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The Most Famous Superhero You’ve Never Heard Of

His name is Clark and his father raised him to be a savior to humanity. He possesses superhuman strength and finely tuned senses. He is the world’s greatest detective, an inventor, chemist, surgeon and martial artist. Villains the world over want him dead, but through his intelligence, strength, wealth (of course), cunning and technological prowess he’s always able to defeat them – all while staying faithful to a personal edict to spare all lives.

No, he’s not a mash-up of Superman and Batman; rather, he’s Clark (Doc) Savage, Jr, a character created in 1933 by publisher Harry W. Ralston and editor John L. Nanovic, with further contributions from Lester Dent, the writer most often associated with the character. (Most stories originally appeared under the pseudonym Kenneth Robeson, a house name used by Ralston's Street & Smith company to disguise authorship of pulp tales; it allowed the company to advertise other series as coming from "the creator of Doc Savage," even when they were in fact written by others.) And he actually served as inspiration for Superman and Batman.

Doc Savage’s height of popularity was during the chaos of the Depression and World War II. He also experienced a brief resurgence through reprints of the original novels during the Vietnam era, and the covers illustrated here are from that time in the mid-1960's. Look at the prices!

To many, he is the greatest superhero to ever appear, the source of hundreds of iterations – first in “pulps,” later in comics, radio, television and film. However, today he’s largely forgotten; at best, his name sparks vague recognition or recollection. One conspicuous exception was in 1975, when low-budget producer George Pal made the box-office bomb Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. Since then, Doc has been dormant, but in 2019, Hollywood will try again, this time offering up Dwayne Johnson as Doc. I won't get my hopes up.

More on Doc Savage - and there is a lot to take in - may be found here, here, and here.


From your title, I am guessing the Neatorama demographic is assumed to be under 50.
Part of what killed the movie was Pal's "high camp" approach in (a la the Batman TV series). It also premiered in June 1975, the same time Jaws was released. Jaws pretty much buried every other movie that year.
By the way, if you're going to lift someone else's title, maybe you shouldn't link the article.
https://theconversation.com/meet-doc-savage-the-most-famous-superhero-youve-never-heard-of-47745
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Doc Savage is not a super hero. He may fight evil, but he doesn't qualify as one. Super heroes use code names ("Doc" is a nickname, not a code name like "Bronze Guy"), they also wear costumes. Doc wears quite normal clothing.
Everyone says he influenced super heroes. He did. So if he did, how can he also logically be a super hero? Also, he is not forgotten. Will Murray has written several new Doc Savage novels.
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Super heros have costumes. Fighting evil isn't enough to qualify. Lots of people, real or imaginary, fight evil. Super human abilities aren't enough, either. Batman has none, Green Arrow has none, but they are both super heroes. Why? Costume + fighting evil + use of code name.
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Thor Odinson isn't a super hero, either. He's the Norse god of thunder. Those are his everyday clothes and Thor isn't a code name. It's his read name.
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