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Doc Savage (1988 series) #17 Comic Book

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Uneasy Allies: The Conflagration Man, Part 2

Date of Publication
February 1990
Cover Price

Our Rating:
3 stars


Mike W. Barr
Rod Wigham
Eduardo Barreto
Tony Tollin
Eduardo Barreto
Cover Penciler

Comic Book Synopsis / Plot

Written by Peter Silvestro

The Shadow’s agents invade Doc Savage’s Crime College to rescue their leader. The Shadow forces himself awake on the operating table and escapes. A brief confrontation between the two heroes ends when they discover that they studied baritsu under the same sensei, who must have judged them both worthy. With guarded respect and disapproval of each other’s methods, they decide to team up, swapping assistants. Meanwhile, following the phone tip, Vivian Roy goes to the Pink Rat and is reunited with her father. Having learned from the Shadow that Prof. Roy needs a Yolsky Coil to repair the ray gun, Doc sets a trap at a science warehouse and nets several hoods and, he thinks, the ray gun. They trail the one escaping henchman to Malone’s hideout, where Ham is now impersonating Al Ombra while the Shadow waits outside. As Malone tries to contact the real boss, a hit team, armed with the real ray assaults the building, killing Malone and his men and battling the Shadow who is armed with dart guns. When Doc Savage arrives later, he finds a house full of corpses and an alchemical symbol scrawled on the wall.



Peter Silvestro (February 15, 2010)
Additional credits: Co-plotted by Gerard Jones; cover by Eduardo Barreto and Andy Kubert. a) The only crossover for the title, the story follows The Shadow Strikes #5 and continues in The Shadow Strikes #6; b) the first regular issue to be set in the 1930s; c) the Shadow’s scarf is yellow in the last panel on page 21.

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By Peter Silvestro
The first meeting of the two heroes (as themselves) is a monumental event, with a lot of emphasis on the contrast of personalities and methods, demonstrating also that while a team-up was obvious, it wouldn’t be easy. The clever way to bring this out was to have them switch assistants (not clear why, but it’s a brilliant move anyway). Odd twist at the end kills off the villains we’ve been following, preparing the way for the real mastermind to show up in the next issue. This switches the tale from a Shadow-type “gangster” story to a Doc Savage “megalomaniac” adventure, for a subtle touch, that alas leaves the story a bit broken-backed.

Score: 3 (out of 5)