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View Full Version : I love pulp, but I have a confession....



DocWeeks
06-23-2012, 01:47 AM
I HATE Doc Savage.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/97/Docsavage.jpeg/200px-Docsavage.jpeg

I know he is supposed to be THE iconic character of the pulps, and supposedly an inspiration for Indiana Jones, but he is TERRIBLE. This is coming from a huge lover of the pulps, I've read and enjoyed a great many of the, and I'm a huge fan of Walter Gibsons The Shadow, but Doc Savage is just so BAD.

How someone can write 300+ stories about this saintly character is beyond me. He's too goody goody. In the six I've read he is presented as the worlds strongest man, worlds greatest; archeologist, geologist, engineer, greatest hearing, and FRIGGIN worlds greatest violinist. He cured blindness in one of the books. What? It also seems vaguely homoerotic. The way the writer details every level of Savage's rippling perfectness, chiseled features, and perfect hair feels like reading LGBT lit. Which wouldn't be a big deal, if savage was a well written character. Honestly, all the books would be more interesting without his presence. Because the other characters have flaws and specialties that make them interesting. Savage is such a pure character that he's sworn off women because they would only distract him from his mission of making the world a better place. But for such a holy character he doesn't seem to blink at the blood trail he leaves in his wake (Which doesn't bother me, it is pulp after all).
Has anyone read the savage books, and if you have, have you enjoyed them? I'm willing to discuss it, if someone wants to convince me they're good.

If you're interested in a good modern pulp, with some fun ties to the old pulp writers check out: The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril

http://paulmalmont.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/the-chinatown-death-cloud-peril.jpg

neutronbomb
06-23-2012, 02:07 PM
I've read 2 or 3. I couldn't stand them either. IMO some of the more narcissistic style of hero/adventure writing I've come across. Likely written by Patterson.

crismans
06-23-2012, 02:40 PM
I've never read any of them myself (I have read some pulps such as the Shadow and enjoyed them). I've always wondered what the difference was between Savage being presented as above and looking more like something out of the Metal Men.

Raider7
06-23-2012, 04:35 PM
Anyone remember the movie - i think it was Ron Ely - aka Tarzan from the TV show - who played the part. Watched it :-[ (as a kid I hasten to add), and remember being really dissapointed. That movie is probably worth a thread all on it's own.

crismans
06-23-2012, 05:26 PM
Here's the look I was talking about:

http://members.tripod.com/Rogue_5/Graphics/phantom.gif

Was he turned into the actual "Man of Bronze" by an experiment or something?



Savage is such a pure character that he's sworn off women because they would only distract him from his mission of making the world a better place.

That's not that bad an idea, actually. :whip:

DocWeeks
06-23-2012, 05:34 PM
IMO some of the more narcissistic style of hero/adventure writing I've come across.

That's exactly it.

Hmm, since you guys seem to agree, do y'all have any period adventurers you would recommend? My bookshelf is an ever expanding black hole, so a few new books won't be a big deal.

Crismans, that link isn't showing up. But I do agree about the shadow, I have enjoyed all of those that I've read, and just recently downloaded a couple hundred ebooks of the shadow.

DocWeeks
06-23-2012, 05:36 PM
Savage is such a pure character that he's sworn off women because they would only distract him from his mission of making the world a better place.

That's not that bad an idea, actually. :whip:


Meh, I think stripping a character of anything resembling an average human makes them less engaging as a character. Relationships, struggles, ignorance, weaknesses, those are all part of what makes a character fascinating. It's why Batman is cooler than superman.

Raider7
06-23-2012, 05:41 PM
Savage is such a pure character that he's sworn off women because they would only distract him from his mission of making the world a better place.

That worked then...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd417/millersxing/docsavage05.jpg

Oildale Jones
06-23-2012, 05:51 PM
As cheesy as it is, I enjoyed the movie when I was a kid. (I think it was the first movie I saw by myself; I rode my bike to the theater, which made me feel so independent.) There's a "Detarnished" fan edit that removes most of the camp elements.

I've never read any of the books. A fellow DS fan gave me a copy of "Terror in the Navy," but I haven't gotten past the first page. The old style is generally a barrier to entry for me.

Raider7
06-23-2012, 05:57 PM
Hmm, since you guys seem to agree, do y'all have any period adventurers you would recommend? My bookshelf is an ever expanding black hole, so a few new books won't be a big deal.


If you don't mind real life adventures have a look at - The Lost City of Z and also Batavia's Graveyard - both brilliant.

crismans
06-23-2012, 06:05 PM
Savage is such a pure character that he's sworn off women because they would only distract him from his mission of making the world a better place.

That's not that bad an idea, actually. :whip:


Meh, I think stripping a character of anything resembling an average human makes them less engaging as a character. Relationships, struggles, ignorance, weaknesses, those are all part of what makes a character fascinating. It's why Batman is cooler than superman.


I was talking in real life. ;) I've not had anything but trouble out of the fairer sex.

Raider7
06-23-2012, 06:08 PM
I was talking in real life. ;) I've not had anything but trouble out of the fairer sex.


You aint alone there!!!!

neutronbomb
06-23-2012, 06:45 PM
If I'm remembering right the bronze was something he developed. Like a second skin. A protective barrier. Waterproof, etc. Of course it also gives him the perfect permanent golden tan. He's the most handsome, the most brave, the strongest, a genius of the highest order. Reads like he's the authors dream fantasy lover.

DocWeeks
06-23-2012, 09:21 PM
Yeah, I think the bronze was something special he designed (You know, for someone who developed such marvels in science, cure for blindness etc., sharing them with the rest of the world would have done a great deal in his quest for peace. He's selfish, really)

I think with a great editor the books could be turned into something mildly entertaining. Not all of the storylines are shit, some could be made to work without Savage's presence.

I've read Z, I'll check out that other one, thanks. Have you read River Of Doubt? It's about Teddy Roosevelt, and fantastic.

KidHuevos
06-24-2012, 01:31 AM
Hmm, since you guys seem to agree, do y'all have any period adventurers you would recommend? My bookshelf is an ever expanding black hole, so a few new books won't be a big deal.

Have you read any of Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter of Mars/Barsoom books? I'm re-reading them all over again after seeing the film. HIGHLY recommended!