Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Doc Savage

Doc Savage is part of the First Wave universe at DC and his is a testosterone-filled realm. Which doesn't bother me as such and Doc's female cousin Pat, a newswoman, does show up for a bit. Doc is Mister-Can-Do-Anything. He's a doctor, an inventor, a warrior, a perfect physical specimen, a... well, you get the point. But he does sometimes make mistakes, so he isn't perfect. Whew! He is human, after all.

His team are an interesting lot, but much as I like the art, it isn't always easy to tell some of the team members apart. The stories have been over the top, but entertaining enough to keep me reading, for now. I thought the diversity in the First Wave mini made for a better book, though. The tone in First Wave was very noir, and it's noirish here, too, but more adventure, too. The second storyline is focused around a war theme and a fallen comrade who isn't dead, after all.

But the book is worth it for the backup feature, Justice, Inc. I had doubted I'd like that, but it's turned out to be superior, in my opinion, than the lead feature. Justice, Inc. focuses on The Avenger/Richard Benson, a wealthy man who lives in squalor and runs Justice, Inc. They take cases of desperation and Benson has one hard and fast rule. No killing unless absolutely necessary. Yet these people are no angels, and it's the moral ambiguity that makes this a compelling read. I'm not the biggest fan of noir, but I do enjoy it when done right, and while this might not follow all the tenets of noir (I'm no expert), it does entertain and pose questions while exploring the underbelly of a city and the inner psyche of the damaged and the desperate members of society. Plus, I like Scott Hampton's art, which suits this feature as much as it did the creepy Simon Dark a year or so ago.

Next up: the new Spirit.

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