DOC SAVAGE Biography - Fictional, Iconical & Mythological characters


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Name: Doc Savage                                                                         
Doc Savage is a fictional character, one of the pulp heroes of the 1930s and             
1940s. He was created by writer Lester Dent.                                             
Doc Savage Magazine was printed by Street and Smith Publications from March 1933         
to the summer of 1949 for a total of 181 issues. All the stories were reprinted           
by Bantam Books as paperbacks, beginning in the early 1960s. Bantam also                 
published a heretofore-unknown story, The Red Spider, which featured an older             
and more subdued Doc, more man than superman. However, fans wanted more of the           
original Doc, so Bantam commissioned an additional eight novels (based on notes           
or outlines left by series author Lester Dent).                                           
Doc has appeared in comics and a movie, on radio, and as a character in numerous         
other works, and continues to inspire authors and artists in the adventure and           
fantasy realms.                                                                           
The basic concept of a man trained from birth to fight evil was created by               
Street and Smith Publications executive Henry Ralston and Editor John Nanovic,           
to further capitalize on the success of their other pulp hero magazine success,           
The Shadow. Ralston and Nanovic wrote a short premise establishing the broad             
outlines of the character they envisioned, but Doc Savage was only fully                 
realized by the author chosen to write the series, Lester Dent. Dent wrote most           
of the 181 original novels, hidden behind the "house name" of Kenneth Robeson. (Will     
Murray wrote seven of the Savage novels published after Dent's death, also using         
the Robeson pseudonym.)                                                                   
Doc Savage, whose real name is Clark Savage, Jr., is a physician, surgeon,               
scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and musician — a                 
renaissance man. A team of scientists assembled by his father trained his mind           
and body to near-superhuman abilities almost from birth, giving him great                 
strength and endurance, a photographic memory, mastery of the martial arts, and           
vast knowledge of the sciences. Doc is also a master of disguise and an                   
excellent imitator of voices, though he admits to having trouble with women's             
voices. "He rights wrongs and punishes evildoers." Dent described the hero as a           
mix of Sherlock Holmes' deductive abilities, Tarzan's outstanding physical               
abilities, Craig Kennedy's scientific education, and Abraham Lincoln's goodness.         
Dent described Doc Savage as manifesting "Christliness." Doc's character and             
world-view is displayed in his oath, which goes as follows:                               
“ Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the       
best of my ability, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right and             
lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but             
justice. Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let me be         
considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything         
I say and do. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man. ”                               
His office is on the 86th floor of a New York City skyscraper, implicitly the             
Empire State Building, reached by Doc's private high-speed elevator. Doc owns a           
fleet of cars, trucks, aircraft, and boats which he stores at a secret hangar on         
the Hudson River, under the name The Hidalgo Trading Company, reached from his           
office by a pneumatic-tube system called the "flea run." He sometimes retreats           
to his Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic—which pre-dates Superman's similar           
hideout of the same name. All of this is paid for with gold from a Central               
American mine given to him by the local Mayans in the first Doc Savage story. (Doc       
and his assistants learned the little-known Mayan dialect of this people,                 
allowing them to communicate privately when others might be listening.)                   
Doc's greatest foe, and the only one to appear in two of the original pulp               
stories, was the Russian-born John Sunlight. Early villains were bent on ruling           
the world, but a late change in format had Savage operating more as a private             
investigator breaking up smaller crime rings. In the last Doc Savage story               
written by Dent, Up from Earth's Center, Doc Savage fights a character who is             
believed to be the Devil, in the company of two self-confessed demons.                   
In early stories some of the criminals captured by Doc received "a delicate               
brain operation" to cure their criminal tendencies. The criminals returned to             
society fully productive and unaware of their criminal past. A non-canonical             
comic book series published in the 1980s states these were actually lobotomies.           
In the 1975 film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, Doc uses acupuncture.                     
Dent, the series' principal author, had a mixed regard for his own creations.             
Though usually protective of his creations, he could be derisive of his pulp             
output. In interviews, he stated that he harbored no illusions of being a high-quality   
author of literature; for him, the Doc Savage series was simply a job, a way to           
earn a living by "churning out reams and reams of sellable crap." In Jim                 
Steranko's History of Comics, it was revealed that Dent used a formula to write           
his Doc Savage stories that had his heroes continually getting in and out of             
Some of the gadgets described in the series became reality, including telephone           
answering machines, the automatic transmission, night vision goggles, and hand-held       
automatic weapons.