Doc Savage

Doc Savage is a fictional character originally published in American pulp magazines during the 1930s and 1940s. He was created by publisher Henry W. Ralston and editor John L. Nanovic at Street & Smith Publications, with additional material contributed by the series' main writer, Lester Dent. The illustrations were by Walter Baumhofer, Paul Orban, Emery Clarke, Modest Stein, and Robert G. Harris.

The heroic-adventure character would go on to appear in other media, including radio, film, and comic books, with his adventures reprinted for modern-day audiences in a series of paperback books, which had sold over 20 million copies by 1979.[1] Into the 21st century, Doc Savage has remained a nostalgic icon in the U.S., referenced in novels and popular culture. Longtime Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee has credited Doc Savage as being the forerunner to modern superheroes.[2]

Doc Savage
Doc Savage Magazine - March 1933
Doc Savage Magazine, March 1933, "The Man of Bronze", illustrated by Walter M. Baumhofer.
Publication information
PublisherStreet & Smith
First appearanceDoc Savage Magazine #1 (March 1933)
Created byHenry W. Ralston
John L. Nanovic
Lester Dent
In-story information
Full nameClark Savage, Jr.
Notable aliasesThe Man of Bronze
AbilitiesGenius-level intellect
Peak physical and mental conditioning
Skilled scientist, surgeon, inventor, detective, athlete, and martial artist
Photographic memory
Master of disguise

Publication history

The Doc Savage Magazine was printed by Street & Smith from March 1933 to the Summer of 1949 to capitalize on the success of The Shadow magazine and followed by the original Avenger in September 1939. In all, 181 issues were published in various entries and alternative titles.

Doc Savage became known to more contemporary readers when Bantam Books began reprinting the individual magazine novels in 1964, this time with covers by artist James Bama that featured a bronze-haired, bronze-skinned Doc Savage with an exaggerated widows' peak, usually wearing a torn khaki shirt and under the by-line "Kenneth Robeson". The stories were not reprinted in chronological order as originally published, though they did begin with the first adventure, The Man of Bronze. By 1967, Bantam was publishing once a month until 1990, when all 181 original stories (plus an unpublished novel, The Red Spider) had run their course. Author Will Murray produced seven more Doc Savage novels for Bantam Books from Lester Dent's original outlines. Bantam also published a novel by Philip José Farmer, Escape From Loki (1991), which told the story of how in World War I Doc met the men who would become his five comrades.

Clark Savage, Jr. first appeared in March 1933 in the first issue of Doc Savage Magazine. Because of the success of the Shadow, who had his own pulp magazine, the publishers Street & Smith quickly launched this pulp title. Unlike the Shadow, Clark Savage, "Doc" to his friends, had no special powers, but was raised from birth by his father and other scientists to become one of the most perfect human beings in terms of strength, intelligence, and physical abilities.

Doc Savage set up base on the 86th floor of a world-famous New York skyscraper (implied, but never outright stated, as the Empire State Building; Phillip Jose Farmer, in his Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, gives good evidence that this is likely the case). Doc Savage fights against evil with the assistance of the "Fabulous Five".

Comics, movies, pulp magazines

Doc Savage has appeared in comics and a movie, on radio, and as a character in numerous other works, and continues to inspire authors and artists in the realm of fantastic adventure.

Doc Savage Magazine was created by Street & Smith Publications executive Henry Ralston and editor John Nanovic to capitalize on the success of Street and Smith's pulp character, The Shadow. Ralston and Nanovic wrote a short premise establishing the broad outlines of the character they envisioned, but Doc Savage was only fully realized by the author chosen to write the series, Lester Dent. Dent wrote most of the 181 original novels, hidden behind the "house name" of Kenneth Robeson.

One Lester Dent biographer hypothesizes that one inspiration for Doc Savage may have been the American military officer and author Richard Henry Savage, who wrote more than 40 books of adventure and mystery stories and lived a dashing and daring life.[3]

The character first appeared on screen in a 1975 film, Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.

It was announced on May 30, 2016, that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will be playing Clark "Doc" Savage, being billed as the "World's First Superhero", and the film will be directed by Shane Black with a script written by Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry.[4]

Fictional character biography

Doc Savage's real name is Clark Savage, Jr. He is a physician, scientist, adventurer, detective, inventor, explorer, researcher, and, as revealed in The Polar Treasure, a musician. A team of scientists assembled by his father deliberately trained his mind and body to near-superhuman abilities almost from birth, giving him great strength and endurance, a photographic memory, a mastery of the martial arts, and vast knowledge of the sciences. Doc is also a master of disguise and an excellent imitator of voices. "He rights wrongs and punishes evildoers." Dent described the hero as a mix of Sherlock Holmes' deductive abilities, Tarzan's outstanding physical abilities, Craig Kennedy's scientific education, and Abraham Lincoln's goodness. He also described Doc Savage as manifesting "Christliness." Doc's character and world-view is displayed in his oath, which goes as follows:[5]

Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice. Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.

By the third story, Doc already has a reputation as a "superman".[6]

Doc Savage's aides

Savage is accompanied on his adventures by up to five other regular characters (referred to in the 1975 movie and in marketing materials from the Bantam Books republication as "The Fabulous Five"), all highly accomplished individuals in their own right.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Blodgett "Monk" Mayfair, an industrial chemist. Monk got his nickname from his simian build, notably his long arms, and his covering of red hair. He is in a constant state of "friendly feuding" with "Ham" Brooks. This began when his friend taught him some French words to say to an officer and Monk repeated them, not knowing they were a string of insults. The result was a lengthy stay in the guardhouse.
  • Brigadier General Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks, an accomplished attorney. Ham is considered one of the best-dressed men in the world, and as part of his attire, carries a sword cane whose blade is dipped in a fast-acting anesthetic. His nickname was acquired when Monk, in retaliation for his guardhouse incarceration, framed Brooks on a charge of stealing hams from the commissary. In the only case which Ham ever lost, he was convicted of stealing the hams.
  • Colonel John "Renny" Renwick, a construction engineer. Renny is a giant of a man, with "fists like buckets of gristle and bone." His favorite pastime is knocking the panels out of heavy wooden doors. He always wears a look of depression, which deepens the happier he grows. His favorite—and frequently used—expression, is "Holy Cow!"
  • Major Thomas J. "Long Tom" Roberts, an electrical engineer. "Long Tom" got his nickname from using an antiquated cannon of that nickname in the successful defense of a French village in World War I. Long Tom was a sickly-looking character, but fought like a wildcat.
  • William Harper "Johnny" Littlejohn, an archaeologist and geologist. Johnny has an impressive vocabulary, never using a small word when a big one could suffice. ("I'll be superamalgamated!" is a favorite expression.) Johnny wore eyeglasses with a magnifying lens over his left eye in early adventures—that eye having been damaged in World War I.[7] Doc later performed corrective surgery that restored Johnny's sight in that eye,[8] but Johnny retained the magnifier as a monocle for use both as a magnifying glass and as a memento.

In later stories, Doc's companions become less important to the plot as the stories focus more on Doc. At least one critic questioned their necessity, since Savage's talents were superior to theirs and he often had to rescue them.[9] The "missing" characters are explained as working elsewhere, too busy with their own accomplishments to help. Toward the end of the series, usually only Monk and Ham appear with Doc.

Doc's cousin Patricia "Pat" Savage, who has Doc's bronze skin, golden eyes, and bronze hair, also is along for many of the adventures, despite Doc's best efforts to keep her away from danger. Pat chafes under these restrictions, or indeed any effort to protect her simply because she is female. She is also able to fluster Doc, even as she completely charms Monk and Ham.

The 86th Floor

Doc's office is on the 86th floor of a New York City skyscraper, implicitly the Empire State Building, reached by Doc's private high-speed elevator. Doc owns a fleet of cars, trucks, aircraft, and boats which he stores at a secret hangar on the Hudson River, under the name The Hidalgo Trading Company, which is linked to his office by a pneumatic-tube system nicknamed the "flea run". He sometimes retreats to his Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic, which pre-dates Superman's similar hideout of the same name. The entire operation is funded with gold from a Central American mine given to him by the local descendants of the Mayans in the first Doc Savage story. (Doc and his assistants learned the little-known Mayan language of this people at the same time, allowing them to communicate privately when others might be listening.)


Many futuristic devices are described in the series, some of which have since become reality, including the flying wing, the answering machine, television, automatic transmission, night vision goggles, electromagnetic rail guns, and a hand-held automatic weapon, known variously as the machine pistol, the supermachine pistol, or the rapid-firer. A wide range of ammunition types were used for the machine pistols, including incendiary bullets that smash on contact, coating the target with a high-temperature paste-fed fire, high explosive bullets able to uproot trees, ordinary lead bullets, and the sleep-inducing "mercy bullets".


Doc's greatest foe, and the only enemy to appear in two of the original pulp stories, was the Russian-born John Sunlight, introduced in October 1938 in the Fortress of Solitude. Early villains in the "super-sagas" were fantastic schemers bent on ruling the world. Later, the magazine was retitled Doc Savage, Science Detective, and Doc dealt with more conventional criminal organizations. The super-saga was revived by a new editor shortly before the final cancellation of the magazine.

A key characteristic of the Doc Savage stories is that the threats, no matter how fantastic, usually have a rational explanation. For example, a giant mountain-walking spider is revealed as a blimp, a scorching death comes from super-charged electric batteries, a "sea angel" is a mechanical construct towed by a submarine, Navy ships sunk by a mysterious force are actually sabotaged, and so on. But Doc Savage also battles invisible killers, a murderous teleporter, and superscientific foes from the center of the Earth.

In earlier stories, some of the criminals captured by Doc receive "a delicate brain operation" to cure their criminal tendencies. These criminals return to society, unaware of their past, to lead productive lives. The operation is mentioned in Truman Capote's novel In Cold Blood, as an older Kansan recalls Doc's "fixing" of the criminals he had caught.[10]

Lester Dent

Lester Dent, the series' principal author, had a mixed regard for his own creations. Though usually protective of his own work, he could be derisive of his pulp output. In interviews, he stated that he harbored no illusions of being a high-quality author of literature; for him, the Doc Savage series was simply a job, a way to earn a living by "churning out reams and reams of sellable crap", never dreaming how his series would catch on. Comics historian Jim Steranko revealed that Dent used a formula[11] to write his Doc Savage stories, so that his heroes were continually, and methodically, getting in and out of trouble.[12] Dent was initially paid $500 per story and this was later increased to $750 during the Great Depression, enabling him to buy a yacht and vacation in the Caribbean.



James Bama's covers featuring Steve Holland as the Man of Bronze on many of the Bantam reprints defined the character to a generation of readers.

All of the original stories were reprinted in paperback form by Bantam Books in the 1960s through 1990s. Of the first 67 paperback covers, 62 were painted in extraordinary monochromatic tones and super-realistic detail by James Bama, whose updated vision of Doc Savage with the exaggerated widow's peak captured, at least symbolically, the essence of the Doc Savage novels.[13] The first 96 paperbacks reprinted one of the original novels per book. Actor and model Steve Holland who had played Flash Gordon in a 1953 television series was the model for Doc on all the covers. The next 15 paperbacks (consisting of stories 97 through 126 in the Bantam reissue series) were "doubles", reprinting two novels each (these were actually shorter novellas written during paper shortages of World War II). The last of the original novels were reprinted in a numbered series of 13 "omnibus" volumes of four to five stories each. It was one of the few pulp series to be completely reprinted in paperback form.

The Red Spider was a Doc Savage novel written by Dent in April 1948, about the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The story was killed in 1948 by new editor Daisy Bacon, though previous editor William de Grouchy had commissioned it. It was forgotten until 1975, when Doc Savage scholar Will Murray found hints of its existence in the Street & Smith archives. After a two-year search, the carbon manuscript was located among Dent's papers. It finally saw print in July 1979 as Number 95 in Bantam's Doc Savage series.

When the original pulp stories were exhausted, Bantam Books hired Philip José Farmer to pen the tale of how Doc and his men met in World War I. Escape from Loki was published in 1991. It was followed by seven traditional Doc Savage stories written by novelist Will Murray, working from unpublished Lester Dent outlines, beginning with Python Isle. Philip José Farmer had earlier written the book 'Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life (1973), which described the characters and the stories on the entertaining premise that Doc actually existed and the novels chronicled his exploits in "fictionized" form.

In 2011, Altus Press revived the series with another Murray-Dent posthumous collaboration, The Desert Demons. Nine new novels are planned for the new series The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage. In 2011, Doc Savage: Horror in Gold was published. In 2012 Altus Press published Doc Savage: Death's Dark Domain, Doc Savage: The Forgotten Realm, Doc Savage: The Infernal Buddha and Doc Savage: The Desert Demons. Doc Savage: Skull Island, a crossover with King Kong, was released in 2013.[14]

Sanctum Books, in association with Nostalgia Ventures, began a new series of Doc reprints (starting November 2006), featuring two novels per book, in magazine-sized paperbacks. Several editions came with a choice of the original pulp cover or the covers from the Bantam paperbacks, and most include the original interior artwork, as well as new essays and reprints of other old material. In late 2008, Nostalgia Ventures ended their relationship, and Sanctum Books continues with the reprints on their own.


Two Doc Savage radio series were broadcast during the pulp era. The first, in 1934, was a 15-minute serial which ran for 26 episodes. The 1943 series was based not on the pulps, but on the comic book version of the character. No audio exists from either series, although some scripts survived. In 1985, National Public Radio aired The Adventures of Doc Savage, as 13 half-hour episodes, based on the pulps and adapted by Will Murray and Roger Rittner. Daniel Chodos starred as Doc.

Comic books

Golden Age

Doug Wildey's cover for Millennium's Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.

Street & Smith Comics published comic book stories of Doc both in The Shadow comic and his own title. These started with Shadow Comics #1–3 (1940), then moved to Doc Savage Comics. Originally, these stories were based on the pulp version, but with Doc Savage Comics #5 (1941), he was turned into a genuine superhero when he crashed in Tibet and found a mystical gem in a hood. These stories had a Doc who bore little resemblance to the character in the pulps. This lasted through the end of Doc Savage Comics in 1943 after 20 issues, and briefly with his return to Shadow Comics in vol. 3, #10 (Jan. 1944). He would last until the final issue, vol. 9, #5 (1948), though did not appear in every one. He also appeared in Supersnipe Comics #9 (June 1943).

Modern Age

Post-Golden Age, there have been several Doc Savage comic books:

  • Gold Key Comics - A 1966, one issue adaptation of The Thousand-Headed Man to tie into the planned movie starring Chuck Connors. Doc resembles Connors on the cover.
  • Marvel Comics - In 1972, eight standard color comics with four adaptations of books – The Man of Bronze, Brand of the Werewolf, Death in Silver, and The Monsters – and one giant-size issue of reprints that was promoted as a movie issue. In May 2010, DC Comics reprinted the eight-issue series as a trade paperback.[15] In 1975, the Marvel imprint Curtis Magazines released eight black-and-white magazines as a movie tie-in. These were also collected by DC Comics and reprinted in July 2011 as a trade paperback.[16] All are original stories by Doug Moench, John Buscema, and Tony DeZuniga. The character also teamed up with the Thing in Marvel Two-in-One #21, an important issue that would form the basis of later significant stories like "The Project Pegasus Saga" and "Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe", and Spider-Man in Giant-Size Spider-Man #3.
  • DC Comics - A 1987–1990 four-issue miniseries tryout, then 24 issues and one Annual, mostly written by Mike W. Barr. Original adventures, including a reunion with Doc's Mayan sweetheart/wife Monya and John Sunlight, adventures with Doc's grandson "Chip" Savage, and backstory on Doc's parents and youth. Included a four-issue crossover with DC's then-current run of The Shadow called The Shadow Strikes!. In 2009, DC would publish a special one-shot Doc Savage crossover with Batman written by Brian Azzarello with art by Phil Noto and a cover by J. G. Jones.[17] Other characters involved included the Black Canary,[18]the Avenger,[18] Rima the Jungle Girl,[18]the Spirit,[18] and Doc Savage's group the Fabulous Five.[19] It is a prologue to First Wave, a six-issue miniseries with art by Rags Morales.[17] The First Wave line was then expanded to include a Doc Savage ongoing series written by Paul Malmont, with art by Howard Porter.[20] Malmont only wrote the first four issues, with other authors writing the rest of the series. It ran for 18 issues, with the final issue released only in digital format.
  • Millennium Publications published several miniseries and one-shots, including Doc Savage: The Monarch of Armageddon, a four-part miniseries, from 1991 to 1992. Written by Mark Ellis and penciled by Darryl Banks, the treatment "come[s] closest to the original, capturing all the action, humanity, and humor of the original novels".[21] Other miniseries were Doom Dynasty and Devil's Thoughts, the one-shots Pat Savage: Woman of Bronze and Manual of Bronze, and an unfinished two-part adaptation of Repel.
  • Dark Horse Comics - In 1995 Dark Horse Comics published two miniseries: a two-issue miniseries The Shadow and Doc Savage: The Case of the Shrieking Skeletons and four-issue miniseries Doc Savage: Curse of the Fire God.
  • In December 2013, Dynamite Entertainment began publishing the title Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, written by Chris Roberson, with art by Bilquis Evely and covers by Alex Ross.


With the Bantam Books reprints a success, media tie-ins for Doc Savage began immediately. A 1965 house ad for a poster, "The Arch-Enemy of Evil", announces, "Tougher than Tarzan, braver than Bond, Doc is America's newest rage - with teenagers, college students, and the 'in' groups all over the country. And there's a television series and feature motion picture in the future."[22]

The Thousand-Headed Man

In 1967, a TV Guide article reported talks were underway to have Chuck Connors play Doc Savage in a movie adaptation of The Thousand-Headed Man.[23] Complications with rights killed the project.

Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze

In 1975, producer and director George Pal produced the movie Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, starring Ron Ely as Doc Savage. The movie was a critical failure and did poorly at the box-office.[24] Several articles and a later interview with Pal suggest the movie's failure had much to do with its loss of funding during filming, when the studio changed heads and Pal was forced to cut costs. Nevertheless, Pal, as producer, is generally blamed for using the "high camp" approach in the style of the Batman television series. An original soundtrack for the film was also commissioned, but when Pal lost his funding, he resorted to a patriotic march from John Philip Sousa, which was in the public domain. Science fiction writer Philip Jose Farmer tried to get another movie made (there is a notation at the end of the original film that a sequel adapted from the novel Death in Silver featuring the infamous Silver Death's-Heads was in the works, but nothing came of it, despite the drafting of a script for it).

Doc Savage: The Arch Enemy of Evil

According to the screenplay by Joe Morhaim that was posted on the Internet, as well as other archival and news accounts, Doc Savage: The Arch Enemy of Evil was based very loosely on the October 1934 pulp novel Death in Silver. Doc Savage: The Arch Enemy of Evil would feature a deformed, German-speaking supervillain, whose pet man-eating octopus was a nod to a similar plot element in the September 1937 pulp novel The Feathered Octopus.[25]

In fact, this screenplay was originally intended to be filmed as the first Doc Savage movie. However, producer George Pal commissioned a second script based on the first Doc Savage pulp novel, The Man of Bronze, because he felt the movie-going audience needed more background information about Doc and his origin.[26][27]

Contemporary news accounts indicated that Doc Savage: The Arch Enemy of Evil had been filmed in the Lake Tahoe area simultaneously with the principal photography for the first Doc Savage film.[26] However, due to the poor reception of the first film, Doc Savage: The Arch Enemy of Evil was never completed or released. In an interview conducted in 2014, while he was filming the television movie Expecting Amish, actor Ron Ely stated unequivocally that "no portion of The Arch Enemy of Evil was ever filmed, concurrently with The Man of Bronze or otherwise. That's a total myth."

Finally, in anticipation of a proposed Doc Savage TV series, George Pal commissioned a two-part teleplay by Alvin Sapinsley based on the May 1935 pulp novel The Secret in the Sky. The teleplay was completed in January 1975, but due to the poor reception of the first Doc Savage film, a pilot was never filmed.[28]

Other film adaptations

Another screenplay was written by Philip José Farmer based on the January 1936 pulp novel Murder Mirage.[29] It included a potential Wold Newton Universe cross-over involving a meeting between Doc Savage and a retired Sherlock Holmes in 1936. In any case, this screenplay was never filmed.[30][31] In 1966, the basic premise of Doc Savage's origin was an obvious influence on the Mexican lucha libre film character Mil Mascaras (1966), which was released at the height of the popularity of the Doc Savage paperback book series in the U.S.

In 1999, there was an announcement[32] that a possible remake featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger was in the works, with the involvement of Frank Darabont and Chuck Russell, but it and several other Schwarzenegger projects (Sgt. Rock and an epic about the Crusades) were shelved when Schwarzenegger ran for and was elected Governor of California.[33]


Writer/director Shane Black is set to direct a film adaptation for Original Film and Sony Pictures. Black will also co-write the screenplay with Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry. The film version will be set in the 1930s and will include the Fabulous Five. Neal H. Moritz will produce.[34][35][36] In September 2013, talking about the difficulty in casting the character, Black commented, "He's the perfect physical specimen, people look at him and they are over-awed by the symmetry and perfection he exudes." [37] In June 2014, it was revealed that he wanted Chris Hemsworth for the lead role but Hemsworth was never officially announced or attached to the project.[38]

On May 22, 2016, Black told Thrillist that he would like to make the movie with Dwayne Johnson, stating, "I made a decision that Dwayne is the guy. I would like to do Doc with Dwayne Johnson if we can make that work. It's on the back burner while he's busy." [39] On May 30, 2016, Johnson confirmed on his Instagram account that he will be starring as Savage in the film, also hinting that the character is being dubbed the "World's First Superhero", mentioning that Savage's published appearance pre-dated that of Superman's (who debuted in 1938). Johnson also included the hashtag "#World'sFirstSuperhero".[40][41]


  1. ^ Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review Feb. 1979 issue
  2. ^ "Who Is Doc Savage?". A Place To Hang Your Cape. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  3. ^ Cannaday, Marilyn (1990). Bigger Than Life: The Creator of Doc Savage. Popular Press. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-0-87972-471-9.
  4. ^ Hayden, Erik (May 30, 2016). "Dwayne Johnson to Star in Shane Black's 'Doc Savage' Film". The Hollywood Reporter.
  5. ^ "How I Met Doc Savage". Archived from the original on 2007-05-06. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  6. ^ "Ham knows a person who is just what we need — a superman!" Quest of the Spider, Bantam edition, May, 1972, reprinting Doc Savage Magazine of May 1933, page 3.
  7. ^ Robeson, Kenneth (1965). The Lost Oasis: A Doc Savage Adventure. Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-06357-8. Archived from the original on 2011-09-18. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  8. ^ Robeson, Kenneth (1969). The Man Who Shook the Earth: A Doc Savage Adventure. Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-04761-5. Archived from the original on 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  9. ^ Lundin, Leigh (2011-10-16). "The Mystery of Superheroes". Orlando:
  10. ^ (1966 ed. p307)
  11. ^ moring (5 August 2015). "Lester Dent, Doc Savage, and the Master Fiction Plot". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  12. ^ Steranko, Jim (1970). The Steranko History of Comics, Vol. 1. Supergraphics. p. 20.
  13. ^ Kelton, Elmer (1993). The art of James Bama. New York: Bantam. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-553-09305-6. OCLC 27264593.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze trade paperback details". DC Archived from the original on 2010-08-10.
  16. ^ Moench, Doug; Tony DeZuniga (2011). Showcase Presents: Doc Savage. DC Comics. ISBN 978-1-4012-3125-5. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Azzarello Reimagines Doc Savage". Comic Book Resources. August 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  18. ^ a b c d "How About Some More Rags Morales' Sketches From First Wave?". DC November 10, 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  19. ^ "Have Another Helping of Rags Morales on First Wave". DC Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  20. ^ Segura, Alex (January 19, 2010). "The First Wave expands in April". DC Retrieved 2010-01-19.
  21. ^ Comics Buyer's Guide Catalog of Comic Books
  22. ^ The Land of Terror, Bantam Edition, August 1965, 3rd printing. Last page.
  23. ^ Reid, Britt (17 April 2011). "DOC SAVAGE: The 1960s Movie That ALMOST Was". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  24. ^ Hodgson, Mark (June 8, 2007). "Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze DVD review". BlackholeReviews. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  25. ^ "A Lester Dent Bibliography by Will Murray, page 23" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  26. ^ a b Doc Savage Bibliography – Movies
  27. ^ "File Not Found". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  28. ^ Doc Savage (1975):Box 1, Folder 5 – Listing of George Pal Papers, 1937–1986 @ Arts Library Special Collections, UCLA
  29. ^ "Intermission" by Will Murray in Doc Savage # 11 (Encinitas. CA: Nostalgia Ventures, 2007)
  30. ^ Philip Jose Farmer's Basement: Original Manuscripts Archived March 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ "Wold Newton Universe". Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  32. ^ "Ah-nold in line to play Doc Savage". Journal Sentinel Online. July 11, 1999. Retrieved 2009-11-18.
  33. ^ "Doc Savage". Development Hell. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  34. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (February 22, 2010). "Columbia revives Doc Savage". Variety. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  35. ^ "Shane Black On His Death Note And Doc Savage Movies - Bleeding Cool News And Rumors". 24 April 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  36. ^ 'Iron Man 3' Director Shane Black to Direct 'Doc Savage' for Sony Archived 2014-04-07 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ "Shane Black Interview". IGN. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  38. ^ "Fox Rebooting 'Predator' With Shane Black". The Hollywood Reporter. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  39. ^ Patches, Matt (March 22, 2016). "More 'Nice Guys' Scoops fro Director Shane Black". Thrillist. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  40. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 30, 2016). "Dwayne Johnson Confirmed for 'Doc Savage'". Variety.
  41. ^ "@therock on Instagram: "It's OFFICIAL: For all comic book fans you already know the world's first superhero (pre-dating Superman) is the "Man of Bronze" himself…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2 April 2018.

Further reading

  • Goodstone, Tony (1970). The Pulps: 50 Years of American Pop Culture. Bonanza Books (Crown Publishers, Inc.). ISBN 978-0-87754-016-8.
  • Goulart, Ron (1972). Cheap Thrills: An Informal History of the Pulp Magazine. Arlington House. ISBN 0-87000-172-8.
  • Gunnison, Locke and Ellis, Doug (2000). Adventure House Guide to the Pulps. Adventure House. ISBN 978-1-886937-45-1.
  • Hamilton, Frank and Hullar, Link (1988). Amazing Pulp Heroes. Gryphon Books. ISBN 978-0-936071-09-1.
  • Hutchison, Don (1995). The Great Pulp Heroes. Mosaic Press. ISBN 0-88962-585-9.
  • Lai, Rick (2010). The Revised Complete Chronology of Bronze. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-4505-9370-0.
  • Murray, Will (2011). Writings in Bronze. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-4528-2254-9.
  • Robinson, Frank M. and Davidson, Lawrence (1998). Pulp Culture. Collector's Press. ISBN 978-1-888054-12-5.

External links

Altus Press

Altus Press is a publisher of works primarily related to the pulp magazines from the 1910s to the 1950s.

Avenger (pulp-magazine character)

The Avenger is a fictional character whose original adventures appeared between September 1939 and September 1942 in the pulp magazine The Avenger, published by Street & Smith. Five additional short stories were published in Clues Detective magazine (1942–1943), and a sixth novelette in The Shadow magazine in 1943. Newly written adventures were commissioned and published by Warner Brother's Paperback Library from 1973 to 1974. The Avenger was a pulp hero who combined elements of Doc Savage and The Shadow.

The authorship of the pulp series was credited by Street & Smith to Kenneth Robeson, the same byline that appeared on the Doc Savage stories. The "Kenneth Robeson" name was a house pseudonym used by a number of different Street & Smith writers. Most of the original Avenger stories were written by Paul Ernst.

Death in Silver

Death in Silver is a Doc Savage pulp novel by Lester Dent writing under the house name Kenneth Robeson. It was published in October 1934.

It was the first Doc Savage story not to include all of his aides, due to author Lester Dent having difficulties using all six characters in every story. Only Ham, Monk and Pat appeared in Death in Silver.

The other three, less popular, main characters are described as being away on private ventures: Johnny giving a lecture in London, Long Tom experimenting on an electrical pesticide in Europe, and Renny building a hydro-electric plant in South Africa.

The original intent was that all three would become the basis of the next three novels.

Johnny's story became The Sea Magician in the next issue of Doc Savage, but this did not happen with all of them.The follow-up adventure involving Renny later became the basis for the 1991 retro novel Python Isle by Will Murray.Death in Silver was the third appearance of Pat Savage.

Kenneth Robeson

Kenneth Robeson was the house name used by Street & Smith as the author of their popular character Doc Savage and later The Avenger. Many authors wrote under this name, though most Doc Savage stories were written by the author Lester Dent:

William G. Bogart

Evelyn Coulson

Harold A. Davis

Lawrence Donovan

Philip José Farmer

Alan Hathway

W. Ryerson Johnson

Will Murray

Ron GoulartAll 24 of the Avenger stories were written by Paul Ernst, using the Robeson house name. Robeson was credited on the cover of The Avenger magazine as "the creator of Doc Savage."

Lester Dent

Lester Dent (October 12, 1904 – March 11, 1959) was an American pulp-fiction author, best known as the creator and main author of the series of novels about the scientist and adventurer Doc Savage. The 159 novels written over 16 years were credited to the house name Kenneth Robeson.

List of Doc Savage characters

Starting with the first Doc Savage story in 1933 and running throughout the pulp adventures a group of recurring characters appeared either as Doc's supporting cast or antagonists.

List of Doc Savage novels

Doc Savage stories, 181 in total, first appeared in Conde Nast's Doc Savage Magazine pulps. The original series has sold over 20 million copies in paperback form. The first entry was The Man of Bronze, in March, 1933 from the house name "Kenneth Robeson". John L. Nanovic was editor for 10 years, and planned and approved all story outlines. The early stories were pure pulp "supersagas", as dubbed by Philip Jose Farmer, with rampaging dinosaurs and lost races, secret societies led by dastardly villains, fantastic gadgets and weapons, autogyros and zeppelins, death-dealing traps and hair-raising escapes, and plots to rule the earth. In the first few stories, Doc and his aides killed enemies without compunction. An editorial decision made them kill only when necessary for a more adventurous kid-friendly magazine, unlike the bloodthirsty competitor The Shadow.

Doc Savage was the lead story, often illustrated with line drawings. Exciting covers were painted in bold colors by Walter M. Baumhofer. Other adventure stories filled up the back, and there was a letters column. Kids could join the Doc Savage Club complete with badge, or follow "The Doc Savage Method Of Self-development" to build muscle and memory. In Depression America, 10-cent pulps with hundred of pages were handed around barracks or bunkhouses or schoolyards, a popular form of entertainment when people were unemployed and poor, and fantastic stories were a pleasant diversion from real life. Lester Dent wrote most of the stories, with fill-ins by Harold A. Davis, Alan Hathway, and William Bogart that were overseen or rewritten by Dent.By 1938, as the economy improved, pulps were on the wane and faced competition from comic books. During World War II, ordinary men and women performed fantastic deeds daily in exotic corners of the world, and fantastic pulp adventures seemed childish. Charles Moran became editor in 1943 and changed the format to suspense and realism. Doc used fewer gadgets and standard detective tropes. By 1946, in Measures for a Coffin, Doc is busting crooked investment bankers. Doc pared down his team, working mainly with Monk and Ham, and sometimes alone. Successive editors carried this format, and Babette Rosmond retitled the magazine Doc Savage, Science Detective in 1947.

By this time, the Doc stories were shorter than other stories in the magazine. Covers rarely showed Doc anymore, becoming detective-generic, abstract or illustrating non-Doc stories. Dent may have recycled some generic detective stories as Doc tales; King Joe Cay features Doc working alone, in disguise, with no aides, gadgets, or headquarters, and an interest in the ladies. Alan Hathway's grisly The Mindless Monsters reads like a rejected Spider story. Experimenting with new formats, during 1947 Dent wrote five stories with a first-person narrator, an innocent person caught up in a Doc Savage adventure, with one story narrated by Pat Savage, I Died Yesterday. Still, sales fell.

The magazine went bi-monthly in 1947, then quarterly in 1949. Editor William de Grouchy was brought back to revive the magazine, and asked Dent to return to larger-than-life stories. Dent took a new direction, with Doc infiltrating Russia and outwitting "the Ivans". This story, eventually titled The Red Spider in the Bantam run, was killed and shelved by editor Daisy Bacon. She oversaw three pulp-style adventures for the last three issues, but the magazine was cancelled in 1949. In the last story, Up from Earth's Center, Doc delves into a cave in Maine and meets what may be actual demons, and runs screaming in terror. The saga had ended.Until 1964, when Bantam Books revived the pulps as paperbacks. A huge selling point were the striking photo-realistic covers of a vibrant, widow-peaked, shredded-shirted Doc painted by James Bama and later Bob Larkin, Boris Vallejo, and others. Bantam reprinted all the stories, concluding in 1990, but not in the original publication order, and a few stories were retitled. They started as single volumes with numbers. As the stories got shorter, Bantam combined double novels with numbers, and finally Doc Savage Omnibuses with four or five stories without numbers. The rejected The Red Spider manuscript was discovered in 1975 by Will Murray and published during the Bantam Books print run as #95.

In recent years, Anthony Tollin's Sanctum Books, initially in association with Nostalgia Ventures for the first 16 releases, has reprinted all 182 (including the initially unpublished The Red Spider) of the Doc Savage stories from the thirties and forties, usually at least two to a volume, using Baumhofer covers, and some Bama covers for variant editions. The reprint project, 87 volumes in total, was completed in 2016.

List of Doc Savage radio episodes

Doc Savage made it to the radio three times: 1934-35, 1943 and 1985. The 1934-35 episodes were 15 minutes each and were written by Lester Dent. Episodes 27-52 were repeats of the 1934 episodes. The 1943 episodes were 30 minutes long. Episodes 76-78 were repeats of selected 1943 episodes. All the scripts were credited to Lester Dent; no recordings of any episode, nor records of cast or crew exist.The 1985 National Public Radio episodes were 30 minutes each. They were two series, Fear Cay (Episodes 79-85) and The Thousand-Headed Man (Episodes 86-91).

Millennium Publications

Millennium Publications was an American independent comic book publishing company founded by Mark Ellis, Melissa Martin and Paul Davis. Initially known as a publisher of licensed properties, Millennium adapted works by Arthur Conan Doyle, Lester Dent, Frank Frazetta, Robert E. Howard, Harlan Ellison, H.P. Lovecraft, and Anne Rice; and even TV series like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Wild Wild West into comic book form. The company expanded its repertoire of horror comics into original titles in the mid-1990s, and further branched out in its later years to embrace the alternative comics genre, starting a short-lived creator-owned imprint called Modern Comics.

Millennium was distinctive in that they mostly published one-shots and mini-series, with only a couple of their titles running for more than four issues. The company gave now-established comics artists such as Darryl Banks, Dean Haspiel, Josh Neufeld and Mike Wieringo their first steady exposure, while also working with comics legends Jim Mooney and Don Heck on a number of projects. Other notable comics creators who published with Millennium include Brian Michael Bendis, John Bolton, Joshua Dysart, Bob Eggleton, Dærick Gröss Sr., Kelley Jones, Rik Levins, David W. Mack, and Terry Pavlet.

Moonstone Books

Moonstone Books is an American comic book, graphic novel, and prose fiction publisher based in Chicago focused on pulp fiction comic books and prose anthologies as well as horror and western tales.

The company began publishing creator-owned comics in 1995, and since 2001 has also published material based on a number of licensed properties, including Zorro, Doc Savage, The Avenger, Buckaroo Banzai, Bulldog Drummond, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Mr. Moto, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, The Phantom, Honey West and several titles based in White Wolf's World of Darkness.

NPR Playhouse

NPR Playhouse was a series of radio dramas from National Public Radio. The series was a successor to the NPR series Earplay and was discontinued in September 2002.

Beginning on March 1, 1981 , the Playhouse production of the first of the Star Wars radio dramas, a 13-part 6½-hour version of the original Star Wars film, generated the largest response in NPR's history, with an audience averaging over 750,000 listeners per episode. A 14th episode was produced for this series consisting of an audio documentary of the production. The series author, Brian Daley, also wrote the script to the audio drama "Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell", which precedes The Empire Strikes Back and succeeds Star Wars: A New Hope.In 1985 producer/director Roger Rittner produced the acclaimed Adventures of Doc Savage series for NPR Playhouse. The 13-episode series consisted of serialized versions of two of Lester Dent's Doc Savage pulp novels.

Among the broadcasts in its final season were the science fiction/fantasy anthology 2000X, the Radio Tales series of dramatizations of classic literature and mythology, and the Los Angeles-based Open Stage.

The dramatic-reading series Selected Shorts continued as the only national program devoted to regular offerings of radio drama, leaving aside the sketches on A Prairie Home Companion and Le Show and the intermittent presentation of drama on the largely documentary series The Next Big Thing.

The series aired selected productions from the CBC horror-anthology series Nightfall in the early 1980s.

Newsboy Legion

The Newsboy Legion are fictional characters, a kid gang in the DC Comics Universe. Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, they appeared in their own self-titled feature which ran from Star-Spangled Comics #7 (April 1942) to Star-Spangled Comics #64 (January 1947).

Pulp magazine

Pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps") were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the 1950s. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. In contrast, magazines printed on higher-quality paper were called "glossies" or "slicks". The typical pulp magazine had 128 pages; it was 7 inches (18 cm) wide by 10 inches (25 cm) high, and 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) thick, with ragged, untrimmed edges.

The pulps gave rise to the term pulp fiction in reference to run-of-the-mill, low-quality literature. Pulps were the successors to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short-fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines were best known for their lurid, exploitative, and sensational subject matter. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of "hero pulps"; pulp magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters, such as Flash Gordon, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Phantom Detective.

Ron Ely

Ronald Pierce Ely (born June 21, 1938) is an American actor and novelist born in Hereford, Texas and raised in Amarillo.

Ely is best known for having portrayed Tarzan on the 1966 NBC series Tarzan and for playing the lead role in the film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975).

Shane Black

Shane Black (born December 16, 1961) is an American filmmaker and actor. Black has written such films as Lethal Weapon and Lethal Weapon 2, The Monster Squad, The Last Boy Scout, Last Action Hero, and The Long Kiss Goodnight. As an actor, Black is best known for his role as Rick Hawkins in Predator (1987).

He made his directorial debut with the film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in 2005. Black went on to write and direct Iron Man 3 (2013), The Nice Guys (2016), and The Predator (2018). He is set to direct the upcoming film adaptation of Doc Savage.

As of 2018, his film Iron Man 3 ranks as the seventeenth-highest-grossing film worldwide.

The Man of Bronze

The Man of Bronze is a Doc Savage pulp novel by Lester Dent writing under the house name Kenneth Robeson. It was published in March 1933. It was the basis of the 1975 movie Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze starring Ron Ely.

Will Murray

William Murray (born 1953) is an American novelist, journalist, and short-story and comic-book writer. Much of his fiction has been published under pseudonyms. With artist Steve Ditko he co-created the superhero Squirrel Girl.

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