Friday, February 26, 2016

Making a Splash: The Marvel-ous Doc Savage

What it is, Groove-ophiles! Today, whaddya say we rock some Doc? Doc Savage, that is! Young Groove had been quite tempted by the variety of Doc Savage paperbacks on his visits to the local library, but was not quite ready to take the dive into "real" novels (I was only 9, man!). As usual, it was Marvel Comics to the rescue! In July 1972, the first ish of Marvel's Doc Savage hit the stands, and I could not wait to slap my twin dimes down on the counter so I could find out just how cool Doc and His Amazing Five really were. Young Groove truly dug the stories adapted by Steve Englehart (who was quickly becoming my new fave Marvel author with Captain America, Avengers, and the Beast) and Ross Andru (along with a bevy of awesome inkers), so naturally I quickly became a frantic Doc fan. It wasn't long before I was tackling those Doc paperbacks from the library, which carried me through a couple disappointing years of no new Doc comics until Marvel's all-new b&w mag brought him back to us (bigger and better than ever under Doug Moench, Tony DeZuniga, and friends, might I add). But enough yang-yang, let's get on to the incredible artistry of Ross Andru, Rich Buckler, John Buscema, Tony DeZuniga, Marie Severin, Val Mayerik, and Ernie Chan in bronze, black, and white!



















11 comments:

  1. Marvel Comics made me love Doc Savage. I'd seen the novels, even bought a couple at some point. But it was these comics which imprinted the character on me. It's this version I still see. And it's this affection for the character that made me latch onto the Sanctum Book reprints which started up in 2006 and will wrap up early this year with one more volume left collecting the final three stories by Lester Dent and company.

    Doc Savage and Conan the Barbrian and The Shadow at DC really opened my young eyes to adventures beyond the four-colored pages of comics. These days with comics having long ago become a loser in the dimes-to-entertainment ratio battle, the pulps offer a bit better value.

    Ross Andru remains an underrated talent, as is evidenced under the dramatic Tom Palmer inks. They needed to do more work together.

    Rip Off

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    1. The 3 Andru/Palmer issues were simply beautiful. But then I'm biased. I believe Tom Palmer improved anyone lucky enough to be inked by him. Check out these amazing combos: Sekowsky/Palmer (House of Mystery # 206), Starlin/Palmer (Journey into Mystery, Volume 2 # 3) and Perez/Palmer (What If? # 15).

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  2. Man, I LOVED Doc Savage!! Like you these were my introduction to the pulps, after Doc I read all I could in comic form, The Shadow, Justice Inc. (The Avenger) etc. Thank you for these splash pages, ahhhh, the memories.

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  3. I have a deep love of these pulp characters (I've even got a Pulp Adventures mod I'm almost done with for Freedom Force), but I had never seen these! How cool! Doc Savage punching bears and/or Mummies is one of my new favorite things! That is an awful lot of awesomeness in one page. Those black and white splashes are particularly amazing. Why doesn't every comic include such amazing action? I'm definitely going to have to track these down!

    Thanks Grove, you're always introducing me to wonderful things I've never heard of!

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  4. I loved the Doc black and white book -- Marvel's best comics magazine (along with Dracula Lives!). My first introduction to many pulp characters -- Doc, the Shadow, G-8, the Avenger -- were in the comics.

    And I'm grateful! I eventually grew tired of comics to a degree, but never of the pulp novels. They have a variety of place, character and genre that comics (today, at least) seem to lack, along with a greater sense of plot. And the diversity of heroes! Without these comics, I wouldn't never found the pulps!

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  5. Hello Groove. Picking up on the other comments, I did not know pulps existed until Steranko's History of Comics #1 was published, in the mid 1970s. I was at a bookstore (remember those?),saw them on the display tables, and my head suddenly exploded. I popped the $6, took it home, read it, actually understood pulps, then comics, had been published since the 1930s (and suddenly the golden-age reprints D.C> was flooding the spinner racks with, made sense). ANY CHANCE GROOVE, that you can run the covers to them and some of the full-page drawings inside. Everett's Torch-Submariner fight scene, and Kirby's Cap and Bucky fighting Nazis are simply out of this world.

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  6. Wow Groove pulp greatness at its best! Doc Savage was one hip cat! Gotta love it!

    - Mike from Trinidad & Tobago.

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  7. My Doc trajectory mirrored yours exactly, Groove. Seemed like those Bantam paperbacks were everywhere back then. I liked the comics, but the magazine was just amazing.

    Replaced my copies of Steranko's History of Comics years ago, thank god. Man, I wish Vol. 3 would come out already. I'm still waiting.

    James Chatterton

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    1. Hey J.C. - For some reason I got lucky on ebay with the Sterankos and got some autographed ones it excellent shape for like $15 each. Now, they are 3 - 5 times that , again. Nothing like a recession if you have some extra pocket money to fill in your comic collection. But, my head still spins when I see those covers. I guess there will never be #3 through #7 (?) as Steranko orginally suggested he was going to do. Too bad!

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  8. ross andru was so under appreciated-i would have love to have inked his work- dick giorodano,jim mooney,and of course tom palmer,were always his best inkers-thanks for the post!

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  9. Thanks for those 1970's memories. I wish the reprints were not 35 bucks when I last saw them advertised. I loved Doc Savage by Marvel and it was because of this I started reading the Doc novels and other pulp heroes. I just can't believe all the 70's fans out there who loved this stuff as much as I do. Back in 75 when the Doc Savage Movie came out I couldn't wait for the sequel for them to get it right. The movie wasn't perfect but it got my interest to see more of this outstanding hero that inspired the basis and inspiration for the idea of Super Man.

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Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

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