein’s Monster was, of course first seen in Mary Shelley’s classic. In the Reese Unlimited universe, he ended up frozen, entering a state of suspended animation. He remained in this state from the 18th century until 1943, when he was revived by the villainous Doctor Satan. Satan promised to heal the monster’s scarred visage but he actually used him to locate a hidden land called Vorium. In my universe, he was described as, “…nearly eight feet tall, with translucent yellow skin that barely hid the veins and muscles underneath. The stranger had watery, glowing eyes, flowing black hair, dark-tinged lips and white teeth. Birthed quite literally from death itself, the sorrowful monster had no name other than ‘the Creature.’”

After being betrayed by Satan, the creature ended up meeting Max Davies, the Peregrine. They agreed to work alongside one another to prevent Satan from stealing Vorium’s power sources. After they succeeded at this, the creature decided to adopt the name Vincent for himself.

In 1944, the Peregrine organized a strike force composed of Revenant, Frankenstein’s Monster, Catalyst and Esper. The group was known as The Claws of the Peregrine and they took part in two notable adventures in this year: a battle against the diabolical Mr. Dee and then later against an alliance between Doctor Satan and the Warlike Manchu.

In 1946, a pair of villains named Samuel Garibaldi [aka Rainman] and Dr. Gottlieb Hochmuller united — the Claws of the Peregrine teamed up with several other heroes to put a stop to them.

After this adventure, we don’t know what became of Vincent… not until he made a brief appearance in 2024! At that point, the sensitive giant was seen alongside Nature Boy, Nature Girl, Jennifer Black, the Peregrine, and Fear Devil in helping to rescue a catpured Dark Society. Will we eventually discover what happened in the missing 80 years, between 1946 and 2024? And what happens after that? Will he end up becoming a Dark Society member?

Only time will tell.

Our header image is by George Sellas. The one at the bottom is by Will Meugniot.

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.

The Dark Society

While I try to be relatively spoiler-free, there ARE some slight spoilers to be found here – so read on at your own risk!

As with many things that are supernatural, the origins of the Dark Society had their roots in Grove’s Folly, the sleepy hamlet located just down the road from Sovereign City. Grove’s Folly is chiefly famous for two things: its massive Pumpkin Festival held every Halloween and the fact that it was host to one of the bloodiest — and most unusual — battles of the American Revolutionary War.

In recent years, a viral video of the cryptid known as the Straw-Man has given Grove’s Folly a new revenue stream: a surge in tourism related to monster and ghost hunters. Though few know that the city was built atop an open pit to Hell (known as a Hellmouth), the arrival of the Straw-Man has coincided with a number of supernatural sightings and events. The Straw-Man (in actually a gestalt being formed of a young local man named Samuel Hain and Gwydion fab Dôn, a magician, hero and trickster of Welsh mythology) also kicked off a new generation of heroes within the area. In addition to the Straw-Man, several other heroes frequented the area to team up with the Straw-Man or, in some cases, to fight him: Jupiter, Catalyst, Singularity, and the American Crusader.

When a cult attempted to use the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to open portals to both Heaven and Hell in an attempt to bring about the supposed end of days, a collection of heroes came together to oppose this plan. In addition to the heroes named above, Geist, Babylon, and Calavera journeyed to Geneva. In the end, the group saved the world — but at great cost: Babylon was seemingly destroyed in the conflict. In the aftermath, the team swore to come together again if needed.

All of the above is depicted in The Dark Society Book One: Calavera.

Later in the same year, the Dark Society established a headquarters in Romania. It was dubbed The Dark House. They were soon caught up in the machinations of August Messenger, who sought the resurrection of Cthulhu. The Society teamed up with The Peregrine for the adventure, which is shown in The Dark Society Book Two: August Messenger.

If you want more information about the individual members of the team, follow the links to roleplaying game writeups of each — and be on the lookout for the Dark Society tomes, which should be released after the first three Straw-Man titles are released.

Our art is by Gilbert Monsanto.

Timeline of the Reese Unlimited Universe – Updated 12/23/2022

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 12/23/2022

August Messenger (Icons Writeup)

August Messenger
aka Nyarlathotep

Prowess 4
Coordination 4
Strength 8
Intellect 5
Awareness 7
Willpower 7

Stamina 15

*Magic 8 (Mastery: Blast, Affliction, Extrasensory Perception, Mind Control, Regeneration, Transformation – Humanoids)
*Immortality 2
*Damage Resistance 5

Occult (Expert +3 bonus)

*The Crawling Chaos
*God of a Thousand Forms
*Messenger of the Elder Gods


In his first appearance in “Nyarlathotep” (1920), he is described as a “tall, swarthy man” who resembles an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. In this story he wanders the Earth, seemingly gathering legions of followers, the narrator of the story among them, through his demonstrations of strange and seemingly magical instruments. These followers lose awareness of the world around them, and through the narrator’s increasingly unreliable accounts, the reader gets an impression of the world’s collapse. Fritz Leiber proposes three interpretations of the character based on this appearance: the universe’s mockery of man’s attempts to understand it; a negative view of the commercial world, represented by Nyarlathotep’s self-promotion and contemptuous attitude; and man’s self-destructive rationality.

Nyarlathotep subsequently appears as a major character in The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (1926/27), in which he again manifests in the form of an Egyptian pharaoh when he confronts protagonist Randolph Carter. Leiber describes Nyarlathotep as “evilly intelligent” in this story, in contrast to the mindless Azathoth, his master.

In “The Dreams in the Witch House” (1933), Nyarlathotep appears to Walter Gilman and witch Keziah Mason (who has made a pact with the entity) in the form of “the ‘Black Man’ of the witch-cult”, a black-skinned avatar of the Devil described by witch hunters. Although inhuman, some characters mistake him as a human of African descent, though his facial features are described as Caucasian.

Finally, in “The Haunter of the Dark” (1936), the nocturnal, tentacled, bat-winged monster dwelling in the steeple of the Starry Wisdom sect’s church is identified as another manifestation of Nyarlathotep. This avatar cannot tolerate light.

Lovecraft suggests that the fake Henry Akeley that appears at the end of The Whisperer in Darkness (1930) is also Nyarlathotep. In the story, the Mi-Go chant his name in reverential tones, stating “To Nyarlathotep, Mighty Messenger, must all things be told. And he shall put on the semblance of man, the waxen mask and the robes that hide, and come down from the world of Seven Suns to mock.”

In the Reese Unlimited universe, Nyarlathotep took on the form of “Mr. Black” when commissioning Felix Cole to aid in the creation of The Great Work (“The Great Work,” The Family Grace: An Extraordinary History)

Nyarlathotep later appeared before The Peregrine several times in the late 1930s before his physical form was finally dispatched. His heart was then used by the Peregrine to fashion his ring, with which he would brand the foreheads of criminals. (The Peregrine Omnibus Volume One)

As August Messenger, he battled the Dark Society and the Peregrine in the early 21st century – a plot that involved the near destruction of the earth. (Dark Society Book Two: August Messenger). This version of Nyarlathotep was crafty and capable of being almost charming but he was also a devout sadist.

The Peregrine – Modern Version (Icons Writeup)

The Peregrine
Created by Barry Reese, Copyright Pro Se Productions

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

Stamina 11

*Telekinesis 4
*Telepathy 4
*Precognition 6 (Limit: Uncontrolled)
*Modified Pistols 5 (Extra: Burst)
*Protective Suit – Damage Resistance 5
*Knife of Elohim – Strike 4 (Extra: Against enemies that are of a supernatural origin, it does Strike 6; Extra: Glows in the presence of evil)
*Gadgets 4

Athletics, Business (Expert +2 bonus), Drive, Investigation (Expert +2 bonus), Leadership, Martial Arts (Expert +2 bonus), Medicine – First Aid, Occult (Expert +2 bonus), Pilot, Sleight of Hand (Expert +2 bonus), Stealth, Weapons (Expert +2 bonus), Wrestling

*Way older than he looks
*Where the good is swallowed by the dark, there the Peregrine plants his mark!
*This reminds me of when I fought so-and-so back in the old days…


The Peregrine is actually Max Davies, born in the year 1900. Max was the only child of Warren and Margaret Davies, two of Boston’s most prominent citizens. Margaret was the heiress to a vast fortune while Warren had earned every cent of his own money, founding a publishing company that now included three newspapers, two magazines and even a line of encyclopedias. When Warren and Margaret had met by chance at a charity function, it had been love at first sight. They’d courted for just over six months before Warren proposed to her. Max had been born two years into their marriage, a healthy baby boy who had charmed all who knew him. His ever-present smile had brightened the spirits of his parents, who genuinely considered themselves the luckiest people alive. But there were dangers lurking on the periphery of their happy lives. Warren had become increasingly disturbed at the graft and corruption surrounding them. Taking the editorial reigns of one of his newspapers, he’d launched a blistering series of articles detailing the problems facing the city and the manner in which elected officials had sold themselves to the mob. Death threats and harassment did not deter Warren Davies from his pursuit of the truth and his wife adored him all the more for it.

Their enemies he had made finally tired of the game, however, hiring a gang led by a cold-blooded killer named Ted Grossett to deal with the crusading Davies. Grossett eventually gunned down Warren Davies, murdering him in front of his 8-year old son, Max. After the death of his father, Max watched helplessly as his mother slowly began to waste away, heartbroken. Max fell into the care of a kindly but emotionally distant uncle, who was unaware that Max had begun to experience painful visions of the future, usually revolving around crimes yet to occur. Max eventually began taking steps to try and prevent these crimes, hoping to prevent others from suffering as his family had.

Realizing that he had to better himself, Max had taken off as soon as he’d turned eighteen. He’d spent time in Kyoto, in Tibet and in France, amongst a dozen other places. He’d become a master in various sciences and in the killing arts… and the painful visions had kept coming. For a time he studied under a Sensei who also called himself the Warlike Manchu. When it became clear that Manchu wanted Max to become heir to his criminal empire, Max fled, earning his master’s hatred.

Max later fashioned the Peregrine identity to keep his friends and lovers safe from harm. Let the denizens of the dark fear the masked vigilante known as the Peregrine, allowing Max to have some semblance of a normal life.

After years of travel, Max returned to the United States and became a member of the Nova Alliance, an adventurer’s guild based out of Boston. The Peregrine became a prominent figure in the city, reports of his nocturnal exploits dominating the headlines. But Max had become sloppy in protecting his identity and whispers became to circulate that the son of Warren Davies might be more than he appeared to be. When the Peregrine had made an appearance at a New Year’s Eve bash in Max’s own penthouse, police commissioner Croft had seen enough – he wanted answers.

Max evaded the questions as best he could and took off to Colorado, where he was once again prompted by painful visions to take action against a local killer. Max fled one more time, this time settling in an old plantation house outside Atlanta… and the sense that his world was slowly crumbling began to overwhelm him. In Atlanta, a reckless Peregrine fell in love with B-movie and stage actress Evelyn Gould and became embroiled in an affair known as Lucifer’s Cage. During this, he learned that the painful visions of the future came from an outside source: his dead father, who had sought to mold his son into a force against evil. Angry with his father, Max nevertheless came to an uneasy true with him and began experimenting with other mental powers he possessed: telekinesis, telepathy and more. All are difficult to use but are available to him if necessary.

Max and Evelyn married and she began to sometimes accompany him on missions They eventually had two children: a boy named William (named after his close friend, police chief Will McKenzie), and a daughter named Emma.

Beginning in the late 1940s, Max led a team called The Claws of the Peregrine. He often worked in a supervisory capacity, leaving the team to operate independently. The core membership consisted of Catalyst (Nathaniel Caine), Esper, the Revenant, and Frankenstein’s Monster, though other heroes drifted in and out of the group.

Max adventured as the Peregrine into the late 1960s when William took over the role. Unfortunately, William began a descent into drugs and depression that ended with his suicide. Emma adopted the Peregrine persona in the Seventies but retired from the role in the mid-1980s, at which point Max resumed his nocturnal activities. In 2009, Max passed the mask on to a man named Ian Morris shortly before he died. Morris carried on the legacy until 2012 when he sacrificed himself to prevent the apocalypse — during this process, Max was reborn as a man in his mid-Twenties. As of 2022, Max operates as the Peregrine once more, pretending to be his own great-grandson.

This physical description of Max comes from Lucifer’s Cage: “He was a handsome man, with a slightly olive complexion and dark green eyes. He was trim, with a swimmer’s athletic build, and seemed exceptionally poised and collected” Unlike in his younger days, the Peregrine nows wears a form-fitting uniform based on the one that Ian Morris used.

Lilith Gets A New Review!

Longtime reader Ray Bara has posted a new review of The Chronicles of Lilith on He gave the book 5 stars and titled his review “Another Wonderful Barry Reese Romp!” Here’s his full review:

“Another epic Barry Reese novel. He never fails to deliver a great tale. I love the Lilith character and would love to see more of her. My only complaint about this story, and it’s a small one, is that I would’ve liked to see more of Lilith’s Crimson Ladies. I feel they are big part of what makes Lilith interesting. More of them would’ve made the book even more interesting. I also loved the way Reese brought in an old favorite character, very ingenious! All in all, a great adventure. Go read it!”

Thanks, Ray! Sorry you didn’t feel we got to see enough of the Crimson Ladies. I definitely agree that they’re a key ingredient in the Lilith recipe. Since this was Lilith’s first solo book, I did want to keep the emphasis on her as much as possible but if there are future volumes, I’m sure we’ll explore more of the Crimson Ladies. Glad you enjoyed the guest appearance by Max Davies 🙂

The image accompanying this post is of actress Mia Goth.

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