Additions to Philip José Farmer's Chronology in Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life
by Win Scott Eckert
From March 1933 to Summer 1949, Street & Smith published 181 issues of Doc Savage Magazine, carrying the byline of Kenneth Robeson. Actually, most of the novels were written by Lester Dent, with some being contributed by Norman Danberg, Alan Hathway, and William Bogart. In Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Philip José Farmer compiled a chronology of the 181 supersagas.
This chronology merely constitutes the addition of stories and novels not included in Farmers original chronology; the two chronologies should be read together for a complete picture. A few Doc Savage pulp novels with the dates from Farmers chronology are included here in order to provide referents for the newly-included adventures.
Integrated into Farmers framework of the original pulp novels is a chronology of every other comic, short story & novel appearance of Doc Savage or his aides of which I am aware, not including the Street & Smith comics of the 1940s. I have included material that was authorized and licensed by Condé Nast Publications, Inc. Also included are appearances of Doc where he is not named as such, as in The Rocketeer comics or the science-fiction novella, Who Goes There? Fan fiction is not included. The timeline also attempts to reconcile conflicting information provided in the licensed sources and create a streamlined chronology of the life of Doctor Clark Savage, Jr.
Birth of Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks, one of Doc Savage's five assistants.
Birth of Andrew Blodgett "Monk" Mayfair, nephew of Professor George Edward Challenger, and one of Doc Savage's fabulous five.
Colonel Richard Henry Savage defeats a plot of Doctor Nikola to loose a plague upon the world (see Doom Dynasty). Colonel Savage is the adoptive father of Clark Savage, Sr.
Clark Savage, Sr., the illegitimate son of William Cecil Clayton, the sixth duke of Greystoke, is implicated in the kidnapping of his younger half-brother, the legitimate son of the sixth duke, as described by Watson and Doyle in the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Priory School. After these events, Savage and his wife Arronaxe Larsen flee England; a guilt-ridden Savage vows to dedicate his life and that of his unborn child to fighting evil. Click here for a brief article on Doc Savage's father and the Greystoke lineage.
November 12, 1901
Clark "Doc" Savage, Jr., is born on the schooner Orion in a cove off the northern tip of Andros Island, Bahamas. Doc's parents are Clark Savage, Sr. and Arronaxe Larsen. Doc's maternal grandparents are Wolf Larsen (The Sea Wolf) and Arronaxe Land, who is the daughter of Ned Land (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). As part of his training to combat crime and evil, Clark, over the years, will study various disciplines with Sherlock Holmes, Arsène Lupin, Richard Wentworth, Dr. John Thorndyke, Craig Kennedy, Kent Allard, Harry Houdini, and Tarzan.
Doc's mother is killed in Siberia. (The Asteroid Terror, DC Comics Doc Savage, Volume 2, issues 22-24.) This account differs from Farmers, which claims that Docs mother drowned in 1902.
Birth of Patricia Savage, Doc Savage's cousin.
Birth of Princess Monja FTeema in Hidalgo.
Dr. Clark Savage, Sr., and Hareton Ironcastle mount a second expedition to The Lost World discovered by Professor Challenger and Lord John Roxton.
March 31-July 1918
Escape From Loki
Doc meets his future aides, Ham Brooks, Monk Mayfair, Renny Renwick, Johnny Littlejohn, and Long Tom Roberts, in the prison camp Loki. (Novel by Philip José Farmer.)
There are three masterful articles on this topic by Christopher Carey: Farmer's Escape from Loki: A Closer Look; Loki in the Sunlight; and The Green Eyes Have It - Or Are They Blue? or Another Case of Identity Recased. Regarding Mr. Carey's proposition in the latter article that Captain Nemo, Professor Moriarty, Wolf Larsen, Baron Karl von Hessel (Escape From Loki), Baron Karl (Fortress of Solitude), and Dr. Karl Linningen (Up From Earth's Center) are all the same person, the evidence he gathers is vast. However, Moriarty's career beyond Reichenbach is well-documented, and argues against him being the same person as Wolf Larsen. (Interestingly, Wold Newton investigator Dennis Power independently discovered the Moriarty-Larsen connection and revealed that it is a father-son relationship.) Nevertheless, there is nothing to argue against Wolf Larsen being the same person as Baron von Hessel and Baron Karl. In fact, von Hessel, when revealing his age-delaying elixir to Doc, states that he was born in 1858, which is close enough to the hypothesized time-frame for the birth of Larsen to be taken as accurate. That von Hessel is actually Doc's grandfather makes the battle of wills and testing of young Clark in Escape from Loki all the more remarkable.
The Olympic Peril (Chapter 2)
After their escape from the first prison camp Loki, Doc and the boys are recaptured and placed in a second camp of the same name, but quickly escape. (DC Comics Doc Savage annual 1.)
Savage, Jr., meets his cousin, Lieutenant John "Korak" Drummond-Clayton, while flying during the Argonne operation.
Nine months after Doc Savage's escape from the prison camp Loki, a child is born to Lily Bugov, the Countess Idivzhopu. The child is raised as the son of Baron Karl von Hessel (Doc's grandfather, who will go by the moniker Baron Karl by the time of Fortress of Solitude). However, given young Clark Savage's intimate encounter with the Countess Idivzhopu in July 1918, there can be little doubt as to the true parentage of this child, who will grow up to menace the world, not to mention his own hated father, as "John Sunlight."
Wold Newton researcher Christopher Carey, in his article Loki in the Sunlight, gathers and documents an incredible amount of evidence about the Countess, von Hessel, and Doc's arch-enemy "John Sunlight." Virtually the only piece of Mr. Carey's article with which I disagree is his conclusion that John Sunlight is either Lily Bugov posing as a man, or that she underwent a sex-change operation to become Sunlight. Mr. Carey evocatively points out both Bugov's and Sunlight's unusually long fingers. Keeping in mind all the physical similarities between Bugov and Sunlight that Mr. Carey documents, as well as the behavioral differences, I am lead to a different conclusion. I believe Sunlight is Lily Bugov's son.
However, if Sunlight were born in April of 1919, he would be only eighteen years old in August of 1937 (Fortress of Solitude). This could pose a problem, in terms of his believability as a villain. On the other hand, Baron von Hessel/Baron Karl has been mentoring him in the ways of evil for those eighteen years. And Doc made a believable hero at age sixteen, just as many other Wold Newtonites started their careers early in life. There is a statement that, "He was not a young man...," but I believe this to be blatant misdirection on Lester Dent's part, in order to help Doc conceal the terrible secret of Sunlight's parentage. In short, Sunlight's age is not an insurmountable issue. (It is interesting to note that, based on textual evidence in Fortress of Solitude, Sunlight escaped from the Siberian gulag at approximately age sixteen or seventeen -- the same age at which his father escaped from a similar inescapable prison camp.)
Further, I do not believe that Farmer would have noted the sexual encounter between Clark and Lily without reason. Sunlight, like Doc, emits a strange sound in times of excitement or stress, although Sunlight's takes the form of a low, evil growl, rather than Doc's cool, exotic trilling. Sunlight's inhuman strength, derived from unspecified sources, and his incredible stamina and will power, a result of his magnificent brain, are extensively described in Fortress of Solitude. The derivation of Sunlight's formidable intelligence is easily understood once it is revealed that he is of the Moriarty lineage, as well as that of the Savages-Claytons. In my estimation, the physical similarities between Countess Idivzhopu and Sunlight, coupled with Sunlight's Savage-like strength, vocal habits, and brain power, undoubtedly point to a familial relationship, one made possible by Doc's indiscretion with the Countess.
Who Goes There?
Clark Savage, Jr., joins an Antarctic expedition as meteorologist and second-in-command (McReady, "a bronze giant of a man"; the theory that McReady is Savage was first proposed by Albert Tonik in A Doc Savage Adventure Rediscovered, published in Doc Savage Club Reader number four, 1978).
Savage and the other members of the expedition must fight for their lives when they discover a Thing (from another world). Savage does not have his M.D. yet (according to Farmer, he got his M.D. in 1926). (Classic science fiction novella by John W. Campbell, Jr., most recently published in the collection The Antarktos Cycle, Chaosium, 1999, as The Thing From Another World.)
At the Mountains of Madness
The leader of the Miskatonic University expedition to Antarctica, Professor Dyer, and Professor William Harper "Johnny" Littlejohn, one of Doc Savage's five assistants, are one and the same person, in this novel by H.P. Lovecraft. (Recently reprinted in the anthology The Antarktos Cycle, Chaosium, 1999.)
Johnny Littlejohn, one of Doc Savage's five assistants, is an archaeology professor at Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts. (Millennium Comics Doc Savage mini-series.)
The Man of Bronze
Doc Savage and his five associates begin their fight against the forces of evil. First appearance of Princess Monja. (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent, under the "house" name Kenneth Robeson.)
Although Doc is not in on this adventure, he financed the expedition, and returns to New York in time to witness its final events.
Brand of the Werewolf
First appearance of Doc's cousin, Pat Savage. (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Feathered Octopus (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
After King Kong Fell
Doc and his boys, along with The Shadow and Margo Lane, witness the aftermath of Kong's plunge from the Empire State Building (click here for more info on Margo). (Short story by Philip José Farmer.)
Doom on Thunder Island (Marvel Comics Doc Savage Magazine 1.)
A Most Singular Writ of Habeas Corpus (Marvel Comics Doc Savage Magazine 3.)
The Inferno Scheme (Marvel Comics Doc Savage Magazine 3.)
The events of Tarzan's Quest, in which Tarzan, Jane, and a few others acquire Kavuru immortality pills. After this adventure, Tarzan sends a sample to his cousin, Doc Savage, for analysis. Savage is able to synthesize the compound, after which both Tarzan and Savage have access to a supply for themselves, their families, and comrades.
The Earth Wreckers (Marvel Comics Doc Savage Magazine 5.)
Meteor Menace (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Fear Cay (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Hell Reapers (Marvel Comics Doc Savage Magazine 2.)
Death in Silver (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Python Isle (This novel by Will Murray, under the house name of Kenneth Robeson, takes place in 1934, just after Death in Silver.)
The Sea Magician (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Majii (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Conflagration Man
Doc's first teaming with The Shadow. (DC Comics Doc Savage ongoing series, issues 17 & 18, and issues 5 & 6 of DCs The Shadow Strikes!)
Spook Hole (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Jade Ogre (This novel by Will Murray takes place in Spring, 1935, after Spook Hole.)
Pat Savage: Family Blood (One issue published by Millennium Comics.)
Mid October 1935
The Vanisher (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
White Eyes (This novel by Will Murray takes place after The Midas Man, which was "some months ago" (June 1935).)
The Metal Master (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
November 1935-February 1936
The South Pole Terror (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Ghost Pirates from the Beyond (Marvel Comics Doc Savage Magazine 4.)
Curse of the Fire God (Mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics.)
Resurrection Day (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Ost (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Olympic Peril (Chapter 1) (DC Comics Doc Savage annual 1.)
Repel (Aka The Deadly Dwarf. Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Olympic Peril (Chapter 3) (DC Comics Doc Savage annual 1.)
The Sea Angel (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Golden Peril (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Living Fire Menace (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Sky Stealers (Marvel Comics Doc Savage Magazine 6.)
Devil on the Moon (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Late December 1936
The Green Death (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Whistling Wraith (A new novel by Will Murray, which takes place a few weeks after The Motion Menace (October 1936).)
The Yellow Cloud (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Boss of Terror (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Air Lord (Issues 19-21 of DC Comics Doc Savage, Volume 2.)
The Case of the Shrieking Skeletons
The Shadow and Doc Savage cross paths again. (Mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics.)
The Forgotten Realm (This new novel by Will Murray takes place in summertime, and several months after Devil on the Moon (September 1936).)
The Mountain Monster (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Tunnel Terror (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Fortress of Solitude
First appearance of villain John Sunlight. (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Flaming Falcons (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Devil Genghis
Second appearance of John Sunlight. (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Doc saves Earth from a collision with the asteroid Hermes (The Asteroid Terror, DC Comics Doc Savage, Volume 2, issues 22-24).
The Other World (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Cliff Secord finds Docs rocket pack. (Graphic novel by Dave Stevens.)
The Monarch of Armageddon
John Sunlight and Princess Monja appear in this adventure. (This mini-series written by Mark Ellis was published by Millennium Comics and takes place just after The Rocketeer.)
Hex (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Late December 1935
Doc Savage: Archenemy of Evil After receiving a telegram from Doc Savage, Sherlock Holmes, in retirement in Sussex, refers to Doc as the greatest student of detection he ever had. Holmes and Watson continue their reminiscences, remembering that they first encountered Doc's father, Savage, Sr., during the case which Watson recorded as The Adventure of the Priory School, which case unfortunately resulted in Savage, Sr.'s expedient flight from England. (Screenplay by Philip José Farmer for the second, unmade, Doc Savage feature film. Although Farmer's screenplay dates these events during Christmastime, 1936, this does not fit into Farmer's own Chronology from Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. Finding an available slot in Rick Lai's Chronology of Bronze, I have placed these events during Christmastime, 1935.)
The Flying Goblin (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Doc Savage fights against the evil villain Doctor Nikola, who somehow had found access to the Kavuru-Siliphium life-extension elixir. Nikola is killed at the conclusion of the adventure. (Mini-series published by Millennium Comics.)
The Purple Dragon (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Devils of the Deep (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Awful Egg (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Crimson Plague (Marvel Comics Doc Savage Magazine 8.)
The Golden Man (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Rustling Death (Original pulp novel by Alan Hathway.)
The Mayan Mutations (Marvel Comics Doc Savage Magazine 7.)
The Laugh of Death (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
Se-Pah-Poo (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Discord Makers (prologue) (DC Comics Doc Savage, Volume 2, issue 1, pp. 1-8.)
The Screaming Man (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Red Spider (This adventure by Lester Dent was not included in Farmer's original chronology.)
Marriage of Pat Savage and Rex Hazzard.
Up From Earth's Center (Original pulp novel by Lester Dent.)
The Frightened Fish (In this new novel by Will Murray, Japan surrendered over three years ago. It is a sequel to The Red Spider, which was almost a year ago, and The Screaming Man, which was over three years ago.)
Doc Savage secretly marries Mayan Princess Monja F'Teema.
Birth of Rex Hazzard, Jr., son of Captain Rex Hazzard and Pat Savage.
Flight Into Fear (This new novel by Will Murray is a sequel to The Red Spider.)
Miles Morgenthal kidnaps Long Tom and subjects him to mind-control gas, causing him to betray Doc (The Mind Molder and The Heritage of Doc Savage).
The Heritage of Doc Savage
Doc, battling Heinz Wessel, disappears into an alien transporter and is thought dead by his aides. Monja and the unborn Clark III go to Hidalgo. (Issue 1 of the Doc Savage mini-series published by DC Comics. The August 1945 date is incorrect.)
Birth of Clark Savage III. Rumors spread that Monja died in childbirth.
Doc's aides hire Beau Faulkner's father to impersonate Doc. The charade doesnt last long, and Docs "retirement" is announced to the world. Only Docs aides know that he is really dead (which, in fact, he really isnt).
For unknown reasons, Monja sends baby Clark III to New York, and Doc's aides, believing the reports of Monjas death, raise him.
Docs aides run out of Kavuru age-delaying elixir (see Farmer's Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, p. 39) and begin to age normally. The elixir, first administered in 1933, has bought them an extra 25 years of life.
The Heritage of Doc Savage
Death of Clark III. (Issue 2, pp. 1-10 of the Doc Savage mini-series published by DC Comics.)
Birth of Clark "Chip" Savage IV, grandson of Doc Savage.
Birth of Pam Hazzard, granddaughter of Pat Savage and Captain Rex Hazzard.
The second Prince Zarkon adventure, in which Zarkon visits the Cobalt Club and consults with fellow member Ham Brooks.
The Volcano Ogre
In Prince Zarkon's third adventure, he again goes to the Cobalt Club, where he meets with Col. John "Renny" Renwick.
Patricia Savage Hazzard (cousin of Doc Savage), who married pulp hero Captain Rex Hazzard, makes a cameo appearance in the fourth Prince Zarkon adventure.
Horror Wears Blue
Prince Zarkon and his Omega Crew, in London, briefly encounter Doc Savage's aide Monk Mayfair.
Would-be adventure hero Jake Speed refers to Doc Savage, commenting on his retirement.
The Heritage of Doc Savage
Doc returns in the alien transporter and defeats Wessels scheme. In addition to Ham, Monk, Renny, and Johnny, the team now includes new members Shoshonna Gold and Beau Faulkner. (Issue 2, pp. 11-27, issue 3, and issue 4, pp. 1-26, of the Doc Savage mini-series published by DC Comics.)
The Heritage of Doc Savage (epilogue)
Doc belatedly realizes that Long Tom betrayed him back in 1949, and forgives him. (Issue 4, pp. 26-27, of the Doc Savage mini-series published by DC Comics.)
For most of 1988, Doc retrains himself and trains his new aides. With Docs return, his aides and family once again have access to the life-extension elixir, which actually begins to slowly reverse the aging process in Ham, Monk, Johnny, and Renny.
The Discord Makers (Issues 1-6 of DC Comics Doc Savage, Volume 2.)
The Mind Molder
Doc and his team relocate from the Fortress of Solitude back to the Empire State Building. Long Tom is cleared and rejoins the team. Doc and the team also find and rescue Pat, who has been held captive for many months. Presumably, both Pat and Long Tom begin taking the life-extension elixir. Chip Savage leaves and Pam Hazzard, granddaughter of Pat Savage, joins the team. Anton Ivanovich, formerly a Colonel in the Soviet Army, also joins the team. (Issues 7-8 of DC Comics Doc Savage, Volume 2.)
The Golden God
Doc finds Monja still alive in Hidalgo. Tragically, she is killed. (Issues 9-10 of DC Comics Doc Savage, Volume 2.)
John Sunlight is resurrected. (Issues 11-14 of DC Comics Doc Savage, Volume 2.)
The Sea Baron (Issues 15-16 of DC Comics Doc Savage, Volume 2.)
The Asteroid Terror
Chip Savage returns. Flashbacks to June-July 1908 and October 1937. (Issues 22-24 of DC Comics Doc Savage, Volume 2.)
Now please read Arthur C. Sippo's Further Thoughts on the Doc Savage Chronology