This is not “all the rage” as in all the rage in Paris, but rather all the rage that erupts from Berserk, a.k.a. Loki, a new street drug that promises godlike self-confidence but whose effects often slide off into uncontrollable rage. Loki, named after the Norse trickster god, is made from molecules of blood drawn from a freak called The Sharkman, a member of what Wilson fans will remember as the Ozymandias Prather Oddity Emporium, a traveling freak show last seen in Wilson’s anthology Freaks. Also on hand is Wilson’s old hero Repairman Jack, first seen in The Tomb (1984) and reborn in Legacies (1998). Repairman Jack is a high-spirited hired vigilante one can send to take down the bad guys. Although Jack has the very mild look of a very mild Kevin Costner, he has also set aside a place in his brain for waging total war. He needs it up against Mafia-styled drug dealer Milos Dragovic, who coerces Dr. Luc Monnet into supplying him with the drug. Jack first sees the effects of the drug on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum when some 15 preppies, now in their 40s, gathered for a college reunion, go mad with rage and tear into innocent bystanders.
Wilson fans do not expect fancy prose from this New Jersey writer/doctor, nor any style at all. But the clichéd plot and two-dimensional characters race about at a strong clip in a story that would have been a classic in a ’40s pulp.