Review: Doc Savage #4

Review of: Doc Savage #4
Product by:
Chris Roberson

Doc Savage #4

Reviewed by:
On March 26, 2014
Last modified:March 26, 2014


Doc Savage is really starting to come together.

When an experimental drilling technique threatens to set the world’s largest oil fields ablaze in 1979, Doc Savage is the only one who can prevent an environmental catastrophe and the worldwide economic crisis which would surely follow. But to succeed, he will first have to help a young woman regain her faith in the future.

Doc Savage is back in action this month in the pages of Doc Savage #4. The story is written by Chris Roberson with art by Bilquis Evely. Daniela Miwa handles colors with Rob Steen providing lettering. Doc Savage has been a rollercoaster ride of a series. Is this month’s entry a high or a low?

Since Doc’s failure at Orion Station in 1961, the Man of Bronze and his group have hidden from the public eye. The year is now 1979 and an impending ecological disaster in the world’s largest oil field. One of Doc’s recruits, a young hotshot who didn’t want to play by Doc’s rules, is behind the technology that is now failing and primed to explode. The clock is ticking as Doc and company try to figure out a way to shut down the fully automated technology that now controls all of the area’s oil derricks. During all the destruction and possible worldwide economic devastation, a young girl is proving to be Doc’s biggest challenge. Can Doc’s first big appearance out in public be the success he so desperately needs? With the Orion Station situation hanging over his head, can our hero overcome his own self-doubt and fears about the future?

Roberson writes a more streamlined and tight story this month. This entire series has been a big character study, but this issue really shows a destroyed Doc Savage in the process of rebuilding his self-esteem, his trust in his abilities, and the hope for the future that his driven him to do what he has done his entire life. Doc really rises above being the generic square-jawed hero that he has partly been portrayed in previous issues. It seems we’ve really turned the corner and we’re getting into some great pulp adventures in a more modern setting. Evely’s art is great. The character work is much more detailed and distinct this time around. The artist has made Doc a very distinct character that really stands out from everyone else when he’s on the page. Doc Savage demands respect when he strides into the room and towers over all the other men standing around and talking about situations. More than anything, Evely presents a capable man who you believe can do everything he says he’s going to do. Miwa’s colors help make Doc stand out as well. He’s a big, tan, muscular figure in a very realistically colored world. Things are bright and vivid, and the giant sweeping desert landscapes look cinematic in some respects.

Bottom Line: Doc Savage is really starting to come together. The series felt like a series of one-shots in the beginning, but now things are starting to tie together and carry a little more weight. Roberson has a good handle on the characters, so it’s nice to see the different decades starting to bring an overarching story together. 3.5/5


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