Friday, June 24, 2022

Doc Savage - Ghost Pirates From The Beyond!

I continue my examination of the 70's Marvel Black and White Doc Savage magazine. Under a lush Ken Barr cover is a story written by Doug Moench titled "Ghost Pirates From The Beyond". The art is by Marie Severin (first eight pages) and Tony DeZuniga. 

The tale begins with the abrupt and gruesome murder of two policemen in Casablanca and the burning of some documents. Cut to NYC and Doc's headquarters where Monk takes a call from one Charles Villiers who himself is then stabbed and murdered. Witnesses see a ghostly apparition leave the scene of the crime, the top of the Chrysler Building. Doc and his team race to the scene and find clues in an invitation Villiers had left for them to attend a party given by Darryl LeVay. At this party they meet a designer named Hulot who is promptly poisoned apparently by LeVay who takes hostage a woman named Trina Valley. Doc and his men battled some masked thugs, defeat them and get to Hulot who utters a clue that leads them Casablanca. They head to Casablanca in the Helldiver and then meet a police chief named Verdoux who takes them to the scene of the first two murders, thought by police to have been accidental deaths by fire. Doc uncovers a clue in the ashes leading to a place called "The Blue Parrot" which he sends his men to investigate while he and Renny investigate a ghost ship which turns out to be quite real and hiding a very high-tech interior. 

In the Blue Parrot Monk, Ham, Johnny, and Long Tom find a mysterious story of pirates who occupied the city of Anfa which stood where Casablanca stands. There's discussion of a treasure and much destruction. After more scuffling about Doc and his men eventually head into the desert following a map and discover a minaret again hiding a very high-tech interior, they free the captured Trina Valley a treacherous Verdoux, and the dead Darryl LaVey. They further discover underneath the tower a network of caves hiding a gang of men taking the treasure lorded over by a glowing figure calling himself the "Demon Reaver". There's a great battle, during which Doc and the Reaver confront one another. The Reaver turns out to be Hulot who had faked his death by poison earlier. Doc and the team give the treasure to the people of Casablanca and head for home on which trip sadly Monk and Ham who had been competing for the attention of Trina are told by her that she' very happily married. Even Doc smiles. 

There is only this one story this time out, as apparently Marvel had trimmed the page count in their B&W magazines at this time. No text features and no solo tale. 

More next time. 

 Rip Off


  1. Your reviews are reminding me of just how good these B&W Doc stories really were. I know that they were collected in a hardcover omnibus not so long ago, so maybe you'll inspire some readers to pick it up. :)

    1. I'm unaware of an omnibus with these stories in it. There is a DC Showcase and another DC reprint of the color Marvel tales. But anything I can do to preach the word of the Man of Bronze I am happy to do.

    2. The hardcover was publishing in 2015 as Doc Savage Archives by Dynamite & seems to be out of print now, with used copies going for something like $175.00 or so. It not only reprinted the stories, but also the articles, the letter pages, and even the ads. I'd love to see it republished for all Doc Savage fans out there!