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Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze, Doom Dynasty #1 Comic Book

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Title:

Doom Dynasty: Chapter One

Date of Publication
June 1992
Cover Price

Our Rating:
3 stars

Credits:

Terry Collins
Writer
Mike Wieringo
Penciler
Marcus Rollie
Inker
Rozana Stanage
Colorist
Brian Stelfreeze
Cover Penciler

Comic Book Synopsis / Plot

Written by Peter Silvestro

Doc Savage arrives at Dr Plympton’s native hospital in Rwanda to find the place devastated and a delirious Plympton, dying of the plague, muttering about Nikola and a monkey. Doc administers a stimulant to the doomed man who relates how Dr. Nikola and his armed men came looking for “the journal,” killing everyone and infecting Plympton with the plague by a monkey’s bite. The doctor has time only to say “purloined letter” before he dies. Doc looks in Plympton’s copy of Poe and finds hidden away the object of the villain’s search: the journal of Clark Savage Sr. As Doc leaves the hospital he is strafed by a biplane, his life saved only by his bullet-proof vest. As he takes cover among the rocks he recalls how the adventure began: his former teacher Hikara met him in the park and warned of a global threat, but before he could give any details, the old man was bitten by an organ-grinder’s monkey and died of the plague, his last words directing Doc to Plympton. The discarded organ contained a recorded message of revenge against the Savage dynasty. An examination revealed that Hikara died of a mutated strain of the bubonic plague, so Doc set out for Africa. He reads in his father’s journal how his grandfather, Colonel Richard Henry Savage once met a scientist in Russia named Dr. Nikola. Col. Savage agreed to finance his experiments but a visit to the scientist’s Russian lab led to the discovery of a horrible threat… Doc’s reading is interrupted arrival of Cossack soldiers; Doc overpowers them and questions one. Meanwhile, an impatient Monk, Ham and Renny depart for Africa where they are quickly captured and tied to stakes as target practice for the Cossacks’ swords.

Issue also includes a text article:
“The Forgotten Doc Savage.”
Writer: Will Murray.
Four-page biography of Richard Henry Savage (1846-1903), an American soldier, diplomat and author, who was a possible source of inspiration for Doc Savage.

 

Comments


Peter Silvestro (February 15, 2010)
Additional credits: colorists Rozana Stanage and Deirdre DeLay. a) Johnny and Long Tom are elsewhere, the former at “that weird university” in Massachusetts (Miskatonic U. from the world of H.P. Lovecraft) and the latter at a science seminar in France; b) Doc refers to two of his late teachers, Hubert Robertson, who died in THE MAN OF BRONZE, and Jerome Coffern, who perished in THE LAND OF TERROR; c) Monk makes a rare reference to the mysterious Mabel; d) the letterer changes, quite noticeably, on page 22. Text article: This version is independent of Philip Jose Farmer’s “biography” of Doc, DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE, wherein Farmer posits a British background for Doc, to tie him in with a Sherlock Holmes story.

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Reviews

By Peter Silvestro
An okay issue, largely a buildup to the second part: the chief interest is the introduction of Doc’s grandfather, a character never before hinted at, and he’s a genuine historic person (see the text article in the issue). For some reason he’s drawn to resemble Ernest Hemingway, so perhaps it was a bad idea to include a photo of the real R.H. Savage in the issue. The reason for the “flashback in a flashback” trick (wouldn’t one have done just as well?) serves the purpose of whetting our appetites for the story to follow. The art, by a new team, still shows the period influence, but seems rough and unattractive, though DeLay’s coloring is starting to grow on me. The best part is Stelfreeze’s Art Deco cover which owes a debt to James Bama: Doc is less muscle-bound (but still lacks a shirt).

Text article:
A nice supplement to the main story, providing background on the real-life personage who (in Millennium’s account) is the grandfather of our hero. 


Score: 3 (out of 5)