It’s another Doc Savage tale from Dynamite Entertainment! Will it suffer the fate of previous Doc Savage tales, or has the publisher finally figured it out?
Writer: David Avallone
Artist: Dave Acosta
Colorist: Morgan Hickman
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: It was a time of unspeakable evil, and a time of incorruptibles heroes. The world danced on the precipice of Apocalypse, and into the dawn of a new epoch of wonders. Fascism and Democracy were slowly rising to meet one another in the greatest clash history had ever known. It was the crucible of mankind, and all would be judged. It was an age of dreams, and an age of nightmares. It was the time of Doc savage… -From the Dynamite Entertainment
A DOC SAVAGE TALE ACTUALLY SET IN THE PROPER TIME PERIOD?
It is June, 1938, and a volcano blows up next to a tropical island where Pat and Doc Savage stand witness. Then a flaming man flies out of the skies to burn Doc Savage to death. And suddenly Amelia Earhart shows up. What makes it extra creepy is not a single line of dialogue, or sound effect is uttered as all of this transpires. It’s an opening sequence that runs for five pages, and when it is over, you know you’ve read one of the most intriguing hooks in any Doc Savage story.
Could it get any better? How about featuring President Roosevelt, who sends Doc Savage on his mission to the South Pacific?
Dynamite Entertainment seems to be taking a new direction with Doc Savage with this first issue. Instead of trying to bring Doc Savage to the modern day, or completely changing out his team members with new and edgy characters, we are getting a Doc savage tale set during the height of the character’s initial popularity. Not only do we get all five members of Doc’s team involved in the adventure, but Pat Savage kicks this story into high gear. It’s almost like David Avallone knew what Doc Savage fans wanted, and is gave it to us in this first chapter.
There are some great moments of comedy in this issue as Monk and Ham engage in their usual back and forth, and it is good too see Long Tom and Renny exchange a few verbal barbs as well. Then there is Johnny who casually sits in his seat as bullets rip through Doc’s sea plane.
Did I mention the ninja attack at 12,000 feet?
Yes, this issue has everything long time fans will love – or at least Doc Savage: The Ring of Fire #1 has everything that I love about a Doc Savage adventure.
GOLDEN AGE ART
Dave Acosta brings a fantastic look to Doc Savage and crew. While they don’t look like the depictions from the Bama years, they also don’t look like the overly cartoonish versions we’ve seen in past issues. They look like normal people with flaws; Renny’s thick glasses, Monk broad features, Ham’s slight build – it’s a great take on the characters that doesn’t paint them to be gods among men. Even Pat Savage is toned down from her typical va-va-voom depictions in other books and iterations. I like Acosta’s attention to detail throughout the issue as he takes great care to make the real life figures gracing this issue look realistic, without going too far into the realm of photorealism.
Unfortunately, the inking and coloring give the issue a pencil like style that doesn’t sit well with me. That being said, I’ve come to expect this look from Dynamite over the years, so I’m getting used to it.
BOTTOM LINE: A SAVAGE INTRO
Whenever I see a solicitation from Dynamite Entertainment announcing a new Doc Savage tale, my ears instantly perk up with excitement, but there is always a little hesitation in my heart. Thankfully, Doc Savage: The Ring of Fire #1 is a hit from page one. The issue is crammed with shocking moments, comedy, high action, and just enough future technology that makes you stand up and cheer that the Doc Savage you remember is back. When Doc Savage: The Ring of Fire #1 lands at your local comic shop, make sure you pick it up.