Doc Savage #1 Review

by @WednesdayComix on Dec 12, 2013

Writer Chris Roberson ("The Shadow," "Codename: Action") pens the latest adventures of an iconic hero in Dynamite Entertainment's new homage to Doc Savage.

The Good

Dynamite Entertainment continues to dust off, polish and re-imagine nostalgia like nobody's business. Whether its the Green Hornet and Kato; the Shadow; Captain Action and the Phantom; or their forthcoming licensing agreement with Gold Key for characters like Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Solar: Man of the Atom, D. E. places plenty of stock on selling the past. Now it's the return of "The Man of Bronze" to the pulp spotlight.

I was introduced to Doc Savage as a kid in the 80's while watching mid-afternoon movies on rainy Saturdays. I don't remember much of the movie, but I remember another character who had a striking resemblance to our hero: Race Bannon from "Jonny Quest." The images of Doc and Bannon were seared into my memory. It was this memory that drew me to this book this time around. I'm a sucker for nostalgia.

Cover artist Alex Ross summoned the past with a classic spread that paid tribute to the character's publication history. Though I walked into this story with no prior knowledge of his adventures, I felt invited to discover more about Doc Savage through Chris Roberson's narrative style. Doc Savage is highly intelligent, respected, courageous and selfless. The story was written as if it were being told through a journal. Roberson also distinguished for me a who's who list of Doc's companions through good use of voice. Each one of his friend's were introduced on the fly as Doc and his team raced into the madness of riot induced, to their discovery, by high-frequency radio waves. Throughout the story we get a peek into their different personalities. Illustrator Bilquis Evely drew a good 1930's-era New York. His detailed architecture, particularly in his model of the Chrysler Building and the city plans from which Long Tom works, showed how he put time and attention into not just the characters but objects and environments too. Doc Savage also donned the classic helmet which so prominently graced the titular novels and magazines.

The Not So Good

I'm waiting for the adventure. The story was text-heavy. The dialogue tended to explain plot points more so than show them. All in all I was a little bored by it. There was no intrigue. But hey...this story was just the beginning of their troubles as Roberson wrote from the start and that it was far from over as we read at the end. I'm also curious to know who the narrator is. Is it one of Doc's companions? Is it Doc himself? Is it a narrative style used in other incarnations of Doc Savage stories?

The Bottom Line

"Doc Savage #1" was just okay. Nostalgia and the classic Alex Ross cover drew me to the book. Let's hope their "troubles" lead to the kind of thrilling perils that will keep me aboard for further issues.

3.0 / 5
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Doc Savage #1
Released December 11, 2013
Writer Chris Roberson
Artist Bilquis Evely
Cover Artist Alex Ross

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