GrogHeads Forum

IRL (In Real Life) => Books & Reading => Topic started by: besilarius on August 25, 2019, 05:33:17 AM

Title: Doc Savage
Post by: besilarius on August 25, 2019, 05:33:17 AM
Had not realised there were 181 Doc Savage novels. 
They were all over the place in the late 60s and 70s.  Did not know there is still a fandom.
Title: Re: Doc Savage
Post by: airboy on August 25, 2019, 09:58:46 AM
I read around 20 of them.  They were pretty formulaic.  Oddly, you cannot get the originals in ebook form.
Title: Re: Doc Savage
Post by: JasonPratt on August 25, 2019, 11:33:45 AM
Not only still a fandom, but the character is still influential among writers! Two examples from my experience in Marvel and their Distinguished Competition... ;)

1.) DC Comics Batman villain Bane was originally conceived loosely as a villainous Doc Savage. I'm not sure how much of that has survived, but this is why his two chief henchmen in his first appearances (roughly speaking the Knightfall storyline) are loose expies of Ham and Monk, Doc's two chief allies. His South American origins may be a factor, too. (Doc's father had connections to some surviving ancient Mayans.)

2.) When Peter David was running the Unified Hulk storyline, where all three main personalities (Banner, Gray, and Green Hulk) were finally cooperating in a full persona rather than schisming with each other, he treated the Hulk very much like Doc Savage. When the Hulk has Banner's intelligence he's still sometimes nicknamed "Doc Green", from Doc Savage the Man of Bronze; although that's more appropriate to the benevolent combination of all three levels of his psyche (superego, ego, and id), rather than only two of them (superego and id). Before (and during) David's run, Bruce Banner's cousin Jennifer bore an interesting resemblance to Patricia Savage, Doc's cousin.

To that I can add offhand 3.) the famous short story "When Kong Fell", wherein a bunch of New York inter-war fictional characters show up in reaction to Kong's escape and death. That includes Doc Savage, who owned or rented a whole floor of the Empire State Building (unnamed in the actual books for legal copyright reasons of course, but the evidence points there.)

There was a quite epic Batman/Doc Savage crossover some years ago, probably still available in trade paperback.

DS has been listed as some inspiration for Siegel and Schuster's Superman, including the name of the hero: Clark.

I wish all the books were available on Kindle. Unsure why someone hasn't done that, yet. The quality, as noted, varied greatly, due at least partly to the author churning them out at a constant rate, maybe also from different authors subbing in under the pseudonym. I always liked the pre-WW2 weird sci-fi of the first novels, and didn't much appreciate the much more (relatively) realistic World War 2 adventures. I would love to see respectful live-action or animated adaptations of the material!
Title: Re: Doc Savage
Post by: airboy on August 26, 2019, 08:42:41 AM
There was a Doc Savage movie back in the 70s or 80s.  It was ok.
Title: Re: Doc Savage
Post by: FarAway Sooner on August 26, 2019, 12:02:35 PM
Yeah, I hear you on the uneven writing quality.  I found two of those books at a friend's cabin in Wyoming when I was 12, and that sort of thing was exactly up my alley at the time.  Even I found the writing quality really low.  As a 12-year old.

It was a shame, because the first 20 pages seemed REALLY cool.  Then the whole quality thing fell off a cliff.  That was literally the first time in my life I'd ever read a book and thought, "Gee, this isn't very well written."