FW Team-Up: The Thing and Doc Savage

Some team-ups can't be reprinted because they feature licensed characters who've flown the coop. That's the case of Marvel Two-in-One #21 featuring the Thing and pulp hero extraordinaire Doc Savage! The dependable Siskoid and pulp fan Rob Kelly get together to discuss the issue and restore it to living memory!

Listen to the Team-Up below, or subscribe to FW Team-Up on iTunes!

Relevant images and further credits at: FW Team-Up Supplemental

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15 responses to “FW Team-Up: The Thing and Doc Savage

  1. Great episode guys! Just looking at the art, I can see the Sal Buscema comparison. Ron Wilson’s art seems to fluctuate a lot. Sometimes I think it looks more like a classic Marvel house-style look, but some of the human figures are kind of odd looking. The Thing is always fantastic looking though. And I’m with Rob, drawing Ben is a colossal pain in the neck. I’ve attempted it myself many times, and I think I only got it “right” once.

    Doc’s coloring on the interior looks…weird. I guess it’s the limitation of the time. But that just doesn’t look natural!

    Fun episode!


    1. I shall watch this, I want to know why he looks like he’s on a Tango TV ad.


      Fun show! I’ve not read many of the early issues so was surprised to hear Siskoid say Ben had many unhappy endings. By the time I was reading a couple of years later he seemed to be everybody’s friend.

  2. Thank you, gentlemen. This was a fun one. I love the concept behind this story, and how the heroes are drawn together through time by the two generations of Lightners. As was mentioned in this episode, my one disappointment is that the two teams of heroes never had time to interact with each other. After the creation of Black Sun, I could see the heroes having to retreat and regroup before charging back into action, which would have allowed for that interaction. Of course, that would have robbed the story of its bittersweet ending, where the Thing laments that he didn’t have a chance to talk with his hero. In light of that ending, I guess the fast paced nature of the story may have been intentional, rather than being an artifact of the limited page count.

    As far as team ups go, I wouldn’t mind seeing Doc Savage team up with Doctor Strange. The two would share some common interests, such as a background in medicine, but would also complement each other, with one focused on science and the other on magic. Doc Savage and Doctor Strange could encounter each other while independently searching for a thief, who has stolen several ancient artifacts of great mystical power. They would then team up to hunt the thief down, which leads to a fun romp through time, space, and perhaps even other dimensions.

  3. How about this for a team-up; Doc Savage and Hugo Danner from the “Gladiator” novel have to take on an evil mastermind, bent on creating a Reign of Supermen. In the ensuing battle, one of the villain’s cosmic devices erupts, bathing all of them with some eerie energy that projects a part of each of their essence back to the beginning of the multiverse, where another, more familiar timeline is created….Great Krypton!!!


  4. Nice episode, fellas. I’m a bit of a fan of the Doc Savage comics myself, and have the complete Marvel color series and b&w magazine as reprinted by DC a few years back (that’s something you don’t get to write very often). Of course, they don’t include Doc’s team-ups with the Thing or with Spider-man (topic of a future episode?), so it’s nice to hear your summary and review.
    By the way, Siskoid’s suggestion for a Doc Savage/John Carter team-up is not out of the realm of possibility, since Dynamite currently holds the comics license for both characters. And in the past few years, they’ve published a number of mini-series that feature team-ups between, e.g. Doc Savage, the Shadow and the Avenger, and then Tarzan and John Carter, the Shadow and the Green Hornet, and even Dejah Thoris and Red Sonja or Irene Adler or something like that.

  5. EXCELSIOR! This was a real treat, THANKS, GUYS.
    This particular issue held a significant place in my collection (memories of where and when I bought it, how I felt when meeting Doc Savage for the first time, all that.) I was never even aware of who the artist was, just that it encapsulated the “marvel feel” to me as a youngster.
    The comment about being excited about the A-list artists and including John Byrne tickled me: as a youngster I always thought “Oh NO! Not Byrne again.” I had assumed he was the guy the bring in when they need something done quickly, and he always drew weird faces.
    Of course, I don’t think that any more, any guy who is so proficient is incredible.

  6. When I think of Marvel Two-In-One, the Project: Pegasus Saga jumps out first. But I’m glad the focus of your podcast is more on lesser-known gems like this. Thanks, Siskoid!

  7. I’ve always had an anemic vein of interest in pulp characters, recognizing their heredity to super-heroes without ever connecting to them in a meaningful way. I suspect a major part of the problem is their deep connection to the interwar period. The pulps lack the charming antiquity of the Victorian Age, but carry over a lot of its unsavory mentality. As part of the Machine Age, they’re very concerned with modernity and social conflicts, but are too simplistic and prejudiced to grapple with concepts of true speculative fiction like relevant technology or informed meditation on race/gender/class/religion. As a kid, I saw them as drab, old-timey and basic. As an adult, I see them as the playground of the sort of raging Caucasoid patriarchal id with pathetic pretend super-ego quasi-philosophizing that I find detestable in the contemporary conversation. Maybe wearing a fedora was always a sign of diseased minds?

    Bringing it back to Doc Savage, here’s this impossibly competent white dude who strongly resembles the aspects of super-heroes like Batman and Superman I tend to be most critical of, without the flashy costumes, cool powers, flamboyant villains or childlike wonder. What ideals does Doc Savage represent? Who does he fight and why? I don’t know, because as much as a medium I love owes to Doc Savage, he’s not a serious participant in said art form. He was in lowbrow prose like the parts of comics everyone used to skip reading but were required by postal regulations. He starred on radio shows that were no longer broadcast after Donald Trump was born and had no afterlife on television. He was that guy your dad barely recognized from his childhood when he showed for a revival movie that bombed forty years ago. He’s all proto, no promo. I really dig those James Bama covers, and images that reference that look, but Doc Savage is a picture of a relative I never knew being recalled by a much older relative that I’m not that close to who didn’t know him that well to begin with.

    1. >Victorian Age, but carry over a lot of its unsavory mentality

      ’tis ironic you should say that. In the age of enlightenment and right through the Victorian era (and til’ about, er, maybe even the 70’s!) it was believed humanity could evolve and we would become above the smallness we seem to still be suffering today.
      That’s what Doc’ stood for, why Darwin was so exciting, why the British Empire became great… and then decided it was a waste of time… why eugenics was so popular and why Aryanism did its nasty worst in the late 30’s and 40’s. Obviously the powerful thought they should make the rules and would be the future.
      Since that time we’ve decided that even the best of us is just as rubbish as the worst and we’d better start making room for each other. Thinking we could become amazing and had some goodness in ourselves was an interesting idea, I don’t think it really was unsavoury to want it.
      We’re still trying for understanding and world harmony, but we’re doing it thru politics instead of evolution now. One day THAT might be looked at as pathetic and unsavoury too.

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