Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pulp of the Week - Doc Savage #3

May 1933 - Quest of the Spider

This issue of Doc Savage Magazine should be remembered for 3 things. Doc is called a superman, a man of steel, and his arctic retreat is call his Fortress of Solitude. This is well before Superman debuted in Action Comics #1 on June 30, 1938.

While many have pointed out similarities between Doc and Superman, in my opinion the pulp tales were not more than a small influence. The differences are huge.

This issue explores a bit deeper into Doc's "Crime College" - the facility where Doc sends captured crooks in Upstate New York; a criminal rehabilitation facility where crooks undergo brain surgery and other therapies to wipe their past and send them into society with a skill and a purpose.

The story itself takes Doc and the Fabulous 5 into the swamps of Louisiana in search of the mysterious Gray Spider. The Spider's devious plot involves taking over the lumber industry. Ehh. This is not one of the best of the Doc novels.

However, there are some good characters and the opening sequence is quite exciting.

I give it a 6 out of 10.

Pulp Cover by Walter Baumhofer.
Bantam Cover by Fred Pfeiffer. I read my copy of Bantam #68 - May 1972 2nd printing for this review. Why Bantam published the novels this out of order is madness... The third novel was published 68th.

© 2009 W. Peter Miller

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