ENDWORLD #25: SPARTAN RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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Copyright 1991.

The Family hears about a community in Northeastern Iowa called Sparta. Sparta was formed after the war by a group of professors and a remnant of a national guard unit. A history professor suggested that they emulate the Spartans since the community would need to be strong to survive and the Spartans were strong. Blade takes Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and a warrior named Teucer in the SEAL to make contact with a possible new ally for the Freedom Federation.

They arrive and find that the Spartans have indeed gone full out in emulating the Spartans. They have build a city using the classic Greek architecture. They wear red cloaks and bronze helmets with short swords. Although they do have modern automatic weapons those are only used against outsiders. Spartans must use ancient weapons when fighting another Spartan. They are ruled by two kings. They train from the age of seven on how to fight and can’t marry until they are thirty. And they also live for war and are unquestionably loyal to their rulers.

Blade’s arrival and invitation to join the Federation starts a civil war. One king is for it and the other opposes the idea. Now Blade and his fellow warriors are caught up in the middle of a war that threatens to tear apart their potential new allies.

I have to say that this has to be one the goofiest groups that Blade has run into. I know that’s saying a lot but these guys are actually play acting at being ancient Spartan warriors. They have kind of gone off the cosplay bend if you get my drift. The apocalypse sure does bring out the wackiness in people.

It is a fun story with plenty of action and a history lesson about ancient Sparta. The Federation gains a new ally and we get introduced to another warrior Teucer. Teucer picked his name from a bowman from the Iliad. He is skilled with a bow and has a fondness for poetry. He was a warrior introduced back at the beginning of the series but it took twenty-five books until he finally got his place in the sun.

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BLADE #12: DEATH MASTER STRIKE BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1991.

In the last book Blade found out that Athena the reported on the Force did not die. Her death was faked with the help of General Gallagher. Athena was having second thoughts on a relationship with Grizzly. After all he is a friggin Grizzly bear-human hybrid. Now that Blade has found out Athena’s deception he decides to find Grizzly in the outlands. Athena and Captain Havoc accompany him.

The search takes them to a place called Mesaville. Mesaville is an underground city built under a mesa in the Arizona desert. It is a haven for every scumbucket in the outlands. Its run by a seven foot mutant by the name of Death Master. There gladiatorial games are performed with humans against various mutant creatures both humanoid and animal. Grizzly is one of the star attractions in these games.

After an awkward reunion Blade earns the enmity of Death Master. This is fine with Blade since he has decided that this cesspool of iniquity must be cleansed. Four against hundreds and many mutant hybrids. Mesaville’s days are numbered.

This is a sad book. Athena does decide that she made a mistake and confesses her love for Grizzly. Unfortunately before the two can have a happy life she sacrifices hers to save him. Captain Havoc also dies. Two likable characters die in this. We do get Grizzly back into the Force and he was a popular character. Also there is still unresolved issues that Blade has with General Gallagher that are sure to play a prominent role in the next book.

ENDWORLD #24: NEW ORLEANS RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1991.

The Home gets a distress call from New Orleans. A group of resistance fighters is asking for help. Naturally the Home will sent out Blade and the Warriors to investigate. This time Blade chooses the Beta Triad made up of the hybrids Lynx, Ferret and Gremlin. Lynx as been pestering every warrior that he wants to go on the next run and finally gets his wish. His teammates on the other hand are not happy. They are perfectly content with the easy going life at the Home.

The four are dropped off in a swamp outside New Orleans by one of the Hurricane VTOLs. There they must contend with the cottonmouths, mutant snapping turtles and giant alligators that inhabit the post war swamps. Blade, Ferret and Gremlin are captured by the tonton macoutes. The tonton macoutes are the enforcers for the Black Snake Society which rules New Orleans. The Society is a voodoo cult that rules the city. Lead by Baron Laveau it sacrifices its victims to their god Damballah, a forty foot long giant snake. Now Blade and the mutant hybrids must destroy hundreds of voodoo cultists and take on a giant snake. Just another easy day in the life of a warrior.

The next book in the series once again takes us to a new part of the country. It seems logical that a voodoo cult would take over New Orleans. I mean what else is more appropriate for New Orleans than a voodoo cult. It also showcases the hybrid warriors especially Lynx. Lynx is a fun character and ranks up with Hickok as one of my favorite warriors.

The story also show how much a badass that Blade is. He actually carves his own spear and takes on a giant snake. Could you do that? I know I couldn’t. That Blade is one tough muther.

RIFFTRAX LIVE: SHARKNADO 2 THE SECOND ONE

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Part II of the crappening is starting to pick up some steam. The show started off with a short Appreciating Your Parents II. This is sort of a reboot of a classic short from MST3K. This ones in color and about a satanic sock puppet that turns a feminine boy invisible so he can see how hard his parents work. A good warm up to the main event.

The movie starts off with Ian Ziering and Tara Reid on a flight coming in to New York. The two have apparently reconciled and are somewhat famous from their adventures in L.A. Well wouldn’t you know that it just so happens another Sharknado is now brewing along the east coast. The plane flies into a swarm of flying pissed off sharks at 20,000 feet. It seems sharks have no problem being out of water at such high altitudes. They take out their anger by eating the pilot and co-pilot. Luckily Ian is an accomplished pilot and safely lands the plane but not before Tara loses her hand to a shark.

Its raining sharks.

Its raining sharks.

After landing Ian sets out to find his sister and her family. Thus begins a wild search that involves a ton of cameos by minor celebrities, flooding subways, flooding streets, out of control rolling statue of liberty head, flying sharks, sharks climbing stairs, burning sharks climbing stairs and a whole lot of feelings being discussed by the main characters. It all comes to an end when the cast unites and blows up the Freon stored on top of the Empire State Building.

Out of control rolling head. Look out!!!

Out of control rolling head. Look out!!!

I think we can all agree that it will now be mandatory for a Sharknado movie to be made every year. I suppose that’s good for Tara so she can finally have a steady income to pay for her plastic surgery. I do have reservations that the well will start to run dry of ideas with the concept. I did think that the second movie was more fun than the first. The first was really just a standard bad shark movie. No more special than Sharktopus or Megarobot Shark vs. Octopus. The second was very self conscious of its badness and just went over the top. Indeed this movie was making fun of itself on purpose which just make it way too easy for the guys to crack riffs.

This is really goofy.

This is really goofy.

So I am looking forward to Sharknado 3 Oh Hell No! which will be aired later this month on the SyFy channel. Also in October the third movie in the Crappening Miami Connection will hit theaters. Its an eighties martial arts/rock-n-roll/crime movie that looks just bonkers. I have a feeling it will be the best movie yet.

I’m certain that I’ll be in theaters next July to watch this.

BLADE #11: QUEST STRIKE BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1991.

Blade has found evidence that a former force member Athena Morris did not die. He embarks on a quest to find out the true fate of Athena. While in L.A. Blade rescues an old bag lady from a gang of thugs called the Pagan Warlords. Their leader Mickey gets a serious ass whipping. Now Mickey is an over sensitive thug who has his feelings hurt because of the ass kicking. So he takes on a personal vendetta to make Blade pay. Never mind that Blade has taken on opponents far more dangerous that some punk gang members. Mickey is too dumb and pretty much commits suicide in taking on Blade.

Blade’s quest takes him from Los Angeles to San Francisco. He has to battle not only the Pagan Warlords but General Gallagher’s minions to find out the truth of Athena’s fate.

After the L.A. Strike the author must have felt that Blade needed a story highlighting him in a fight against a street gang. This is primarily a Blade story with the rest of the force except Havoc making a brief appearance. The main interest in this story is that Athena Morris is found alive at the end which set up a whole new interesting story arc. Captain Mike Havoc also decides that General Gallagher is wrong about Blade and firmly aligns himself with Blade. This was an interesting story and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

ENDWORLD #23: YELLOWSTONE RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1990.

Blade is enjoying some time with his family when he gets an unwanted visitor. Star the leader of the Flathead Indians has come to ask for help. Small towns in western Montana are being attacked and the inhabitants have vanished without a trace. The only clue is a survivor that claims his family was abducted by bear-men mutants. Now Blade has an obligation as the leader of the Force to investigate. He takes his buddies in the Alpha triad Hickok and Geronimo with him. He also takes Achilles his choice for the open warrior position along.

Achilles is a competent fighter but Blade’s choice is running into resistance from the elders and his fellow warriors. The problem is Achilles rubs people the wrong way with his conceited arrogance. Blade hopes to show that Achilles is qualified to fill the vacant position.

They land in Yellowstone and find the park in the same condition as before the war. They also find the Breed. After the war a group of survivalists settled in a valley in Idaho. The lake they used was later found to be contaminated by chemical canisters dropped by a bomber. The chemicals have transformed the inhabitants into bear like mutants. Now the mutants want to expand. They plan to convert thousands with the contaminated water into the Breed and the humans not turned can be used as the mutants favorite food source.

Well another group of cannibalistic mutants bent on conquest. Also once again from the Pacific Northwest. I have to say that the Pacific Northwest is a place to avoid after the apocalypse. Nothing but mutants trying to eat and/or enslave you. The main interests in this story is the introduction of a new warrior and the fact that Old Faithful is still faithful 106 years after the apocalypse.

BLADE #10: DEAD ZONE STRIKE BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1990.

The Cavalry has been having a spate of disappearances lately. They finally get a witness to an abduction. People are being abducted in the night by winged creatures. Kilrane the leader of the Cavalry requests help from the Freedom Force. Blade agrees to the request and the Force is off to South Dakota.

Once there they track the creatures into a dead zone. Those areas hit by a nuclear blast and now completely devoid of life. Except this zone is teeming with mutant bat-men. If not stopped the bat-men could breed into the thousands and the entire Midwest would become their hunting ground.

The tenth book in the series is an ok read. The bat-men are not an intelligent mutant race with the conceit of conquering the world that Blade usually runs into. They are just predators hunting on instinct which make them a much more scary adversary. What I liked about this book is that it takes the Force to one of the other Federation factions instead of around California. The Cavalry is a colorful cowboy culture and we find out some background on Doc Madsen. He gets to avenge his father’s killing at the end of the book. Also some of Raphaela’s sad story of growing up with her aunt is revealed. An interesting book if not the most exciting story in the series.