The Cyborg King of Comedy

Quiverin’ quasars! Just one month after cleaning up Empire 99, the Star Hawks are back for another life-and-death adventure on planet Esmeralda. This time they’re bound for Empire 33, a place that smells like “the universe’s biggest sweat sock.”

A political mercenary has stolen a “revolutionary new compact computer” called Braintrust, and has taken control of the northern half of the stinky territory. Now it’s up to an elite team of Interplan Law Service agents to breach the Temple of Ztem and unplug the netbook before any more damage can be done.

Like its predecessor, the second (and final) Star Hawks novel is a throwback to the days of rowdy space opera and exotic planetary romance. It’s a Ron Goulart book, so there’s lots of humor and “good-natured badinage” between bursts of action. Artist Gil Kane returns to supply a handful of zippy illustrations for added value.

It’s too bad Goulart and Kane didn’t continue their Star Hawks collaboration. After producing four years worth of daily comic strips and pumping out a pair of prose novels, the two men were on a creative roll. The Cyborg King is light and goofy (and a little bit randy). It features an unrelenting parade of oddball characters, outlandish setups, bad puns, and shameless alliteration. To quote Doc Ajax, “Hyperventilatin’ helium!!”

[Star Hawks: The Cyborg King / By Ron Goulart / First Printing: December 1981 / ISBN: 0872169103]

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