Ever feel like you don’t know enough about the pulp heroes and characters you love? Maybe you don’t even know some of the best characters at all? Well, ALL PULP is kicking off its effort to make sure that your lack of education is never our fault! This column, appearing once to twice weekly, will turn attention to a particular character, providing images as well as answers by the creators/handlers of said character or maybe , even sometimes by the characters themselves…hmmm… and to kick off this fantastic endeavor, it is time you met author Barry Reese’s
1. The Rook’s secret identity is…?
The Rook is actually Max Davies, a wealthy philanthropist who moved from Boston to Atlanta in 1935. He is active in a number of charities and still retains some ownership in various newspapers founded by his father, Warren Davies
2. In five sentences or less, The Rook’s origin is…?
Max’s father was a crusader who used his newspapers to rail against corruption in local government. This made him a target for criminals, who eventually executed him in front of his eight-year-old son. Warren returned from the grave to haunt Max, sending him visions of crimes that were yet to occur. Driven to stop these crimes from happening, Max traveled the world as a youth, mastering all known forms of combat and a number of scientific disciplines. As The Rook, he’s had a love/hate relationship with his father’s ghost, whom he feels has manipulated him into becoming a living weapon of Warren’s vengeance.
3. The Rook’s first appearance was…?
The Rook first appeared in a story titled “Lucifer’s Cage.” This was originally published in a limited edition but was eventually reprinted in The Rook Volume One, published by Wild Cat Books.
4. The Rook’s most recent appearance was…?
The Rook Volume Five was just released in the last week and features four stories: The Diabolical Mr. Dee, A Plague of Wicked Men, The Devil’s Spear and The Ivory Machine.
5. The 5 most important people in the Rook’s life are…?
The Rook has many allies in his war on crime but the most important are: Evelyn Gould Davies, his wife and confidante; Will McKenzie, Atlanta’s police chief and a frequent adventuring companion of The Rook; Leonid Kazlov, the Russian superman who has joined The Rook on numerous death-defying exploits; Warren Davies, Max’s ghostly advisor and mentor – Warren has apparently been removed from the scene for good on several occasions but always manages to return; and Max’s two children (William & Emma).
6. The 3 top villains the Rook has faced are…?
The Rook has appeared in nearly thirty stories to this point so he’s faced quite a few dastardly types but the worst of the lost have been The Warlike Manchu and Doctor Satan. The Warlike Manchu is an Oriental mastermind who was also once The Rook’s sensei. After revealing the depths of his evil to The Rook, The Warlike Manchu offered the hero a chance to rule his empire at his side. Max refused and the two have been bitter enemies ever since. Doctor Satan, the classic pulp villain, first bedeviled The Rook in The Bleeding Hells but he’s returned multiple times since then.
7. The Rook likes…?
His wife, gala balls held at his old plantation home outside Atlanta and quiet Saturdays with the kids.
8. The Rook dislikes…?
Villains who want to rule the world; the Cthulhu Mythos and people who don’t know the difference between you’re and your. Okay, that last one is really me but I don’t think The Rook cares for it, either.
9. Existing characters the Rook has met/had a crossover with include…?
Tons. Over the course of The Rook Chronicles, he’s teamed up with: The Black Bat, Ascott Keane, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Black Terror & Tim, Miss Masque, The Flame, Ki-Gor, Sherlock Holmes, The Green Lama and The Domino Lady.
10. The Rook’s greatest fear is…?
That one of his enemies will strike at his family.
11. The Rook’s favorite food is…?
Max is basically a steak and potatoes kind of guy but he did spend several years in Paris, so he has a fondness for French cuisine, as well.
12. If the Rook couldn’t be there to save the day, the person he’d pick to take his place is…?
13. Free-for-all-Say anything, in ten sentences or less, you want about your character. That would be…?
The Rook is an homage to all my favorite adventure heroes – take a little bit of Doc Savage, sprinkle in some Shadow, toss liberally with Indiana Jones with a dash of Batman and Nexus… and you have The Rook. I’ve completed a novel where The Rook crosses paths with the Nazi Doc Savage, Sun Koh and that should appear sometime in 2011. Down the road, I also have plans for The Rook to team up with my Sovereign City Project hero, Lazarus Gray.
14. Links for more of the Rook include…?
You can find a timeline of his adventures at my official website: http://www.barryreese.net Be warned, though – the timeline contains spoilers!