DOC SAVAGE #8

“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.

Advertisements

DOC SAVAGE #7

“The Mayan Mutations!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Val Mayerik & Tony DeZuniga

Doc and his gang are approached by two beautiful women in their 86th floor suite. One of the women is a native from a tribe in Peru. The other is Verper Hope a missionary who is helping the girl. She tells a story of evil white men who have come to the lost ruins looking for treasury. They have murdered a number of her tribe and have used giant insects against them. This piques Doc Savage’s interest and he agrees to take the case. While boarding their zeppelin they are attacked by a giant moth which gives credence to the story.

So after Savage defeats it with his bear hands the group is off to Peru. There they find an incredible civilization of those descended from the Mayans living in a giant tree. The area surrounding the ancient city was exposed to radiation which causes the giant mutations of insects and lizards. They discover that the Mayan were descended from aliens. When the aliens returned and saw the barbaric sacrifices they punished them by nuking their city thus the radiation. Doc eventually defeats the evil treasury hunters.

“Johnny”
By Bob Sampson

An article on William Harper Littlejohn. He is the geologist and archeologist of the group. A seven foot tall skinny man who suffers from a glandular malfunction. He likes to use obscure words when he talks. The article is a series in the companions of Doc Savage. Like the last one this was also quite dry and just listed off the facts about his life.

So this story has Doc and his crew going to Peru. It involves giant insects and lizards. A lost Mayan civilization that was created by ancient astronauts. A fun and interesting story. This one had him almost lose one of this brothers. Doc gets to demonstrate his surgical skills with saving Long Tom with a artificial heart valve. Something that was decades ahead of its time.

DOC SAVAGE #6

“The Sky Stealers!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Tony DeZuniga

The little town of Plainville, Utah all the people are dead. They died of suffocation as if the air was sucked out of the sky. The banks were robbed and all the uranium in the assayers office is stolen. Later another small town shares a similar fate. Doc Savage is on the case. The trail leads to the pyramids of Giza. There a mad archeologist who has discovered the ancient secrets of Egypt. He has two zeppelins that shoot a ray that breaks down the atmosphere. He uses the money and uranium to give him and his followers superhuman strength. Doc Savages and his brothers manage to put a stop to this.

“Renny”
By Bob Sampson

An article about John Renwick or Renny as he’s called. He is a brilliant civil engineer. A man over seven feet tall and 250 pounds. He is not as flamboyant as the other Amazing five. This article was dry and seemed to be a filler more than anything else.

Another fun entry in the Doc Savage universe. This one had superpowered beings dressed as the Egyptian gods of old. They had hypnotic powers and futuristic gadgets. There was a secret room in the pyramids that lead to an underground river that lead to another secret underground base. All of this was suggested to be left over alien technology. Once again there was a beautiful woman that needed rescuing and an evil villain that threatened the world. I love how they manage to keep true to its pulp roots from the ’30s.

DOC SAVAGE #5

comics

“The Earth-Wreckers!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Tony DeZuniga

Doc Savage is traveling around the world. On every continent, Australia, Antarctica, Africa, Asia, North and South America he attacks a hideout. After beating up the hired thugs he acquires some strange device that he has shipped to this headquarters in New York. He is on a mission to stop the villain Iron Mask from his nefarious plan. Iron Mask is blackmailing the world governments that unless he receives a million from each he will detonate powerful bombs on all the continents and destroy the world.

Luckily a milquetoast of a man named Hiram Meeker finds Doc Savage’s cousin Pat Savage. Pat is a female version of Doc and with his help the group manage to track down the secret lair of Iron Mask in Scotland. In an underwater base using a submarine disguised as the Lock Ness Monster. They foil the plan and Iron Mask meets his end by the real Lock Ness Monster.

“The Pulp Doc Savage!”
Writer: Bob Sampson
Artist: Marshall Rodgers

An article on the history of the Pulp Doc Savage. Its began as a pulp magazine in 1933. How the character went through changes during the Second World War and the different writers that handled him. An interesting article.

“An Interview with Mrs. Lester Dent”
Interviewed by David Anthony Kraft

Norma Dent was the wife of Lester Dent who created Doc Savage. A prolific writer he managed to land a job for $500 a month writing for the pulps. Good money back in those days. He also never received a penny in royalties from his character. The publisher made sure that they owned the rights. Kind of sad and an interesting look into the creator of the character.

This was another exciting adventure. In fact the stories get better as they go along and so far this was my favorite. The villain was a meglomaniac with stupid henchmen. He insisted that his henchmen also wear iron masks and would berate them if they didn’t. He was the most funniest of the villains so far. We also get introduced to his cousin Pat Savage. She owns an overpriced beauty salon and is one fascinating character. This and we also get the Lock Ness Monster and gadgets galore. What more could you ask for in a Doc Savage adventure.

DOC SAVAGE #4

comics

“Ghost Pirates from the Beyond!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Tony Dezuniga & Marie Severin

In Casablanca a French official and the chief of police are assassinated. The files in their office are set on fire. Later a man calls Doc Savage for help and is also assassinated. The only clues point to a party that Doc Savage and his friends were invited to. So Doc and his Amazing Five arrive. The man they were to meet is poisoned and the host of the party kidnaps a woman to escape.

The trail leads to Casablanca and the team go their using the Doc’s submarine. They find a mysterious ghost ship that is actually a sophisticated high-tech boat in disguise. They further find out that their is a treasure located in the mountains. A treasure if not recovered could lead to a rebellion by the Moroccans. Doc Savage manages to expose the villain and recover the treasure.

Another full length story and this one once again deals with a mysterious super villain. This one masquerading as a ghost of a Moroccan pirate. This somehow reminded me of a Scooby-Doo cartoon. Still it was well handled with the exotic location of Casablanca, pirate ghosts and treacherous French officials. I think the stories are continually getting better for this title. Once again another fun filled pulp action story set in the thirties.

DOC SAVAGE #3

comics

“The Inferno Scheme!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: John Buscema & Tony DeZuniga

A robotic eagle breaks into a jewelry store and steals some diamonds. An exhibit at the museum for The Stavros Diamond has its security increased. A frantic woman is trying to convince the museum to call off the exhibit. Just then a robotic bear breaks in. A man in disguise tries to stop it but is no match and the diamond is stolen. The man is Renny one of Doc Savages friends who was their to watch the diamond. The woman is identified as Contessa De Chabrol. She claims it is her brother who now calls himself Inferno is behind the thefts. He has a fortress in northern Maine and is creating a weapon from the diamonds.

So Renny goes with the Contessa to break into the place. He is captured and forced to complete the laser weapon or else the Contessa will be killed. Renny breaks out and finds out that the Contessa is not Inferno’s brother but his lover. She is in on the plan to blackmail the world governments with the death ray. Fortunately Doc Savage and the others arrive and put an end to the scheme. The fortress blows up when the Contessa tries to use the death ray that has been sabotaged.

“A Most Singular Writ of Habeus Corpus”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Rico Rival

Lt. Andrew Blodgett Mayfair aka Monk is having a friendly sword fight with his friend Ham. Monk is one of Doc’s Amazing Five and a brilliant chemist. The fight is interrupted by the arrival of a beautiful woman that needs Monk’s help. So he goes with his pet pig Habeus Corpus to a warehouse on the docks. The woman’s brother turns out to be a notorious bootlegger. He wants Monk to come up with a way to take the alcohol from a rival bootlegger’s booze. Monk manages to have his pet pig chew through his bonds. Then using ointment that he smeared on the pig creates an acid to dissolve a hole in the wall. The rival bootlegger comes and in the gunfight an explosion destroys the warehouse. Monk and the girl make it to safety along with Habeus Corpus.

The third issue starts to give Doc Savages companions more time. The main story actually had Renny the brilliant engineer as the main protagonist. The backup story will start spotlighting a solo story for each of the Amazing Five. Monk the brilliant chemist with a pet pig got his own story. Both stories were quite enjoyable. Once again it has a James Bond feel to it. A crazy mad scientist with a death ray. A fortress full of armed men and animal robots. This time the beautiful woman that comes to them for help turns out the be a villain. I am enjoying this series and look forward to the next issue.

DOC SAVAGE #2

comics

“Hell-Reapers at the Heart of Paradise”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Tony DeZuniga

A businessman working late at night is confronted by a Viking. Thus starts the new mystery for Doc Savage and his Amazing Five. A woman comes for help. She tells a story of her father who lead an expedition to find a sunken Spanish Galleon that was trying to find a Northwest Passage from China to Europe. The Galleon had a fortune in treasure. Her father and a man named Jared Rutter disappeared. Now the survivors of the expedition are disappearing and her missing father is the prime suspect. Doc Savage tracks the men not yet missing and fights a giant Viking with a scepter that shoots an energy beam.

The trail leads the group to a point around Baffin Island. They find the sunken Spanish Galleon and are sucked by a whirlpool to a large underground cavern. The cavern is lit by uranium in the walls and has a tropical jungle. The inhabitants are lizard men that are descendants of the Spanish crew. They have mutated into lizard-men. The group finds the woman’s father who is worshiped as a god and starting to mutate himself. The real villain is Jared Rutter who the radiation has grown to huge size and driven mad. He has actually recruited the other men of the expedition to help him mine the uranium in this lost valley. A fight causes a cave-in that floods the valley.
Thus ends the lost valley.

“Ron Ely: The Man Of Bronze”
Interview by John Warner
Photography by Michele Wolfman

An interview with Ron Ely the man who plays Doc Savage in the movie. An interesting interview. I learned a lot about Ron Ely who I knew from the Tarzan series in the ’60s.

The second issue was another great story. Once again we get plenty of cool gadgets. This time a lost civilization of lizard-men. Sure there are some plot holes. Why do the police believe that the father was behind the missing men when he himself has been missing? Why did he choose to dress as a Viking when Vikings had nothing to do with the lost valley? This wasn’t really explained but the story is enjoyable enough that you don’t really care.

DOC SAVAGE #1

comics

“The Doom on Thunder Isle!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: John Buscema & Tony Dezuniga

A newly constructed skyscraper in New York is destroyed by a bolt of lightning. A woman then visits the residence of Doc Savage. Her brother is an architect that designed the building and is a good friend of Doc Savage. Soon after the place is attacked by mysterious men dressed in lightning bolt costumes with energy pistols. The men rather than be taken prisoner commit suicide.

The trail leads Savage to a restaurant on Long Island where another man is kidnapped and the building destroyed. This time Savage finds a silver dirigible is behind the attacks. He puts a tracking device on it and goes back to his place. The strange men have been back and kidnapped the woman and her fiance. Clues point to an island in the south Pacific. Doc then takes his dirigible which has a submarine attached and goes to the island. There they find a fortress. The man behind this is an electrician who is the woman’s fiance and was jealous that he wasn’t getting any credit for the buildings her brother build. He was blackmailing the brother with getting him to make payments so he wouldn’t marry his sister. Oh yeah and he also is completely mad and turns men into Manimals. These Manimals are part men and part animal. Savage and his amazing five manage to take out this madman and save the day.

“George Pal”
Interviewed by Jim Harmon and Chris Claremont.

An interview with the producer and director of the Doc Savage movie with Ron Ely. It has a lot of interesting facts about George and how the movie came about. There was a planned sequel and what sounds like plans to make a whole series of these films. Too bad they were never made.

So I heard from a fellow blogger that this was a good series. I also just watched the Doc Savage movie over Thanksgiving so this series intrigued me. Lucky the stars were aligned and I found them all on sale at a reasonable price. I will say that I did enjoy this comic. Doc Savage was a sort of James Bond during the 1930’s. A brilliant man with five sidekicks called the Amazing Five. These five men each were brilliant in a certain field. It was a really fun comic. There were all sorts of cool gadgets. Over the top evil madmen. They wisely kept the series rooted firmly in its roots of the 1930’s. Looking forward to reading the others that I now have.