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Doc Savage (1988 series) #3 Comic Book

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Battleground: The Discord Makers, Part 3

Date of Publication
December 1988
Cover Price

Our Rating:
3 stars


Dennis O'Neil
Rod Wigham
Steve Montano
Tony Tollin
Adam Kubert
Cover Penciler

Comic Book Synopsis / Plot

Written by Peter Silvestro

Chip Savage is plummeting to the ground from the damaged spacecraft when, to everyone’s surprise, he suddenly drifts slowly to the ground. Doc and Shoshanna follow, courtesy of an anti-gravity field generated by the craft. Unfortunately the killer robot also makes it safely down and continues in its pursuit of Chip until Doc manages to push it over a cliff. In Moscow, Colonel Anton Ivanovitch uncovers a conspiracy in the Soviet government, confronting the agent who launched the missile at Doc Savage’s aircraft. The agent vows his devotion to the goddess Eris, bringer of war, before breaking his own neck. Monk is drinking heavily, facing his disillusionment with Doc after the discovery that the lobotomy performed on criminals has grave side effects; Ham reminds him that Doc is only human, it’s the aides who tended to idolize him. Doc transports the alien craft to the Fortress of Solitude so he and his aides can study it; they come to the conclusion that it’s made of plastic—30,000 years old. That night, Shoshanna has another nightmare of the Discord Makers, who dwell on the Moon and cause conflict on Earth by their human agents. All are interrupted by the sudden arrival of Ivanovitch and his men who shoot down Bo, leading to an imminent clash between Doc’s team and the invaders….



Peter Silvestro (February 15, 2010)
a) Shoshanna’s first cover appearance; b) the Fortress of Solitude is finally said to be in the Arctic, though it’s a short-lived victory for accuracy; c) the Soviet bureaucrat under the power of the Discord Makers is endowed with super-strength, when no other character in the story arc is so favored; d) the poem quoted by Ham on page 17 is from “The Battle-Field” by William Cullen Bryant; e) Johnny seems to have picked up an advanced degree in plastics in the intervening years; f) issue includes a letters column; g) issue is dated "Winter 1988."

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By Peter Silvestro
While this issue does not advance the plot very much, other than to get the spacecraft into Doc’s hands, it is marked by some strong action scenes and characterization. For one, we see Ivanovitch, cast as a lover in the previous issue, is also a man of action. For another, we learn that Chip, like Doc, has some trouble handling his emotions. The real meat is in Monk’s crisis of confidence: here we (and Monk) see that the Man of Bronze is not infallible, that the forty-year absence tended to cement an idealistic portrait of Doc in the minds of his aides, and now reality is forcing them beyond their juvenile hero worship. It’s great stuff, done with restraint (nowadays, they would probably just have him rape and murder—ah, the innocence of youth). The only drawback is that this mental shift on Monk’s part is never alluded to again in this story arc; maybe later. The artists’ great contribution to this issue is the haunting images of the aliens on pages 21 and 22, with the promise of more to come.

Score: 3 (out of 5)