The novel opens with a chemical weapon human rights atrocity in an Iraq stand-in committed by a Saddam Hussein stand-in. It’s a well-written opening firmly previewing who our villain will be, consistent with the Gold Eagle paperback plotting style. We later find out that this Saddam is developing a chemical weapon that transforms the peaceful into psychotic, murderous loonies straight from 28 Days Later. If only there were a U.S. Government hero who could stop him…
And then we meet said hero arriving at a Bangkok Airport. His name is Black Jack Hogan, and he’s the strapping fellow who looks like Thor on the book’s cover. He’s a troubleshooter for a U.S. Government Intelligence agency — sticky situations only, please. He doesn’t even make it out of the airport before assassins dispatched by Saddam try to kill him. That’s the kind of life Black Jack lives.
During the attack, Black Jack sees an apparition of an ancient muscle-man with a giant curvy sword eviscerate one of the airport assassins. He initially writes it off to a mirage because he hasn’t read the back of the book. Dreams of the bearded warrior persist, and we learn that his name is Brom. Black Jack is able to summon Brom thanks to an experience our hero once had in Cambodia, where he was saved by Buddhist monks. Likewise, Black Jack is periodically transported back in time to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with Brom in battles against rival barbarians.
The two timelines are brought together by necessity. Saddam’s nefarious chemist is Dr. Nis, who is actually an ancient magician named Nis from Brom’s realm. Stopping Nis from destroying 1991 will, in turn, help Brom with his own Nis-related chaos in the distant past. A buddy, team-up adventure is born!
The author knows his way around bloody, violent action sequences and the plot certainly keeps moving. You’ll either love or hate the New Age mysticism baked into the plot, but you’ll never be bored. The story arc is fresh from the Gold Eagle lunchroom vending machine, but it’s a formula that worked well for over a thousand novels across dozens of series titles.
If you’ve got a hankering for a Conan-meets-Bolan collaboration, you’ll probably like this first installment in the short-lived Time Warriors series. You pretty much know what you’re getting from the cover in this competently-done, but inconsequential, men’s paperback adventure.
Note - Gold Eagle gave the same sort of deal to an author named John Barnes. Beginning in 1993, he was commissioned to write a trilogy of books called Time Raider that featured a similar premise as Time Warriors.
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