Altered States: Doc Savage explores what the character of Doc Savage might be like if he was a caveman in prehistoric times. Not only that, but what if the Doc Savage of modern times (ok, the 1930s) was a prehistoric caveman. I’ve really enjoyed the Altered States specials so far, does this one stack up? Let’s take a look…
I think that writer David Avallone may have missed the whole point of the Altered States concept. Instead of placing a SMART Doc Savage in the prehistoric times or placing a neanderthal Doc Savage in modern times, he transports Doc Savage, through use of a potion, back to prehistoric times as a savage cave man, if you’ll excuse the pun. I think the book would’ve been a lot more entertaining to either see an intellectual cave man Doc Savage, or a mindless beast Doc Savage roaming around the 1930s. Instead, we got something that I don’t think worked as well as the other Altered States specials.
Artist Dave Acosta is a fantastic artist. This issue, he manages to pull off the beauty of the 1930s, and all its detail and the brutality of prehistoric times equally as well. Doc and all his gang are rendered with precision and skill, and the transitions from man to beast are pulled off with excellence. I found myself wishing that this issue was longer, so that there was more art to look at!
This title is a 50/50 shot. While the concept behind it is fantastic, the writing doesn’t do it justice. What saves the book is the beautiful art by Acosta. I recommend that you spend a couple of minutes with this book and check out a couple of pages before you decide if it’s right for you. (See a preview of the issue here below.