After five issues of mediocre, we finally get a story with our Man of Bronze that is actually fairly interesting and written well. The government needs Savage’s help with a mission against a threat in the Middle East that is more than they can handle alone. Doc is hesitant at first, but faced with possible criminal charges over what happened in New York and the return of a man from his past, help to convince him. In the second feature by Scott Hampton, our illustrious artist and Jason Starr, writer extraordinaire, Justice Inc. supporting character Smitty takes the spotlight which details his origin and a case he decides to take up which may or may not lead to his downfall. While the second feature of the book has always been quite fantastic since the title’s inception the first story has not been so until now. Written by Brian Azzarello and Ivan Brandon, it actually treats Doc Savage like the man he is instead of some cartoon caricature of an action-hero. It is a change that is most welcome in the book and it actually makes you want to read the first story instead of just skipping it altogether. Also aiding in this task are pencils by Nic Klein that are far superior to those of Howard Porter. Porter was good on JLA and he seems built for superheroes where he excels, but on this book his work just suffered. A vast jump in quality on this issue which made it actually nice to read. As per usual, Jason Starr and Scott Hampton do a bang up job on the second feature but are given a run for their money from the new creative team of Azzarello, Brandon and Klein.
4 out of 5