Pulp Heroes

Doc Savage
The Man of Bronze

Doc Savage and his five companions first made their appearance between the oversize covers of the pulp magazines in March of 1933. Their first recorded adventure, The Man of Bronze, found them heading to the Central American republic of Hildalgo to investigate Doc's father's mysterious death. Deep in the Valley of the Vanished, Doc and his aides discovered a lost Mayan kingdom, where they learned the cause of the senior Savage's death, and gained access to the untold wealth necessary to carry on their fight against evil.

Trained from birth to be a champion for justice, Clark "Doc" Savage, Jr. is a mental marvel with superhuman strength. Fighting by his side is Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Blodgett "Monk" Mayfair, a world renown chemist with a distinctively simian appearance, Brigadier General Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks, a formidable and dapper attorney who carries a cane with a surprising sting, William Harper "Johnny" Littlejohn, a tall, skinny drink-of-water of an archaeologist and geologist with a penchant for big words, Colonel John "Renny" Renwick, a much sought-after engineer with enormous fists, and Major Thomas J. "Long Tom" Roberts, a genius at electricity with the pallor of a corpse. Joining Doc and his aides for occasional adventures, usually against Doc's wishes, is Doc's beautiful and capable cousin, Pat Savage. Together, this small force of talented and energetic adventurers stike fear in the hearts of evil-doers throughout the world.

From his headquarters on the 86th floor of the tallest building in New York, Doc and his aides set forth for adventure to all corners of the globe. In the deepest jungles, the driest deserts, on land, in the air, and on and under the sea, Doc and his crew help those in need, uphold the right, and fight for the good.

On this page, I've presented excerpts regarding Doc and his amazing exploits from sources not readily available to Doc's multitude of fans. You'll also find illustrations of Doc and his co-adventurers, along with a transcript of Doc's personal code of conduct. If you have not yet become acquainted with Doc's fabled adventures, consider this an invitation to join Doc in his eternal quest for justice.

From the front matter to the July, 1935, issue of Doc Savage Magazine:

Comrades In Adventure

No other title would better fit Doc Savage and his little group of scrappy, fighting pals--Comrades in Adventure. Devoting their lives to the task of helping those in need of help, of righting wrongs, of defending the weak and innocent, Doc Savage and his pals are a group unique in this world--especially in the world of to-day, in which the practice of doing right seems to be almost forgotten.

Doc's five companions, "Ham," "Monk," "Renny," "Long Tom," and "Johnny," each a leader in his own line of activity, sought after in his own right, are submissive to the superior knowledge and ability of their leader. Doc himself is the guiding spirit of the little group. Efficient as are his helpers, his skill equals that of all of theirs combined.

Yet he uses it with such care, with such consideration, that he is not overbearing. As all great men, he is almost meek, yet the results of his work are startling.

With unbounded wealth at their disposal, monetary reward does not attract these adventurers. Only real need, a worthy cause, is necessary to enlist their aid. Whatever rewards they may get are used entirely for charitable purposes. With all the aid that science can give; with every bit of energy that willingness and will-kept bodies can furnish, Doc Savage and his fighting pals go through history, righting wrongs, doing justice to all. You'll find their exploits thrilling, educational and interesting. You'll see in these stories, published only in Doc Savage Magazine, a zest for living such as you've always wanted. Be a Doc Savage follower in spirit and in fact by making these stories part of your regular reading.

From the Forward to The Ideal Library edition of The Man of Bronze (1933):

There is a yearning for adventure, for the unusual, for the far-distant, in the heart of every being. Not often is this yearning realized in fact. Most of us must be content to read of the adventures of others and get our thrills in that manner.

The life of Clark Savage, Jr., is the exact antithesis of ordinary existence. Raised from the cradle for just one purpose in life--to devote it to helping out humanity in distress--he starts on his eventful career. With his companions, The Man Of Bronze goes to all corners of the world, living a life of thrills and danger, but one of great endeavor and huge kindness to man.

There is always injustice in this world, so Doc Savage and his men have much to do. But their task is a great and noble purpose; their work makes this world a better place. And the reading of their adventures has served to build higher ideals in the minds of this generation. His work goes on and on, increasing in thrills and excitement. I know that it will serve to bring others to believe more strongly in the gospel of doing right to all, and wronging no one.

From the Forward to The Ideal Library edition of The Land of Terror (1933):

His life not that of an ordinary man, but a life devoted to the welfare of mankind, to the betterment of the world, Doc Savage goes from one end of the world to another, righting wrongs, punishing crime, helping the weak and innocent. With his five companions, he carries on the will of his father, who trained Doc Savage from the cradle for this unusual career of assistance and adventure.

The welfare of humanity is the goal of Doc Savage. No matter where the cry for help, no matter where the need for justice, Doc Savage will go there. His life is not the pursuing of adventure, but the following of an ideal. That this results in the most thrilling adventure is only incidental; that the accounts of these adventures are marvelous stories of thrills and excitement adds to their value. The real purpose is to instill more of true idealism in the hearts of all men; to make others do, in their own way, what Doc Savage risks his life to do. Giving every man his due; playing square with the world--that is a perfect goal for every one. I know that reading of Doc Savage and his admirable companions will serve to make others strive to follow in their footsteps, and thus make this world a better place.

From the Forward to The Ideal Library edition of Quest of the Spider (1933):

Nothing has given me more real pleasure, more the feeling of work well done, than the preparation of these volumes on the life and exploits of Doc Savage and his companions. In "The Man of Bronze," this man of unusual character, and his unusual companions, were introduced to you. In "The Land of Terror," his further exploits were recounted. Now, in "Quest of the Spider," he continues his fight for the welfare of humanity; his ceaseless ambition to help those who are in need of help, and punish those who seek to foist injustice upon the world.

I have no doubt but that you will thrill to this story, as hundreds of thousands of readers have thrilled to this and the previous accounts. That is the one purpose of these tales. But there is something else which I know you will get out of them; something greater than the enjoyment of this volume. It will leave with you the feeling of doing better in this world; of making your own life approach that of Doc Savage as nearly as you can in your own existence. Though you may not find it possible to leave your daily existence in search of adventure; though you cannot go to the far ends of the world to aid others; you can do as much good in your own neighborhood by doing right at all times, helping your fellow men as much as possible even in the smallest of things. In this way you will find life more livable, and you will be accomplishing as worthwhile things as any one can expect.

May the work of Doc Savage go on forever, repeated in countless episodes through the individual efforts of each one who reads this volume.

The Code of Doc Savage

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.

For more on Doc Savage, visit Jeff Sines' Doc Savage Unchained! site, or click on the Doc Savage Web Ring link at the bottom of my main Pulp Heroes page.

The Holloway Pages Pulp Heroes

© 2000 by Clark J. Holloway.

Picture Credits:
Color illustration of Doc at top from cover of Doc Savage: The Phantom City, Bantam Books, 1966.
Color illustration of Doc and Pat from Doc Savage: Curse of the Fire God, #3, Dark Horse Comics, 1995.
Black & white line drawings and magazine cover from Doc Savage Magazine, July 1935.