Sunday, February 22, 2009

An Essay on Doc & The Shadow

For my English class we had to do a one page comparative essay. For some reason all my serious
ones were dropped for being far too broad.
I had 24 hours to think of a final report. My eyes fell on the Doc Savage paperback I had been reading, a desperate idea popped into my head and I ran with it. Just agumenting what was in my head with some books and websites.(I'm pretty sure I had the largest Works Cited list out of the entire class)
On this paper I got an A- for some grammeral errors and an incomplete sentence. I have not changed them for this blog.

Doc Savage Vs The Shadow
During the dark days of the Great Depression, two very different heroes began their crusades against crime and injustice. The Shadow, Master of darkness, settled mobsters’ scores with blazing automatics and a haunting, mocking laugh. Doc Savage, Man of Bronze, who was dedicated to wiping out evil through the use of science.
Both Doc Savage and The Shadow had assistants in his war. While The Shadow’s aides followed his instructions to the letter, Savage’s might disobey him. As seen in this excerpt from The Gold Ogre by Kenneth Robeson:
“Doc Savage shouted, “No Unnecessary killings!” It was his policy never to take a life if it could possibly be avoided. If Monk heard, he pretended not to, Monk not being entirely in sympathy with the bronze man’s respect for the lives of gentlemen such as Vick Francks…bullets began moving in quantities.”
Doc Savage preferred not to kill criminals, instead as he caught them, they were sent to his “Crime College” where they would be rehabilitated and “cured” of their criminal tendencies by the extreme method of brain surgery. This operation was the near equivalent of a lobotomy. As contrast, in Serpents of Siva by Maxwell Grant:
“[The Shadow’s] guns ripped from the instant the first thug entered…bullets were pounding those brass-faced walls. Crooks were dropping, with smoking guns in their fists.”
Savage operated with the full support of the government (although they knew nothing of the Crime College.) He and all of his men carried cards that guaranteed the full cooperation of any American law enforcement agency, and several foreign organizations.
While Savage did battle from the gleaming peaks of New York’s skyscrapers, The Shadow ran his crusade against crime from the darkness shaded alleyways and decrepit buildings where malevolence lurked. He had no help from the government, local or national, nor did he seek it. Unlike Savage, The Shadow did not bend the rules for justice, He broke them outright, in order in insure that the criminal learned that “Crime does not pay”
Both Doc Savage and The Shadow used a large array of gadgets. Savage’s were things that would not be invented for decades to come like, automated telephone answering machines, Bullet-proof vests, and a radar-like tracking device. While The Shadow’s were more mundane with things along the lines of mini-flashlights, grappling hooks, and magic tricks such as gunpowder flashes from his hands.
Oddly enough both made peculiar sounds. Doc Savage made a strange trilling sound whenever he was intrigued. The Shadow scorned his foes with a haunting laugh that struck fear into their dark hearts.
One man a World War One spy driven by whatever horrors he witnessed to go from being a “Black Eagle” to a living shadow, the other a muscled polymath trained from birth to be the ultimate human, driven ever onward toward the light. They are polar
opposites yet they are the same, Flip sides of the depression coin. One battling against the utter despair of today, the other looking forward to the joys of tomorrow.

Works Cited

Farmer, Philip J. (1975). Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. New York: Bantam Books.

Grant, Maxwell (2006). The Shadow: Crime, Insured. Encinitas, CA: Nostalgia Ventures.

Grant, Maxwell (2007). The Shadow: Serpents of Siva. Encinitas, CA: Nostalgia Venture.

Leary, Roman (2008). "The Evils Against Which We Strive" anthologized in Tales of the Shadowmen Vol.4. Ed. J. M. & Randy Lofficier. Encino, CA: Black Coat Press. 90-103

Robeson, Kenneth (1969). Doc Savage: The Gold Ogre. New York: Bantam Books.

Robeson, Kenneth (1982). Doc Savage: The Secret in the Sky. New York: Bantam Books.

Robeson, Kenneth (2008). Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. Encinitas, CA: Nostalgia Ventures.

Kaluta, Michael & Goss, Joel (1993). The Shadow: In the Coils of Leviathan. Canada: Dark Horse Comics.

Web Pages Cited

Lai, Rick. "Chronology of Shadows, part 1." The Wold Newton Universe. 10 Feb. 2009.

Lai, Rick. "Chronology of Shadows, part 2." The Wold Newton Universe. 10 Feb. 2009.

Sippo, Art C. "Bullet-Proof vests." Weblog post. Speculations in Bronze. 7 July 2007. 11 Feb. 2009 .

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