I shall have to sit down and reread the three issues so far but on first impressions Chris Roberson's interpretation of The Man of Bronze stays a fair bit more faithful to the source material than many other recent series with the character. Too faithful if honest.
The latest issue points to the big problem with trying to be loyal to the original pulp hero, with the creation of an immortality formula a man of Clark Savage's incredible intellect surely must have seen the obvious moral implications, but as with his surgery for criminals the way the ethical implications are invisible to him does not sit well in todays world. The unintended consequence of Roberson's faithful adherence to tradition is to show a character who is, frankly, terrifying in his single mindedness and inability to recognise shades of gray in the world... everything to Savage is defined in pure black or White.Â
What is intended as action adventure series actually makes forÂ genuine and understated horror. Is Roberson's Doc Savage the most disturbing character in modern comics...?
I am reading it and loving it. Prior to this series I'd just happened to be reading the old pulp stories (the reprints by Nostalgia press), and so when Dynamite announced this series I was really interested. In all honesty, I think this is the best take on the character I've ever seen in comics, and has been really enjoyable as a result. I think Roberson's hitting on some themes that are perfect for the character, if he's taken to be operating across the generations. The '30's portrayal of him is very black and white/good vs. evil -- and that's great. But today many of his actions would be called into question by a variety of groups (liberal and conservative I think). So for Roberson to explore those issues is spot on, imo.
I think what I like about it so far is how he's really capturing the complexity of the character w/o sacrificing the original tone of the pulps. It's very well done (and same with his take on the Shadow too).