STARHAWK STORM OVER SATURN BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 2004.

The evil fleet from Hell has been defeated. Now Hawk Hunter has to continue his fight against the Fourth Empire. The empire is in a state of open civil war. Both sides the Space Forces and the Solar Guard are gathering their forces. The empress who gave her life to disable the Big Generator that powers the entire galaxy has caused weird power outages known as blinks. The Solar Guard who has control of the generator on Earth are attempting to alter it so only they can receive power. This will give them complete control of the galaxy or at worse damage the generator beyond repair. This would plunge the galaxy into the dark ages. There is also word that the SG are planning to launch a XWMD (Extreme Weapon of Mass Destruction) on the rebel forces. The only one who can help is another man from the past that came with the ancient astronaut to form the Third Empire. A mad Russian that has built an amusement park on the moons of Saturn.

This dizzylando as it’s called is where Hunter must go to find him. Using an outdated matter transport device, Hunter is soon caught up in this crazy amusement park. First is Adventureland where he is Buck Gordon who with Dr. Zoloff and his daughter Anne have to rescue Anne’s fiancĂ© from the dungeon of Ping the Pontificator. A crazy adventure with rockets on strings, wingmen and fishmen. Then he finds himself in the House of Horrors. Hunter is thrust back to WWIII and flying missions in an F-16 against the invading Russians. Only on this ride he finds out his weapons are useless, and the Americans are the cowardly and demoralized foes in the face of the invaders. Then it is Dreamland where Hunter is taken to New York and with Anne goes to a rock concert. The Land of the Lost which consists of endless socks that are missing one of the pair in front of a washing/dryer machine. Hunter didn’t get the joke, do you?

It continues to a world in war where two Nazi armies are battling for a castle called Valhalla. Inside the prize is a picture of Hitler in a dress. Then a trip with a Spetsnaz commando group infiltrating Area 51 to steal alien technology. Finally in the western land he meets the mad Russian who turns out to be Dr. Zoloff from the first ride. He does know the secret to stopping the Solar Guard, but their agents show up to torture it out of him. Luckily Hunter manages to defeat them, and they take off in a ship to destroy the saucer that the SG has launched to destroy the rebels.

The final book in the series and if I though it couldn’t get any weirder, I was wrong. This was one crazy ride. Also, a very interesting book as Maloney’s usually are. The whole strange amusement park was a totally unexpected idea which you have to love about his stories. It does end with the hanging threads of defeating the empire. A new enemy named Victorix who I assume to be the reincarnation of the evil Victor was now in charge of the SG and had Hunter’s Flying Machine. I have to admit that his whole attempt to reinvent the Wingman into a space opera was while interesting was nowhere near as enjoyable as the original premise.

Anyway, we never find out what happens to Hunter in the far future of the 73rd century but that is not the end of Hawk Hunter’s story.

STARHAWK BATTLE AT ZERO POINT BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 2003.

Hawk Hunter and the United Planets Fleet escaped destruction by going to Heaven. Now this fleet plans to return to the fight. Yet something evil has also resulted when the fleet went to Heaven. It also opened a door to Hell and the opposing Solar Guard REF fleet went there. Now they have returned with their ships and uniforms a blood red. They seek to cause death and destruction. The first thing they do is execute a Space Force spy. This causes the two branches of the empire the Space Force and Solar Guard to openly fight one another. It looks as though the empire is now in a civil war.

Hawk must find allies. His search brings him to the seventh arm. There he finds the ancient astronaut. A NASA astronaut from the twentieth century. He is immortal and was brought forward to fight evil. He succeeded in forming the benevolent Third Empire. Yet through some unexplained reason the remnants of the Third Empire were exiled to the seventh arm. He recognizes the evil of the Hell fleet and releases the forces of the Third Empire. Hunter races to Point Zero where the fleet will entire this universe. He has to fight the evil SG Hell fleet that is waiting for the fleet. A big final battle that happens every 1 billion years between good and evil.

This was a very weird book. Not that it wasn’t interesting. But it was a very weird book. We get introduced to this big battle between demons and angels. The SG fleet crew turns into demons bent on sadist death and destruction. The UPF fleet that goes to Heaven has its crew turn into angels. The story becomes this whole biblical battle. All the others that went to Heaven when they come back turn into these superpowered angels. Plus, we find out that an astronaut from the twentieth century was brough forward just like Hunter to fight the coming evil. Naturally Hunter and his super-fast flying machine that can travel like a million light years a second destroys most of the fleet single-handedly. As I say a weird book but still very interesting.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Well, another Christmas has come. Haven’t heard from me lately because I got Covid last week. I had plans to do reading on this holiday but didn’t really feel like it. Am a lot better and next year should continue my blogging. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

STARHAWK THE FOURTH EMPIRE BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 2002.

Hawk Hunter has found the lost peoples of Earth. Now he has united them into a force called the United Planets Force. He starts to take this army down the two arm with the goal of eventually reaching Earth. Along the way he discovers some ancient mind rings that reveal the tragic history of the empires. That in the twenty-first century three brothers who were IRA terrorists are revived by aliens. Given advanced knowledge the first Emperor Jimmy is a benevolent leader who founds the first empire. Then his evil brother Michael is brough back and forms the second empire. A revolt brings the third brother O’Nay to the throne. He betrays the people of Earth and exiles them to the prison system outside the galaxy.

This was a fascinating story. Especially the rise of the empires. It starts out with Hunter and his forces having an easy time defeating the Solar Guards. Only the SG comes back with a vengeance, and it looks like the UPF are defeated. Only the princess Zara manages to deliver technology that transports the rebel fleet to what is essentially Heaven. Maloney keeps his stories interesting.

STARHAWK PLANET AMERICA BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 2001.

Hawk Hunter has deserted from the Empire’s forces. With two friends he searches for clues to his past. After some adventures fighting various space pirates, destroying a Deathstar and rescuing two thousand women he finds what he is looking for. A way to the Home Systems. A computer program transports him and his friends to Planet America. This planet is just like America in the twentieth century. Only it is a small planet consisting of just the American continent. You can travel by speedboat from L.A. to New York.

Hunter and friends are eventually captured and find that the CIA are the ancient keepers of knowledge on this world. They know that periodically their world has been destroyed in some post-apocalypse events. Hunter finds out that Planet America is one of 35 worlds orbiting a sun located just outside the Milky Way. Each planet consists of a nation of Earth. The rightful inhabitants of Earth were deported and moved to what was in essence a giant prison camp. The whole system is in a time bubble that slows down time. They are also guarded by a million-man mercenary army known as the Bad Moon Knights. Located on Moon 39 they monitor the planets for signs of them developing space travel. When a planet does, they invade and destroy it back to the stone age. Planet France just recently launched a rocket and was invaded. Hunter now has to organize an army and with his super F-16 manages to defeat the BMK.

The second book in the series really picks up the story. It starts out goofy with the first chapter basically a reenactment of the first Star Wars only Hunter just easily destroys the Deathstar in seconds and saves the day. After some more goofy adventures he winds-up on what seems to be twentieth century America. Only the planet is a bit off. It keeps you wondering what the hell is going on. Yet we find out that Earth was conquered, and the original inhabitants were put on an elaborate prison system. Now Hunter has to find out who did this and lead the Home Planets in a war to retake the Earth. A really unique and fascinating story.

STARHAWK BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 2001

The year is 7200 and the galaxy is ruled by the Fourth Empire. A ship crashes on Fools 6 and the two survivors are rescued by a mysterious man. Hawk Hunter has no memory of his past life. He found himself on this isolated planet and built a ship using parts from crashed vessels. Erx and Berx the two survivors never seen such a man or his odd ship. Yet it is the fastest thing they ever saw. When an empire ship comes to rescue them, they tell the captain who decides to draft Hunter and enter him in the Earth Race. This race held once a year is a very prestigious event. Hunter and his ship easily win it and receives a promotion in the Empire. He has an exploration ship and heads off to the five arm. There he helps the moon of Zazu-Zazu from being wiped out by mysterious attackers. At the end he finds clues to his origin from the Freedom Brigade mercenaries that were wiped out.

This has to be the wildest reboot of a series I ever saw. Maloney changed his whole Wingman series into a space opera science fiction. He mysteriously gets transported to this future with no memory. He manages to rebuild his F-16 into a super advanced spaceship with old parts from a Keon Bombardment cruiser. How he accomplished this? Don’t know. You just have to go with the fact that Hunter is the most brilliant man that ever existed.

The book is actually a fun read. He creates this vast empire with its intrigues and goofy ass technology. I think it really works for Maloney’s style of writing. He can just make up all kinds of bullshit and past it off as futuristic. Despite the setting it is still basically a Wingman book. He still has his trusty F-16. He can basically do the impossible and is the greatest pilot that ever lived. It you like the Wingman than this series won’t disappoint.

WINGMAN #16 THE TOMORROW WAR BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 1999.

Hawk Hunter has successfully dropped the atomic bomb on Honshu Island. This bomb was so big it literally sunk the island. Fortunately that island in this universe was cleared of civilians and only the military were killed. Naturally this ends the war but the B-2000 has disappeared. So Agent Y mounts an expedition to find the fate of the plane. On a huge amphibious transport they fly to the Pacific. Along the way they hire some air mercs and steal an aircraft carrier from some pirates. The trail takes them to Vietnam where they help out some French mercs and find clues including an aircraft that the B-2000 was carrying. The trail takes them into Thailand where they find that Hunter and crew abandoned their bomber for a train. This train takes them to Afghanistan.

In this world Afghanistan was colonized by the British and retains a very distinct British culture. A civil war is being fought between the Reds and the Blues. The Blues or the blue blood aristocrats against the red blood commoners. They have the Red’s princess locked up in a tower in the capital city of Kabul Downs. Hunter has joined the Reds and battles against the Blue’s jet biplanes. Soon they have to face a massive mercenary army and it is up to Hunter to defeat everyone and rescue the princess who is none other than his love Dominique.

Now this was a very weird book in a very weird series. The first three-fourths doesn’t even have Hunter in it. It consists of Agent Y and his band having adventures in this goofy world. They find Hunter in a British Afghanistan with jet biplanes. Oh and Victor who is also in this world has amnesia but is a good guy. He somehow finds his way into the mercenary army and helps out Hunter. At the end Hunter, Victor and Dominique go back to the Falklands where in the secret research facility they have a portal to our world. It goes to the north Atlantic and the three parachute in but Hunter doesn’t go home.

I get the feeling in this book that Maloney knew it was being cancelled by Pinnacle and was just writing something to fill his contractual obligations. He had a definite plan for Hunter but was going to save it for a new series with Ace. Something that we will look at next.

WINGMAN #15 RETURN OF SKY GHOST BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 1998.

America has won it’s 58 year war with Nazis Germany thanks in large part to Hawk Hunter. Yet in this alternate universe there is also a militaristic Japanese Empire. It decides now is the time to attack. So on December 7, 1998 it launches a massive sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Using giant submarines that are combination aircraft carries and troop transports they devastate Pearl Harbor and five of the six megacarriers. A gas attack and follow up invasion captures the Panama Canal. Soon after they land in South America and with the help of some of the continent’s governments soon control everything except Brazil.

Hunter must now organize another war. He secretly sets up an airbase in the mountains of Peru. Guarded by fierce native tribes this base launches attacks on the occupying forces. Soon America has built up it’s forces and with Brazil plan to launch an invasion. This is only a distraction to the real goal. One of the atomic bombs that Hunter recovered from Germany is being worked on. Made into a superbomb that Hunter must drop on Japan using a massive B-2000 bomber. Only the Japanese have discovered this plan thanks to some traitors in the OSS. An invasion force is headed to the Falklands where a secret research base is located. Hunter has to almost singlehandedly defeat this invasion to carry out his bombing run.

The second book in this goofy alternate universe. This time he now fights the Japanese. If you didn’t think this series could get more weirder than hold on. We got giant over a mile submarine/aircraft carriers. Weird science that Maloney just pulls out of his ass but I guess that’s OK. After all he makes up the rules to this universe. There are also ghosts in this reality and the besieged forces in the Falklands kill one of their own soldiers so his ghost can go and get help. I will say that he definitely succeeded in giving this series a total makeover. Still the same lovable Hawk Hunter and he meets some counterparts from his other world. Yet it is a completely different world. You have to admire his ability to keep his writing fresh when so many other post-apocalypse series from this time didn’t last.

WINGMAN #14 THE SKY GHOST BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 1997.

The last time we saw Hawk Hunter he was taking the Zon space shuttle to destroy a comet headed to Earth. Now he finds himself still alive and floating in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of America. He gets rescued by an American destroyer before a Nazi cruiser comes along. Hunter soon finds out he is in an alternate world. A world were the Nazi never lost WWII. This war has actually been going on for over 58 years. The war heated up in 1987 and now America in on the verge of winning. The Nazis though picked up a person from the ocean too. One who has revitalized them and now after a sneak attack during a peace conference are on the verge of winning. Desperate for pilots Hunter is drafted into the war effort and sent to a base in Iceland.

Hunter finds himself the only one in a fighter squadron that has to escort bombers on useless missions over the occupied British Isles. Hunter assesses the situation and of course takes charge of the whole operation as only Hunter can do. He reorganized the squadrons and soon is launching devastating attacks on Germany. His fame eventually lands him on a mission to destroy a massive dam on the Rhine to stop an imminent invasion of America. He succeeds and finds atomic bombs that the Germans developed. He gets them out of the country and uses them to end the war.

The last book left us with the feeling that it was the final in the series. Yet Maloney decided to take the series in a whole new direction. Hunter was mysteriously transported to an alternate world. A world the Nazis ended up conquering Europe. A world with giant forty engine bombers. Helicopters as big as jet airliners. Aircraft carriers over a mile long. Yet a world that never discovered atomic power. This whole story had a very surreal feel to it. I think it was a bold move to completely change the story. This was very weird but also very interesting. Yet it still retains the goofyness that made this series such a treat to begin with. Gives us a surprise ending on who was helping the Nazis. A great new direction for this series.

WINGMAN #13 DEATH ORBIT BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 1997.

Hawk Hunter has taken off in the Zon space shuttle to capture the archterrorist Victor II and bring him back to justice. On Earth a lot of strange things are happening. Planes and people are disappearing and turning up other places. There are sighting of ghosts. The Kennedy Space Center becomes the target of the alliance of the Asian Mercenary Cult and the Fourth Reich. They have a base in Cuba that has thousands of nuclear weapons. Their plan to use the space center to launch them into orbit and threaten the entire Earth. Hunter and his crew eventually come on Victor holding up in a giant Swastika in space. Only a visit by the ghost of his girlfriend Dominique warns of an impending catastrophe. A giant 350 mile comet is headed to Earth. All life is about to be destroyed. So the Nazis and America call a temporary truce to deal with this threat. Their nuclear weapons are launched into space where Hunter and his friend Elvis Q will go on a suicide mission to destroy the comet. They also decide to take Victor with them.

This was a strange book. It basically had three story lines going on. One was Hunter in the Zon tracking down Victor II. (This is how Victor Robotov was referred to in this book.) Another was the battle for the Kennedy Space Center. We have various Nazis fighters and Cult Mercenary battleships attack. We even get the appearance of the Vikings for one chapter. The third takes place at Hunter’s farm in Cape Cod. Dominique gets visitors during a large hurricane including Hunter’s other girlfriend Chloe. Lots of mystical mumbo-jumbo goes on that eventually leads to the death of Dominique. This of course alerts Hunter to the comet and the alliance with Victor. At the end when he goes to see Hunter off and gloat, his friend decides to take him with them on the suicide mission. Now I dropped out of reading this series with the last book. So this is the first time for me in reading this. If I did read it new I would have assumed that this was the final book. It had a clear feel of ending with Hunter sacrificing himself to save the Earth. Of course I know this isn’t the last one. I will say that Maloney does take this series in a whole new different direction. More on that in the next review.