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Doc Savage (1988 series) #7 Comic Book

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The Mind Molder, [Part 1]

Date of Publication
April 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

Doc Savage announces that he and his team are moving back to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building to be more accessible to those in need of his aid. On moving day, the workmen turn out to be an assault team led by none other than Doc’s cousin Patricia, looking young and beautiful again! After convincing Doc of her identity, she explains that her rejuvenation is due to an experimental treatment by a Dr. Kalker and that she is willing to share it with Doc’s aides. The group arrives on Kalker’s Caribbean island and prepares for their treatments, unaware that Kalker is working for a shadowy figure plotting vengeance against Doc Savage. In the middle of the night however, Doc sneaks from his room and searches the building, finally finding a guarded room. He overpowers the guards and rescues the occupant—an aged Pat Savage. She explains that her fake double is her granddaughter, Pam; Doc had suspected a trick when the “young Pat” didn’t recognize his speaking in Mayan; Pat also reveals that the mastermind behind the scheme is Miles Morganthal, who has discovered a mind-control drug used by Doc in his criminal reform clinic, the Crime College. Outside Doc summons his younger aides who have been waiting offshore in a submarine, and the group assaults the Kalker Institute. Inside they are met by Morganthal who uses the older aides as hostages to force Doc and his crew to submit to exposure to the mind-control gas, turning them evil.



Peter Silvestro (February 15, 2010)
a) First DC appearance of Pat Savage; b) first appearance of Pam; c) first modern appearance of the 86th floor headquarters; d) first DC use of Doc’s trilling, the Mayan language, “I’ll be superamalgamated;” e) first DC use of the name “Crime College;” f) Bo’s name is now spelled “Beau;” g) the cover (Chip falling from a roof) does not correspond to anything in the story; h) it seems odd that Doc hasn’t looked up Pat in the year since his return; i) the writer seems to be deliberately concealing Pat’s and Pam’s last name; j) Doc tells Chip that Pat is his (Chip’s) third cousin; actually Pam (who they don’t know about yet) is Chip’s third cousin and Pat is his first cousin twice removed; k) issue includes a letters column.

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By Peter Silvestro
A new writer takes over with this issue and he seems to have a new mission: to make the series more faithful to the Robeson original. To that end, Doc moves back to the 86th floor of the ESB, trills, speaks Mayan with his men, does the nerve press; Johnny says “I’ll be superamalgamated;” Renny says, “Holy cow!” Pat returns to the series and by the end, Long Tom is back in the fold and Chip, that interloper, is out. Pat’s six-shooter also appears with no fanfare. Best yet, no aliens. Even the art is becoming more accurate: Doc tears his shirt, starts to show a widow’s peak, Monk is wider, Renny bigger, etc. Ironically the biggest surprise in the story is none of those factors but the revelation that Anton Ivanovitch is now a part of Doc’s team, a move that was not hinted at in the previous issues; the character would be a negligible part of the series from here on out so they needn’t have bothered. Unfortunately it also leads to there being too many aides in the story with most of them having little to do beyond participate in melee scenes. Wigham’s and guest inker Hanna’s art is improved, with more consistent renderings of characters, and the “group surprise” scene (page 9) is very well done.

Score: 3 (out of 5)