COMIC BOOKS: Batman-Doc Savage Special

Jul. 1—The Dark Knight teams up with pulp fiction's Man of Bronze in this one-shot special issue from DC Comics from several years ago.

Though big in pulp books and the subject of one fairly lame movie, Doc Savage never really took off in comics.

The character has a devoted, aging following, but Doc Savage's appeal never really caught the fancy of comic book readers. and the medium never seemed to attract enough of Savage's fans to carry the character long in comic books.

There were some semi-memorable forays. Several decades ago, Marvel had Doc Savage briefly. There was a memorable mini-series teaming Doc Savage with fellow pulp icon The Shadow.

DC tried him again by pairing him with Batman.

Everybody, from newly acquired characters to cross-overs with other companies, seems to get some panel space with Batman. Batman has shared books with the Punisher, the Hulk, Predator, Spider-Man, The Spirit, The Shadow and almost any other major comic-book character from a competing company.

So Batman meets Doc Savage.

Readers can expect the easy-to-predict battle between Batman and Savage before they make a compromise and work together. This whole issue could have devolved into predictable pap, if not for writer Brian Azzarello and artist Phil Noto. The creative team keeps the action flowing and the characters' relationship developing.