“The Crimson Plague”
Writers: J Warner J Whitmore & Doug Moench
Artist: Ernie Chan
Doc comes back from Acapulco with some disturbing news. A friend of his was found wandering the streets babbling about his mind being stolen. Later a large brain with tentacles comes and kills him. Later another notable scientist is found with a similar affliction in New York. He is rescued by a cop from committing suicide. The Octo-brain was also present. Some malevolent being is responsible for stealing the knowledge from the great minds of the world.
Doc dispatches his men to London and Paris to intercept possible kidnapping while he goes off to Hollywood to rescue two of his men. They then battle some stuntmen who are using some sort of paralyzing gas to knock out their victims and steal their minds. Now Doc and his Amazing Five are next on the list.
So this is the final issue of the black and white line of Doc Savage. Marvel decided to pursue other projects which is a shame because this was an enjoyable series. The final issue was typical in having a rogue Hollywood producer who developed the Octo-brain a machine that could copy the knowledge of people. Then using hypnotism would block the knowledge and implant a desire to commit suicide. Naturally the goal was world domination.
This was an enjoyable series with its pulp ’30s feel. With plenty of gadgets and larger than life villains threatening the world. I think they were true to the spirit of the original Doc Savage stories. While this series ends its by no means the end of Doc Savage. There is the movie with Ron Ely. I hear that Dwayne Johnson is set to star in a new movie. There are tons of books that have been written from the ’30s up to now. There is also many color comic books that were done throughout the years by various companies. I will probably look into these and some of the books that have been written. A fascinating character I hope to explore sometime in the future.