ENDWORLD #21: BOSTON RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1990.

A man wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who he is or where he’s from. A kindly doctor and nurse inform him that his name is Berwin and he was involved in a construction accident. Now at Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Boston Berwin comes to terms with his amnesia. He has strange dreams of a walled compound and starts to wonder why he is being isolated from the rest of the world.

Berwin is actually Blade who has been kidnapped by an elite Soviet squad and taken to Boston. The Soviets want to find out valuable information on the Home to launch an attack. After they get the information they then want to extract Blade’s sperm to breed genetically perfect super soldiers.

While this goes on his fellow warriors find out that Blade was taken to Boston and a rescue mission is mounted. Hickok, Geronimo and an inexperienced warrior named Marcus take off in the SEAL. They get ambushed by a Soviet patrol in Strawberry Point, Iowa. While managing to defeat the patrol Marcus is killed and the other two are too injured to continue on. Of course Blade doesn’t need any rescuing. Gaining back his memory he leaves a one man path of death and destruction throughout the city.

So the Soviets are back at it. We get another new location to visit. I find it interesting to see how life is like in the Soviet occupied zone. Marcus was an interesting character and I was sorry to see him go. Definitely another fun entry in the Endworld saga.

ENDWORLD #20: DALLAS RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1990.

Two border posts in northern Texas are attacked by mysterious people that are naked and have green spots on their skin. The green spots hint at a possible deadly plague. A plague that could eventually spread to the Civilized Zone and to the other Federation factions. It is decided that a small force should enter Dallas and capture an infected person for further study. Naturally the person to lead this is Blade. Since the Force has been disbanded Blade takes along his buddies Hickok and Geronimo. Together with a small band of soldiers they enter the abandoned ruins of Dallas.

First they must survive attacks by giant lizards, giant cockroaches and giant spiders. Texas does everything big and mutants are no exception. They find out that the naked people are part of a cult known as the Chosen. Their deranged leader the Lawgiver has plans to spread his faith. Him and his Chosen have been driven insane by drinking chemically contaminated water they call the Elixir of Life that gives them the green spots. Now he hopes to convert the entire world starting with the Civilized Zone. Tankers are ready to sneak across the border and contaminate reservoirs. Only Blade, his buddies and an alliance with the surviving street gangs can stop their mad plan.

Naked cultists. Now that’s something I didn’t see coming. Its great to have Blade back traveling to new locations and fighting the narcissistic crazies that want to conquer the world. Great to have Blade back into his crazy adventures.

ENDWORLD #19 CINCINNATI RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1990.

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.

ENDWORLD# 18 MEMPHIS RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1989.

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.

ENDWORLD# 17 ATLANTA RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1989.

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.

ENDWORLD #16 MIAMI RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1989.

In the warriors last run to Las Vegas they learned of a threat to their Home. The Dragons the faction that rules south Florida has plans to destroy the Family. Now Blade has no idea what the hell the Dragons beef is with them but takes any threat to the Home seriously. So he enlists one of the Hurricanes to drop him and two other warriors Hickok and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi west of Miami.

Soon after landing they rescue two young teenagers from a giant alligator. They find out that Miami is run by the Dragons. After the war Miami fell under control of the drug gangs. The Dragons are a family of mutants that managed to take over a gang and eventually become the undisputed rulers of south Florida. Miami is now a cesspool of drug dealers and prostitution. The Narcs are the Dragon’s enforcers and maintain the now legalized drug trade.

Blade eventually tracks down the Dragons. They have plans of expanding their drug trade into the Federation and the Family is just in the way. Its just good business nothing personal. Unfortunately for the Dragons Blade does take it personally and shows the Dragons the business ends of his Bowies.

Another fun little adventure in the Endworld saga. Thanks to the Hurricanes the warriors can now easily travel to some far away places. Miami is another fascinating corner of the country. Drug use was a hot topic back in the late ’80s early ’90s with Miami the main point of entry. So it is not surprising that we would get a story of mutant drug dealers in the area.

ENDWORLD #15 NEVADA RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1989.

Two jeeps filled with well dressed men are heading toward the Home in Minnesota. They come upon four young people on the road. One of them is Mindy who is from the Home. After they hear this the men shoot the other three. Two are killed outright and the third is shot in the knees. The leader leaves a message with the survivor. He’s to tell Blade that his name is Don Pucci and if he wants to see Mindy he has one month to come to Las Vegas and meet him at the Golden Horn Casino. Otherwise Mindy will be killed.

Naturally Blade doesn’t take kindly to threats to the Family members. So together with the Alpha Triad Hickok and Geronimo they take off in the SEAL. Also along is another warrior Helen who happens to be the mother of Mindy. They arrive at Vegas and find that it is still a hot tourist destination. Casinos, booze and women available 24 hours seven days a week. Oh and its also run by the Mafia. So basically nothing has changed since the Big Blast.

They get involved with a war between two powerful Dons. They find out that Don Giorgio was the one who set up Don Pucci hoping the warriors would eliminate his main rival. Of course it doesn’t work out the way he wanted and lives to regret ever messing with Blade.

You know this is what I love about this series. They fight mutants, Soviets and androids in one book. Now they are in Las Vegas and taking on the mob. There’s always something new. I guess I’m not surprised that Vegas is still going after the apocalypse. Not even a nuclear war can stop Vegas.

ENDWORLD #14 SEATTLE RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1989.

A man running from something climbs to the top of the Space Needle. The man is the captain of the Cutterhawk a Californian destroyer that disappeared while answering a distress call from Seattle. He manages to broadcast a distress call that his ship was sunk by a mine and the survivors are prisoners of a mutant called Manta. Luckily Hickok is the one to intercept the call.

At the same time Blade is back from California and is told of the fate of the Cutterhawk. So being the head of the Freedom Force he feels responsible to rescue the crew. He also has to decide who will replace him as the head warrior for the Home. So he picks his three top candidates Hickok, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and Yama to accompany him.

The VTOL drops the four just north of Seattle. The city was neutron bombed during to war so it is relatively intact. Of course there are many dangers. Rabid packs of dogs, giant crabs and flocks of mutant seagulls that will peck you to death. The city is controlled by two factions. In the east is a human gang called the Sharks. They are ruled by a man named Tiger. Tiger is a well educated man with a love of art and literature especially Edgar Allen Poe. He is also convinced that he is the most superior man on the planet and destined to dominate everyone else.

The west is controlled by Manta and his Brethren. They are gill-men that Manta and his similarly mutated sister spawned that number over two hundred. Manta is a dour mutant that takes seriously his manifest destiny of world conquest by his inbred Brethren. He hates humans and keep them as slaves in his Humarium, an aquarium for humans. Now it is up the Blade and his fellow warriors to teach these megalomaniacs a lesson in humility.

Another fun entry in the Endworld series. The main point of this book sets up how Blade will be in both this and the Blade series. The Family Elders are divided on who should succeed Blade. Plato convinces Blade to use the VTOL’s to come back for a week every month. This gives time for Plato to convince the Elders to appoint Blade’s choice which is Hickok. So now Blade will be super busy with two series.

ENDWORLD #13 ANAHEIM RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1988.

The California Free State is going to join the Freedom Federation. California is the only state to maintain it’s integrity after the war and is now a powerful and stable democracy. Blade and Hickok accompany Plato to a meeting of the Federation leaders to Anaheim. Right after getting off one of California’s VTOL Hurricane aircraft, a sniper tries to take out Plato. Later the limo they are riding in is attacked by a mortar barrage on the freeway. At the hotel a soldier starts spraying his M-16 at them. It doesn’t take Blade long to realize that someone is seriously out the get them.

Blade and Hickok find out that the conference is targeted by an international guild of assassins lead by a creepy guy named Kraken. The guild was hired by Primator the crazy computer that runs Androxia. Primator wants to sabotage California’s entry into the Freedom Federation and also get his revenge on Blade. Blade and Hickok defeat the guild and California joins the Federation. It is decided at the end to form a small strike force made up of volunteers from each faction to combat an threats to the member states. Guess who is chosen to lead it.

Well it had to happen eventually. Blade and Hickok visit Disneyland. Sadly the amusement park has fallen on hard times since the Big Blast. A giant mutant alligator and inbred cannibals now infest the amusement park. Definitely not a family friendly place to visit.

So the big event that happens in this book is California’s entry to the Freedom Federation and the formation of the Freedom Force. It sets up the spinoff series Blade which we will examine next week.

Happy Easter everyone.

ENDWORLD #12 HOUSTON RUN BY DAVID ROBBINS

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tarzan

Copyright 1988.

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.