Doc Savage #1

Doc Savage #1
DC Comics
(w) Paul Malmont & Jason Starr
(a) Howard Porter, Art Thibert & Scott Hampton
FC 40 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada

“Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice. Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.” – Doc Savage’s oath.

Doc Savage was created in 1933 by Street and Smith Publications executive Henry Ralston, editor John Nanovic and primarily written by Lester Dent after the popularity of another Street and Smith character, The Shadow took off. Doc Clark Savage Jr. was raised by a team of scientists to make him near-superhuman. He was strong and smart. He was a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, the list goes on. With a team of aides, Doc tackled evil where ever it reared it’s head to threaten the world.

Doc Savage influenced the coming of the super-heroes. While he didn’t have any real super-powers, he was referred to as a superman. In fact, while Doc Savage operated out of a skyscraper in New York City, his secret base was in the arctic. A little place he called the Fortress of Solitude. I find it funny that the new Doc Savage series has found it’s self being published at DC Comics.

It’s not the first time Doc Savage had a comic at DC. In fact in the late ’80s DC had a Doc Savage series along with The Shadow. This time he’s a part of Brian Azzarello’s First Wave comic series. For whatever reason, DC decided to spin Doc off into his own ongoing right away. Paul Malmont wrote a novel called The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril about Doc Savage writer Lester Dent and Shadow writer Walter Gibson trying to solve a couple of murders (one of them being H.P. Lovecraft’s.) He seems to have good understanding of Doc and his associates. This issue features a mysterious enemy trying to kill Doc and company with some sort of weird lightening strikes. The story moves pretty fast. The back-up by Jason Starr and Scott Hampton is about another Street and Smith character, The Avenger and his team Justice Inc.

I’ve been reading the Doc Savage stories for awhile and I’m happy to see him in comic form too. This first issue looks promising but other than myself, I’m not sure if Doc Savage has enough popularity to maintain his comic series, DC might have been smarter to just keep everybody in the First Wave comic. (Shane Hnetka)

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