The United Americans are looking for Viktor Robotov. They get an anonymous tape mailed to them from the Caribbean. It is a monster movie filmed in Tokyo. Only it reveals in the background a Russian cruiser that belongs to Viktor. They immediately head to Tokyo and find the city under the control of what the locals call The Big Trouble. This is Robotov who now controls the city. He has taken over a movie production company on an island in Tokyo Bay. The employees are forced to work in his underground factory that makes nuclear IEDs. They are put in stuff like fire hydrants, trash cans and mailboxes. Viktor’s goal is to plant them around the world and threaten to set them off unless everybody submits to his rule.
Hawk Hunter has other plans. He hooks up with this kooky group called the Knights of the Flying Cross. A group that believes they are the Knights Templar and fly around in YAK-38s. They come up with a plan to free the captives on Viktor’s island then nuke it out of existence. They first have to deal with hundreds of F-86 Sabres flown by kamikaze pilots. Then they have to fight the robots on their former Russian aircraft carrier that Viktor is able to take over. All ends well when they succeed in freeing the prisoners and nuking his island. A chase in Viktor’s flying cube ends with the leader of the Knights sacrificing himself to stop him. This may be all for nothing for they find out the real power was Viktor’s wife who is still at large.
I thought the last book would be the end for a while, but Mack released this just before Christmas. I always think that his books just can’t get any weirder and the next one always disproves that. This is one really weird book. I didn’t know the Russian carrier they captured had robots on it. Yet in this book we find out they do. Arming themselves with AK-47s, they go on a rampage that Hunter of course stops in the nick of time. Sounds like he is setting up Viktor’s wife who we were introduced two books ago as the new number one baddie. Apparently, she must have escaped her daughter’s captivity. We will have to wait for my guess is the end of this year. Maloney has been fairly consistent with putting out a new book every year for this series.
The Asian Mercenary Cult has decided to leave their colony in the Southwest. After the stunning victories of the United Americans under Hawk Hunter against the Russians they wisely see the writing on the wall. They agree to leave all their weapons behind and boards transport ships back to Asia. The UA decides to send its carrier USS USA along to make sure they comply. Halfway there the AMC ships are attacked by hordes of drones that kamikaze into them. There is a new ruthless faction and Hunter has to find out who they are. His search brings him to the Solomon Islands. Here he finds the Yellow Star a new mercenary group is using the natives as slave labor to build huge mirrors to convert solar light to power. They have to stop this new group and find a way to defeat the hordes of kamikaze drones. Hunter also comes up against a Russian mercenary pilot that is as skilled as he is. Naturally they come out on top but at the end find out their arch enemy Viktor Robotov is still kicking and leading the Yellow Star.
It took twenty books to finally come up with a pilot that could go against the Wingman. Yet Hunter manages to take him out because the guy is a braggart and didn’t notice that Hunter had his .357 in his boot. Another really strange and goofy story. This time we get hordes of kamikaze drones that threaten to actually defeat them. Yet the United Americans as usual use their ingenuity to defeat the Yellow Star and free the native peoples from slavery.
The United Americans know that Viktor Robotov the evil terrorist has a base in the artic off the coast of Russia. Hawk Hunter leads a bombing strike on the base which destroys it. Unfortunately, Viktor gets away in his submarine The Odessa. Going back to the aircraft carrier USS USA, Hunter develops engine trouble and is forced to land on a small island off the coast of Scandinavia. It is inhabited by British refugees who are being terrorized by the local garrison of Russians on the next island. Hunter manages to get an old Swedish fighter from the fifties and take care of those Russians.
After being rescued, he finds himself on another adventure in the Bermuda Triangle. Their allies the Free Canadians have lost some freighters and their destroyer escort. While investigating he finds that this convoy was hijacked by bikini pirates, under the leader of Viktoria Robotov the daughter of his arch enemy. She is being threatened by her mother who leads a flotilla of giant seaplanes. Well Hunter joins forces with her to defeat her crazy mother and free the Canadian ships.
Finally, he has to rescue the boyfriend of his former lover Dominique from Russian occupied Hamburg. He was caught spying and is being tortured by the NKVD. Hunter and two others infiltrate a prison island off the coast of the city and rescue him. Then they firebomb the city and destroy The Odessa and it is assumed kill Viktor Robotov.
This book was basically three separate stories. Yet they tied together perfectly. Hunter is as always, the ultimate hero who singlehandedly gets the job done. He manages to kill his enemy (or does he?) while teaching those evil Russians a lesson. He helps out the daughter of Robotov and gets a romp in the sack. (Well, she is after all hot so can’t hold any grudges against who her father is.) Also introduces this mysterious strawberry blonde girl in a white baseball cap that helps him in all three adventures. Another fun and goofy adventure in the world of Hawk Hunter.
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.
Hawk Hunter has successfully dropped the atomic bomb on Honshu Island. This bomb was so big it literally sunk the island. Fortunately that island in this universe was cleared of civilians and only the military were killed. Naturally this ends the war but the B-2000 has disappeared. So Agent Y mounts an expedition to find the fate of the plane. On a huge amphibious transport they fly to the Pacific. Along the way they hire some air mercs and steal an aircraft carrier from some pirates. The trail takes them to Vietnam where they help out some French mercs and find clues including an aircraft that the B-2000 was carrying. The trail takes them into Thailand where they find that Hunter and crew abandoned their bomber for a train. This train takes them to Afghanistan.
In this world Afghanistan was colonized by the British and retains a very distinct British culture. A civil war is being fought between the Reds and the Blues. The Blues or the blue blood aristocrats against the red blood commoners. They have the Red’s princess locked up in a tower in the capital city of Kabul Downs. Hunter has joined the Reds and battles against the Blue’s jet biplanes. Soon they have to face a massive mercenary army and it is up to Hunter to defeat everyone and rescue the princess who is none other than his love Dominique.
Now this was a very weird book in a very weird series. The first three-fourths doesn’t even have Hunter in it. It consists of Agent Y and his band having adventures in this goofy world. They find Hunter in a British Afghanistan with jet biplanes. Oh and Victor who is also in this world has amnesia but is a good guy. He somehow finds his way into the mercenary army and helps out Hunter. At the end Hunter, Victor and Dominique go back to the Falklands where in the secret research facility they have a portal to our world. It goes to the north Atlantic and the three parachute in but Hunter doesn’t go home.
I get the feeling in this book that Maloney knew it was being cancelled by Pinnacle and was just writing something to fill his contractual obligations. He had a definite plan for Hunter but was going to save it for a new series with Ace. Something that we will look at next.
America has won it’s 58 year war with Nazis Germany thanks in large part to Hawk Hunter. Yet in this alternate universe there is also a militaristic Japanese Empire. It decides now is the time to attack. So on December 7, 1998 it launches a massive sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Using giant submarines that are combination aircraft carries and troop transports they devastate Pearl Harbor and five of the six megacarriers. A gas attack and follow up invasion captures the Panama Canal. Soon after they land in South America and with the help of some of the continent’s governments soon control everything except Brazil.
Hunter must now organize another war. He secretly sets up an airbase in the mountains of Peru. Guarded by fierce native tribes this base launches attacks on the occupying forces. Soon America has built up it’s forces and with Brazil plan to launch an invasion. This is only a distraction to the real goal. One of the atomic bombs that Hunter recovered from Germany is being worked on. Made into a superbomb that Hunter must drop on Japan using a massive B-2000 bomber. Only the Japanese have discovered this plan thanks to some traitors in the OSS. An invasion force is headed to the Falklands where a secret research base is located. Hunter has to almost singlehandedly defeat this invasion to carry out his bombing run.
The second book in this goofy alternate universe. This time he now fights the Japanese. If you didn’t think this series could get more weirder than hold on. We got giant over a mile submarine/aircraft carriers. Weird science that Maloney just pulls out of his ass but I guess that’s OK. After all he makes up the rules to this universe. There are also ghosts in this reality and the besieged forces in the Falklands kill one of their own soldiers so his ghost can go and get help. I will say that he definitely succeeded in giving this series a total makeover. Still the same lovable Hawk Hunter and he meets some counterparts from his other world. Yet it is a completely different world. You have to admire his ability to keep his writing fresh when so many other post-apocalypse series from this time didn’t last.
The last time we saw Hawk Hunter he was taking the Zon space shuttle to destroy a comet headed to Earth. Now he finds himself still alive and floating in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of America. He gets rescued by an American destroyer before a Nazi cruiser comes along. Hunter soon finds out he is in an alternate world. A world were the Nazi never lost WWII. This war has actually been going on for over 58 years. The war heated up in 1987 and now America in on the verge of winning. The Nazis though picked up a person from the ocean too. One who has revitalized them and now after a sneak attack during a peace conference are on the verge of winning. Desperate for pilots Hunter is drafted into the war effort and sent to a base in Iceland.
Hunter finds himself the only one in a fighter squadron that has to escort bombers on useless missions over the occupied British Isles. Hunter assesses the situation and of course takes charge of the whole operation as only Hunter can do. He reorganized the squadrons and soon is launching devastating attacks on Germany. His fame eventually lands him on a mission to destroy a massive dam on the Rhine to stop an imminent invasion of America. He succeeds and finds atomic bombs that the Germans developed. He gets them out of the country and uses them to end the war.
The last book left us with the feeling that it was the final in the series. Yet Maloney decided to take the series in a whole new direction. Hunter was mysteriously transported to an alternate world. A world the Nazis ended up conquering Europe. A world with giant forty engine bombers. Helicopters as big as jet airliners. Aircraft carriers over a mile long. Yet a world that never discovered atomic power. This whole story had a very surreal feel to it. I think it was a bold move to completely change the story. This was very weird but also very interesting. Yet it still retains the goofyness that made this series such a treat to begin with. Gives us a surprise ending on who was helping the Nazis. A great new direction for this series.
Hawk Hunter has taken off in the Zon space shuttle to capture the archterrorist Victor II and bring him back to justice. On Earth a lot of strange things are happening. Planes and people are disappearing and turning up other places. There are sighting of ghosts. The Kennedy Space Center becomes the target of the alliance of the Asian Mercenary Cult and the Fourth Reich. They have a base in Cuba that has thousands of nuclear weapons. Their plan to use the space center to launch them into orbit and threaten the entire Earth. Hunter and his crew eventually come on Victor holding up in a giant Swastika in space. Only a visit by the ghost of his girlfriend Dominique warns of an impending catastrophe. A giant 350 mile comet is headed to Earth. All life is about to be destroyed. So the Nazis and America call a temporary truce to deal with this threat. Their nuclear weapons are launched into space where Hunter and his friend Elvis Q will go on a suicide mission to destroy the comet. They also decide to take Victor with them.
This was a strange book. It basically had three story lines going on. One was Hunter in the Zon tracking down Victor II. (This is how Victor Robotov was referred to in this book.) Another was the battle for the Kennedy Space Center. We have various Nazis fighters and Cult Mercenary battleships attack. We even get the appearance of the Vikings for one chapter. The third takes place at Hunter’s farm in Cape Cod. Dominique gets visitors during a large hurricane including Hunter’s other girlfriend Chloe. Lots of mystical mumbo-jumbo goes on that eventually leads to the death of Dominique. This of course alerts Hunter to the comet and the alliance with Victor. At the end when he goes to see Hunter off and gloat, his friend decides to take him with them on the suicide mission. Now I dropped out of reading this series with the last book. So this is the first time for me in reading this. If I did read it new I would have assumed that this was the final book. It had a clear feel of ending with Hunter sacrificing himself to save the Earth. Of course I know this isn’t the last one. I will say that Maloney does take this series in a whole new different direction. More on that in the next review.
Hawk Hunter has arrived at Baikonur in Kazakhstan just in time to see Viktor take off in the Zon space shuttle. So he destroys the airfield and takes a fuel truck to travel to the Swiss Alps. He calculates that is Point Zero or the best place to track the shuttle. In Austria he comes on a town at war with the neighboring town. He gets involved in helping out this town which is lead by a Canadian mercenary. They only have a squadron of rebuild WWI biplanes but manages to defeat the neighboring town’s forces. Then the Zon shuttle lands and it is being piloted by Elvis. Here is where Hunter wakes up and discovers this was a dream.
He continues on to the village of St.Moritz in Switzerland. This village is a haven for the superrich and they spend their time having parties and kinky sex. Hunter meets the beautiful Chloe and falls in love with her. After a small adventure with some of Viktor’s men they find a tracking station and Hunter now knows the flight path of the Zon. So begins a journey to destroy all the airfields in it’s orbital path where the shuttle can land. They stop an attempt to take over Malta. Then destroy a field in southern Iraq. The fields in Pakistan and Rangoon are next. This all leads to a final confrontation on a small atoll in the pacific called Lolita Island. There the United Americans and the mercenary forces of Viktor clash in a big confrontation for control of the Zon shuttle and it’s advanced Star Wars weaponry.
So the old Zebra imprint was discontinued in the early nineties and Wingman found a new home with Pinnacle. This felt like three different books. The first was this dream of a war between two towns. It had some surreal stuff like dinosaurs and UFOs in it. Of course we find out at the end with Elvis piloting the shuttle that it was just a dream. The second quarter of the book dealt with Hunter and his adventures in St. Moritz. This felt more like a Fifty Shades of Grey type book. His new girlfriend likes to have all types of sex including having Hunter watch her do other guys. In fact she has sex with everyone but Hunter.
Finally we get to the second half and it read more like a traditional Wingman book. Hunter, Chloe and a sidekick from Malta named Baldi steal a Tu-95 Bear and travel around the world destroying airfields. Along the way we are introduced to the wide range of goofiness that is the world of the Wingman. A big battle ends in Hunter getting the Zon shuttle and at the end taking off to get Viktor who is still up there on the Mir spacestation. His new girl Chloe goes to a monastery in Tibet. This was a real strange book.