Friday, March 31, 2017

Review - Doc Savage: The Ring of Fire #1 (@DynamiteComics)


"That's quite a dream, but as you can see, I'm not burned to ashes."

Adventuring has its ups and downs, but you can't really complain about the travel. And when you're traveling to exotic locales in search of missing heroes while being one of the most renowned adventurers in the world is even better. In Doc Savage: The Ring of Fire #1 from Dynamite Comics, Doc Savage is that adventurer. The issue is written by David Avallone, illustrated by Dave Acosta, colored by Morgan Hickman and lettered by Taylor Esposito.

1938: Amelia Earhart is missing, volcanoes are going off under US Navy bases, Silver Death's Heads are trying to kill Doc Savage, and FDR is quite concerned about all of this.

Doc Savage is a hero from a different time and Avallone ensures that Doc Savage: The Ring of Fire #1 is full of plenty of that characterization. Avallone spends a portion of the issue setting the stakes for the characters while also giving readers unfamiliar with Doc Savage an insight into how he operates. Doc Savage is a very bright and resourceful adventurer with a direct line to the President, yet Avallone expresses that in a way that's more matter of fact. And getting to the meat of the story as indicated by the title in Amelia Earhart's disappearance takes some patience, but Avallone gets there in a way that dovetails nicely with a larger plot. The plot is pretty standard for Doc Savage, but there will likely be some twists and turns throughout as Avallone gets into it deeper.

The illustrations by Acosta are a perfect fit for the tone of the character and the story. Acosta gives each character an appearance that feels more rooted in reality and the physiology of human physiques, emphasizing the characters in ways that ground them in reality. Doc Savage especially is illustrated as more man than myth in in the issue as Acosta reinforces his impressive stature without going overboard. Characters are very expressive and Acosta focuses plenty on their facial features to convey a variety of emotions depending on the situation. And Hickman's colors sport a wear to them that's reminiscent of a newspaper strip from decades ago.

There's not a lot of action in Doc Savage: The Ring of Fire #1, but business is sure to pick up sooner than later. Doc Savage is more than capable of getting through any situation regardless of how difficult it is and those traits will surely be on display throughout the series. Avallone's grasp of the character is fantastic and reflects a knowledge of what makes Doc Savage tick. Acosta's artwork is great and portrays Doc Savage as a person who's a cut above the rest, but not so much that he seems to be immortal. Doc Savage: The Ring of Fire #1 is a very solid first issue that gives new readers and old a look at one of comic's most durable characters.

Doc Savage: The Ring of Fire #1 is available now.

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