Freedom Express – This is the most popular Wingman book of all, next to the first one. This book was optioned by Hollywood twice, and sold more copies than all the others, again except for Book 1.
It really is a simple plot. The United Americans have been flying across the country because the middle of the country is a devastated wasteland. So they get a huge gun train together and attempt to go across by land. Of course they are all sorts of enemies waiting for them, including the KKK Air Force. The underlying theme of this book is, believe it or not, race relations. It begins with Hawk defending an African-American friend of his in a bar fight. There is also a main character who is an American Indian. There’s lots of action in this one as the train battles its way across the west. Plenty of strange stuff too as parts of it recall Hunter being on a psychiatrist’s couch, and while on the train, being “inspired” by a beautiful Asian girl. It is also the first time that Hawk flies a plane other than his F-16. It’s been stolen by the bad guys, so he’s flying a Harrier jumpjet.
What I like about this book is that even though the train starts out ten miles long and carrying all this weaponry, when it makes it to LA, it’s nearly a total wreck with just the locomotive and a few cars remaining, if that. But the idea is that they made it, if just symbolically. At the end, someone asks Hawk if he would do it again, and he basically says “No freaking way.”
In the end, the people in Hollywood came to the conclusion this would be just too expensive to make, and maybe they were right. But it would have been a cool movie.