Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Dynamite Doc Goes Off!
Recently finished the eight-issue run of Doc Savage from Dynamite Comics. Let me hasten to say that sadly I was much disappointed. The story thrums along and the artwork tells a story, but rarely if ever is there any true excitement in this decades-spanning yarn, which seemed more than anything to be a set-up for future Doc stories set anytime in the last eighty years.
We meet a Doc who never looks like himself (save on the covers by Alex Ross) but rather some button-nosed poser. He battles evil rightly enough, but finds that in the modern world that evil might well be himself when his rather special crime college is brought to light.
The Doc Savage in this story gets hold of a plant which induces exceedingly slow aging and he gives some to Pat Savage, his beautiful cousin. But before he can share with his five loyal followers Monk, Ham, Renny, Johnny, and Long Tom he looses the power. So we follow a seemingly immortal Doc down through the decades as he builds and expands his world-saving project, replacing his aides when necessary and bringing in new faces. The storyline jumps about ten or so years each issue and brings with it the technology of its time. I was chagrined how so much of it felt contemporary to me, proving my advanced decrepitude.
Sadly despite this rather sprawling storyline, it never catches fire. Or perhaps it's the scale which forbids any single installment from gathering momentum. The finale was a bit underwhelming as well, despite a decent set up. This saga seemed to focus so much on characterization that it rather lost its sense of a coherent plot.
I wish I could recommend it, but this one is, sadly, for the most devoted Doc collectors only.
The covers by Alex Ross are delicious though as usual. Below is a gallery.