Doc Sauvage Series
Created in response to American adventure novels of the 1930's, Doc Sauvage has gone on to become one of the most enduring and widely published pulp heroes of the 1930s and 1940s.
Created by Coubertin et Couverlin, a publishing house in Lyons-sur-Mizouri, the character of Doc Sauvage was realised by Alastaire Dente, a denizen of Les Plaines. While Dente wrote most of the 190 novellas of the series, other authors assisted or wrote entirely episodes. The nom de plume used in the publication of the series was "Thibault Robespierre". The final eleven novels were commissioned after the purchase of Coubertin et Couverlin by Temps-et-Saisons and Weinhardt. These were written by Gwillim Von Sidow, and published under the pen-name of "Thibault Robespierre".
Doc Sauvage is actually Doctor Armand Sauvage, fils, sometimes called l'homme d'acier or Man of Steel, is a surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, archeologist and actor. As a child his father assembled a team of scientists and otherwise great minds to train his body and mind to near-superhuman capacity, thus endowing him with great strength, endurance, intelligence, fighting skills and a flawless photographic memory. A common cliché in the series is that Doc Sauvage "Blesses the good and punishes the wicked".
Living in the penthouse of a spacious new skyscraper in Paris-sur-Mizouri's business district, clearly meaning the Tour Creusot, Sauvage has at his disposal a fleet of cars, trucks, dirigibles, Dalmatian prototypes and boats. He will retreat at times to his tropical island of solitude of the coast of Haÿti. These lavish accoutrements are funded by his father's vast wealth in Tejan oil and gold from Central America.
Based on NALien actor Clarke Gable originally, the height and weight of the character varied over time, but hovered near 6'6" (IBify Please!). Covers by Illustrator Jacques Bama depict Doc as a muscular man, tanned, with a crew cut and a shirt ripped from his adventures.
Doc is aided by the Super Six:
- lawyer, Capitaine Remy Mayfair
- explorer, Chef de Bataillon, Antoine de Cherbourg
- electrical engineer, Sous-Chef de Bataillon Berenger "Six-Shot" Lawson
- demolitions expert, Commandant Thomas "Tommie" Aillard
- industrial chemist & femme fatale, Natalya von Breuk
- geologist Guillaume Tomadon.
Often joining them is Patricia "Pattie" Sauvage, Doc's cousin who's constantly getting into trouble and bringing the attention of the bad-guys right to the intrepid heroes. She often aids in their escape simply by her strongly feminist bent.
Sauvage's greatest foe was the evil Manchurian, Wu Fandu. It was revealed in the course of the novels that Wu Fandu was really Russian born, a child of Russian settlers. Influenced by the SNORist dogma, Wu Fandu sought to take over the world. Many of the minor novels deal with Sauvage's breaking up of minor crime rings as he seeks to track down and destroy the crime empire and eventually, Wu Fandu himself.
In early stories some of the criminals captured by Sauvage received "a delicate brain operation" to cure their criminal tendencies. The criminals returned to society fully productive and unaware of their criminal past. A non-canonical comic book series published in the 1980s states these were actually lobotomies.
Dente, the series' creator and principal author, had a mixed regard for his own creations. Though usually protective of his creations he could be derisive of his pulp output. In interviews, he stated that he harbored no illusions of being a high-quality author of literature; for him, the Doc Sauvage series was simply a job, a way to earn a living by "churning out reams and reams of sellable crap."
All of the original stories were reprinted in paperback form by Bantam Books in the 1960s through 1990s. The first 96 paperbacks reprinted one of the original novels per book. The next 15 paperbacks were "doubles", reprinting two novels each. The last of the original novels were reprinted in a numbered series of 13 "omnibus" volumes of four to five stories each. It was one of the few pulp series to be completely reprinted in paperback form. There is an active market for used Doc Savage reprints in all formats, in high-brow chains and used bookshops alike the world over. All out-of-copyright stories are available through postal relay with Bantam Books.
A Doc Sauvage movie has been announced, and is expected to start production sometime next year (2006), titled Doc Sauvage, Destroyer of Evil. Also notable is that some of the gadgets described in the series became reality, including telephone answering machines, the automatic transmission, night vision goggles, and hand-held automatic weapons.