Hawk Hunter is back and reforming the United American forces. Which is a good thing since the Russians have decided to invade. Landing a 65,000-man army in New York they quickly rechristen it Ruskiy-NYC. Hunter though hears that his former girlfriend Dominique is alive in this universe. She also apparently has hooked up with the head of the NKVD a commissar Zmeya. Flying around is a little clown plane he searches to find out why she has done this. Yet there are more important things to deal with. The Russians plan to sail a fleet lead by the massive aircraft carrier Admiral Isakov loaded with chemical, nuclear and biological weapons. The convoy also carries a 30,000 army of fanatics to sow death and destruction across America. The solution is to launch an assault to capture the Admiral Isakov and later a direct assault on NKVD HQ in the World Trade Center.
The Wingman is back and goofier than ever. They assault an aircraft carrier and capture it. They have a huge battle at the Twin Towers that involves hauling artillery pieces up one tower to shoot at the other. The villains are over the top in their evil. After all, Zmeya is the son of his arch enemy Viktor Robotov. Fortunately, Dominique was working for the Americans undercover and not a traitor. Only she found someone else in the time Hunter was gone but Hunter easily finds a replacement girlfriend.
This book is supposedly in an alternate universe very similar but somewhat different. Thus, the NKVD instead of the KGB. Characters that were killed off like Dominique, Dozer and Fitzgerald are brought back. A good idea actually to explain any continuity errors from restarting this series after a decade. It does bring up the conundrum of Hunter being established as only one guy throughout the multiverse but somehow being in two similar realities at once. A fun book and great start to the rebooted series.
It is ten years since the famous Hawk Hunter saved Earth by destroying a comet. Everyone thinks he died in the attempt. Since then, America has once again fallen apart. Various criminal gangs now control the country. In Football City formerly known as St. Louis it is still controlled by Louis St. Louis. Only it is a shadow of its former glory days. Gone are the casinos and 24/7 football game. It is now a poor city state that has to pay tribute to the Red Army Mafia. A Russian criminal gang that controls Detroit.
One day a space shuttle crashes next to the city and inside is none other than the legendary hero Hawk Hunter. Hunter gets with doing what he does best. In an old F-86 Sabre he saves the city from a bombing run. He gets them organized to take out the Red Army Mafia and free Detroit. He finds out from a former government agent that there might be information helpful to determine what happened to him at Area 51. Only Area 51 and the entire southwest is now occupied by the Asian Mercenary Cult. Hunter mounts a mission that finds the cult operating a giant ray gun they found at the site. They are testing it to see if they can properly dispose of a lot of bodies because they plan some good old-fashioned genocide of the American people.
It was about ten years since Maloney last wrote about Hunter. He decided to bring back the old character that he originally started out as. Before it went off the rails with alternate timelines and far future space opera. He sets it in the old post-WWIII America with all the old friends and enemies. We do find out at the end that his secret government organization has discovered how to look at alternate timelines. They were very interested in Hunter for he appears in many of them. That there seems to be only one Hunter in all the universes, but he gets around many of them. The conclusion reached is this is from divine intervention. So basically, God uses him to fix the various universes. Well makes sense to me.
This first was a short novella at only 123 pages making it a short read. Yet it packs in plenty of action and sets the stage for an ongoing series.
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 fiancé 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.
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.