Doc Savage: Ring of Fire #4
Publisher: Dynamite Comics © 2017
Written by: David Avallone
Art by: David Acosta
Color by: Morgan Hickman & Rebecca Nalty
Letters by: Taylor Esposito
Doc Savage’s limited Ring of Fire series comes to a conclusion here in issue #4. Doc Savage is captured by Sunlight and his Axis forces in the South Pacific. Sunlight is preparing his final attack, the target, San Francisco, California. That’s right; he will attack the United States! Meanwhile, Doc Savage is relying on Amelia Earhart and friends for back-up.
Avallone constructs a simple, fun and enjoyable little pulp war-time story here. The concept of using historical figure Amelia Earhart is of grand design. The dialogue comes off a bit silly from some of the supporting cast but of course it does, it is the 1940’s! Applause is needed for using the Japanese in this story as well and finishing the series within the Pacific. Easily, Avallone could have used or ended in Europe, given the narrative of almost every WWII story in fiction derives from Europe as the setting. Savage is of course a bad ass, always brave and honest. What Avallone accomplishes best is his use of Amelia Earhart and her conclusion in this story. I would never suspect this in a Doc Savage story, especially one from almost a century ago.
Acosta brings forth the pulpy art style and does it well. The villains are in purple of course; meanwhile our heroes are in their best, pulpy, jungle attire. Acosta draws a Doc who is muscle bound but not bulging like a 90’s comic book hero with steroids. His Doc Savage is very believable. There is a panel here and there with non-descript faces and details but Acosta makes up for this with great facial detail, well drawn hair and non-stereo typical looking Japanese soldiers. Acosta’s singing grace is the panel of Earhart in her plain with the beautiful sunrise and island below. Accompanied by the colors of Hickman & Nalty the conclusion is both sad, but poetic and warm. You can almost hear music in the background as it feels like the ending of an old WWII film.
A truly great send-off for this comic and for Amelia Earhart, it’s a shame this is not her real story. By the end, my only gripe was it all felt too short with the non-stop action near the last half and the fact the story came to a close. Let’s hope for more Doc Savage now and soon.
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