Monday, February 10, 2014

Trade Marks: Doc Savage - The Silver Pyramid

While I would not consider myself to be a Doc Savage expert or super-fan, I have read enough of the Man of Bronze's exploits to be fairly well versed in the character and I am always keen to revisit his world. I also know that pulp flows through Denny O'Neil's veins, so I had pretty high expectations when I got my hands on this collection of stories from the late 80s. What I wasn't expecting, however, was a focus on a supporting cast that truly works better in small doses. I was also underwhelmed by the new characters introduced and the attempt to build an almost Phantom-esque feel to the Savage lineage. There were two key missed opportunities. The first was the underdeveloped Nazi villain, who never got beyond a cartoony sketch. The second was a chance for a terrific whodunit surrounding a traitor in Savage's midst. We get the answer in the end, but there was no dramatic tension. I'm generally not a huge fan of the Kubert boys' artwork, but it is very, very paternally inspired here so, at times, you feel as though you're reading an old Joe Kubert war book (those parachutes!). All in all, this one is a yard sale candidate. Trade Mark: C-

1 comment:

John Allen Small said...

Speaking as someone who IS somewhat knowledgable about the character (having contributed to last year's deluxe hardcover reprint of Phil Farmer's "Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life" and well as an article about Doc Savage that was published in the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con program), I can say with some degree of authority that this was actually one of the very WORST takes on this character ever committed to paper. The only Doc series I've ever run across that is worse is DC's more recent "First Wave" series from a couple of years back.