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Doc Savage (1988 series) #12 Comic Book

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Escape from Solitude!: Sunlight Rising, Part 2

Date of Publication
September 1989
Cover Price

Our Rating:
3 stars


Mike W. Barr
Rod Wigham
Steve Montano
Tony Tollin
Andy Kubert
Cover Penciler

Comic Book Synopsis / Plot

Written by Peter Silvestro

The revived John Sunlight immediately begins playing Grasp and Holstrum against each other, while seducing the lonely Dr. Lundquist into his power. Meanwhile, Doc Savage manages to trigger the fire alarm, releasing him and the aides from their prison cell and battling the thugs. Sunlight and company, with Monja’s body as a bargaining chip, escape in one of Doc’s planes after sabotaging the rest. Doc deduces the identity of the resurrected foe and realizes that the villains found the Fortress by means of a bug planted in Long Tom’s coat. Doc puts a reverse trace on the bug to locate the enemy and to fool them into thinking Doc is still at the Fortress. Sunlight and company are headed for the site of Doc’s original Fortress of Solitude, abandoned by Doc after Sunlight found it. Doc and his younger aides catch up to the villains at the Fortress ruin, and Holstrum is fatally injured in their plane’s crash. Sunlight manages to reach the hidden vault and uses the weapons to hold Doc Savage at bay.   



Peter Silvestro (February 15, 2010)
a) We find out what happened to the original dome-shaped Fortress of Solitude; b) there’s a reference to the events of “The Mind Molder” in issues 7-8; c) John Sunlight’s hands are burned in this issue but he seems to have healed instantaneously; d) the cover picture of a snarling Doc is at odds with his more placid acceptance of his fate inside the issue, but it makes for a more dramatic image; e) issue includes a letters column.

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By Peter Silvestro
John Sunlight arrives and he does not disappoint: tall, thin, and sensitive looking, he is a sinister presence, a manipulator of his henchmen just for fun (reminding me of the senseless sadism of the Un-Man in C.S. Lewis’ PERELANDRA), and Mike Barr, with his eye for accuracy, has him dressed in costumes of a single color. He seems a bit younger than I pictured and his hair was described as white in THE DEVIL GENGHIS. Oddly, there is no explanation of why his body is unmarked after his violent demise at the end of THE DEVIL GENGHIS. This issue focuses on the cat-and-mouse interplay between the villain laying the groundwork for his grand scheme and the hero trying to uncover it. As with the Dent pulps, the gadgets overshadow the aides but at least they get to talk; Long Tom actually has a key role in the proceedings. Some noteworthy art moments: Doc’s escape scheme on page 6, Sunlight playing his henchmen against one another at the top of page 17, Doc’s parachute drop on page 22.

Score: 3 (out of 5)