Doc Savage News

I reported a while back that my old friend Shane Black (writer of Lethal Weapon among other things) was scripting a Doc Savage movie. As many of the folks who’d care most about this sort of thing likely already know, it was recently confirmed that not only is Shane writing the screenplay (along with Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry), he will be directing the film as well. Anyone who has seen Shane’s directorial debut, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, will know how exciting this news really is.

With Sam Raimi working on The Shadow, it’s looking very promising for pulp adventure in the near future. Now all we need is a Bruce Timm adaptation of Doc Wilde and the world will truly be on the right track.

In related news, DC Comics just released the first issue of their First Wave series, in which they establish an alternate world, outside the normal DC universe, in which pulp heroes operate, and no one has super-powers. The greatest of the heroes in this world is, of course, Doc Savage.

The First Wave series actually began last year with the one-shot Batman/Doc Savage special I reviewed in November. I was underwhelmed, but still hopeful that the actual series would be good.

Well, I just read First Wave #1, and it’s awesome pulp and awesome comics. Brian Azzarello’s writing and treatment of these classic characters honors their roots while at the same time deepening their emotional lives and rooting them realistically into the world. And artist Rags Morales brings the cast to vivid life with a style that’s both realistic and somewhat cartoony, befitting the pulp nature of the work. My only beef with the book is that Doc Savage’s hair color and complexion are still off, though not as badly as they were in the Batman team-up book.

Great stuff.

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Doc Savage Meets Batman

Cool news for pulp fans…

docspiritA while back, DC Comics released the above image by Brian Stelfreeze, teasing a new series of comics set in an alternate dimension within the DC multiverse in which old pulp heroes rather than modern superheroes are active.

The series is called First Wave, and is being written by comics scribe Brian Azzarello with art by Rags Morales. More early info was provided by Morales in an interview with Newsarama:

It’s a world of heroism at its most innocent. We’re talking about, essentially, a universe where superpowers don’t exist. There are no people flying in from Krypton…there are no people swimming up from the ocean or from Paradise Island. We’re talking about the heart and soul of what it means to be heroic, where people are left more to their wits and their intestinal fortitude rather than any fierce other-worldly technology, or even inner-worldly technology…it’s not really accurate to call it a “modernization” because this is going to be enough of that original flavor to feel like it’s old-school, with fedoras and women in high heels and the cool things about what’s gangster and pulp, like Tommy guns. But it’s going to also be enough of an advancement to feel fresh. Tommy guns will exist in a world where computers exist. We’re going to be dealing with a world that is kind of like the Batman Adventures from The WB, where you have dirigibles next to jetplanes. That’s basically the visual interpretation of the atmosphere I’m dealing with…

That’s an approach I like, and is pretty much the approach I’m taking in the Doc Wilde books (for example, the police blimps in Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom).

Morales continued:

…we’ll have Doc Savage, the Spirit and The Avenger in there, and I’m working out how they’re going to look. Doc Savage won’t have that exaggerated widow’s peak, but I’m going with the classic looks on the characters with some updating. And in this world, Doc Savage is Superman. I mean, after all, Superman was derived from Doc Savage, along with Buck Rogers and Popeye and some others. But Doc Savage was the original guy with the Fortress of Solitude up in the arctic. He’s an inventor, and he’s got a very moral ethic. In a world of non-powered heroes, he’s going to be our focal point.

This week, the DC Universe blog told us how the pulp fun will begin:

This November, writer Brian Azzarello teams with artist Phil Noto for the BATMAN/DOC SAVAGE SPECIAL #1, which sets the stage for an entire new world for the Doc, along with a slew of characters that will pop up later, including the Blackhawks and Rima, the Jungle Girl. It all starts here, and I’m not exaggerating when I say you’re really in for a treat.

And two variant covers for the special were posted, the first by J.G. Jones:

batdss-01-coverThen one by Rags Morales:

doc-savage-spec-cv1

Looks promising. Hopefully it’ll live up to its potential.