A mysterious silent craft manned by strange seven foot tall men in silver suits silently lands within the walls of the Home. They are there to kidnap Blade. Luckily for them they find him in an isolated part of the compound training with Hickok. Both warriors are captured. Also the three mutants that deserted the Doktor and joined the Family are also about. Lynx, Ferret and Gremlin manage to sneak aboard the craft before it takes off.
Blade, Hickok and the mutants find themselves in Androxia. Formerly the city of Houston, Androxia is now controlled by Primator. A year before the war NASA created a super computer. That computer gained intelligent sentient thought. When the scientists ran off and the government collapsed Primator the computer took over the automated android plan. With an army of androids called Superiors it was able to take over Houston. Now it runs a city with total computer logic. The humans called Serviles have been bred to be docile and controlled through a careful program of spaying and neutering to keep their numbers in check. The Serviles perform the menial tasks.
Blade finds out he was captured as a favor to Clarissa. Clarissa was the Doktor’s paramour and she wants revenge on the man that killed her lover. Primator was friends with the Doktor and Primator has also created a number of mutants using the Doktor’s procedures. Now Blade and his companions must escape a city run by a computer with an ego the size of the moon and his killer androids.
This is what I love about this series. A crazy giant computer and killer androids. You always get some new and odd villain for Blade to fight. The story had Hickok and Lynx my two favorite characters. Lynx finds a female lynx mutant named Melody and the three mutants at the end are granted official warrior status and formed into the newest triad Bravo Triad.
The Home is attacked by a squad of Russian soldiers. Their mission is to kidnap a Family member to gain intelligence on the Home. They try to kidnap Hickok’s wife Sherry but are thwarted by the three mutant members of the Family Lynx, Ferret and Gremlin. The surviving officer of the squad tells of a recent attack on the Soviets by the Vikings. The Vikings like their historical predecessors came up to Philadelphia in wooden Viking ships but armed with modern automatic weapons. They were able to sack half the city before being driven off. A number of the Vikings were captured.
Blade decides that these Vikings could be valuable allies to the Freedom Federation against the Soviets. So he decides to mount a rescue mission which means a road trip to the city of brotherly love. Blade with Bertha and a new warrior named Sundance load up the SEAL and head out. Sundance is another member of the family that fashions himself after the gunfighters of the old west. Armed with his twin .45 Grizzly automatic pistols his is almost as good as Hickok. The three must infiltrate the KGB detention center. Of course nothing ever goes off as planned.
I can see why Hickok is used prominently in this series. He is larger than life character with a plow ahead attitude that you just got to love. Sundance was interesting but he was no Hickok. Still it was a nice change of pace to introduce some new characters in the story and introduce some of the lesser know warriors.
The Vikings were an interesting concept. Blade was too late to save any but did recover the KGB interrogation documents on them. We the reader never find out what they said. Robbins sort of forgot about them and they never did appear in later stories. Now since the series has been revived they might in a future book.
The Freedom Federation gets a visit from a mysterious emissary. Captain Wargo is from the Technics. Technic city which is formerly Chicago was taken over by scientists from the Chicago Institute of Advanced Technology after the war. They have rebuilt the city into an advanced technological city state. Wargo wants the Family to provide the SEAL for a dangerous mission to New York City. Under the ruins are the Genesis seeds. Seeds developed before the war that are radiation resistant and can grow in any environment.
Now Wargo is sleezy as hell but they decide it is worth checking out. They send the SEAL along with Alpha Triad to Technic City. They do indeed find an advanced city. They also find out that it is a repressive society run by technocrats. Children are raised in government daycare until twelve when they’re assigned jobs. You need permits just to take a walk. Oh yeah they also subsist of a diet of mostly worms. Oh yummy.
The whole place is run by the Minister. He’s your typical megalomaniac with delusions of world conquest. He betrays them soon after they arrive. Blade and Geronimo are forced to take along a squad of Technic commandos while Hickok is kept as a hostage. They arrive in New York which was one of the few cities actually flattened by a nuclear missile. The place is also overrun by cannibalistic mutants called Zombies. Now Blade and Geronimo must survive hordes of Zombies and turn the tables on their captors.
Meanwhile Hickok is really pissed at being stripped naked and chained to a wall. It doesn’t take him long to escape and find his Colt Pythons. He definitely will make the Minister and the worm eating technocrats pay for their treachery.
This was another exciting story in the epic annuls of Blade and the warriors. We get another great and formidable enemy in the Technics. One that they will meet again in future stories.
The Freedom Federation has approved an expedition into the outlands. Blade, Hickok and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi are picked to take the SEAL and explore the city of St. Louis. Rikki immediately gets involved with the inhabitants by rescuing a statuesque redhead named Lexine. The city is controlled by a female biker gang called the Leather Knights. Lexine has run afoul of the leader and both her and Rikki are taken prisoner.
Meanwhile Blade and Hickok are attacked by a strange helicopter gunship that knocks the SEAL on its side. Blade goes into St. Louis to rescue his companion Rikki while Hickok stays to guard their vehicle. While guarding it he is taken prisoner by the men in the helicopter. Hickok finds himself in Washington D.C a prisoner of the Soviets. Washington was not destroyed in the war but hit by a neutron bomb. Now it and a chunk of the northeastern U.S. stretching from New England to Illinois is under Soviet occupation.
Now Hickok is not an easy person to keep prisoner. Still he will be challenged to escape from a hostile Washington and cross over 800 miles to reach his friends. Blade has his hands full trying to rescue Rikki and Lexine from the Leather Knights. Including two vicious mutants known as Slither and Grotto.
This book probably should have been called the St. Louis Run since that’s were most of the action takes place. The main thing we find out is the Soviets are occupying a part of the country. You can’t have an eighties post-apocalypse series without the Soviets occupying some part of America. Now even back at the Soviets height they never had the air/sealift capacity to mount a full scale invasion of the east coast. Still I suppose it isn’t unreasonable that they could have developed it some time in the future.
This was another fun book. It sets up a new enemy. We hear about the Technics and Dragons which we will run into in future books. And we get to find out about the Beta Triad leader Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.
Blade and the Freedom Federation army are on the move. They enter Colorado expecting a fight. What they find are empty cities of Ft. Collins and Loveland. It appears that Samuel has evacuated all the cities north of Denver and has pulled back his army. This strange behavior is later explained as Samuel fears the Freedom Federation was able to steal several more of the small nuclear devices that were successfully used in Cheyenne. Blade hopes to use this to bluff the Civilized Zone into surrender. An arranged meeting with Samuel results in a treacherous ambush that almost claims Blade’s life.
At the same time an army of 2000 was sent by the Doktor before he died to destroy the Home. Now the Home must withstand an assault in their walled compound against overwhelming odds.
And so ends the story arch with the Civilized Zone. Naturally Blade survives the ambush and in a very hilarious way dispatches Samuel. The Home manages to fight off the Doktor’s army. The Civilized Zone has free elections and installs a democratic government. It along with the newly freed Flathead Indians join the Freedom Federation and peace ensues.
Of course that’s not the end of the series. It is stated that the Freedom Federation is interested in exploring the vast areas of the rest of the country. Naturally Blade and the warriors with their SEAL would take the lead. So the series will settle in to adventures of Blade as he explores the unknown lands. He finds out that America after the apocalypse is one goofy ass place.
The newly formed Freedom Federation has declared war on the Civilized Zone. The members consisting of the Family, the Moles, the Calvary and the newly united inhabitants of the Twin cities now called the Clan. Blade has been put in charge of the newly formed army. His first strike is to take out the Doktor with a bold plan. A small force of seven will take over the northern most settlement of Catlow, Wyoming.
The seven include Blade and his Alpha triad buddies Hickok and Geronimo. Bertha represents the Clan. A man named Rudabaugh the Calvary and Orison the Moles. Lynx rounds out the seven and is the bait as the Doktor is really anxious to pay him back for the destruction of his Biological center.
Unfortunately things don’t work out as planned and the seven are trapped in Catlow facing thousands of the Doktor’s mutant deviates. Now they must fight an epic battle with little chance of survival.
I don’t think you need the dedication at the beginning to the cast of The Magnificent Seven to see where the inspiration for the story came from. This is a real fun story and the best so far in the series. Rudabaugh is a cowboy who is an expert with dynamite and thankfully brings plenty along. Of course we know the outcome. Their skills combined with plenty of ammo from their automatic weapons, liberal use of dynamite and kick ass attitude ensure defeat for the Doktor and his minions.
Some interesting things we discover are that the Doktor was instrumental in starting WWIII. He also is responsible for the deadly clouds and mutates that have plagued the Family. He also was responsible for killing Blade’s father which Blade repays with one of his Bowies to the groin.
So we end with the final words from Blade at the end.
“One down and one to go. Lookout Denver here we come.”
The family leader Plato decides to sent a warrior on a reconnaissance mission to Cheyenne citadel. Yama is the one that draws the short straw. Yama who chose to be named after the Hindu god of death is a very versatile warrior. Armed with a Wilkinson sub-machinegun, four handguns and his scimitar he is a formidable opponent.
Yama infiltrates Cheyenne and finds a very repressive totalitarian society. People are herded along like sheep while listening to the various newscasts announcing the daily arrests for trivial offenses like jaywalking or children that turned in their parents. He also finds that Samuel is preparing for an assault on the Calvary in South Dakota and is massing troops and equipment at the Doktor’s Biological Center. It’s here the Doktor creates his mutant deviant assassins and also bleeds out infants for his immortality formula.
Yama befriends and frees one of the mutants Lynx. Lynx is a hybrid lynx-human and is scheduled for execution because he tried to kill the Doktor. The two are able to steal the Doktor’s notebooks and flee but not before they set off a small tactical nuke on the Doktor’s Biological Center.
Meanwhile Blade and the Alpha Triad have taken the SEAL and headed back to the Twin Cities to help relocate the inhabitants. They arrive to find the inhabitants enslaved by troops from the Civilized Zone. They are to be transferred back into Reabsorption Camps where can be transformed into obedient, productive citizens. Luckily for the inhabitants of the Twin cities Blade and company come in the nick of time. With their newly discovered armaments build into the SEAL they make short work of the Civilized Zone troopers and transport the survivors to safety.
The series is really starting to pick up the action. We finally get to see what its like in the Civilized Zone and it isn’t pretty. Also in the last book they discovered that the SEAL is armed with an assortment of weapon systems. Fifty caliber twin machine guns under the headlamps. A flamethrower, rocket launcher and stinger missile they actually use to shoot down a fighter jet. They also decide to take the fight to the Civilized Zone setting up another action packed story.
Geronimo is feeling somewhat confused after being betrayed by the Flathead’s in the last book. He decides to take some time off and heads out into the wastelands of South Dakota to contemplate life. There he finds a group of people called the Calvary. Superb horsemen they are descended from hardy ranchers that refused to be evacuated by the government. The Calvary are recently split into two factions due to a feud between warring twin brothers. Geronimo is instrumental in uniting the factions and also finds a girl to marry. Oh yeah and he has to fight off giants ants.
Meanwhile at the Home the Doktor has sent two of his genetic mutant assassins to punish the defector Gremlin. Luckily Blade and Gremlin are more then a match for them.
So the fifth entry in the series sort of meanders along. Its notable for giving Geronimo some time in the spotlight and the Family gains the Calvary as a valuable ally in its fight with the Civilized Zone. We get a glimpse of the Doktor and find out he uses blood from babies to maintain his immortality. And finally all the Alpha Triad get married to their girlfriends at the end. Oh yeah and there are giant ants. Giant ants are really cool. Who doesn’t like giant ants. That’s what really saves this book. I’m surprised that more movies, TV shows, books, comics etc. don’t use them more often.