Posted by:
Byron Brewer

Exclusive: Chris Roberson Talks Doc Savage Ongoing From Dynamite



Doc Savage has been popping in and out of modern comics for decades, but a new take on the Man of Bronze will be coming to Dynamite Entertainment in December from the creative team of writer Chris Roberson and artist Bilquis Evely.

To get the 411 behind this ongoing of the top pulp hero, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer spoke exclusively with the scribe about his innate love of the character and his ideas for this latest incarnation of Savage.

Cosmic Book News: So how does it feel to be handling THE character who put the pop in "pulp"?

Chris Roberson: It feels pretty amazing, I must admit! I’ve been an enormous fan of the character for more than thirty years, and I’ve always harbored hopes of getting a chance to write a Doc Savage adventure. And now I am!

CBN: How did this marriage of Roberson and Savage come about?

Chris Roberson: I’ve dropped subtle (and not to subtle) hints that Doc Savage was my favorite pulp character since I first started talking with Dynamite a few years ago. They didn’t hold the license at the time, but I thought maybe we could do something with a “Doc Savage type” character, either one from the public domain, or an existing character, or one cut from whole cloth. When I learned last year that the license was up for grabs, though, I immediately contacted Dynamite and told them that if they were to get their hands on Doc, I wanted to write the series. And then I mentioned it again the next time we spoke, a little more emphatically. And then again, and again. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m half-convinced that they gave me the job just to shut me up!

CBN: We have seen Doc in all eras. Where will we be seeing him in this new ongoing?

Chris Roberson: We first meet Doc and his crew in the first issue in 1933, not long after the debut of Doc Savage Magazine. From there, we move gradually forward through the decades, in a series of standalone adventures that gradually build into a larger tapestry. The conceit is that just because the original magazine stopped appearing in 1949, that doesn’t mean that Doc’s adventures ended. And now we’re going to see what he got up to in the years that followed.

: Any details of the first arc we can pump out of you?

Chris Roberson: Well, we’ll have Doc Savage and the fabulous five, of course, as well as Patricia Savage. There will be death rays and rocketpacks and mercy bullets and Helldivers and explosions and superscience and evil geniuses and on and on and on…

CBN: And the introductory big bad is ...?

Chris Roberson: That would be telling!

CBN: Where does a writer look to for inspiration for a character like Doc? The pulps? Past adaptations? Your own concepts?

Chris Roberson: Well, the principle inspiration is the original Doc Savage adventures written by Lester Dent, of course! That’s what made me fall in love with the character to begin with. 

CBN: Speaking of past adaptations, any Doc stories of the past favorites of your own?

Chris Roberson: My favorite is probably still MANOF BRONZE, the first Doc Savage adventure that Lester Dent wrote. And I must confess that I have a soft spot in my heart for the George Pal film, flawed as it is.11826

: What have been your greatest challenges in writing a character like Doc?

Chris Roberson: When you’re writing a story about a super-genius hero, it’s always a challenge coming up with tricky problems for them to solve. He can’t simply punch his way out of every situation, but needs to THINK his way to a solution, as well.

CBN: What does Bilquis Evely bring to the table? Why is this artist right for this enduring hero?

Chris Roberson: I wasn’t aware of Bilquis’s work before, but as soon as I saw the character designs and sample pages she’d done for this series, I knew she was perfect for the job. She does such a fantastic job of capturing the period feel, and her figures are so expressive. What I’ve seen of the first issue so far looks amazing!

CBN: Any current or future projects you would like to discuss?

Chris Roberson: Well, I’m still writing The Shadow and Codename: Action for the good people at Dynamite. Dennis Culver and I continue to produce our digital series Edison Rex through my Monkeybrain imprint (which would likely be of interest to any Doc Savage fan). And it’s just been announced that I’ll be scripting a new Aliens series at Dark Horse, with art by Patric Reynolds. I like to keep busy!

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Chris Roberson for taking time out of his very busy schedule to answer our questions. We would also like to thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen who helped make this interview possible.

"Doc Savage" #1 hits in December!