Doc Savage: The Ring of Fire (#1 – 2) – David Avallone

3 out of 5

I re-had the revelation – as my to-read pile piled up – that I shouldn’t be waiting on comics that don’t hold re-read value, even if they are entertaining.  Which cuts off some good stuff, I realize, but if it’s fleeting – if I don’t want to purposefully revisit it – then that’s a statement in and of itself, I suppose.

Which is a horrible introduction to David Avallone’s and Dave Acosta’s Doc Savage mini-series Ring of Fire, which has our titular doc investigating… well, I’m not quite sure, and maybe that’s the problem.  Amelia Earhart’s involved; some volcanoes are involved; some Doc Savage baddies are involved; and issue one has a team of reliables assembled to investigate.  Which leads to good banter, and in issue two, great action, though we start jumping between the plot-threads and I found myself losing that bit of pulp scenery-/dialogue-chewing steam that our creatives have otherwise well effected.  Issue two is capped with a reveal that’s even more invested in Savage mythology, so the lack of accessibility has convinced me to close the covers permanently.

But Avallone’s script – besides the jumping around in issue two – is very fun and to-the-point, coming across as era-appropriate without the tang of wiseguy superficiality most writers of the time period have trouble avoiding, and Dave Acosta’s clean artwork is a perfect match for pulp, especially matched with Morgan Hickman’s (this is a compliment) flat colors, which appropriately give the book sort of a newspaper vibe.

It looks like a good time and reads like a good time, but, y’know, it’s intended to be disposable – This Week On…! – entertainment, and I just can’t budget that right now.  But I’d have to believe that if you’re a Savage fan, this is a particularly winning take on your character.

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