DECEMBER 1934 - THE ANNIHILIST
I have been making an effort to keep these Doc Savage reviews mostly spoiler free, however, this particular story demands to have the details discussed, so if you have not read "The Annihilist" and are planning to ever do so - DON'T READ the part of this article AFTER THE JUMP - go read this supersaga because it deals directly with issues at the core of Doc Savage, those of the mysterious place in upstate New York, Doc's 'college.'
This adventure has Doc, his cousin Pat, Monk, Ham and Renny appearing. Long Tom is in Chicago and Johnny is filling in for the Natural Science chair at a famous university - one that is unnamed.
One of the issues discussed is that it would be very bad for Doc to have the existence of the college revealed. What he is doing is illegal and possibly immoral, but Doc feels that it is worth it to put men back on the street, not cost the state money, their past beyond their memory, and with skills to make an honest living.
I don't think I read this book back in the day, but I purchased the Bantam #31, December 1968 first edition (cover price .50) for $2.50 at some point in my youth. The pulp cover is by Walter Baumhofer and the paperback is a brilliant piece by James Bama. I give "The Annihilist" a 9 out of 10 - mainly for the insight into Doc's college, but also for some great action sequences and story points.
Read Spoilers and more after the jump.