Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reading Room: DOC SAVAGE "The Man of Bronze" Conclusion

Art by Jim Steranko
Investigating the death of Doc Savage's father in Hildago, the Man of Bronze and his five associates entered the Valley of the Vanished and encountered the Mayan residents of a hidden City of Gold.
It's ruler, King Chaac and his daughter, Princess Monja, welcomed the son of the late Professor Savage and those who accompanied him.
However, urged on by the costumed "Son of the Feathered Serpent", others were not so friendly towards the outsiders.
Under cover of darkness, they kidnapped three of Doc's aides and threw them into a sacrificial well filled with snakes.
Monk, whom they'd left unconscious, followed them and...
Overall, a pretty good adaptation of the original pulp novel in about the same length as the previous Doc comic, the Silver Age adaptation of The Thousand Headed Man.

You'll note that Ernie Chua/Chan took over the inking from Jim Mooney for "Master of the Red Death".
Personally, I preferred Mooney.

After this, instead of reviving the color comic, Marvel decided to do a b/w magazine featuring long-form original stories rather than adaptations of the pulp tales.
(Marvel's foray into a field previously-dominated by Warren Publishing had proven successful, with b/w magazines in horror, martial arts, and the Planet of the Apes movie/tv franchise proving to be solid sellers.)
The eight-issue magazine run is considered superior by many (including me) to the earlier comic run, with longer, more involved, tales, all written by Doug Moench, that followed the Doc spirit more than the Lester Dent-conceived story structure.
They'll be reprinted in an upcoming Showcase trade paperback from DC.
Not to say the color comic didn't have it's good points including a couple of Steranko covers and some of Ross Andru's best artwork ever!

Doc would make two more appearances in Marvel's four-color line.
We'll be presenting those never-reprinted stories in the near-future!

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