List of Doc Savage characters

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Starting with the first Doc Savage story in 1933 and running throughout the pulp adventures a group of recurring characters appeared either as Doc's supporting cast or antagonists.

B[edit]

Brigadier General Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks[edit]

First appearance Doc Savage Magazine #1 (March 1933)
Created by Lester Dent

Ham Brooks is one of the characters referred to as the "The Fabulous Five", the primary assistants of Doc Savage, and first appears with the full name Theodore Marley Brooks.[1]

The character is presented as a Harvard educated lawyer,[2] holding the military rank of brigadier general, and known as a dandy. He is also shown as always carrying sword cane with a blade coated with a knock-out chemical.

He is also shown to love fighting with his friend "Monk" Mayfair. This began during World War I, when a practical joke landed Monk in a military jail. Ham had taught Monk some insulting French words, presenting them as compliments. Monk used them while speaking to a French general and got locked in the guard house. Shortly after that, Ham was framed for stealing a truckload of hams, resulting in his insulting nickname. Ham was able to defend himself, but the fact that he was never able to prove that Monk was behind this has always been a source of irritation for him.[2]

During the story "Dust of Death" an odd ape took a liking to Ham. He kept it due to its similarity to Monk. He named it Chemistry, to infuriate Monk. Monk often calls it "the what-is-it", since it looks to be either an ape, chimpanzee, gorilla or baboon, or a mixture.[3]

In other media[edit]

L[edit]

William Harper "Johnny" Littlejohn[edit]

First appearance Doc Savage Magazine #1 (March 1933)
Created by Lester Dent

William Littlejohn is one of the characters referred to as the "The Fabulous Five", the primary assistants of Doc Savage, and first appears with the full name William Harper Littlejohn.[1]

The character is presented as geologist and archaeologist and referred to as "Professor". Physically he is described as tall, extremely thin, with black hair and a large nose°, and wearing spectacles. In the earlier books he wore a monocle, being blind in one eye from a war injury. Later, Doc restored his full vision with an operation. Johnny still carried the monocle, now converted into a magnifying glass for use in field work.

Within the novels, it is stated that he first met Doc Savage in a prisoner of war camp during World War I. He is the only one of Doc's aides whose military rank is never mentioned. In the book Escape from Loki by Philip José Farmer, it is stated that Johnny was in Germany in a civilian capacity when the war broke out. He was arrested on not entirely falsified espionage charges.

In other media[edit]

M[edit]

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Blodgett "Monk" Mayfair[edit]

First appearance Doc Savage Magazine #1 (March 1933)
Created by Lester Dent

Monk Mayfair is one of the characters referred to as the "The Fabulous Five", the primary assistants of Doc Savage, and first appears with the full name Andrew Blodgett Mayfair.[2]

The character is presented as an industrial chemist, holding the military rank of lieutenant colonel, and physically distinct, described as resembling or in terms of a great ape.[1]

He is shown to love a good brawl, beautiful women, and needling his friend "Ham" Brooks. The latter stretching back to World War I when Monk framed Brooks for stealing hams during World War I in retaliation to Ham playing a practical joke on him.

In the story "The Phantom City", Monk purchases an odd-looking pig, described as having long legs, large floppy ears and sharp teeth, in Bustan for one qirsh. He names it Habeas Corpus in order to further infuriate Ham. The pig accompanies Monk as a pet in later novels.[4]

In other media[edit]

R[edit]

Colonel John "Renny" Renwick[edit]

First appearance Doc Savage Magazine #1 (March 1933)
Created by Lester Dent

Renny Renwick is one of the characters referred to as the "The Fabulous Five", the primary assistants of Doc Savage, and first appears with the full name John Renwick.[1]

The character is presented as a civil engineer, holding the rank of colonel, and presenting a gloomy demeanor even at his happiest. Physically he is described as massive giant of a man, with enormous fists that he likes to punch through doors.

In other media[edit]

Major Thomas J. "Long Tom" Roberts[edit]

First appearance Doc Savage Magazine #1 (March 1933)
Created by Lester Dent

Long Tom Roberts is one of the characters referred to as the "The Fabulous Five", the primary assistants of Doc Savage, and first appears with the full name Thomas J. Roberts.[1]

The character is presented as an electrical engineer,[1] holding the military rank of major, and a pilot.[3] Physically he is described as sickly-looking and awkward with a pale complexion, buck teeth, big ears, and a large forehead. This contrasts with notes in the stories that he rarely became ill and a proficient fighter.

Within the pulps, it is stated that he and Doc Savage met during World War I. The explanation of his nickname is also given as a result of an event during the war where he help to defend a small European village using an ancient cannon known as a "Long Tom".[citation needed]

In other media[edit]

S[edit]

Patricia "Pat" Savage[edit]

First appearance Doc Savage Magazine vol 2, #5 (January 1934)
Created by Lester Dent

Pat Savage is a recurring supporting character in the Doc Savage pulps outside of "The Fabulous Five".

The character is the daughter of Alex Savage,[5] Doc Savage's cousin and only close kin,[6] sharing the bronze hair color and skin tone with him as well as being strikingly beautiful. A police report describes her as, "Five feet seven, slender, nice form, tan, golden eyes, hair sort of like dark copper."[7] The stories note she's an accomplished marksman, pilot, and hand-to-hand combatant.

She is also shown to love Doc's adventures to the point of joining them on occasion. With the onset of World War II, and Doc's aids often tied up with war projects, Doc began to call on Pat's help, much like Rosie the Riveter stepped up to male roles.[8]

She carries a Colt Frontier Six-Shooter with a fanning spur as her signature weapon,[9][10] "the piece of artillery that my grandfather used to fight Indians with."[11] The gun was an important plot element in "Violent Night". In that story, a disguised Hitler thinks he's left his fingerprints on it, so Nazis keep trying to steal the gun.[12]

In "I died Yesterday", she is the main character as the story is told as a first person narrative.

She has also appeared or been mentioned in stories and novels that have been based on the pulps. These include:

In other media[edit]

John Sunlight[edit]

First appearance Doc Savage vol 12, #2 (October 1938)
Created by Lester Dent

John Sunlight is the only villain to appear in more than one issue of the Doc Savage pulps, first appearing in "Fortress of Solitude" from October 1938 and returning in "The Devil Genghis" from December of the same year.

The character is presented in some respects as Savage's opposite number, mirroring a number of his qualities. He is stronger, more intelligent, and possesses greater emotional control than ordinary people do. And in times of concentration or stress he emits a low growl subconsciously, very similar to Savage's trilling.[citation needed] He is also an idealist who seeks to end problems such as war, famine, and bigotry by bringing the world under his control.[2]

Researcher Thomas Fortenberry has proposed that John Sunlight, combined with the actions in the Doc Savage adventure "The King Maker", form the origin of the Marvel Universe supervillain Doctor Doom. Calbia is the basis of Dr. Doom's nation, Latveria, while the character of John Sunlight as an anti-Doc Savage, a twisted genius using his skills to bring world peace through personal domination, is the basis for Doom (an anti-genius opposite of Reed Richards). Dr. Doom is the answer to the dilemma posed to Doc Savage in The King Maker, what if he were to use his power to rule a nation?[citation needed][original research?]

Sunlight has also appeared in a few of the comic book adaptations of Doc Savage:

  • "The Monarch of Armageddon" by Mark Ellis and Darryl Banks, published by Millennium Publications in 1991. Set shortly after The Devil Genghis the story depicts Sunlight's systematic destruction of everything Doc holds dear. In the concluding chapter, Sunlight apparently commits suicide rather than have his life saved by Doc Savage.
  • First Wave published by DC Comics.
  • Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom published by IDW.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Dent, Lester (March 1933). "The Man of Bronze". Doc Savage Magazine (Street & Smith) 1 (1). 
  2. ^ a b c d Farmer, Philip José (1973). Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. PEI Books. 
  3. ^ a b Dent, Lester; Davis, Harold A (October 1935). "Dust of Death". Doc Savage Magazine (Street & Smith) 6 (2). 
  4. ^ Dent, Lester (December 1933). "The Phantom City". Doc Savage Magazine (Street & Smith) 2 (4). 
  5. ^ Dent, Lester (January 1934). "Brand of the Werewolf". Doc Savage Magazine (Street & Smith) 2 (5). 
  6. ^ "She [Pat] was a cousin, one of Doc's few living blood kin..." The Time Terror, Bantam edition, page 110.
  7. ^ "The Laugh of Death", Bantam edition, page 14.
  8. ^ "Doc Savage was working shorthanded... Pat was not actually a member of their organization, but she was efficient, and lately Doc had taken to pressing her into service..." "The Fiery Menace", Bantam edition, page 147.
  9. ^ "A cartridge belt was draped around her waist. From it dangled a heavy Frontier Single Action six-shooter..." "Brand of the Werewolf", Bantam edition, page 26.
  10. ^ "Patricia Savage slid off the seat onto the floorboards, opening her chic hand bag as she did so. Out of the bag came an enormous, much-worn single-action six-shooter. The gun had neither trigger nor sights, and a fanning spur had been welded onto the hammer." "Fear Cay", Bantam edition, page 29.
  11. ^ "The Hate Genius" (formerly "Violent Night"), Bantam edition, page 104.
  12. ^ Dent, Lester (January 1945). "Violent Night". Doc Savage (Street & Smith) 24 (5).