Smith_John_Killsquad5 Smith_John_Killsquad10 Smith_John_Killsquad6 Smith_John_Killsquad9 Smith_John_Killsquad7 Smith_John_Killsquad2 Smith_John_Killsquad4 Smith_John_Killsquad3 Smith_John_Killsquad1 Smith_John_Killsquad8
Full Name: John Smith
Codename: The Hangman
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Frank Garrett
Time Span: 1986 - 1988


John Smith is an agent for the CIA and leader of the Killsquad.

In the wake of several vicious terrorist attacks, the President asked four men to come up with a scheme to combat the growing threat. The Director of the CIA, that Agency's Deputy Director, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the head of Air Force Intelligence were chosen to put together the solution. The answer they came up with was one no one liked but the best they could create.

The solution was the World Strike Force, a covert CIA operation led by veteran Langley operative John Smith, a man with a special hatred for terrorists after the death years ago of his wife at the hands of another such group.

It would be the job of John Smith to collect six hardened criminals from Death Row and make a paramilitary squad capable of rapid response in the trouble spots of the world. They would operate outside the law to help protect it. They would be answerable to the four men, each of whom did not want them to exist.

That dislike of the concept these four leaders had come up with and even more disdain for the men who comprised the team remains throughout the history of their actions. One might think that loathing might have been eased a bit over time considering the number of successful missions that group complete.

The similarities of this series to The Dirty Dozen is too obvious to not acknowledge. The men start out disliking each other and possessing an innate hatred for authority but pressure from Smith brings them around quickly and they begin to work as an elite force.

The men in the Killsquad know that failure to obey orders would get them killed. On the other hand, obeying the orders would likely get the same result. At least with the latter, they get a chance to take some bad guys with them or, better yet, send them on ahead.


Number of Books:10
First Appearance:1986
Last Appearance:1988

1 Counter Attack Counter Attack
Written by Frank Garrett
Copyright: 1986

It is the task of Smith and his Killsquad to go after the Arab terrorists who have begun a string of airline bombings. The PLO group targeted by Smith was lead by Ahmed Allah Jabal, one of the deadliest of all the terrorist leaders.

2 Mission Revenge Mission Revenge
Written by Frank Garrett
Copyright: 1986

The first attack was in Times Square where an explosion rips into the bodies of theater goings. Then the mayhem traveled to Virginia where visitors to a resort were the horrible victims. The Killsquad is given the assignment to track down the killer, a man who called himself The Preacher, and stop him and his drugged-out followers.

3 Lethal Assault Lethal Assault
Written by Frank Garrett
Copyright: 1986

The evil of the Fourth Reich was rising in the deep jungles of the Congo River and those who had the misfortune to come into contact were paying with their lives. The CIA and the WSF has decided that the Killsquad should be the ones to stop them before they got too powerful.

4 The Judas Soldiers The Judas Soldiers
Written by Frank Garrett
Copyright: 1987

The former CIA operatives, anxious to get back at an agency and a country they felt betrayed them, managed to obtain a large quantity of highly dangerous virus with which they will exact their crazed revenge unless the Killsquad can stop them first.

5 Blood Beach Blood Beach
Written by Frank Garrett
Copyright: 1987

He had used the power of the CIA to take control of the Southwest African nation of Nuuamba. Switching sides when the Soviets offered better aid, the dictator Asande soon decided that with their help and that of their Cuban colleagues, he might be able to control far more of Africa than before.

6 Body Count Body Count
Written by Frank Garrett
Copyright: 1987

He called himself the 'Will Of Allah' and it might seem almost true considering the fervor with which his followers served him. Death and destruction marked the path that the 'Will' was taking as he moved towards his final target, the Vatican!

7 Polar Assault Polar Assault
Written by Frank Garrett
Copyright: 1987

Despite treaties and guarantees between the super powers, the CIA has learned that the Soviets have a killer satellite above the earth. Knowing this was a situation that could not continue, the WSF sends the Killsquad into Russia to find and destroy the control station.

8 Slaughter Zone Slaughter Zone
Written by Frank Garrett
Copyright: 1987

Fresh from the previous assignment, Killsquad was still behind the Iron Curtain striving to find a way out. Even as the team was forced to evade the entire Soviet army, their situation became even more dire as the CIA, fearing an international incident, has ordered their project and them be terminated.

9 Devil's Island Devil's Island
Written by Frank Garrett
Copyright: 1987

The two drug lords had amassed a considerable amount of control of the traffic and were heading towards complete domination when the WSF decided to stop them. To do so, the Killsquad was selected and ordered to infiltrate the organization. The final blow, however, had to taken in the lair of the leaders, the notorious Devil's Island

10 Mob War Mob War
Written by Frank Garrett
Copyright: 1988

Operation Sphinx Jinx was the name of the mission that the Killsquad had been given to strike out against a band of porno snuff-film makers who were killing innocent girls for the sake of an illegal profit. To destroy the gang, however, the Hangman had to go undercover in Las Vegas to find the trail.


This series narrowly walks that fine line between military activity and clandestine espionage operations and, as a result, was a tough decision whether it belonged in the collection. I chose to include it largely because it was a CIA-sponsored group, led by a CIA agent, doing most of its work behind 'enemy lines'. Nevertheless, any argument to the contrary would not be too strongly debated.

Regarding quality, the stories are not that good. The characters are extremely superficial and the plots are fairly standard. If straight, non-thinking action is what you are seeking, this series may be for you. If not, don't bother.


My Grade: C-


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