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->''"I am not their judge. I am their judgment. I am their Executioner."''

An action-adventure series created by Don Pendleton in 1969 that is [[LongRunningBookSeries still continuing to this day]]. Over six hundred novels have been written featuring the protagonist Mack Bolan and various spin-off characters.

Mack Bolan (nicknamed "The Executioner" by his fellow soldiers) is an elite sniper / penetration specialist in TheVietnamWar when he receives word that his father Sam, a steelworker in Pittsfield, has gone insane and shot dead his wife Elsa and daughter Cynthia ("Cindy"). On talking to the SoleSurvivor, younger brother Johnny, Bolan discovers that his father was being squeezed by Mafia {{Loan Shark}}s and, on hearing that his daughter was prostituting herself to cover his debt, snapped under the pressure.

Figuring there's no point in fighting a war 8,000 miles away when there's a bigger enemy right here at home, Mack Bolan sets forth on a [[OneManArmy one-man crusade]] to destroy TheMafia, using [[CombatPragmatist all the military weapons and tactics at his disposal]] including heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, sniper rifles, night-vision scopes, radio-detonated explosives, electronic surveillance, silenced handguns and the [[RazorFloss garrotte]]. Bolan is also fond of [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty using wiles]] to [[DivideAndConquer turn his enemies against each other]].

In 1980 Don Pendleton sold the rights to Gold Eagle Books, who [[ReTool retooled the series]] by having Bolan [[FakingTheDead fake his death]] in order to lead a [[HeroesRUs covert US Government operation]] known as [[GovernmentAgencyOfFiction Stony Man]]. Also part of Stony Man are two units whose story is told in their own spin-off series: ''Able Team'' (consisting of [[PowerTrio three Bolan comrades]] from his Mafia Wars -- not to be confused with [[WesternAnimation/ExoSquad Able Squad]]) and ''[[TheSomethingForce Phoenix Force]]'' (a FiveManBand assembled from the [[MultinationalTeam world's best]] anti-terrorist operatives, with no connection whatsoever to [[ComicBook/{{X-Men}} Jean Grey]]). Ostensibly Able Team was to operate inside the United States while Phoenix Force did so on an international level, but this idea was soon dropped.

After a KGB operation to destroy Stony Man caused the death of his girlfriend April Rose, Mack Bolan returned to his VigilanteMan origins, though he still does the occasional mission for Stony Man on an 'unofficial' basis.

Not to be confused with Mark Bolan of the British band T-Rex.

!!Frequently encountered tropes in this series are:

* AllCrimesAreEqual: Being in the Mafia (no matter how distant the link) is punishable by death. Doesn't matter if you just are an errand boy, you are guilty and must die.
* AuthorFilibuster: Bolan spends entire chapters [[WarriorPoet pondering the necessity]] of violence and the morality of his "War Everlasting," as Don Pendleton created the series in response to the anti-war views of the Flower Power generation.
* {{BFG}}: Bolan likes using elephant guns as sniper rifles -- first a Marlin .444 lever-action, then the Weatherby Mark V in .460 Magnum calibre. This leads to several YourHeadAsplode moments.
** Several of Bolan's enemies were also given to using these weapons, such as the psychopathic giant Igor Baibakov, who not only used the .50 BMG caliber Barrett Light Fifty as a primary sniper weapon, but was big and powerful enough to use the thing as an ''assault rifle''.
* BattleButler: Bolan would occasionally run into loyal mafiosi who fit this description when he tried TheInfiltration, which [[WhatASenselessWasteOfHumanLife didn't make his task any easier]].
* BusmansHoliday: Bolan can't even take time off from his War Everlasting without someone trying to kill him.
* CallingCard: Bolan leaves a miltary marksman's medal at the scene of his killings. Sometimes he has one delivered to a future target as psychological warfare. The mob has been known to leave such medals at murder scenes, either to [[HeroWithBadPublicity frame Bolan]] or cover up for their own inter-gang rivalries. The latter tactic was used so often that one underling reporting a Bolan hit got beaten up "for pulling that stunt," until Bolan (who'd let him live so he could [[NiceJobGuidingUsHero follow the man to his superiors]]) walked through the door and started shooting.
* {{Catchphrase}}: "Live large" and "Stay hard". The latter sometimes gets a [[InnocentInnuendo "What?!"]] reaction, though they eventually figure out what Bolan means.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Being turned into a "turkey" is the fate of several people who help Mack Bolan, leaving him to inflict the MercyKill. Able Team member Carl Lyons has been known to use the JackBauerInterrogationTechnique on occasion, though Phoenix Force prefers to rely on [[TruthSerum scopalomine]].
* ColdSniper: An army psychiatrist is quoted as saying that while most soldiers can be a successful sniper ''once'', it's the ability to continue to do so (to see the difference between killing in the course of duty and murder) that separates Bolan from other men. He is described as "a man who can command himself."
* ComicBookTime: Early novels stated that Bolan had also fought in Korea; this was dropped as the series continued. Contemporary novels don't even mention his Vietnam service as it would make him seem too old.
* ConspicuouslyPublicAssassination: Bolan often starts his 'blitz' by turning up at a number of Mafia joints, calmly stating the name of his target, whom he kills along with their bodyguards in an [[TheGunslinger impressive display of shooting]], leaving his CallingCard behind. Another favorite tactic is to gun down some bigwigs at a [[ImprobableAimingSkills seemingly-improbable range]] with a sniper rifle. This quickly gets the local mafia 'mobbed up' in a known '[[GarrisonableStructures hardsite]]' (which Bolan has [[CrazyPrepared already scouted in advance]]) where he can [[StormingTheCastle destroy them with overwhelming firepower]] without worrying about innocents getting in the way.
* CoolGuns / ICallItVera. 'Big Thunder', Bolan's stainless steel [[HandCannon .44 [=AutoMag=]]], and 'Belle', his silenced Beretta Brigadier (a civilian Beretta M1951), sometimes fired GunsAkimbo. They were later replaced by a Beretta 93R and .44 Desert Eagle. Able Team uses silenced Beretta 93R's (with [[LaserSight tritium night sights]] and [[DepletedPhlebotinumShells steel-core bullets]] for extra penetration) modified by CIA weaponsmith Andrzej Konzaki. Carl Lyons lacks faith in their stopping power, so Konzaki created a Colt .45 with the same capabilities -- as well as Lyon's Crowd-Killing Device, a modified [[{{BFG}} Atchisson Assault Shotgun]] whose effects are [[MoreDakka devastating at close quarters]].
* CrazyPrepared: Although a typical 'blitz' can be over in less than twenty-four hours, Bolan spends a good deal of time beforehand gathering intelligence, [[ClockKing planning his hits down to the second]], and leaving safe houses scattered about the city.
* DeepCoverAgent: [[spoiler:Mafia underboss Leo Turrin, actually a federal agent who feeds Bolan inside information.]]
* DirtyCommunists: The Stony Man series is based on the [[ColdWar Reagan-era view that the Soviet Union]] was the DiabolicalMastermind behind international terrorism. However the Able Team series, while maintaining this anti-communist stance, is highly critical of US policy in supporting [[BananaRepublic Latin American dictatorships]].
* EvilCounterpart: On several occasions elite soldiers (in fact entire mercenary units) are hired by the Mafia to kill Bolan. He is clever enough not to fight them directly, but instead uses hit-and-run and [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty infiltration / manipulation]] tactics.
* {{Expy}}: The comic book hero ''ThePunisher''.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Captain Wade, the head of security for Stony Man Farm, who sells out to terrorist Al Miller in ''Day of Mourning'', resulting in an assault on the farm that ends with the death of April Rose.]]
* GirlOfTheWeek / TemporaryLoveInterest / CartwrightCurse: Bolan encounters a beautiful woman in every novel, though he doesn't necessarily sleep with them. Some die, others live to be encountered in future novels (such as the Ranger Girls, who turn out to be federal agents). The ForgottenFallenFriend trope was somewhat averted; dead allies often weighed on Bolan's conscience past the novel they died in, such as Cuban ''[[ActionGirl soldado]]'' Margarita and federal agent Georgette Chebleu.
* GunPorn: The Gold Eagle novels usually have trading-card stats of relevant weapons. Plus every CoolGun on the planet must have been used by the protagonists at one time or another. The members of Phoenix Force all use different firearms (reflecting their different backgrounds) [[FridgeLogic even though standardization of ammunition, magazines and spare parts]] would make more sense.
* HeelFaceTurn: Usually an underling whose life Bolan spares early in the book ends up helping him. The most notable case is Jack Grimaldi, a mercenary AcePilot for the mob who joined Bolan's crusade and ended up working for Stony Man. A number of law enforcement officials end up turning a blind eye to his activities as well, such as LAPD cop Carl Lyons who later joins Able Team.
* HopelessWar: Bolan calls it his "War Everlasting". He [[TragicHero knows he can never win]] but feels he must fight anyway, as every bad guy he kills saves many innocents.
* IcyBlueEyes: Bolan's icy blue eyes are mentioned on numerous occasions. For many people it's the last thing they ever see.
* ImpersonationGambit: Bolan would pull this on both the local police (to gather intelligence) and the Mafia (in order to destroy them via a BatmanGambit), usually by posing as a federal agent or an [[ProfessionalKiller elite hitman]] sent from New York to kill Bolan.
* IWantThemAlive: The mob bosses would love to get Bolan alive so they can torture him to death. The more practical hitmen assigned to this task tend to ignore these orders.
* JudgeJuryAndExecutioner: Local police and mafiosi suspect that Bolan is secretly working for the CIA. Ironically Bolan was offered a 'license' by Justice Department official Hal Brognola early in the series, only to turn it down as he didn't want to "drag the rest of the country into hell with him". Hal Brognola continued to feed Bolan information though, and later convinced him to join the Stony Man program.
* LongRunningBookSeries: Surely one of the principal examples, currently clocking in at ''[[OverNineThousand over six hundred titles.]]''
* LoveInterest: Valentina "Val" Querente, whom Bolan met in the first novel, though their relationship didn't continue. [[HeroesWantRedheads April Rose]] was introduced as an electronic spying specialist for Hal Brognola at the end of Bolan's Mafia War arc; she later became MissionControl at Stony Man. Although [[GirlOfTheWeek beautiful women continued to pop up on every mission]], Bolan never slept with any of them until after April's death.
* MagicBullets: Bolan goes to a lot of trouble to protect police and innocent bystanders, but it seems unrealistic that no-one is ever harmed by stray bullets or flying shrapnel, especially when he's using military weapons in inner-city areas.
* MagicPlasticSurgery: Bolan had his face changed to look like an Italian-American buddy who was killed in Vietnam, in order to help him infiltrate the mob.
* MasterOfDisguise: Bolan calls this "role camouflage", which is based on psychology rather than physical disguises. He knows that no-one will associate the friendly telephone repairman or smooth elite hitman from New York with the notorious blacksuited OneManArmy.
* MeaningfulName: When posing as a Black Ace hitman Bolan uses the alias Omega (i.e. the End). After [[FakingTheDead faking his death]] in the fiery destruction of his war wagon, Bolan takes the identity of Colonel John Macklin Phoenix, [[ThePhoenix rising from his own ashes]] to lead the Stony Man operation.
* MurderInc[=/=]ProfessionalKiller: The Black Aces, elite contract killers led by the Talifero brothers and answering only to the New York Mafia Commission. They are held in awe by the average [[{{Mook}} Mafia footsoldier]] and are often described as radiating 'class' and charisma. Bolan is able to use this awe to his advantage by posing as a Black Ace in order to manipulate events.
* NightmareDreams: Bolan dreams of wading through rivers of blood while everyone takes pot-shots at him. He doesn't need a shrink to interpret the meaning of this.
* PhotographicMemory: Bolan uses this to good effect when posing as a Black Ace; Mafia footsoldiers are flattered that he appears to know minor details about their lives.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Bolan denies that he's acting out of revenge; he's simply [[JumpedAtTheCall the man most qualified]] to fight what he sees as a cancer on society. This view tends to go out the window when a GirlOfTheWeek gets turned into a turkey.
* SexyShirtSwitch: Mack's GirlOfTheWeek in ''Dixie Convoy'' does this; lounging around the war Wagon in one of Mack's shirts.
* SpyCatsuit: Bolan's infamous 'blacksuit', worn not only to hide him in the dark but also for its psychological effect.
* TheSquad: Bolan forms a 'Death Squad' of Vietnam veterans to help him in his war against the Mafia, but all of them get killed except for '[[MrFixit Gadgets]]' Schwartz and '[[TheSocialExpert The Politician]]' Blancanales, who along with '[[BadAss Ironman]]' Carl Lyons become Able Team.
* TheSyndicate / NebulousEvilOrganisation: Bolan thinks he's fatally weakened TheMafia, but discovers (even as he's preparing to move to Stony Man) that it's remarkably resilient. Other criminal organizations include TRIO (a union of Oriental crime groups such as {{Yakuza}} and the [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs Triads]]) and MERGE (its Western/Latin American equivalent), along with the [[DirtyCommunists KGB]], renegade CIA, [[ThoseWackyNazis neo-Nazi groups]], and various [[TerroristsWithoutACause terrorist organisations]] -- Bolan and his allies must have fought every bad guy in existence by now.
* TelecomTree: In ''Dixie Convoy'', the truckers helping Mack Bolan use CB radio to spread a message from one coast of the U.S. to the others.
* TerrorHero
* ThouShaltNotKill: '''Definitely''' averted!
** It is worth noting that, as the series has progressed over the decades, not every book ends with Bolan putting a bullet between the eyes of a villain begging for mercy. A few times (gasp), Bolan even decides to let them stand trial, though granted this more often occurs with non-organized crime targets.
* TranquilFury: Mack Bolan ''never'' goes into UnstoppableRage.
* VigilanteMan: Mack Bolan during the "Mafia Wars" and frequently during the later novels.
* VillainsWantMercy: Invoked occasionally, often in the last page or two, and usually just before Bolan puts a gun between their eyes and pulls the trigger.
* VulnerableConvoy: Armoured limousines are no good against an opponent who uses anti-tank rockets on a regular basis.
* WarriorPoet: Bolan is very well read -- each novel begins with a couple of quotes from a literary work, then a quote from Bolan's [[{{Diary}} journal]] giving his own take on it. His favorite book is ''Literature/DonQuixote'' by Miguel de Cervantes, as Bolan often sees himself as WindmillCrusader.
* WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys: The "war wagon" (a 26-foot GMC motor home equipped with laser-enhanced infra-red cameras, electronic surveillance devices, a computer database with phone link (in the 1970's!) and [[WeaponizedCar guided missiles]]) was constructed with the help of moonlighting NASA engineers sympathetic to his cause, and financed with [[RobbingTheMobBank stolen mob money]], much to their chagrin.
* WouldNotShootAGoodGuy: Bolan doesn't kill civilians or law enforcement officials, both for moral reasons and because he knows people will turn a blind eye to his activities as long as he's just killing the bad guys. (This is in contrast to some Executioner-inspired series where collateral damage, even against cops, is handwaved away as part of the job.)
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