Mack Bolan The Executioner Series




T
he Executioner: Mack Bolan Books
created by
Don Pendleton

Mack Bolan


WAR AGAINST THE MAFIA,
Originally published, 1969

DEATH SQUAD,
Originally published, 1969

BATTLE MASK,
Originally published, 1970

MIAMI MASSACRE,
Originally published, 1970

CONTINENTAL CONTRACT,
Originally published, 1971

ASSAULT ON SOHO,
Originally published, 1971

NIGHTMARE IN NEW YORK,
Originally published, 1971

CHICAGO WIPE-OUT,
Originally published, 1971

VEGAS VENDETTA,
Originally published, 1971

CARIBBEAN KILL,
Originally published, 1972

CALIFORNIA HIT,
Originally published, 1972

BOSTON BLITZ,
Originally published, 1972

WASHINGTON IOU,
Originally published, 1972

SAN DIEGO SIEGE,
Originally published, 1972

PANIC IN PHILLY,
Originally published, 1973

JERSEY GUNS,
Originally published, 1974

TEXAS STORM,
Originally published, 1974

DETROIT DEATHWATCH,
Originally published, 1974

NEW ORLEANS KNOCKOUT,
Originally published, 1974

FIREBASE SEATTLE,
Originally published, 1975

HAWAIIAN HELLGROUND,
Originally published, 1975

CANADIAN CRISIS,
Originally published, 1975

ST. LOUIS SHOWDOWN,
Originally published, 1975

COLORADO KILL-ZONE,
Originally published, 1976

ACAPULCO RAMPAGE,
Originally published, 1976

DIXIE CONVOY,
Originally published, 1976

SAVAGE FIRE,
Originally published, 1977

COMMAND STRIKE,
Originally published, 1977

CLEVELAND PIPELINE,
Originally published, 1977

ARIZONA AMBUSH,
Originally published, 1977

THE EXECUTIONER'S WAR BOOK,
Originally published, 1977

TENNESSEE SMASH,
Originally published, 1978

MONDAY'S MOB,
Originally published, 1978

TERRIBLE TUESDAY,
Originally published, 1979

WEDNESDAY'S WRATH,
Originally published, 1979

THERMAL THURSDAY,
Originally published, 1979

FRIDAY'S FEAST,
Originally published, 1979

SATAN'S SABBATH,
Originally published, 1980


Published by Pinnacle Books, 1969 through 1980; numerous printings;
Reissued 1988 to 1990. The books have been published in multiple foreign
languages and countries. Currently out of print.

COMIC Graphic Novel adaptations of THE EXECUTIONER


THE EXECUTIONER, WAR AGAINST THE MAFIA,

Part One, Part Two and Part Three, adapted, scripted by Don Pendleton and Linda Pendleton;
art by Sandu Florea; published by Innovation Comics, 1993. Part Four was not published because the publisher went out of business.


THE EXECUTIONER, DEATH SQUAD,

Black and White 128 page Comic Graphic Novel, adapted and scripted by Linda Pendleton;
art by Sandu Florea; published by Vivid Comics, 1996.

DON PENDLETON'S COMMENTS
ON HIS BOOKS, WRITING AND ON LIFE

 


Linda Pendleton states:

It was 1968, a time in America of civil unrest, love and flower power, psychedelic streets of Height Ashbury and Berkeley, the horrors of the Vietnam War, and the iniquities of the Mafia, when Mack Bolan, the Executioner was conceived in the mind of Don Pendleton.

At the height of the Executioner success, many publishers and writers attempted to ride on the coattails of Don's success. Some succeeded. Others did not. In many of those books, what appeared to be missing were the elements that Don had so skillfully crafted with his presentation of his fictional hero.

Within his Bolan stories are strong values, with an underlying theme of a higher morality that Bolan follows. More than once Don said about the Executioner novels, "My biggest job throughout writing the series was to keep faith with Bolan–that what he is doing is right. I wanted an enemy beyond redemption–an enemy that all civilized procedures had failed to put down. The Mafia was ready-made. They embodied all the evils of mankind."

Don wrote the first novel in the series, War Against the Mafia out of his desire to express his discomfort with the reaction of many Americans to our soldiers who were dying for our country in the jungles of Vietnam and those coming home to outrageous verbal and physical abuse. So Mack Bolan became Don's symbolic statement. He also became every soldier's voice. Don created a heroic character in Bolan, a true hero who was dedicated to justice. The enemy that Bolan had to fight was no longer on the battlefields of Vietnam but right here on American soil, and that enemy was the Mafia.

So what is it about Don's fictional hero that has captured the minds of readers with diverse international social and cultural backgrounds and kept readers wanting more all these many years? Is it that yearning for a heroic figure? Is it the essence of a fictional character that brings him to life, moving off the page into the heart of the reader? If those things endear us to fictional heroes, how does the author achieve that? An unforgettable character is created by an author who writes with passion, with credibility and rational thought about the human situation. Mack Bolan does not portray the human situation in stark shades of black and white, and his quest is every man and woman's quest.

Don elaborated on the metaphysical elements and the essence of his Executioner hero when he said, "Bolan lives large, responding to the challenge of life, remaining alive and remaining human in the process. Success in living means growth, achievement, beating the challenge and maturing toward a meaningful evolutional plateau. Bolan's killing, and the motives and methods involved, is actually a consecration of the life principle. He is proclaiming, in effect, that life is meaningful, that the world is important, that it does matter what happens here, that universal goals are being shaped on this cosmic cinder called earth. That's a heroic idea. Bolan is championing the idea. That is what a hero is. He cares and reacts to a destructive principle inherent in the human situation. Destructive violence defeats the evolutionary movement if unchecked; constructive or positive violence is the check, usually, and operates to advance the cause of evolutionary life. I would hope that my books remind people that commitment is what life is about. I hope that their own sense of personal dignity and respect for life is enhanced through that identification with Bolan. My moral obligation to the reader is, foremost, to entertain him or her. Secondarily, it is to add some worthwhile content to their understanding of who and what they are or may be. I do not believe that my books constitute a call to violence. Quite the reverse. The whole thing is an allegory, and anybody who would want to trade places with Mack Bolan is missing the entire point of the Executioner rationale. This guy is living in hell."

Don also believed that the male attraction to Bolan had to do with the innate warrior essence that has basically been lost over the centuries. Men identify with Bolan's warrior essence, even at a subliminal level, and in doing so, re-identify the male essence within self.

Approximately forty percent of Executioner fans over the years have been women. From a woman's perspective, Bolan is the romantic hero, a man of strength and a protector–a knight in shining armor. So in a society that seems to fail to give us true heroes, Bolan fills the bill.

When you read Don Pendleton you feel his multilayer reach for his reader's mind. That was his goal, his hope, that when a reader finished the last page and closed one of his books not only would the reader feel entertained, but would be left with something to think about, some new idea to ponder. A meeting of the minds: a meeting of his, the author, with each and every one of his millions of readers around the world.

Don franchised his Executioner characters to Harlequin's Gold Eagle Imprint in 1980 after writing Executioner thirty-eight, Satan's Sabbath. Gold Eagle's program has resulted in about four hundred Mack Bolan books published since that time with several spin-off series: Able Team, Phoenix Force, Stonyman, and Super Bolan. Don was a Consulting Editor with the Harlequin program until his death but did not write any of the Harlequin books, which have all been written by a team of writers.

–Linda Pendleton

©Copyright 2002 by Linda Pendleton

This article is under Copyright of Linda Pendleton and may not be used in any way or form, including posting to web sites.

Many thanks to Mike Cagle of Indiana for the beautiful art renderings of Mack Bolan. In 1975, Don Pendleton commissioned the then young talented artist, Cagle to do drawings of Mack Bolan for him. The drawings on this page of Mack Bolan are protected under Copyright ownership and may not be copied or used in any way.

The Executioner Series Photo

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or Harlequin's World Wide Library, Gold Eagle Imprint.


This site is owned by Linda Pendleton.
©Copyright 2000, 2001, 2002 by Linda Pendleton, All Rights Reserved.