I made a brief stop at Comic Con in San Diego on Thursday–there is no word in the English language to explain how totally insane that place is…there may be a word in Mayan, Bantu, or Swedish, but not in English–and decided to sit in on a panel celebrating the 75th anniversary of pulp icon Doc Savage.
For those of you who are not familiar with Dr. Clark Savage, Jr. and his faithful companions, he’s pretty much the first superhero. Well, technically The Shadow is the first by about two years, but Doc is a close second. Both the Shadow and the Man of Bronze (as Savage was known) heavily influenced comic book superheroes like Superman, Batman, and the Fantastic Four.
Anyways, the panel–moderated by Anthony Tollin (one of the men behind the Nostalia Ventures Doc Savage and Shadow reprints) and Michael Uslan (producer of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Spirit, and Billy Batson and the Legend of Shazam)–was pretty cool. Tollin and Uslan talked about how the old pulp heroes influenced comic books, and how the pulps were effectively killed off by the growing popularity of the cheaper-to-produce comics. Tollin announced the upcoming release of Avenger reprints. Both Tollin and Uslan led the crowd in giving Savage creator/writer Lester Dent a posthumous ovation (something he never received in life because, like all pulp authors, Dent wrote the Doc Savage stories using a house name).
Then, Uslan “accidentally” let slip that a Doc Savage movie is in the works. According to Uslan, like Batman Begins, the new Savage flick will be closer to the source material than the campy 1975 movie Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. The new Savage movie is little more than a glimmer in Uslan’s eye, but with all of these comic book movies coming out, it’ll be nice to see their pulp forefathers getting a little recognition (Sam Raimi is currently working on a new Shadow movie).
For a rabid pulp fan like me, this is pretty cool news.