In Review: Doc Savage #1

The covers: The Main cover is by artist Alex Ross and it’s a tremendous image of Doc with various characters and components of his life behind him. This is how I picture this lead and I’m always happy to see him like this. Stunning! The VIP cover is by John Cassaday and it’s a snazzy retro looking image of Doc bashing through a wooden door to save a woman from an evil looking fellow and his knife. The room is full of torture devices and steaming scientific beakers. This is also a great cover. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: I enjoyed this opening issue by Chris Roberson but didn’t love it. We begin in 1933 at Princeton where Doc Savage’s presentation to a group of scientists (including a very famous one) is interrupted by Monk and Ham, two of his five man crew, who have to take him to look at the sky over New York City. There’s something odd going on up there, while down on the ground citizens are going crazy, beating each other and tearing up the city. Suddenly it stops and it’s up to Doc and his men to figure out how and why this is happening. I liked the show and tell of Pages 8 and 9 and the reveal on 13. The fourth panel on Page 14 was also terrific! The final showdown was also good stuff and the conclusion keeping in line with Doc’s oath–Loved it! So if I love all this, where did I have issues? Several panels and pages were really stretched out and I didn’t think they needed to be. For example, the bottom half of Page 6, all of 7, 10 – 12, and 15. What happens on those pages could have been condensed. Still, this was a fun read. Overall grade: B

The art: There is a lot of attention to detail in Bilquis Evely’s art. The settings are amazing! I was impressed every time with the New York City exteriors. The buildings and cars in this environment are superb. Panel two on Page 5 is great looking! The characters also look great, again with tremendous line work, such as with Ham’s jacket. There’s also a good amount of emotion out of each character that helps to emphasize their lines or accentuate the action. Pages 20 and 21 should be required reading for anyone looking to learn how draw action sequences in realistic settings. Evely delivers the goods. Overall grade: A

The colors: This story depends on the colorist’s ability to create a believable effect to foreshadow horrors on the streets. Daniela Miwa does this very well, plus she has bright realistic colors throughout to show the Big Apple at its finest. I did want Doc to be a little more bronze than he was. His flesh is the same tone as other characters until Page 18. I want him darker! Overall grade: A-

The letters: Dialogue, narration, and some fun sounds (in the story’s climax) from the capable Rob Steen. Overall grade: A

The final line: A fun premiere and I want more. Overall grade: A-

 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years. He’s since moved to a high school where he’s taught 9th grade and currently teaches 10th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.

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