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Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze (1991 series) #2 Comic Book

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The Monarch of Armageddon: Chapter Two

Date of Publication
January 1992
Cover Price

Our Rating:
3 stars


Mark Ellis
Darryl Banks
Robert Lewis
Deirdre DeLay
Doug Wildey
Cover Penciler

Comic Book Synopsis / Plot

Written by Peter Silvestro

Doc Savage hallucinates about a long fall down a well, then about his failure to save his father on the operating table and the accusations of his teachers, then his father becomes John Sunlight, smugly approving of Doc’s development into an inhuman killing machine. He awakens to find a scornful Princess Monja supervising his brainwashing; having resisted so far, Doc is left to himself again. He puts himself into a state of suspended animation, and his captors, thinking him dead, dispose of his body in a pit from which the Man of Bronze easily escapes. Back in New York, Monk and Ham arrive at Pat’s beauty salon to find her battling a gang of Tibetans intent on kidnapping her. With the assistance of Doc’s two aides, she fights the abductors off and is shocked when the thugs kill themselves rather than submit to capture. The next day, Renny and police detective “Hardboiled” Humboldt are about to question Bill Smith, when a limousine of armed men assaults police headquarters and gangsters led by Breeze Castigleone snatch Renny and the unfortunate Bundist; Renny is warned and unceremoniously dumped on the sidewalk. John Sunlight, wishing to learn the details of Project Neu Menschlich and Thule, dispatches Xauz to capture Bill Smith’s daughter Helena to discover if she was privy to her father’s work. At Miss Smith’s apartment, Xauz is interrupted first by one of Castigleone’s men, then by Johnny and Long Tom, with the result that Xauz kills the gangster but Doc’s aides end up with Helena Smith under their protection. Back in the Valley of the Vanished, Doc confronts Monja and King Chaac, and finds the Princess embittered, having been persuaded by John Sunlight to see the arrogance and selfishness behind all of Doc’s actions, and to give the gold to Doc’s greatest enemy. As Doc leaves for home, he vows vengeance against his foe.

The issue also contains a text article:
“Genesis: John Sunlight, Part One.”
Writer: Will Murray.
A history of Doc Savage’s greatest villain, starting with the genesis of Doc’s Fortress of Solitude and the decision to set an adventure around it, and covering Lester Dent’s creation of the villain and his appearance in FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE.



Peter Silvestro (February 15, 2010)
a) First Millennium appearance of Pat Savage; b) first Millennium appearance of Ham’s sword cane, Patricia’s, and Johnny’s favorite word; c) first mention in any series of Doc’s ability to go into suspended animation; c) another first: Monk says “Howlin’ calamities!” (a trademark of Doc writer Lawrence Donovan); d) police detective “Hardboiled” Humboldt from THE ANNIHILIST is a character; e) General Ino from RESURRECTION DAY is also mentioned. Additional comments: a) Text article concludes in the next issue; b) issue also includes “Bronze Mail,” a letters column.

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By Peter Silvestro
This installment gives a bit more reign to a neglected aspect of Lester Dent’s writing: the tongue-in-cheek humor, so we’re treated to a typical “quirky gangster,” Breeze Castigleone, who carries a miniature fan, and a Mayan warrior who sings songs from YOUR HIT PARADE. To balance this we’re given a look at Doc’s Freudian nightmares in the opening scene, and the conflict with Monja packs a wallop. This last threatens to develop into a continuation of the Doc vs. Chip debate from DC, without the modern viewpoint, and we all know how well that went over. Doug Wildey’s cover (despite making Doc look like Alec Baldwin) is an improvement over the Stelfreeze covers for this miniseries, and actually seems to show the same Doc as the story.

Text article: A lot of nice background information from the great Doc Savage historian, though perhaps a bit too esoteric for the general reader. This longtime Doc fan enjoyed it.

Score: 3 (out of 5)