Showing posts with label Enforcer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Enforcer. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2020

Paperback Warrior - Episode 66

On Episode 66 of The Paperback Warrior Podcast, we return to our Men’s Adventure roots with a discussion of several rare and iconic series titles in the hard-core action genre. Tom also tells a shocking and controversial book hunting story you won’t want to miss. Listen on your favorite podcast app,, or download directly HERE

Listen to "Episode 66: Men's Adventure Shootout" on Spreaker.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Enforcer #04 - Kill Deadline

Andrew Sugar's fourth entry in 'The Enforcer' series was released in 1973 by Lancer. The entire series was purchased and later reprinted by Manor. All of those reprints featured newly commissioned artwork except “Kill Deadline”. Further, Manor released this novel out of it's original series order, confusing readers by stamping #6 on the cover and misspelling the author's name. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the series premise, I highly recommend clicking on the Enforcer tag below to better understand why this vigilante series contains science-fiction elements. While not a traditional vigilante yarn, the idea of a company, such as Rosegold Institute, financing a war on crime certainly dresses the part. “Kill Deadline” expands on that formula and offers a fairly simplistic mystery for readers to digest.

The premise is that a wealthy entrepreneur is being assassinated on the tenth of each month by The Calendar Killer. These corporate executives represent successful companies that have refused to sell out or cooperate with the Mob. The latest victim is a friend to the institute, Daniel McBane. Upon his assassination, the company's controls are willed to Richards, who was injured during the murder. Our favorite “enforcer”, protagonist Alex Jason, conceives the idea of replacing Richards with a clone body that Jason inhabits. The mission is to lure the assassin out into the open so Jason's skill-set can capture or kill the hitman. 

Like the book's opening pages, which promises an inevitable confrontation between Jason and his nemesis Lochner, the mystery is fairly simple – locate the hitman and the eventual connection between his organization and Lochner. Along the way Sugar's writing introduces some new allies while surprising readers with a shocking death (that even I had to read twice!). Overall, this series is a brilliant undertaking and a really clever spin on the 70s men's action adventure staple. While it was short-lived, at just six total books, this author makes the most of the concept and writes spectacular fiction that is overwhelmingly entertaining. This is a mandatory read for action enthusiasts. 

Buy a copy of this book HERE

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Enforcer #03 - Kill City

Andrew Sugar's third entry in his vigilante series 'Enforcer' is “Kill City”, released in 1973 by Lancer. Like the prior two books, “Kill City” was purchased by Manor and reprinted in 1976 with new, more superior artwork courtesy of George Gross (who did early 'Executioner' books before Gil Cohen took over). Gross's artwork really captures the feel of the book, detailing many of the action sequences found within. The red, white and blue color scheme is important to the story fundamentals – Enforcer Jason is preventing a mass terrorist attack on major US cities. With the obligatory ticking time bomb comes some political intrigue and subtext regarding a nation divided by color.

Like the series debut “Caribbean Kill”, the novel starts by revealing a wounded Jason after the finale showdown. The author paints enough sketchy brush strokes to give us a feel of the story, but leaves all the details and plot planning for subsequent chapters. In those, Jason is mugged off-assignment and rescued by a vigilante force called The Patrol. In the incident, the mugger shockingly turns the gun on himself, committing suicide on the sidewalk. Perplexed, Jason takes the mystery to the institute (the place where they make a new body for Jason every 90 days in an effort to fight crime worldwide). Collectively, the institute formulates a tactical infiltration of The Patrol. 

Combining the institute's resources, Jason utilizes a black associate named Calvin to tackle the assignment. The Patrol is actually the Caucasian vigilante force. There's also an African-American version stereo-typically deemed Brigade of Brothers. While the surface level indicates no foul play, Jason and Calvin infiltrate the two forces, black and white, and unveil a global conspiracy to detonate Suicide Stimulators (called Suzies) across major US cities. The overall effort is conducted by one of Jason's rivals from the first book. 

Sugar really nails this one, fetching the same sort of intrigue, mystery and explosive action as the predecessor, “Calling Doctor Kill”. While the clone bodies, Jason's body jumping and his masterful art of Ki have all been elements of the prior installments, these inclusions are more expanded with “Kill City”. Beyond what we already knew, Jason stumbles on a few new tricks while fumbling with the two criminal factions. Sugar, always explicit, throws in some X-Rated steam as Jason works over Janet, his love interest from book two. 

Overall, “Kill City” is a thrill-ride of epic proportions and continues to catapult the series into the higher echelon of the genre.

Thanks to Bob Deis of for the assistance on the book's artist and artwork.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Enforcer #02 - Calling Doctor Kill!

There's no secret that I loathed the very existence of Andrew (Andrea) Sugar's 'The Enforcer' debut. It's preposterous plotting and dull narrative left a lot to be desired. The pretentious “enforcer” bit never came to fruition, nor did the Mafia or kill contracts per the appetizing front cover. In my review of that series debut, I requested “less spiders in a bag, less laser beams and much better writing” as my definitive closing statement for the jury. Thankfully, my willpower to read the second series entry, “Calling Doctor Kill!”, didn't evaporate as this novel is a pleasant surprise and a fair representation of what I had expected from the series name.

In this novel, protagonist Alex Jason is requested by the institute to infiltrate a complex hospital operated by the mysterious Syndicate. Jason is provided a new body (his brain can transfer bodies every 90 days) and an identity as a new doctor hired by the hospital. The mission is to free Dr. Rosegold, the brilliant mind behind the whole “transferring to a new body” routine. Rosegold is a brilliant entrepreneur with a tremendous skill-set, thus an easy target for the Syndicate. They have him captured in a coma-like state inside the heavily fortified hospital. It's an attempt to pry information on the body transfer process for an overall goal of creating seemingly immortal mobsters. Aim high, shoot high.

In the first novel, Sugar placed Jason in over his head as a combat-heavy jungle soldier without an ounce of military experience. That plodding, lifeless debacle of having him blow up an oil reserve in a banana country was absurd beyond words. In this book, Jason infiltrating a hospital using his brain instead of brawn makes logical sense. Instead of explosives and laser beams, this book is grounded with a solid dose of espionage, a thrilling pace and an effective setting that creates a sense of isolation and forthcoming doom. It's a chilling atmosphere, making Jason's undercover mission compelling, riveting and all-together just a damn fine read. Sugar never misses a beat. “Calling Doctor Kill!” finally showcases this writer's talent as well as a tremendous amount of potential for the series. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Enforcer #01 - The Enforcer

Lancer released The Enforcer in 1973. It was the debut of a series that lasted four volumes with the publishing group before Manor purchased the line and released two more (including reprinting some with better art). The series was written and created by Andrew Sugar, who would later contribute for Argosy as well as books in The Israeli Commandos line. After one stand-alone title, Yank, the author seemed to retire from writing around 1979.  No other published works are known. Oddly, there’s some mystery behind this particular creator. Some have speculated that Andrew Sugar was actually a woman named Andrea Sugar. However, according to the Glorious Trash blog, a fan and former Sugar colleague states this is false. Blogger and author Paul Bishop discovered evidence from a court case (her lawsuit over naming rights of Dirty Harry film franchise) that he lived his later years as a woman – Andrea Sugar.

While The Enforcer appears to be another entry in the popular “vigilante revenge” sub-genre, don’t let the cover fool you. There are very little comparisons contrary to the book’s obvious knock-off of The Executioner styled covers. The cover suggests this is a “great new series”. It’s not. It also shows us a Mack Bolan clone holding a handgun. That’s not in the book. The tagline of, “The contract’s out from the Mafia masters – get the Enforcer before he gets us!” has absolutely nothing to do with this book. There’s no Mafia, no contract and the Enforcer isn’t out to get anyone. The book’s jacket is a scam just begging for you to spend your hard earned .95 cents on this guy instead of Bolan. I hope you didn’t.

Alex Jason is a successful author and lives in a nice apartment complex in New York. In the book’s opening chapters, we learn that Jason is in the final stages of stomach cancer and weights roughly 100-pounds. He’s not exactly in tip-top fighting shape regardless of his martial arts background. Aside from controlling his pain using inner self-control called Ki, he spends his dying days depleting his funds and having heavily detailed sex with his girlfriend (who at one-point wishes Jason had two penises to please her with). Jason entertains an offer from a mysterious hologram – he can live an additional two years if he can contribute his services to the John Anryn Institute. How is this possible for a terminal Cancer patient? Simple. A guy named Flack has invented successful body growing (and cloning). Frankenstein influences in a men’s action adventure tale?

In what of the most outrageous storylines of any genre series, Flack can simply place Jason’s mind in perfect bodies that he has grown from cells. While these bodies are healthy, strong and enamored with ginormous penises, they do have a flaw. After about 90 days the body will essentially melt and Jason will need to be replaced in a new body. Each time this happens…the brain waves become a little duller. It’s not a flawless process but Jason understands the risks. Soon Flack and his institute has Jason in laser beam training, an important part of his first mission – destroying oil wells in Cuba to spur a dictatorship’s downfall. After meeting, and screwing, a trainer named Brunie (also a cloned body), Jason is off to Cuba (?) to shoot the oil well with a laser beam. Unfortunately, his raft sinks along with most of his supplies. Considering Jason has no prior military experience and writes books for a living, he is soon captured by the dictator and forced into a three-month prison sentence of torture and penis flicking (by another man).

There are so many things wrong with this book that I can’t possibly outline them all here. 

First, why would the institute want Jason to do these things? It’s 1973, why not some Vietnam specialist or other military trained professional? Second, the author spends a bulk of the middle of this book just doing day to day stuff at the prison – very mild torture, hotbox occupancy, penis flicking – with very little payoff. How does our paperback warrior escape? Brunie and his laser beam trainer, Tutley, show up to spring him from the camp. 

The book continues for another 40 pages as the team learns there is an Island of Dr. Moreau thing happening in some secret laboratory on the island. Without proper supplies and arms (the laser beams have a max capacity of 15 shots), they literally walk into the laboratory and threaten the commander with a spider in a bag. No shit. I’m not making this up. Utterly ridiculous…and fascinating. 

The book’s finale, which can’t come soon enough, circles back to the novel’s opening pages of Jason melting away on a Caribbean beach. It’s hard to imagine where the series’ will go from here – but I’m hoping less spiders in a bag, less laser beams and much, much better writing.

Buy a copy of this book HERE