The United Americans have defeated the Fourth Reich and liberated the eastern half of the country. The other half is still under the occupation of the Asian Mercenary Cult. An uneasy truce exists for the cult has two nuclear subs that could destroy two cities. Yet intelligence indicates that their insane leader Hashi Pushi is about to obliterate a city on the west coast. Hashi Pushi is a drug crazed nut who likes to have his own men commit seppuku over minor infractions. The United Americans lead by Hawk Hunter come up with a daring plan. Outfit an aircraft carrier and conduct a raid on Pushi’s palace in Tokyo. With his death it is hoped the cult will fall apart.
They carry out the raid and Hashi Pushi does commit suicide but the threat from the cult is far from over. His spirit is transferred to a teenage girl who continues his evil plans of world domination. On the island of Okinawa a massive factory is churning out guns, munitions and exact copies of WWII era Zeros. On a nearby island they are producing dozens of battleships. So Hunter manages to team up with a movie production group that was stranded on the island by WWIII. They are lead by the daughter of Amelia Earhart. Naturally Hunter and the United Americans easily destroy this base.
Yet the spirit of Hashi lives on in another young cult member. He manages to gather the cult’s forces at Pearl Harbor to lure the Americans to their doom. Only Hunter is one step ahead and uses remote controlled ships to lure the thousand of kamikaze Zeros to destroy empty ships. Then they destroy the islands food and water supply and trap the army to starve. Everything looks great until at the end we learn that the cult was being manipulated by the dead spirit of Victor Robotov the insane terrorist thought dead.
So this book sees the defeat of the Second Axis. I have to say that the Second Axis was a very incompetent bunch. Everyone of them was more good at killing themselves then the enemy. It is a wonder they managed to take over America in the first place. As you can read from the description of the plot this was just filled to the brim with goofiness. Which just makes it such a fun experience. Not a bit of real world grounding but plenty of fast paced action. Ends with the revelation of the evil Russian terrorist mastermind Victor now back and somehow resurrected from the dead. The action will now start going more international with Hunter and his buddies leaving America to battle evil all over the world.
The Second Axis has conquered America. On the west coast everything west of the Rockies is under the control of the Combined Greater East Asia Divine Warriors’ Association or what will be known as the Asian Mercenary Cult. Everything to the east is the Fourth Reich a reborn Nazis empire. America now is under the brutal heel of these occupiers. Most of the United American officers are in hiding or concentration camps. Hawk Hunter the famed Wingman is presumed dead. In Fuhrerstadt the Nazis capital which was formerly St. Louis the Amerikafuhrer is about to marry the insane Elizabeth Sandlake so she can become queen of America.
Yet Hunter isn’t dead and has been quietly rebuilding the forces of resistance. A clever ruse distracts the Nazis from the real objective of the attack. With the battleship New Jersey towing barges full of tanks they make their way up the Mississippi to Fuhrerstadt during the wedding. A decisive battle frees the country but sees the brave Mike Fitzgerald sacrifice himself to prevent the destruction of St. Louis by a nuclear missile.
Back in the nineties it was a common practice to revive the old Axis after the fall of the Soviets. Either a resurgent Germany or Japan was the new bad guy. Maloney actually brings it back quite literally. Now how did the Nazis get to power. Not really explained but they apparently have a very modern army and air force. The first half of the book is somewhat slow. We never even see Hunter the main hero. It mostly consists of stuff like Mike Fitzgerald pretending to be a priest to hide from the Nazis and showing us how evil the Nazis are. The second half though we get the typical goofy over the top action that we expect in a Wingman book. You have to wonder how these Nazis managed to take over America in the first place. They seem completely incompetent and when the going gets tough they just shoot themselves in the head. They sure don’t make Nazis like they used to.
The book starts out with an assault on a castle in Alberta. The evil Elizabeth Sandlake has captive Hawk Hunter’s girlfriend Dominique. Sandlake who was an archeologist that was taken captive by the Canal Nazis has been driven insane and now wants to create a female dominated aristocracy with her as queen. Wow is this way ahead of it’s time. The joint United American/Free Canadian force succeeds and frees Dominique and captures many criminals. Unfortunately Sandlake her lover Juanita Juarez and Hunter’s beloved F-16 get away. You know it’s love when Hunter chooses his girl over his airplane. After this Hunter decides to retire with Dominique and live on a hay farm on the coast of Massachusetts.
Things though don’t stay peaceful for the country. A mysterious force of raiders from the sea are attacking towns and cities on the east coast of Canada and America. These raiders strike around Hunter’s home and kidnap his girl. Now he has to get out his AV-8BE Harrier and join the fight. He finds out that the mysterious raiders are Vikings in massive submarines. These unhygenic Vikings are using these massive coal powered subs complete with sea serpent heads mounted on the front to rape, loot and pillage. These Vikings are the work of a fishing magnet who took over northern Scandinavia and revived the Viking traditions after the war. Verden and his son Thorgils though are puppets to some other force. Along the way Hunter teams up with Verden’s rebellious son Wolf who wears a mask and captains the USS New Jersey battleship. The big raid against Florida is easily defeated but the United Americans are surprised by an attack from a new enemy. An enemy that possesses carriers with modern aircraft. They decimate the United American forcers as a large Asian enemy invades the west coast. Ends with Hunter going off on a suicide mission to attack the invaders alone.
So with the Soviets defeated the author has to come up with some new enemies and boy are these some off the wall ones. Naturally this book was a joy to read. The kooky Vikings that drive around in coal powered submarines. The weird feminist Sandlake who joins forces with them. The equally mysterious figure of Wolf with his Zorro like mask using his battleship against his family. Goes along with the big final battle that is a complete success for Hunter. Then it hits us with the surprise attack and defeat of the Americans at the end. The Vikings were just a distraction for this new enemy who also has four nuclear armed submarines to blackmail America into surrendering. A fun over the top book that doesn’t have a lick of reality to it but plenty of high adventure fantasy.
America is now united and settling down to normal. A group calling themselves The Modern Pioneers are attempting to drive a train across the Badlands to Los Angeles. Only it gets ambushed along the way and the empty train is sent crashing into downtown L.A. Yet the United American government has decided that a rail route should be opened between the east and west. Lead by Hawk Hunter they equip a massive two mile long train that will cut a path from the east to west coast. Dubbed the Freedom Express this heavily armed train will see Hunter trade in his F-16 for a Harrier jumpjet to land and take off from the train.
They soon find out that there is a formidable enemy awaiting them. Duke Devellian and his Knights of the Burning Cross a white supremacist group is determined to stop the train. Gathering a huge army of former canal Nazis, KKK, Mexican bandits and various mercenary scum Duke plans to ambush and destroy the train at the Grand Canyon. Hunter and the United Americans have to run a gauntlet to make the journey to L.A. The train has become a symbol of a reborn America and defeat could mean the end of the fledgling new democratic government.
This installment of the series gives us a KKK type group as the main enemy. Duke Devellian is probably the most loathsome of opponents the series ever had. He is of course a white supremacist who is also a sexual pervert that enslaves young girls. He also is a psychopath who loves killing. In fact every day he kills his own men for some minor infraction whenever he is in a bad mood. Which is very frequent. You wonder why someone would work for such an unstable individual. I mean the Burning Cross can’t have that good of pay and benefits. Duke always has to take a polaroid of his killing. Naturally Hawk Hunter and the good guys come through against overwhelming odds. They take on their old canal Nazis foes, Mexican bandits, South African flamethrower unit, skinheads in Phantoms and the KKK Air Force. Duke who fancies himself a film director plans to film the whole destruction for the world to see. Only Hunter doesn’t stick to the choreographed script. Another fun if highly improbable adventure in the Wingman universe.
America is finally united and the Soviet puppet Circle is soundly defeated. Yet the country is a mess and the provisional United American government has its hands full rebuilding. There are rumors that the Panama Canal is still intact and Hawk Hunter goes to New Orleans to investigate. He talks to a man who claims to have been there and tells that the canal is run by Nazis that are obsessed with collecting gold. So Hunter takes off to Central America which is now known as Big Banana. There he finds the Twisted Cross a Nazis organization is extorting gold for passage through the canal. They also have mined the canal with nuclear explosives. Hunter has to find an expert that designed these explosives so they can be disarmed. America needs the canal to ship supplies from the west to rebuild the east.
So he rescues the doctor from some skinheads in Texas and finds out his daughter Elizabeth Sandlake was taken. She is a noted anthropologist who recently discovered new Mayan caverns that hold gold. The Twisted Cross needs this because they have this grand plan to corner the market in gold and from this rule the world. Hawk’s adventures find him meeting an American mercenary group known as CATS(Central American Tactical Squad) and some warrior monks. With the United Americans pretending to negotiate a mutual nonaggression pact they manage to ambush the Nazis and disarm the canal. Hunter rescues Elizabeth and once again defeats the enemies of America.
Now we move from Soviets and their criminal allies to Nazis as the main villains in this book. The Nazis would soon play a predominate villain in the series going forward. Now really explained how these Nazis came about but like most stuff in this series you just go with it. They do make excellent villains. Also introduces Elizabeth Sandlake who becomes a major villain in the series. She starts out this decent woman but somewhere along the line she goes nuts. She also develops this hypnotic power over people which we start to see develop in this book. Once again you just go with it. A strange development for a very strange series. I do love this series. It is just so off the wall nuts to be a fun and entertaining ride.
Hawk Hunter is back from the Middle East after defeating Victor Robotov aka Lucifer and his invasion of Europe. Now he has the deal with the Soviet backed Circle that controls the eastern half of America. The western forces now known as the United Americans first have to liberate Football City formerly St. Louis, They first have to make sure they rescue ten thousands POWs that the Circle are using as hostages. This involves a convoluted plan to use old prohibition era tunnels to get them to the Mississippi and float them out on inner tubes. Then Hawk and his friends infiltrate the Family in New Chicago and manage to take over that organization of criminals. They then set the Family army against the Circle army and destroy both of them. Finally they move east to continue their victories.
Yet they have to hurry for the Soviets have hired a mercenary army in Scandinavia that is coming to reinforce the Circle. They also have to stop a massive iconoclasm from happening in Washington D.C. The Soviets plan to burn thousands of books, sports equipment and American flags to destroy American culture and demoralize the people. Hunter has to lead a general revolt and stop the evil Soviets from their diabolical plans.
This book sees the Circle finally being defeated and America reunited. It also has Hunter get an upgraded F-16 or an F-16XL. Once again Hunter and friends fight against overwhelming odds and come out on top. I love how they manage to come into the mafia controlled New Chicago and take over. Maloney has a real talent for making his villains so loathsome. Most are sexual perverts into underage girls. I will say that he was way ahead of his time in the whole cancel culture thing. Sure the whole plot of the Soviets is a bit goofy and seemed really so at the time. Yet destroying American culture to destroy America has never been more alive and well. This was a really enjoyable book filled with over the top action and villain. Not to mention a good dose of American patriotism thrown in.
Victor the architect of the Circle War has escaped to the Middle East. Hawk Hunter and his F-16 are hot on his trail. He finds out that Victor is known as Lucifer in Europe and the Middle East. He has amassed a million man army in Saudi Arabia with Soviet backing. Once again the terrorist is sowing chaos for his Soviet masters. Hunter links up with an RAF contingent and finds out the Modern Knights the rulers of Western Europe are assembling a mercenary army to fight Lucifer. WWIII is about to heat up and Sir Neal has a bold plan. He is going to hire a group of mercenaries and tow the disabled aircraft carrier USS Saratoga across the Med to the Suez Canal. There he will hold off Lucifer’s army from breaking out into the Mediterranean Sea. The trip sees Hunter and the group battle the Red Army Faction in Southern France. The Holy Sardinian Empire. The Sidra-Benghazi gang and scores of airplanes and submarines to get to the Suez. There they have an epic battle against an overwhelming force that will determine the fate of Europe.
So Maloney takes his hero to the Mediterranean for his next book. We find out like America, Europe and the Middle East are one goofy ass place after WWIII. He has an eclectic group of people on this great crusade that involves the improbable feat of towing an aircraft carrier across the Med. Yes once again there is a boat load of improbable feats accomplished in this book. Once again the reader just doesn’t care. You are caught up in the fun story. Maloney obviously knows the point is the story and not realism. You have the good guys overcoming and defeating the evil guys against incredible odds. You root for these underdogs and get a satisfying ending. Lucifer gets killed by Nazis at the end which foreshadows some future bad guys. So just sit back and enjoy the fun.
After the defeat of the Family, Hunter and his buddies settle down with the Pacific American Air Corp(PAAC) which consists of the west coast of the former United States. Yet stuff is happening. Hunter discovers the Soviets sneaking 50 Yak-38 VTOL fighters into the country. There are reports of mysterious goings on all over the country. Strange lights over the great lakes. Cavalry troops attacking from the Badlands. It is soon discovered that the Soviets have infiltrated thousands of surface to air missiles(SAMs) into the Badlands that center part of the country destroyed by a sneak nuclear attack. They also have Mongol cavalry to guard them. While this is going on Victor Robotov a terrorist and possible Soviet agent has organized the eastern part of the country into The Circle. With thousands of recruits they march to link up with the Soviets in the Badlands. Then they plan to conquer the Western Democracies. The only hope is for Hawk Hunter to retrieve five black boxes that will power a flight of special B-1 bombers. Along the way in New York he manages to also find a Stealth fighter and rescue his girlfriend Dominique. Then it is a great battle between the forces of good and evil.
The second book in the series has Hunter once again save the good guys almost single handedly from the evil Soviets and their puppets. Another fun adventure as we get to explore the kooky world of the New Order. In this one Hunter goes from Hawaii to the Grand Canyon. He manages to use a jet pack to fly up to the World Trade Center(it exists in this time line) and rescue his girlfriend and get the necessary components to save the day. Yes the logic is a bit sketchy and the plot is downright goofy but it is fun goofy. Maloney writes a very fast paced and interesting story with larger then life characters in a larger than life world. You get a good feeling to see the bad guys get put in their place. Definitely another winner in the series. On a side note I remember a computer game called Harpoon. A very realistic naval warfare simulation at the time I loved playing. I remember that the Yak-38 was a real piece of shit in the game. Had a very limited range and weapons. Somehow I think that plane was overrepresented in the book.
It has been two years since America lost WWIII to the Soviets. They won on the battlefield in Europe soundly defeating the armies of the Warsaw Pact. Yet the Vice President was a Soviet mole and had the President and his cabinet assassinated. Then he turned off the star wars shield and the Soviets were able to obliterate the ICBM fields in the Midwest. What resulted was the New Order. The U.S. was to destroy all its advanced aircraft and other military equipment. The country is broken up into various independent nations and Free States. All broadcast TV and radio was banned and so is any mention of the United States and the American flag. Hawk Hunter is a fighter pilot who has been living on a mountain in New Hampshire since the great stab in the back. One day he gets a message from his old commander General Jones. Jones is head of the Airforce for the Northeastern Economic Zone which is made up of New England. He is offered a job and the chance to fly the last F-16 in existence.
Naturally he accepts but soon trouble is on the way in New Order America. The Middle Atlantic Conference known as Mid-Aks have been steadily conquering territory. With traitors in the Zone government they manage to launch a successful coup and Hunter and the Zone air force are forced to flee. Hunter eventually hooks up with Louie St. Louie the founder of Football City. Formerly St. Louis, Football City is now the gambling capital of he continent. Their main attraction is a football game played all day for most of the year. Yet the forces of evil are gathering to destroy this bastion of freedom. The Family the Mafia has taken over Chicago and build up a mercenary army. With Soviet advisors and financing they are about to conquer Football City. Hunter is tasked with building up an air force from scratch to defend the city. It ends in a spectacular battle.
This is one of my favorite series from the eighties. It is like Top Gun meets the Road Warrior. I have heard it described as a comic book in book form and that is a very accurate description. Apparently after the war the older aircraft were overlooked so everyone uses old jet fighters from the fifties and sixties. Hunter has the only modern fighter in America. This is a character that is larger then life and fighting opponents that are larger then life. Now it is a bit absurd for people to go cruising around in a jet fighter like it was a Toyota. In real life such a complex piece of machinery needs a crew of twenty and mounds of spare parts to operate. You don’t really care because this story is just so fun. The series continued well into the nineties before morphing into a sci-fi series called Starhawk. Then the author revived it a few years ago so the series has a popular following. Personally one of my favorites.