Doc Savage #1
Date: October 1972
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 20¢
2014 Price Range: $3.00 – $42.00
Stats: 20 color pages plus ads, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins and “Meet Doc Savage” page
Writers Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart
Artists: Ross Andru, Jim Mooney and John Costanza
Notable Notes: 1st issue – based on the pulp fiction story “The Man of Bronze”
The First Superhero?
OK, I’ll admit it – this was the first Doc Savage story I have ever read! Of course I’d heard of him, and being the big SF fan that I am you’d think I would have read one of the many novels about him – but no. So after reading this cool comic book that was given to me by my sister several years ago, I looked up some information about this classic character. It turns out he started in story form back in the 1930s, and has been featured in a variety of media since: magazines, novels, comics and even movies. He has quite the interesting history and a cool gang of side-kicks. I think I’ll have to delve more into some of the Doc Savage stories. See – comics are still a great medium for introducing people to new characters and properties!
This inaugural issue of Marvel’s Doc Savage series starts out with a Mayan assassin climbing a nearby building to get a good shot at the Doc in his 86th floor office. It is in this office that we find Doc Savage’s gang of 5 side-kicks debating and waiting for our hero to show up. When the Doc arrives they give him the bad news that his father recently passed away. Doc takes it stalwartly and immediately opens a document (left to him by his father) which deeds him a good chunk of land in the Central American country of Hidalgo. Well, it is about this time that the sniper fires his laser rifle at the Doc, but misses by a long shot – thanks to the office’s special refractive glass! The gang immediately figures out where the shot came from, and they waste no time getting to the building and scaling it to find the attempted killer. As Ham heads off to Washington, D.C. to secure their trip to Central America, the rest of the team eventually apprehend the resplendent shooter – but before they can get any secrets out of him he leaps to his own death. Sheesh! When they return to their office they find a warning scrawled on the wall, and it is then and there that they decide to take up Doc’s father’s oath to travel the world bringing criminals to justice. Oh, and we also learn that another killer is being sent to take out Doc Savage!
How I Rate This Issue:
- Story: – Sure, the “sniper on a building” idea isn’t exactly ground-breaking, but I really liked Doc Savage and his team! I also enjoyed the cool vehicles they used. And how Doc makes use of his team’s talent was great as well.
- Art: – The art was pretty good and about par for this time period. The kickers, though, were the very cool and detailed vehicles – including Ham’s autogyro and Doc’s classic runabout car! Sweet!
- Fun Factor: – I thoroughly enjoyed this comic book! The blend of science fiction, super heroes and classic pulp fiction was great! I loved Doc Savage and his team, and will definitely have to check out some more of their exploits!
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