Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Adult Western Superfriends?

What if I told you that there was a four-book series that put many of the greatest Adult Western heroes into one universe working together to vanquish evil foes?  Anybody interested in an Adult Western Avengers?

Imagine a world where the following stars teamed up, interacted with one another, killed bad guys and got laid in a series of interrelated novels:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


-Deputy U.S. Marshal Custis Long from the 'Longarm' series by Tabor Evans

-Jessie Starbuck and Ki from the 'Lone Star' series by Wesley Ellis

-The U.S. Cavalry soldiers from the 'Easy Company' series by John Wesley Howard


-Pinkerton agents 'Raider and Doc' from the series by J.D. Hardin

-Gunfighter John Fury from the 'Fury' series by Jim Austin

It’s true. It happened in four books published in serial form between the years 2006 and 2009, and we have Stan Lee wannabe James Reasoner to thank for the creation of this audacious literary project. 

There’s no great roadmap anywhere explaining how to enjoy this historic confluence of horny violence, so let us be your guide. 


You need to acquire the following novels all written by James Reasoner under the Tabor Evans house name. The reading order is important, so please pay attention as the books aren’t numbered on their covers: 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Longarm Giant 25: Longarm and the Outlaw Empress” (2006) 

-Longarm Giant 26: Longarm and the Golden Eagle Shoot-Out” (2007) 

-Longarm Giant 27. Longarm and the Valley of Skulls” (2008)

-Longarm Giant 28: Longarm and the Lone Star Trackdown” (2009) 













Also bear in mind that 'Longarm' Giants were different than the standard 400+ book 'Longarm' adult western series. They were released annually, and each novel clocked in at about 300 pages whereas a normal 'Longarm' usually ran 185 pages. The Giants allowed the authors to write longer - and sometimes more complex - stories while allowing Jove Books to charge more for an Adult Western series paperback. 


Each of the books listed above stars Custis Long, and the action generally ping-pongs between chapters told from the perspectives of the other adult western heroes participating in the books’ adventures along with Longarm. 

By way of background, it’s important to know a little bit about the 'Lone Star' series before embarking on this 1200 page, multi-novel odyssey. The continuing story thread of the 'Lone Star' books dealt with a shadowy European crime cartel who killed Jessie Starbuck’s father at the beginning of the series. Jessie and her King-Fu sidekick Ki have a bunch of mostly inessential adventures with bad guys being tangentially related to the cartel.  Eventually, Jessie and Ki - with the help of Longarm - vanquish the cartel once and for all. But is the cartel really gone for good? As long as you understand the European cartel was bad and now is gone, you can now begin Longarm and the Outlaw Empress. The novels all do a nice job of reintroducing the co-stars, so you don’t need to be intimately familiar with every series to enjoy this one. 


There were other team-ups in the history of Adult Westerns. 'Edge' and 'Steele' met and joined forces. “Gunsmith #300” saw Clint Adams teaming up with Longarm with a cameo from Slocum (Fun Fact: All three heroes got laid, just not with one another). I believe 'The Trailsman' met up with Canyon O’Grady in at least one paperback. 

However, nothing in the Adult Western genre has ever been as ambitious as Reasoner’s project in these four 'Longarm' Giants. He did an amazing job with this story arc, and the books are individually and collectively fantastic. Seeing these characters interact with one another was a real pleasure and worth the investment of time and money to track these down. Highest recommendation.