Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Man of Bronze Doc Savage

Nearly a month has passed since my last post. So many things have occurred that it is difficult to list them all. At the end of this post, I'll provide a brief recap, but first there are going to be reviews on two comic book series that I've read in the past few days. These posts will appear over the next day or so.

The first is The Man of Bronze Doc Savage. If you don't know who Doc Savage is, stop reading this and look him up. My post will be waiting for you. For those of you who don't have time to research him, he is a pulp character who was the gateway/immediate parent to the earliest superheroes. He combines a perfect physical body with unparalleled intelligence and limitless compassion.

Dynamite just concluded an eight issue run of The Man of Bronze Doc Savage. This was one of my most anticipated books of the past year. Given the size of the run, I suspect that sales did not support the continuation of this great series. This is too bad. The stories were the classic pulp of my Father's generation. The science was over the top but the villains were people. The readers could see a logical progression and growth arc for the various characters. As the years passed, Doc's first group of companions age and are replaced with new people in the field.

What made this book special, is the treatment of Doc Savage himself. The man felt responsibility for every bad event that he could not prevent. He sees evil and crime as a disease and injury that can and should be cured.

Doc also tried to the best of his ability to do what is best for humanity. Oftentimes this meant shielding inventions from humanity until he knew they were completely safe or just waiting for humanity to be ready to use them. He seems to be acting almost like Doctor Manhattan or Adrian Veldt from The Watchmen but with an extreme sense of conscious the latter did not possess.

While I am among the first to admit that it would be nice to have a hero to save our planet from an asteroid the size of Australia, do we really want someone being a final arbitrator of right and wrong? This theme is the underlying subplot for the entire series. What if a gift to help all humanity is corrupted to use against it. These important ideas are explored at length in the series.

One final note about the artwork. Bilquis Evely, Daniela Miwa, and Rob Steen combine
 for a superior presentation that complements the incredible scripts by Chris Roberson.

Buy this book whenever you get the opportunity. You will not regret it.

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