Doc Savage debuted in the first issue of Doc Savage Magazine (March 1933), and the pulp magazine character had a huge influence on the comic book superhero genre. Raised by scientists hired by his father, the young Doc Savage undergoes an exercise regimen that allows him to reach the zenith of mental and physical perfection. As an adult, Doc Savage uses his keen scientific mind and great strength to help humanity.
The Punisher is one of Marvel Comics’ most iconic characters, but the lethal vigilante almost got another name.
Writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock are receiving well-deserved praise for their new horror comic book series, Wytches. However, an often overlooked aspect of the comic’s first issue is Snyder’s backmatter commentary on the inspiration for Wytches – as a child, Snyder and his friend Ryan made a game of hunting witches in the woods of Pennsylvania. Snyder writes: “When I was a boy, I used to go witch hunting in the woods across the road from my house. It was one of my favorite activities, witch hunting. I would go with my neighbor, Ryan. Together we’d head out into the woods with a Polaroid camera (mine), and two bats with nails in them (his), in search of witches hiding out there.”
Secret origins (that is, the origin stories of comic book superheroes and supervillains) are an important element of the superhero genre. These origin stories provide motivation and depth to characters. Bruce Wayne’s parents were tragically murdered in front of him when he was a boy, and now he fights crime as Batman to prevent others from suffering as he did. Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, and initially used his new superpowers selfishly, resulting in the death of his Uncle Ben; Peter learns that with great power comes great responsibility, and now fights crime as Spider-Man.