President Toland of the Civilized Zone has a new project the Federation Airlines. His government has invested in reconditioning a 757 for civilian air travel. On the maiden flight from Denver to Los Angeles the plane is destroyed shortly after takeoff by a mysterious bright light. Blade and the Alpha Triad are in Denver along with other Federation dignitaries. An emergency meeting is called.
We find out that the Civilized Zone has heard rumors the Soviets have been building a secret weapon. Located in Cincinnati it quite possibly also shot down the Hurricane jet that was supposed to pick up Blade on his mission to Miami.
It is decided that Blade, Hickok and Geronimo will take the SEAL and check out this new threat to the Federation. After infiltrating the Soviet occupied city our heroes do indeed find out that the Soviets have built a giant death ray. Located atop Lenin’s needle its run by the mad general Ari Stoljarov aka the Butcher. A nickname he got because people he tends to interrogate don’t survive. Now the death ray has been perfected and the next target is the Home. Blade and company must now break through hordes of Soviet soldiers to destroy Lenin’s Needle before their families are incinerated.
Well its been a while since be heard from the Soviets. Of course they’ve been up to no good. Building a honking giant death ray. In Ohio of all places. Its always fun to have the Soviets as the bad guys. This story we find out the fate of the missing Hurricane and are able to retrieve it along with the missing pilot. Blade also comes to the conclusion he needs a vacation which we will find out how that works in the next Blade book.
Shantytown is a rundown cesspool in the northwestern part of Wisconsin. One day a mysterious stranger comes into town. A seven foot tall giant with twin Bowies that goes by the name of Blade. He saves a young bartender at the Booze N’ Women from some unruly ruffians. He gets noticed by the local strongman Daniel Brount and works his way up to his second in command.
Blade has an ulterior motive for coming to Shantytown. A group of raiders had slaughtered some families of Moles on an outing. They were armed with brand new assault rifles. The only clue to the source of the rifles points to Brount. Eventually Blade gets to Brount’s boss Crusher Payne. Crusher heads the Union which controls this part of Wisconsin. He got his name because he likes to crush his enemies with his Monster Machines, construction equipment converted into vehicles of war. He uncovers an alliance between Crusher and the Soviets to flood the Outlands with weapons and eventually destabilize the area for the Soviets to take over.
This book is unique in that it is the first story that features Blade in a solo adventure. There is no other Warriors or the Force to back him up. Just Blade and you know what? Blade is a big enough badass to get the job done himself. Before he is through both the Soviets and the Union are crushed and the Union is pretty much finished. Also we find out that the Soviets are becoming more aggressive and are actively planning to expand their occupied territory. Something that will be prominent in the next Endworld book.
An interesting trivia note. This story takes place close to where I was born. It’s just outside the area to the east.
Blade, Hickok, Rikki and Chastity are still hiking back to the Home. Outside of Memphis they are ambushed my mysterious men in black. Rikki is taken prisoner but Blade and Hickok manage to defeat the attackers. Rikki is taken to Memphis where he finds out the city is ruler by the King. Living in Graceland (an obvious pretender) the King has been building up his army called the Hounds of Hades. He has a grand plan to conquer the world. Very ambitious for a man with just a 129 men in his army. But under LSD he had a vision of the world bowing down before him so it must be doable. Oh yeah the King is also a cross dresser and wears dresses, make-up and high heels.
Blade, Hickok and Chastity are heading for Memphis in a captured halftrack to rescue Rikki. They are ambushed by a brother and sister named Bonnie and Clyde who have a personal grudge against the King and thought Blade and company were his troops. Both groups unite and have a final showdown with the King and his mysterious enforcer the Dark Lord.
The King and his Hounds of Hades are sort of a minor adversary that the warriors have faced in their travels. At 129 men its hardly worth breaking a sweat. They kill about a quarter of them by the third chapter. Indeed when General Thayer is ordering another platoon out the captive Rikki comments “Can you afford to lose more men?” Of course that platoon is wiped out and eventually the King is killed. Some people just have to learn the hard way.
The King while not being that fearsome is definitely the most loathsome and weird adversary they have faced. He is a drug addicted, misogynist, bongo playing, narcissist with delusions of world conquest. He hates women and periodically has one brought to be drugged and raped. That’s why Bonnie has such a hatred for him. She was a victim of one of his invitations to his mansion. Yep the apocalypse brings out all the kooks from the woodwork.
The Dark Lord the fearsome mutant that the King used to instill fear turns out to be a pyrotechnic display from a heavy metal band that acquired Graceland before the war. I have a problem with believing some band called The Bland could buy Graceland. First the place is a money machine. Nobody is going to sell that ATM. Second the outcry of selling such a national treasure would be tremendous. So I didn’t find that part of the story very believable.
I visited Graceland a few years ago. It’s a really cool place. I highly recommend visiting if your in the area.
The force is flying back from their Alaska mission when they get a distress call on the radio. Blade decides to split off and let the other Hurricane with their serious wounded comrades continue on to Los Angeles. Blade lands in southeastern British Columbia and finds a burning trade post. The owner his wife and a friend have been skinned alive and left dead. They are too late to save them but find out from a mysterious old Indian shaman that the pirates have gone on to a settlement called Harrison Hot Springs.
Now Blade debates whether to help or just leave. Canada is not part of the Freedom Federation and this is not an official mission. His teammates are anxious to return to California and check on their wounded friends. Especially Grizzly who is worried about Athena. Well Blade being Blade can’t let innocent people be killed or raped so decides to stop the pirates.
The pirates are lead by Red Beard who indeed does have a bushy red beard. His first mate Fiddler Jack who if he plays the fiddle is never demonstrated in the book although it does sound very piraty. There are also twin mutant brothers called Bug Eyes and Elephant Ears. Named after their obvious physical characteristics. The pirates have come up river to steal the Bowie a former coast guard cutter now used by a family on Lake Harrison.
The team succeeds in destroying the pirates but Sgt. Havoc makes the ultimate sacrifice. When they get back two more team members Thunder and Athena have also succumbed to their wounds. Blade decides to disband the force and the surviving members return home. A despondent Grizzly goes into the Outlands away from civilization.
Well this is a sad ending for a story. Three popular members are killed off. The Force is disbanded. So what happens now? Blade wants to take a long vacation with his wife and son but you know that it will never turn out as planned. An interesting tidbit of info is that mutants have their own prejudices against each other. The twin pirates look down on Grizzly for being so animal like while they just have minor physical deformities.
So this is obviously not the end for Blade and the Force. Which we will explore in the next book.
Blade, Hickok and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi are hiking back from Miami after their mission has been completed. For some reason the Hurricane VTOL that was supposed to pick them up never showed up. Now they have a long walk back to Minnesota. Around Atlanta they come across a young six year old girl named Chastity. Her mother was killed by what she calls the Bubbleheads. Blade decides to go into Atlanta and find the girls aunt. They can’t just leave her alone for the mutants to get.
Blades finds that Atlanta is now a walled off police state. An oligarchy called the Peers rule with a ruthless iron fist. The people are treated like cattle and must wear color coded jumpsuits for their specific class. Anyone that reached the age of 66 is sent to the sleep chambers for euthanasia. The Peers believe that at that age you are a burden to society and must be eliminated. Indeed anyone deemed unproductive is put to the sleep chambers.
Blade is captured while trying to help an old man escape such a fate. He is sentenced to Maze. Here he finds out what the Bubbleheads are. Called Terminators they wear silver fire resistant suits and carry flamethrowers. He must now survive the Maze and escape to his friends. Meanwhile Hickok and Rikki hook up with the local resistance outside and devise a plan to rescue Blade.
The seventeenth book is another action packed book. Having the warriors stranded in Florida now sets up a story arch of travel through the southern US. Atlanta is also another weird society and the Peers are another of the many kooky enemies that Blade has made throughout the series. They also pick up the little girl Chastity who is an adorable character. She bonds with Hickok and decides that he should be her new daddy. Hickok seems open to the idea and now must figure out how to explain this to his wife.
Spurlock is one mellow dude. It could be from his daily routine of nude yoga. Or possibly his meditation and Zen outlook on life. More than likely its that he smokes more weed than Willie Nelson.
Well whatever the reason he seems to be an effective sheriff for Purgatory county Arkansas in this reality of 1996. In this timeline the US has lost a war in the Middle East in 1988 and are now under Soviet occupation. The details of the how are vague but its largely ineffective just troublesome. Except for guerillas operating outside town the residents of Purgatory would hardly notice any change from before the war.
Spurlock’s quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of Senagliero. Senagliaro is the mafia boss from New York who has come to throw his weight around. He is a psychotic who likes to kill people but his shrink says its ok…
The Force has not had any action for five months now and they are starting to get a little restless. Blade starts to wonder if the Force is actually needed. Fortunately General Gallagher comes with an assignment. Eric Holtmeyer of Holtmeyer Industries is an international conglomerate that has approached the Federation with an offer. He has reactivated the Alaskan pipeline and will provide fuel in exchange for one hundred million in gold.
Now Blade is surprised like everyone else that international conglomerates still exist. The Federation needs the fuel so he agrees to take the Force up to Alaska and check out Holtmeyer. They arrive at Prudhoe Bay and find the place up and running. They also find some refugees from a James Bond movie. Eric Holtmeyer is your typical rich Bond villain. He has an army of mercenaries, a taste for luxury and a gold painted limo and helicopter. He has the two classic henchpeople. Lalita Pruty is a platinum blonde bimbo in tight pants that has a sinister lethality about her. The other is Kan Tang a seven foot tall Thai that is a deadly expert in martial arts. He also doesn’t wear any shoes even in the artic.
Well its pretty obvious that this bunch is up to no good and that is precisely what they find out. Holtmeyer works for the Lords of Kismet. They now rule all of Asia and have plans to take over North America. They were going to sell the oil with a chemical in it that over time would cause degenerative brain damage. Then they could easily walk right in and take over. In a surprise Lalita is actually Janus Goldmane an Exalted Executioner for the Lords of Kismet. She’s the one in charge and to prove it has Holtmeyer get on his knees and kiss her boots.(I think I might have worked for this woman at one time.)
Well none of these characters are a match for Blade and the Force. Holtmeyer and Tang are taken out and Prudhoe bay goes up in flames. Janus Goldmane does survive to probably some day down the road get revenge on Blade and more than likely have future lackeys kiss her boots.
The fourth book is a welcome change and starts to take the series in a whole new direction. The Lords of Kismet are a worthy and sinister new enemy. The force starts to function as a team and Athena comes to the realization that she loves Grizzly. All around a fun and action packed story.
The first offering in this years the crappening starts out with this strong entry. The Room is an odd movie that was produced, directed, written and starring Tommy Wisneau. A man of indeterminate ethnic origin with a slurred speech, greasy long hair and perpetually baggy clothes. Kind of reminds me of Dr. Nick, the quack doctor from The Simpsons.
The guys warm up the audience with a short from the series ‘At Your Fingertips’. For those of you that don’t know this was an educational series from the ’70s on basically how to make garbage into works of art. Now back in the seventies we didn’t have any video games or internet but we never had to resort to playing with garbage. Indeed my parents would have strongly discouraged me from such behavior. The makers of this series had a different view. Here’s a sample of the one of their past shorts.
Then we start with the movie. Its basically about Johnny who is a successful banker in San Francisco. He lives with his girlfriend of seven years Lisa. Now Lisa is sort of a cute woman. Kind of reminds me of Britney Spear who maybe ate one too many pork chops. They seem happy and have some young neighbor named Denny who just barges in whenever he feels like it to watch them. Well right off the bat is a totally unappealing sex scene between the two that goes so far to show a full view of Johnny’s butt. Don’t get enough of this scene well don’t worry. Ten minutes we get another. And another and another.
Well early on Lisa decides she doesn’t love Johnny anymore and instead loves Mark, Johnny’s best friend. She proceeds to seduce him. Now Mark doesn’t want to get involved with Lisa because he is Johnny’s best friend but she is persistent and he just gives in. It is followed by many more unerotic love scenes between the two.
Then basically the whole movie revolves around the relationship problems with Lisa and Johnny. Everyone doesn’t get why Lisa hates Johnny but she does. She gets him drunk and spreads the story that Johnny hits her.
The whole movie is just endless scenes of that various characters talking about their feelings. A subplot of Denny getting in trouble over money he owes to a drug dealer. (I didn’t know drug dealers gave credit.)It’s quickly resolved as Mark and Johnny subdue the dealer and Lisa and her mother berate the hapless Denny.
Well finally at Johnny’s birthday party it all comes to a head. Lisa decides to tell Johnny she’s pregnant when she really isn’t. Why she did this? Probably because she’s cookoo. Now Mark thinks its his and gets in a fight with Johnny were they make up and start fighting five times before the others have to drag them apart from slapping each other like little girls.
Johnny despondent tears up the room and decides to kill himself. Everyone is really upset and wish they didn’t cheat on Johnny.
The show was shown on the 100th birthday of Orson Welles and this movie is supposedly the Citizen Kane of bad movies. Now I’ve seen some bad movies and its probably not the worst. I would put it in the top ten. This is an excellent choice to riff on. The bad dialogue. The incomprehensible storyline. The actors must have went to the William Shatner school of over emoting. You can catch the encore presentation next week at a theater near you.
The final book in the fictional autobiography of Colonel William T. Bucko Federal Air Command.
The book opens with Bucko making a clandestine crossing from Detroit into Canada. The northern RIHM horde has come south and set its sights on Detroit. Once the river freezes over they can cross and overwhelm one of America’s major industrial centers for the war. Only Melodie Lane knows where the RIHMs will cross in force but she was shot down and is a prisoner of the RIHMs.
Bucko is the only one who knows Melodie so the government cuts a deal with him. A pardon, reinstatement into FAC as a Lt. Colonel and a sizable monetary reward. Bucko hooks up with the Maple Leaf Underground whose members are mostly strippers from the local club. Together with Chandelier,a the French-Canadian stripper and a teenage delinquent named Doone, he succeeds in rescuing Melodie and foiling the…
The second book in the fictional autobiography of Colonel William T. Bucko Federal Air Command.
The book opens with Bucko assigned to Boca Grande in Florida. He has it pretty good. Sun, women and a little side money from salvage operations. Bucko gets word that his friend and mentor Black Pugh has been wrongly accused and sentenced to death. He then goes AWOL to bust him out.
At the prison he finds out that none other than his old nemesis from the academy Kyle Befeeter is the provost marshal. Bucko is able to capture Beefeater but fails to save Pugh. Although he does get to drop the loathsome Befeeter into the Atlantic ocean from his Harrier.
Now on the run as a fugitive he manages to make a deal with the government. A pardon if he can successfully infiltrate the notorious Shrimpers. A pirate gang that is terrorizing the Gulf…