Viewpoint: Dr. Larry Burriss, Doc Savage


Doc Savage

Every time a new Marvel Universe movie comes out, the Cybervillage lights up with debates about who is the best superhero. Well, I’m here to settle the debate: the greatest superhero ever, is Clark Savage, Jr., known to friend and foe alike as “Doc Savage.”
     First, Doc is not some mutant, accident or non-terran. Doc is human through-and through. Plus, he’s from the good ol’ U-S-of-A.
     Unlike other normal human heroes like Batman, the Phantom, the Green Hornet or even the Lone Ranger, Doc doesn’t hide his identity behind a mask. He does have a Fortress of Solitude hidden in the Arctic, but he also has an office and a listed phone number on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. I would give you the number, but I seem to have temporarily misplaced it.

     Although Doc is distantly related to many other super-heroes, about the only person you could really compare Doc to is Sherlock Holmes, a normal human who also developed his skills for the betterment of society.


So what does Doc do with his life? Well, he “rights wrongs and punishes evil-doers.”  He is a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and musician. He should be an inspiration to us all, especially since he wasn’t born a super-hero. Rather, his father assembled a team of teachers and scientists to help Doc deliberately train his mind and body, giving him great strength, endurance and an eidetic memory. He also mastered several forms of martial arts and he has an almost unlimited knowledge of the sciences.
     But Doc also has his limits, so he has a group of almost co-equal helpers, the Fabulous Five. These aren’t just glorified drivers, servants or kids; rather they are five world-renowned experts in their own fields, and complement Doc’s own tremendous abilities.
     Just like Sherlock Holmes has a biographer, John Watson, Doc has Lester Dent, who compiled reports of some 181 of Doc’s adventures. The fact these 181 stories take place over a 16-year period, from 1933 to 1949, means Doc is the busiest super-hero around, righting wrongs and punishing evil-doers nearly once a month.

Larry Burriss, a professor in Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Mass Communication and president of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame, welcomes the crowd before the induction ceremonies at the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters conference in Murfreesboro for the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

     Doc was born in 1901 and there is no record he ever died, so with his superb training and health, he is probably still alive at 120, still fighting crime and righting wrong.

Which means we can all rest easier at night, knowing that Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, is on the job.
     I’m Larry Burriss.