Doc Savage is a fictional character, one of the most enduring pulp heroes of the 1930s. Savage was created by Lester Dent, who wrote most of the 181 short novels in the series, which ran from 1933 to 1949, published by Condé Nast Publications. The "house name" of the author was Kenneth Robeson.
Doc Savage, who is really Doctor Clark Savage, Jr., but is known as "the Man of Bronze", is a surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, and explorer. He was physically and mentally trained almost from birth by his father to near-superhuman abilities, giving him great strength and endurance, a photographic memory, many fighting skills, and vast knowledge of the sciences. "He rights wrongs and punishes evildoers."
He resides on the top floor of a New York city skyscraper, implicitly the Empire State Building, and owns a fleet of cars, trucks, aircraft, and boats. He sometimes retreats to the Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic. All of this is paid for with gold from a South American mine the natives gave his father and his father left to him.
Some of the gadgets described in the series became reality, including telephone answering machines and hand-held automatic weapons.
Reprint book covers depict Doc as a muscular man with bronze skin and a crew cut with a widow's peak, often wearing a brown leather vest and partially ripped shirt. Most of the books give his height as 6' 6".
Besides his cousin Patricia "Pat" Savage, Doc's companions in his adventures (the "Fantastic Five") are:
- lawyer Brig.Gen. Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks
- industrial chemist Lt.Col. Andres Blodgett "Monk" Mayfair
- construction engineer Col. John "Renny" Renwick
- electrical engineer Maj. Thomas J. "Long Tom" Roberts
- archaeologist & geologist William Harper "Johnny" Littlejohn
Dent, the series' creator and author, did not have a high regard for his own creations. In interviews, he stated that he harbored no illusions of being a high-quality author of literature; for him, the Doc Savage series was simply a job, a way to earn a living by "churning out reams and reams of sellable crap."
Many of the stories were republished in paperbacked books in the 1960s through 1990s, first as double volumes (with two of the numbered stories in each book) and then in "omnibus" volumes of four stories each (in a numbered series). There was also a series of new novels in paperback. There is an active market for used Doc Savage stories in all formats, on eBay and elewhere. There are also dozens of fan pages on the Internet.
In his book Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Philip José Farmer lays out Savage's key role in the Wold Newton family.