Today’s review of Justice Inc. got me to thinking about the nature of the “pulp heroes’ of the past: As the precursors/evolutionary offshoots of the same publishing conditions that led to the creation of superheroes, they’re kind of a conundrum.  Often lumped in with the heroes that they helped to inspire, Doc Savage and his ilk are nonetheless a separate breed of cat entirely.  Though there are elements of The Shadow in Batman, the core of the characters is such that they honestly have little in common in their execution, and while the fandoms for pulp and comic book heroes do cross over, there’s not as much overlap as a casual observer might think.  The most iconic pulp stars, like Savage and The Shadow, have repeatedly appeared in comics form over the decades, never achieving big-time comics success (which, in the case of Archie’s version of ‘The Shadow’ is a crying shame, as that book was bug$&#@ crazy).  The biggest stars of the pulps are once again under the same roof at Dynamite Entertainment, making a go at another run in comic form which leads us to today’s bitter-fruited query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) actually finds The Avenger to be the most compelling of the various pulp stalwarts, even more so than Doc and Lamont, asking: Are you, as a reader, interested in consuming the adventures of pulp heroes like Doc Savage and The Shadow?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I dont actively look for them, but I’ll read any Phantom or Tarzan (does he count?) that I come across. Phantom was probably the first action hero type character I read as a kid, way before I was aware of terms like pulp. To me, hes was just a hero, like Superman or Spider-Man. The Phantom has huge cult following in northern Europe, hes probably at least as popular and well known, if not more as Superman or Batman. They even made it mainstream news when Finnish edition of The Phantom ceased to appear in monthly publishing few years ago after several decades of regular schedule.

  2. Doctor Dinosaur on

    Yes, though the results are rarely good.

    To this day the Tom Strong series still contains my favourite Tarzan and Doc Savage stories.
    (Not to mention a rare sighting of the Fantastic Four done right).

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