"Doc Is A Character With A Strong Moral Code" – Chris Roberson On Doc Savage: The Spider's Web

Ande Parks, writer of Seduction of the Innocent #1, talks with writer Chris Roberson about Doc Savage: The Spider's Web #1, both brand new titles from Dynamite Entertainment in stores now. Cover art by Wilfredo Torres.

DocSavageSpiders01CovATorresANDE PARKS: First off, I really enjoyed this issue. The entire team has done good work here. Congrats!


AP: Maybe this is out of left field, but I got an old-time radio show vibe from this story … the way the mystery plays out. I found it very appealing. I was wondering if serialized radio shows are an influence on you?

CR: Oh, certainly! Old time radio serials and pulp novels are close cousins, I think, and there's definitely some of that influence in the mix. Doc Savage was featured in a couple of radio shows himself, actually.

AP: I have to confess that I don't know a lot about the history of Doc Savage. Is the team he's surrounded with in the flashback part of your story-established canon, or your creation?

CR: The "Fabulous Five" of the 1930s and 1940s are absolutely canon, from the original Lester Dent novels, as is Doc's cousin Patricia Savage.

AP: You've written this hero before. Is there something about him that really draws you to the book … the visual appeal, the nature of the man, etc.?

CR: I think that Doc appeals to me for many of the same reasons as Superman does. Doc is a character with a strong moral code, and would rather rehabilitate a villain than throw them in jail (much less kill them!).

AP: Your first issue jumps back and forth between the present and events from the 1930s. Will that be typical of this series, or does this first issue just set things up for us as we move forward?

CR: The main thread of the arc will be the investigation in the present day, but as things progress clues will point to past mysteries that Doc and company have dealt with over the years, and flashbacks to those past adventures (in the 1950s, the '70s, and so on) will provide insight into what they're facing in the modern day.

AP: You and I have been lucky enough to have Dynamite trust us with some truly classic characters. In the case of the Lone Ranger, I got great support from longtime fans overall, but some had complaints: little things we did that didn't conform with their particular vision of the character. Do you feel especially beholden to the history of Doc Savage, and does that impair you from being able to stamp the series with your own vision?

CR: I come at the character as a longtime fan myself, and one who holds the original Lester Dent novels in a great deal of reverence. What I'm doing is telling the kind of Doc Savage story that I want to read, that focuses on the aspects of the character that have always resonated with me as a reader. Every fan has their own personal view of how these characters should be interpreted, and so I know that I won't satisfy everyone, but my hope is that the fans who respond to the same things that I do about the character will enjoy what we're doing.

For more on Doc Savage: The Spider's Web #1, click here.

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.