Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Black and White Wednesday: Doc Savage faces "The Inferno Scheme!"

As I've said before, Marvel Comics' best version of Doc Savage was the black and white magazine version which ran for 8 quarterly issues (from the summer of 1975 to the spring of 1977). Doug Moench wrote every issue, keeping the stories fresh and fun, sending Doc and his Amazing Five all over the world in search of adventure, danger, and justice. While the mag went through a veritable revolving door of pencilers, Tony DeZuniga kept the book consistent by inking every issue (except #8) and penciling a few, as well. All in all, Doc's mag was extremely well done, mixing pulp adventure, Marvel-style action and characterization, and a sense of fun.

One of Groove's favorite issues was published in the winter of 1975, issue #3. "The Inferno Scheme" sported pencils by Marvel legend John Buscema, who excelleled in sci-fi machinery and action, both of which this story is filled with. Writer Doug Moench focused much of the attention on Renny, one of Doc's most interesting aide's, though usually overshadowed by the popular Monk (who was absent from this story so he could star in a back-up solo story in this issue--if you want me to run it, let me know!) and Ham. Moench's story was also partially inspired by the James Bond movie, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, for its breath-taking ski-action sequences. If you overlook the fact that Moench boo-booed by mentioning Fort Knox (which wouldn't be built until three years after this particular Doc Savage adventure took place), the story is a near-perfect comicbook romp. But you don't have to take my word for it, Groove-ophile! Here's the proof from Moench, Buscema, and DeZuniga themselves!


  1. totally awesome. love it, love it, love it!!!

  2. Great pages. Buscema was a penciller that was made or broken by the inker in my opinion. His work on the Fantastic Four was so great because of Joe Sinnot's inks. Here Tony Dezuniga compliments him perfectly. I never cared a great deal for a lot of Buscema's pencils and layouts though he turned a lot each month it seemed. His brother Sal is overlooked often.

    Good stuff


  3. I agree Willy
    If you look at John's roughs, they were just that very rough. I've been very lucky to become very good friends with & know Joe Sinnott, Herb Trimpe,Tony DeZuniga & Roy Thomas.I was,& still am a big Marvel Zombie of the 60's- mid 80's. One of my many, many all time favorite B & W mags of that time was. Marvel Preview#9 featuring Man-God. who was adapted from the book Gladiator from the 1930 novel Gladiator. I've been very lucky to buy on pure dumb luck 17 pages from this story. Over the last year & 1/2. Which I've had Roy & Tony both sign all these pages for me.

    To my surprise, I found out through Rich Buckler, he was mistakenly credited as the artist. He drew only the first 3-5 pages. But was over loaded with work or had been ill. So John Buscema was called in to finish the book. Which Tony DeZuniga inked. Since they had been the long time team on the Savage sword of Conan. So this was a dream come true for me! So I'm a mission to complete this story. 34 more pages to go! Plus the beautifully paided cover by Earl Norem, I just missed buying it from Hertiage Auctions!! It sold like two weeks ago today for $2,800!! GGrrr!!

    So if anyone out there, sees or has any of these pages. For sale or not, I'd love to hear from you. Or if you ever see any for sale. I'd greatly appreciate your help. Thank you, Michael Mikulovsky

  4. Love the panel on page 27, where Renny punches the guy in the face. You can actually feel the bones splintering.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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