The great thing about pulp heroes is that many people know and love them. But they are definitely products of the time they were created. Few do well with modernization because their look and gimmick tend to be tied to a very different era. One of the few that defies that problem is Doc Savage: Man of Bronze. Because the character was giving almost superhuman abilities and endurance from childhood, the idea that he is still alive today is not out of the realm of belief.
With the new Dynamite series, Chris Roberson combines both the classic era and modern era Doc's by having a case that spans over 80 years. Giving us a look at his original team and they one he has now. If you're not familiar with Doc Savage, he was basically the Buckaroo Banzai… physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher and musician. Because everyone needs a hobby or five.
Roberson's story is about an industrialist who makes a weapon that the U.S. government won't buy so he has a plan to make them think the Nazi's are using it… that was in 1935 and Doc and his team were able to stop him. Even though Doc confiscated the weapon and destroyed the patent someone used a modern version of the device to cause a major earthquake.
We get the 1935 story as narrated by Doc's cousin Pat. This is one of my only two complaints about the book. There is a lot of exposition here as she tells what happens at at one point the art shows us something that Pat didn't know happened. I always understood narrated flashback to be from the description of the person telling the story. Here we have a story being told by someone who wasn't there and seeing something that even Doc didn't see who was there. I just think this could have been handled differently. The rest of the story is a fun read and builds up the tension nicely.
The art of Cezar Rezak is very good and fits the story nicely. It's crisp, with strong lines and good action. My only other problem is with the coloring by Dijo Lima. It feels a bit rushed and Doc doesn't really stand out from everyone else. He's bigger but he gets colored very similar to the character Long Tom and I found myself confusing the two. I'd like to see Lima make Doc really pop when he's in a panel.
The problems aside, the book is a fun read and worth picking up and I look forward to seeing where Roberson and Rezak will take Doc and his team next.
For more on Doc Savage: The Spider's Web #1, click here.