Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Doc Brass is the creation of Warren Ellis and John Casaday, a character in their sprawling science fiiction comic adventure Planetary. Clearly he is meant to be Doc Savage, as the cover above makes all too plain.
I have been meaning to read the fuller adventures of Doc Brass ever since I first found the debut issue of Planetary. I never read another issue of the comic until a few days ago when I snagged a copy of the first trade collection. Doc Brass figures signficantly in two of the six issues contained within.
Doc Axel Brass is an adventurer from the 1930's who was a member of a secret gang of other world-savers. Among their ranks were dopplegangers for The Shadow (called The Spider) and Fu Manchu (named Hark). There is also a Tarzan lookalike (named Lord Blackstock), and some guys meant to Operator 5 and G-8, along with a youthful character named Edison who is supposed to stand in for Tom Swift. This is a clearly a variation on Philip Farmer's Wold-Newton concept, but this time with the twist that all these "heroes" die, or nearly do battling an inter-dimensional invasion by a force of superhumans who look remarkably like the Justice League of America.
Brass went on to become to a sometimes advisor to the Planetary team. But his role is quite diminished and if I read more of those adventures remains to seen. For more on Planetary see this link. Meanwhile here are the covers for the issues in this trade.