Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan> Post by James Nicoll
Justice, Inc. (Avenger, book 1) Paul Ernst
Because I thought the books were by the same author who
wrote Doc Savage, I was surprised that, in the Avenger
books, Benson had allies rather than subordinates, allies
with skills he cannot duplicate2.. Whereas Doc Savage's
pals were all useful, but because Doc was always just a bit
better than any of them, he didn't really need them.
Not entirely true... I don't think it was ever said that Doc was a
better lawyer than Ham.
Also, Ron Goulart was Kenneth Robeson for some "Avenger" books written in
the 70s iirc. (Sadly, they were not written in the Ron Goulart mode, which
would be.. interesting)
When DC comics adopted The Avenger, the title JUSTICE, INC, was used,
as Marvel's THE AVENGERS had been going strong since 1963,and had the
trademark for comic books.* While Marvel had the DOC SAVAGE license,
DC had no compunction in using the Kenneth Robeson name, and Doc's too,
on the covers in a failed attempt to drum up sales. National credited
Denny O'Neil as the scripter, rather than use S&S pen-name. Michael Uslan
wrote a few issues of THE SHADOW, filling in for O'Neil. Again, "Maxwell
Grant" wasn't credited in the DC comics, but rather Denny O and, for a few
issues, including a Shadow/Avenger crossover, Michael Uslan, who went on
to produce the BATMAN film series started in 1989.
Marvel credited their own writers on Doc, from Roy Thomas to Gardner
Fox and workhorse Doug Moench, who wrote the long stories in the
black-and-white magazine version. I knew that Robeson and Grant
were house names, since I was able to buy both volumes of the
Steranko HISTORY OF COMICS in a bookstore in Chicago's Loop -
probably a Kroch's and Brentano's - on a trip there in May of `73,
for a national high school debate tournament. It had a long chapter
on the pulp heroes who prefigured their comic book counterparts,
even mentioning the likes of Campbell's Aarn Munro (The Mightiest
Machine) as a SUPERMAN precursor. Aarn, like Kal-L, was raised
on a planet with heavier gravity than Terra, Jupiter.
I had seen the Belmont Shadows and Bantam Savage reprints in local
stores before then, but didn't have enough spare cash to buy them.
The local library fed my prose jones pretty well, but the only
"pulp" it carried were SF reprints from that era, detective fiction
that was first printed in the likes of BLACK MASK, and the descendants
of the pulps in the periodical section: analog, ELLERY QUEEN's and
others that had converted to digest size.