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Doc Savage (1988 series) #9 Comic Book

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The Golden God! Part 1

Date of Publication
June 1989
Cover Price

Our Rating:
3 stars


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

Comic Book Synopsis / Plot

Written by Peter Silvestro

Doc Savage receives a radio message from Horac, his manager in Hidalgo, warning him of “the Golden God” before the man is killed. In Washington, Doc meets with the Hidalgan consul, Luis Delgado, to learn more about the situation in the Central American country, when they are interrupted by a steam of bullets through the window. Doc pursues the assassin but the man escapes. As the team assembles to leave for Hidalgo, Doc announces that the bullets fired from the assassin’s gun were of gold, treated to make it invulnerable. In the Hidalgan capital, Blanco Grande, the team meets President Cristobal and Secretary Valdez, who know nothing of any disturbance in the Valley of the Vanished. That night, they interrupt an attempt on the life of the President by Mayan warriors, who kill themselves—one with the Red Death—rather than be captured. In the Valley Doc and company meet King Pomor and his daughter Kalif, unaware that there are two factions vying for power: those following the Son of the Feathered Serpent, who controls the Golden God and has Pomor’s allegiance, and the warriors serving the Daughter of the Sky God. That night, warriors attempt to kill Doc and his party but the Golden God, a mobile solid gold statue, bursts through the wall and, after a battle, carries off Anton and Beau. Doc orders Shoshanna and Pam to follow the Golden God, while he pursues the warriors. Spying on the Daughter of the Sky God, Doc recognizes her voice, leaps forward and unmasks her as…his wife Princess Monja.



Peter Silvestro (February 15, 2010)
a) Major discovery: F’teena is Princess Monja, in an audacious bit of retconning; b) Bo’s name is now spelled “Beau;” c) Pam’s last name is revealed to be “Savage;” d) for the first time (with any comics company), none of the original aides appear; e) first DC appearance of Doc’s exercise regimen; f) first DC use of the name, “Valley of the Vanished;” g) colorist’s error: the red-fingered warriors’ fingers aren’t red after their initial appearance; h) the bullet-pierced cover is cool but didn’t anyone tell the Kuberts Chip isn’t in the issue? i) issue includes a letters column.

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By Peter Silvestro
This story is an action-packed throwback to the Lester Dent pulps, with its fast-paced story full of battles, traps, escapes, and the like, and captures the original spirit nicely. The one flaw is that it seems too derivative, a very close sequel to The Man of Bronze and The Golden Peril, rehashing a number of familiar elements, even naming the villain the Son of the Feathered Serpent. And Mike Barr continues to make the series more faithful to the source material, restoring the name Valley of the Vanished and reintroducing Doc’s exercise regimen. The best move is his retconning Monja and F’teena into the same person, which seems fitting. The art is still fine, though the artists don’t have the opportunity for anything flashy, like the Discord Makers. An interesting change in the characters’ looks: Shoshanna has had her hair cut short, presumably to more easily distinguish her visually from Pam.

Score: 3 (out of 5)