Doc Savage returns to comicsWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Legendary pulp magazine hero Doc Savage blasts back into comics this December – with the help of Dynamite. The popular comics company adds the Man of Bronze to their recent line of pulp character retreads with Doc Savage #1, written by Chris Roberson and art by Bilquis Evely.
Doc’s certainly no stranger to comics, though as a 1933 magazine fiction character he preceded the birth of the American comic book by a year or so. The famous pulp do-gooder is often cited as an inspiration for both Superman and Batman, but has never equaled his progeny’s worldwide popularity and never truly been treated to a comic book translation that’s satisfied both old and new fans. According to Roberson, the new Dynamite series purports to embrace Doc’s 1930s prototypical superhero status while telling a story that spans the entire twentieth century and beyond.
This won’t be the first time that comics have attempted transplanting the character into modern times. Though past series by Street & Smith, Gold Key, and Marvel maintained his Golden Age setting, DC Comics dragged Doc into the present in a late-80s title that reunited a time-lost Savage with his elderly former aides. Millennium Comics and Dark Horse Comics replaced the hero’s original surroundings in the 1990s, but again to no real sales boom. The latest revival, DC’s ill-conceived First Wave of 2010, fell flat again, making fans wonder if the character could ever be returned to his glory days.
Doc Savage’s post World War II notoriety stems from a successful and long-running reprinting of all his original pulp adventures in paperback in the 1960s and 70s, not to mention producer George Pal’s off-kilter, campy 1975 theatrical film, Doc Savage, Man of Bronze, starring Ron Ely. With talk of a new Shane Black-directed movie on the horizon and Dynamite’s Chris Roberson’s seeming understanding of what makes Doc tick, maybe the bronze giant’s day in the sun has finally come.