Doc Savage is one of the most beloved pulp characters of all time. Introduced by author Lester Dent in the 1930’s, his stories spanned the course of 180 serialized issues. The character, also known as Clark Savage, Jr., was a scientist, doctor, detective, and adventurer. Importantly, Doc Savage was a polymath – a person whose knowledge expands across a broad range of subjects. Almost like Sherlock Holmes, but with the physical ability of Tarzan, the science education of Craig Kennedy, and the goodness of Abraham Lincoln. That’s how Dent, Doc Savage’s creator, introduced him, anyway.
Doc Savage appears in a variety of pulp novels: The Man of Bronze, Flight into Fear, His Apocalyptic Life, and Escape from Loki, to name a few of our favorites. There were also two Doc Savage radio series broadcast during the height of his pulp-era fame. One, a 15-minute serial that ran for 26 episodes, garnered a lot of love from fans, but no audio exists from the series. Then, in 1985, NPR aired the Adventures of Doc Savage as 13 half-hour episodes. That series was based on the writing adapted by Will Murray.
All of this is to say: If you’re interested in pulps but don’t know where to start, Doc Savage is the archetypical character. Suave, intelligent, and always getting into trouble, he embodies everything it meant to be a pulp character in the mid-20th century.