Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Our favorite heroes - The Man of Bronze

"Let us strive every moment of our lives to make ourselves better and better to the best of our abilities so that all may profit by it. Let us think of the right and lend our assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice. Let us take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let us be considerate of our country, our fellow citizens, and our associates in everything we say and do. Let us do right to all - and wrong no man."

Doc Savage, whose real name is "Clark Savage, Jr.", also known as "the Man of Bronze", is a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and musician — a renaissance man. A team of scientists (assembled by his father) trained his mind and body to near-superhuman abilities almost from birth, giving him great strength and endurance, a photographic memory, mastery of the martial arts, and vast knowledge of the sciences. Doc is also a master of disguise and an excellent imitator of voices, though he admits to having trouble with women's voices.

Doc made everything look easy. In one story, "his hand drifted out at lightning speed." It sounds like an oxymoron, but Doc's fans knew what it meant.

He resides on the top (86th) floor of a New York City skyscraper, implicitly the Empire State Building, reached by Doc's private high-speed elevator. Doc owns a fleet of cars, trucks, aircraft, and boats which he stores at a secret hangar on the Hudson River, under the name The Hidalgo Trading Company, reached from his home by a pneumatic-tube system called the 'flea run'. He sometimes retreats to his Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic--which predates Superman's similar hideout of the same name. All of this is paid for with gold from a Central American mine given to him by the local Mayans in the first Doc Savage story. (Doc and his assistants learned the little-known Mayan dialect of this people, allowing them to communicate privately when others might be listening.)

Doc's companions in his adventures (the "Fabulous Five") are:

- Industrial chemist Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Blodgett "Monk" Mayfair and his pet pig, Habeas Corpus. Monk got his name from his simian appearance, notably his long arms, and was covered with red hair.
- Lawyer Brigadier General Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks and his pet monkey, Chemistry. Ham (the shyster, as Monk referred to him) got his name after teaching Monk some French swear words to innocently use on a French general. Shortly afterwards, a large joint of ham went missing and turned up among Brooks' things, so he was blamed and got that nickname.
- Construction engineer Colonel John "Renny" Renwick. Renny had fists like buckets of gristle and bone and no wooden door could withstand them.
- Electrical engineer Major Thomas J. "Long Tom" Roberts. "Long Tom" got his nickname from an incident with a World War I cannon of that nick-name. Long Tom was a sickly-looking character, but fought like a wildcat.
- Archaeologist and geologist William Harper "Johnny" Littlejohn. Johnny used long words ("I'll be superamalgamated!" was a favourite saying). Johnny wore a monocle in early adventures (one eye having been blinded in World War I). Doc later performed corrective surgery.

- and let’s not forget the best book on doc, as well as the campy (but kinda cool in its own way) movie.

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