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Doc Savage (1988 series) #8 Comic Book

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Crime College Czar!: The Mind Molder, Part 2

Date of Publication
May 1989
Cover Price

Our Rating:
3 stars


Mike W. Barr
Rod Wigham
Scott Hanna
Tony Tollin
Adam Kubert
Cover Penciler

Comic Book Synopsis / Plot

Written by Peter Silvestro

Under the influence of Morganthal’s mind-controlling gas, Doc Savage and his team assault a US military base and make off with a vial containing a deadly virus. Back on the island, Morganthal explains to the imprisoned aides his vendetta against Doc: he had been a patient at the Crime College, whose corrective surgery was reversed by Dr. Kalker. Finding his wife and child dead, he swore vengeance against Doc, using Doc’s own mind-control drug to build a power base, and now Doc Savage has brought him a deadly virus. Doc, however, has been faking all along; he had guessed what was coming and taken the antidote before confronting the villain. His attempts at rescue go awry and he is forced to battle his younger teammates. Defeating them, he administers the antidote and pursues the fleeing villains. After killing a repentant Kalker, Morganthal escapes with his henchmen and the prisoners to the deserted Crime College, outfitted as a modern military base, where he is planning to release the virus on New York. Doc and his team assault the College and Morganthal dies, a victim of the virus. Doc then visits the monastery and administers the antidote to Long Tom, who has been under Morganthal’s control for over forty years and restores him to the team. Chip, however, unable to stomach the adventurers’ life, elects to enter the monastery. Doc and his new team, including Pat and Pam, stand ready for action.



Peter Silvestro (February 15, 2010)
a) First DC use of Doc’s nerve press; b) the cover is remarkably unattractive, with its girlfight between, one assumes, Doc and Chip; c) Doc Savage can beat up his entire team single-handedly; we always knew it; d) Renny is more grizzled than in previous issues; e) the normally prudish Doc flirts with Shosanna, while supposedly under the influence of the mind-controlling gas; didn’t think he had it in him; f) issue includes a letters column.

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By Peter Silvestro
As a whole the story, with its revenge plot, partakes of too many familiar elements (mind control, Doc framed for a crime, assault on the Crime College) to be a complete winner but hey, it’s Barr’s maiden voyage and as such, not bad. His reversal of Long Tom’s betrayal is welcome, though it interferes with the depth of characterization O’Neil was aiming for. The thematic stuff has to do with the morality of the Crime College but it’s old ground by now in this series, and nothing is resolved. It is hard to swallow that Doc would be so totally unconcerned about the families of the “graduates” as he is portrayed here. As for the art, the many action scenes are handled nicely.

Score: 3 (out of 5)