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Doc Savage (2010 series) #1 Comic Book

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Listed in alphabetical order.

Avenger, Josh Monroe, Mac, Nelly.


The Lord of Lightning: Darkness Falls

Date of Publication
April 2010
Cover Price

Our Rating:
4 stars


Paul Malmont
Howard Porter
Art Thibert
J. G. Jones
Cover Penciler
J. G. Jones
Cover Inker

Comic Book Synopsis / Plot

Written by Peter Silvestro

The story opens with the climax of another Doc Savage adventure as he rescues victims of a mad scientist’s rampaging lions. Spurning thanks, he returns via dirigible to his New York headquarters. As the airship nears the building, lightning flashes down burning the ground, then strikes the dirigible, setting it aflame. Doc swings toward the safety of the skyscraper just in time to rescue two boys on a school field trip from the collapse of the observation deck. He calmly chats about baseball to distract them from the danger of leaping over newly forming chasms in the masonry. Discovering the adults in the party dead, Doc also learns that the fire has filled his office suite, cutting off all escape….

Meanwhile, outside the court building downtown, Ham Brooks is giving an interview to the press with his exonerated client when lightning strikes and kills the man. At Columbia University another series of bolts destroys the classroom where Monk Mayfair is lecturing on chemistry….

Back at the skyscraper, Doc rescues the boys by carrying them on a plunge down the shaft of his pneumatic elevator, striking the walls to slow their descent and landing on the safety foam at the bottom. They are helped out of the shaft by Renny Renwick just as the walls collapse and the top of the building plunges to the street. A phone call assures them Johnny is safe but Long Tom calls to say that his new bride Marlena was critically inured by a lightning strike on their ship. Doc orders him to the hospital and heads to the Hidalgo Trading Company where he and Renny link up with Monk. Doc knows this attack is personal…then lightning strikes the building they are in….


Additional stories in this comic

Worst Nightmare, Part One: The Wounded

4 stars

Jason Starr
Scott Hampton
Scott Hampton
Daniel Vozzo

By Peter Silvestro

After an evening at a bar, a young woman is walked home by a man she just met. At the door, he pulls a knife and forces her inside. A stranger pushes in after them, shoves the man out the window and cuffs him to the fire escape by an ankle with his head downward. He calmly instructs the woman to report that the West Side Rapist is hanging out at her apartment….

Richard Benson returns to the inner city headquarters of his organization, Justice Inc. were he offers crime victims their last hope for satisfaction. He walks past his team, denying questions about the rapist and enters his office. Staff member Josh leaves to follow up a tip on a teenage runaway but vanishes down at a pier. Soon a homeless man delivers a note demanding a one million dollar ransom for Josh’s safe return; it is signed, "Your Worst Nightmare." The attack on his teammate recalls Benson to the murder of his own family years ago, which left him the bitter force of vengeance he is…. Snapping into action, he assigns Nellie to study the case Josh was working on, Mac to examine the phone records to trace Josh’s movements, and Smitty to investigate the scene of his disappearance. He promises there will be hell to pay….



Peter Silvestro (April 16, 2010)
Comments: The cover features the familiar Bantam logo, though with less of a swoop. Again, Ham has a mustache, easily the most common deviation from the source material. First mention of Doc Savage having a private bank (“First National Bank of Hidalgo, natch). On Justice Inc., Richard Benson is nicknamed “Benny” instead of “Dick” presumably to ward off juvenile snickering (why not “Rick,” though?). Benson mentions Doc Savage at one point.

Peter Silvestro (April 16, 2010)
The Doc Savage tale is an apocalyptic adrenaline rush of action—too bad the episode is so short we don’t really get a feel for the series. It seems more contemporary than FIRST WAVE, which has a period mood. Visually it’s nice with a larger than life look befitting the Man of Bronze. Doc is given a toned-down widow’s peak and the standard torn shirt, with the aides looking okay but not that distinctive. Two new details: Long Tom is a newlywed and Monk has a pet rat, Tort (no mention of Habeas Corpus). The only debit is that it seems like a drawn out version of the opening scene of “The Doom on Thunder Isle!” from Marvel’s b&w DOC SAVAGE #1 and that was just another baddie with a lightning machine until they added all the puzzles and moved it into Dr Moreau territory. Can’t wait to see what they do to make this original.

Peter Silvestro (April 16, 2010)
The Justice Inc. story pitches it quite a bit darker and grittier than the pulp original, seeming more like “Punisher, P.I.” than Dick Benson the Avenger. Clearly “The Avenger” (the series’ original title back in 1940) can’t be used because Marvel has laid claim to that word since 1962; an early-70s DC adaptation was also called “Justice Inc.” after the first novel in the series. This series is clearly set in the here-and-now with cell phones, haircuts, and dialogue indicating the twenty-first century. One of the most modern aspects of the original tales was Benson’s multiracial team: here, though, Josh Newton is now Josh Monroe and his wife Rosabel has been dropped. Also Nellie (no surname given) appears to be Asian. The biggest surprise is that there is no mention of Benson’s face-molding abilities, in fact we don’t see him in action, aside from the opening sequence so don’t yet know what he’s capable of. He is a lot more intense and bitter than the original, with a hard, vicious edge to his avenging. Verdict: Hard to tell: by splitting the magazine between two series (and tacking on a preview of Zatanna’s new series), we don’t see enough of either Doc or “Benny” to get much of an idea what either is going to be like. Here’s hoping the series is so popular that Justice Inc is spun off into its own title and Doc gets the entire book to himself.

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