Burriss: Doc Savage still on the job
BY LARRY BURRISS
Last week Warner Brothers announced the title its new superhero movie, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” And the Cybervillage immediately lit up with debates about who was the better hero. But I’m here to settle the debate: the greatest superhero ever, is Clark Savage Junior, known to friend and foe alike as “Doc Savage.”
Let’s start by comparing Doc with supposed superheroes like Superman and other off-worlders. Doc is human through-and through. He’s not some mutant or accident. Plus, he’s from the good ol’ U-S-of-A.
Unlike other normal human heroes like Batman, the Phantom, the Green Hornet or even the Lone Ranger, Doc doesn’t hide his identity behind a mask. He does have a Fortress of Solitude hidden in the Arctic, but he also has an office and a listed phone number on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. I would give you the numbers, but I seem to have misplaced them.
Although Doc is distantly related to many other superheroes, about the only person you could really compare to Doc is Sherlock Holmes, a normal human who also developed his skills for the betterment of society.
So what does Doc do with his life? Well, he “rights wrongs and punishes evil-doers.” He is a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and musician. He should be an inspiration to us all, especially since he wasn’t born a super-hero. Rather, his father assembled a team of teachers and scientists to help Doc deliberately train his mind and body, giving him great strength, endurance and an eidetic memory. He also mastered several forms of martial arts and he has an almost unlimited knowledge of the sciences.
But Doc also has his limits, so he has a group of almost co-equal helpers, the Fabulous Five. These aren’t just glorified drivers, servants or kids; rather they are five world-renowned experts in their own fields, and complement Doc’s own tremendous abilities.
Just like Sherlock Holmes has a biographer, John Watson, Doc has Lester Dent, who compiled reports of some 181 of Doc’s adventures. The fact that these 181 stories take place over a 16-year period, from 1933 to 1949, means Doc is the busiest super-hero around, righting wrongs and punishing evil-doers nearly once a month.
Doc was born in 1901 and there is no record he ever died, so with his superb training and health, he is probably still alive at 113, still fighting crime and righting wrong. Which means we can all rest easier at night, knowing that Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, is on the job.