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Doc Savage (1988 series) #14 Comic Book

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The Long Night’s Dawn!: Sunlight Rising, Part 4

Date of Publication
November 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

United Nations military forces surround Doc Savage’s Fortress of Solitude to take him into custody but the Man of Bronze and his aides escape by means of black light goggles. Meanwhile, John Sunlight is having personnel problems: when General Rakia demands to be ruler of Asia under Sunlight, the villain opens the energy screen to allow a beam through to destroy the capital of Rakiastan. The dictator’s son tries to stop him and Sunlight kills the young man with his bare hands. Doc visits Anders Holstrum’s father and informs him of his son’s death at the company of John Sunlight. A resigned Holstrum cooperates with Doc’s plan: he “captures” Doc at gunpoint and turns him over to the UN authorities. As the deadly effects of the prolonged darkness are felt on Earth, Sunlight is in contact with the authorities and refuses to modify his demands; Grasp, whose desire is for wealth, not power, tries to kill Sunlight but is shot down by Dr. Lundquist. Sunlight reveals that he was in no danger; this was merely a test for her, and she passed. A party from the UN visits the space station with Doc Savage a prisoner. Once they are aboard, Doc springs his trap: the prisoner is actually Beau in disguise, the real Doc is another of the party. Doc seizes control of the command center and downloads a virus into the computer which shuts down the energy screen, enabling the military to launch missiles at the space station. Doc finds Dr. Lundquist but the guards’ gunfire mortally wounds her; with her dying breath she tells Doc where to find the body of his wife. An enraged Sunlight executes the killers of his lover, and then he ejects Doc and the pod carrying Monja into space. Doc uses the pod’s compressed air tank to jet to safety aboard his space shuttle but he must lose the pod—and Monja’s body--forever. Sunlight and his men find the escape pods have been sabotaged just as the American missiles destroy the space station. On the way back to Earth, Doc realizes that he was wrong to try to revive Monja, that there is a time to let go of the past. 



Peter Silvestro (February 15, 2010)
a) There’s an allusion to Beau’s father having been a Doc impersonator; b) the UN Secretary-General is always referred to as the “General Secretary;” c) the story ends on an unusual note: with a Bible quote (Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 6); d) the action-packed cover is a bit confusing with the contorted bodies and the reflection (not to mention its depicting a scene that doesn’t take place in the story).

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By Peter Silvestro
The tale reaches it apocalyptic climax here, with a poignant finish. Overall, John Sunlight has been a fine villain, if a little low-key (and too similar to the thousands of megalomaniacal comic book villains who followed in his wake); presenting him as a deluded idealist is a nice touch. Oddly, it isn’t until this issue that he’s presented as a physical threat (despite the misleading cover to issue 13) though he never dukes it out with Doc. The art is good though nothing stood out for me. And to counterbalance the bright battle in the previous issue, the colorist gets to do a dark one on page 3.

Score: 3 (out of 5)