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Altered States: Doc Savage #1 Comic Book

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Altered States: Doc Civilized

Date of Publication
March 2015
Cover Price

Our Rating:
2 stars


David Avallone
Dave Acosta
Dave Acosta
Adriano Augusto
Billy Tan
Cover Penciler
Billy Tan
Cover Inker
Alex Guimaraes
Cover Colorist

Comic Book Synopsis / Plot

Written by Peter Silvestro

Doc Savage is moved to try to discover the origin of evil. To that end, he plans an experiment: he will use a psychotropic drug used by the Mayans to return his mind “to its ancient roots.” The drug will wear off in an hour and while in effect Doc will be strapped to a table and locked in a cage, to be observed by Pat and the aides. Almost instantly Doc is filled with a vision where he is a Neanderthal facing an enemy tribe; he easily snaps his bonds and bends the bars of his cage. With his lightning-quick reflexes he is able to catch the tranquilizer dart fired at him. Doc makes it out of the building and into the woods. Monk, Johnny, and Renny pursue him while Pat, Ham, and Long Tom head to the control room to track him on the range-finder. As Doc’s features are becoming more ape-like he fights off his aides’ attempt to subdue him. Knockout gas is fired at him, causing him to hallucinate that his aides are lizard-men. The Mayan drug wears off so that Doc finds himself trying to strangle Monk; he collapses….

When Doc is fully recovered, he describes his experience as the feeling that the entire world was his enemy….

Epilogue: Doc Savage confronts his archenemy John Sunlight at the scene of his latest scheme. As Sunlight describes his plan which will kill thousands of people, Doc loses control and beats his enemy to a bloody pulp….



Peter Silvestro (April 15, 2016)
Comments: One of four “Altered States” one-shot issues appearing this month; the others were Red Sonja, Vampirella, and the Shadow.

Peter Silvestro (April 15, 2016)
Review: Dynamite compared their ALTERED STATES mini-event to Marvel’s WHAT IF? and DC’s ELSEWORLDS but the comparison does not fit, at least for Doc Savage. This story doesn’t put Doc into a different situation but can safely be put with the canonical adventures as a curious incident. That said, this comic is not very good. The writer is shooting for a high target: an explanation of the origin of evil; the problem is, not only doesn’t he have an answer, what ever he does say in the end is quite enigmatic. And the art is quite bland, none of the characters looks all that interesting, and there’s that trouble again of Doc, Renny, and Long Tom hard to distinguish from one another. And the final indignity is the portrayal of John Sunlight in the epilogue: he looks and acts like “generic villain” and does not stand out at all in any way. This issue was a disappointment to me

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