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Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze (1991 series) #1 Comic Book

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Title:

The Monarch of Armageddon: Chapter One

Date of Publication
November 1991
Cover Price

Our Rating:
3 stars

Credits:

Mark Ellis
Writer
Darryl Banks
Penciler
Robert Lewis
Inker
Deirdre DeLay
Colorist
Brian Stelfreeze
Cover Penciler

Comic Book Synopsis / Plot

Written by Peter Silvestro

In Tibet, a gravely wounded John Sunlight is found by the Lama Dorjieff and his huge Thulian partner Xauz who, after nursing him back to health, realize his value to their sinister cause…. In New York, a zeppelin manned by the Silver Shirts, American Bundists led by one Bill Smith, is about to drop a bomb on the heavily Jewish Garment District. Doc Savage attempts to board the airship by means of a rocket pack but the device fails him and he narrowly avoids plummeting to his death. He makes his way onto the airship and defeats the Silver Shirts. Back at his headquarters, Doc stuns his aides by announcing that he is tired of the “Savage Curse,” the constant danger and violence his mission entails, and that he needs a long vacation to feel human again; his intended destination: the Valley of the Vanished in Hidalgo. Meanwhile, John Sunlight, having seized power by killing Dorjieff, reports to Ganth, his Nazi backer, on the progress of Project Neu Menschlich, and casually admits that he betrayed Smith and the Silver Shirts to Doc Savage. Having gotten the support he needed, Sunlight orders Xauz to kill Ganth, so he can set himself to his heart’s desire: revenge against Doc Savage. Elsewhere, gangster Breeze Castigleone is questioning one of the Silver Shirts about their weapons depot, and learns only Bill Smith knows the location. Doc’s men meet him at the Hidalgo Trading Company for a friendly sendoff, assuring him that they will continue the investigation into the Silver Shirts. When Doc arrives in the hidden Valley, he is greeted by gunfire…from warriors led by Princess Monja who tells Doc he will answer for his many crimes against her people.

The issue also contains a text article:
“Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze Still Shines.”
Writer: Will Murray.
Five page text article on the history of Doc Savage, from the birth and development of the pulp series (four pages right there) through the Bantam reprints, the 1975 movie, and the Marvel and DC comics, with a glimpse at characters which were influenced by or are tributes to the Man of Bronze.

 

Comments


Peter Silvestro (February 15, 2010)
a) First Millennium issue, with the initial appearances of Doc and the aides, the 86th floor, the Valley of the Vanished and Princess Monja, the Autogyro, the Hidalgo Trading Company, and first mention of the Fortress of Solitude; b) Habeas Corpus and Chemistry make cameo appearances, standing with their owners; c) a summary of THE DEVIL GENGHIS is provided; d) the montage of Doc’s adventures on page 24 includes THE LAND OF TERROR, THE MAN OF BRONZE, METEOR MENACE, REPEL, THE MEN WHO SMILED NO MORE, RESURRECTION DAY, and THE DEVIL GENGHIS; e) that’s a gag reference to Dave Stevens’ THE ROCKETEER on page 7; f) John Sunlight has a news clipping announcing the opening of Patricia’s, it’s about four years old by this time. Additional comments: Issue also includes “Bronze Mail,” a letters column.

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Reviews

By Peter Silvestro
Promising the most faithful version of the Man of Bronze yet seen in comics is a tall order, and Millennium manages it, sort of. The look is clearly influenced by a Golden Age comic style and the aides are copied directly from the pulp portraits—including Johnny with a monocle, instead of glasses—though Doc is still sporting the Bama skullcap. Mention should also be made of Deirdre DeLay’s watercolors which are attractive though perhaps a bit too bright for Doc Savage; the only real complaint is that Doc looks yellow on some pages. The writing is where they will have to prove themselves, and it’s still too early to tell, though the “Doc quits” storyline and the return of John Sunlight are an audacious way to start. Stelfreeze’s Bama-influenced cover is the least attractive aspect of the work, presenting a squat musclebound Doc with a skin texture that makes him look more like “The Man of Vinyl” than "The Man of Bronze;” it seems at odds with the portrayal inside the book.

Text article: Murray, the premiere Doc Savage historian (as well as writer of most of the new novels that appeared in the 1990s), does a masterful job of condensing a great deal of info on the character into such a small space for the benefit of new (and some old) readers.

Score: 3 (out of 5)