005 01/34 Brand of the Werewolf

Chuck Welch
January 31, 1994 - 1934 / Bantam 001-012 / baumhofer / kunstler / nanovic / novel / pulp

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Seeking to avenge his brother’s murder, Doc Savage and his daring crew become involved in a desperate hunt for the lost treasure of the pirate, Henry Morgan. Stalking them every inch of the way is the archfiend, El Rabanos, and his strange ally, the werewolf’s paw!

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Comment Archive

  1. Barry Ellis says:

    Important to the Doc Savage canon for the introduction of Pat. Otherwise a run-of-the-mill tale that disappointed me as a child because it DIDN’T feature a REAL werewolf!

  2. Andrew Salmon says:

    This one could have been better. A lot better. Sure it introduces Pat Savage to the fray and is set in Canada where I hail from, but the cover and title say WEREWOLF and there isn’t one to be found between the covers except burned into doors and various surfaces. I could not help but feel cheated though the story itself is interesting. I just wanted WEREWOLVES.

  3. Scott Kimball says:

    I agree that the werewolf thing (or lack of) was a bit dissapointing, but I thought this was a great Doc Book in every other way. A mystery that really was mysterious right up to the end… the cube; what was it, where was it? The treasure; what was it where was it? Who was behind it all? Another thing that I liked about it was that this was a north woods setting that was made, through great writing, to be as exotic as any other locale. Unlike many of the later Docs that end up in some lifeless northern town, with a bunch of boring rednecks hiding out in farm houses somewhere… the Brand Of The Werewolf is a great adventure. Action all the way, interesting characters, the introduction of Pat. How about the scene with Doc crossing the raging river on a tight rope, even cleverly evading gunfire before reaching the other side? I think this is an example of Dent’s writing at it’s best. The plot may have had a few holes, but he was at the top of his game in the writing dept. It was the rare moment when this book ever got boring or dull, unlike many of the later books where you have to slog through 40 pages before finding something interesting.

  4. jack zahl says:

    my first exposure to doc! i clearly remember in 8th grade (’74) borrowing this paper back from a classmate. i started reading with no expectations. as i read on, i got hooked on the action, gadgets, villians and characters.

    overall, would not put in in the top ten of the series, but i did go on to collect and read the whole series.

    i really liked the cube and the mystery !

  5. jack zahl says:

    my first exposure to doc! i clearly remember in 8th grade (’74) borrowing this paper back from a classmate. i started reading with no expectations. as i read on, i got hooked on the action, gadgets, villians and characters.

    overall, would not put in in the top ten of the series, but i did go on to collect and read the whole series.

    i really liked the cube and the mystery !

  6. Todd Pence says:

    A lot of Doc fans seem to be a little disappointed with this entry. This probably comes from the fact that the both the original pulp and Bantam covers, as well as the cover of the Marvel Comics adaptation, lead us to believe that an actual werewolf is going to make an appearence. The lesson here is to be careful to base your expectations of a story on cover illustrations and blurbs, which can often bear little similarity to the actual story. Once one gets past this, “Brand” emerges as another great and enjoyable Doc adventure. And how can the story that introduces Pat not be a Doc classic?

  7. Paul Cook says:

    I will say that this is one of my favorite Doc Savage novels even though the Bantam edition shows a werewolf that never appears and gives away who the bad guy is on the back cover. I’ve read this book five times and I’ve always marveled at the quality of the writing. It simply sizzles. This book is, I believe, the one Doc Bantam book that sold the most, about 200,000 copies. (Will Murray would know.) I love this book.

  8. Lee Dorrance says:

    Like the previous posters, I too was disappointed in the lack of an appearance by an actual werewolf, (although the Bantam coverwork is one of my favorites with the Lon Chaney wolf-man choking Doc). The introduction of Pat is first rate. One point however, the blurb on the back of the Bantam book states “seeking to avenge the his brother’s murder…” when in fact it was Doc’s uncle is a little misleading. OMG Doc has a brother?!?!?!?

  9. Marcus Tee says:

    Too much disappointment by all you readers. I liked this book alot. First of all the title says “*Brand* of the Werewolf” and wasn’t there a brand on doors, windows, etc?
    Nowhere in the title does it hint that actual werewolves would appear.
    I still have a hard time swallowing what a biggoted time it was. The black porter’s dialog and Tiny and Boatface, Yeesh!!!
    Other than that this was a god read. One of Dent’s better stories. Much better than some fo his later stuff…

    Marcus Tee

  10. Michael Bloom says:

    EXTRA! DOC SAVAGE GOES ON VACATION!
    IS KISSED BY PRETTY SENORITA!

    Aside from the ethnic slurs it was well-written.

    One incongruity: At one point two of Long Tom’s front teeth are knocked out by Sr. Oveja – just a few pages later Doc has Long Tom guarding Oveja, with no mention of his meting out some sort of revenge.

    Also interesting is that initially Pat comes off as a spoiled, abusive brat (with the hired help).

    Not a bad story… just not as good as the other ones that came out that year!

  11. Michael Bloom says:

    One more thing:

    This has to be the all-time misleading combo of cover painting and back-cover blurb!!

    No werewolf, no werewolf’s paw, and no dead ‘brother’ of Doc’s! Plus the blurbmeister gives away the villan’s identity.

    All that and it was still a bestselling Doc adventure.
    Arrrgh.

  12. Carlo says:

    I liked this story; there was no werewolf, but I wasn’t expecting one.  The supernatural would seem out of place in Doc Savage.  It introduced Pat, and the story just kept moving: it’s a very hard one to put down.

    My one objection is that I don’t like Long Tom actually getting beaten up.  He always seemed to be the least developed of Doc’s five, and that adds to the effect.  And what happened to his teeth? A grown man with his teeth knocked out doesn’t get them back.  This is also the only time I recall any mention of his being buck-toothed.  Was this a detail that Dent thought would add character and then just forgot?

  13. As with the majority of the posters above, I too was extremely disappointed at the lack of a werewolf in this one, especially as the Marvel adaptation, which I read first, had one. Along with this, the novel was HORRIBLE! It’s one of the very, very few Docs that I have failed to ever finish, even on subsequent attempts to re-read it. I was first drawn to Doc Savage through the Marvel Comics series in the early ’70s and have remained a staunch fan ever since. But not even my alleigance to the cause could help me overcome my antipathy to this dud! Definitely the very bottom of the barrel for me, so far!

  14. Nelio Gomes says:

    Luckily, I was warned there was no actual Werewolf running around in this one, so I knew the cover was a bit of a stretch. Regardless, the opening aboard the train (which Hispanic was with which?) was confusing, but intentionally so. And once the story got underway, the fact Doc’s family was involved gave it an added dimension as a more personal story. Doc’s detective skills, tracking ability and daring-do (particularity Chapter 10), coupled with some great atmospheric writing, provided a wholly satisfying read. The necessity of the Werewolf gimmick was not well explained (perhaps at request of the publisher?), but it provided for a catchy title and a gratuitous werewolf cover! Overall, had the story not introduced Pat Savage, it still would have been a solid yarn, Pat just makes it better!

  15. Rich M says:

    Just finished Brand Of The Werewolf! The last time I read a Doc Savage story was maybe 20 years ago (Bantam’s The Roar Devil) – so it was cool to get back to Doc & his crew after all this time. I too recall reading the Marvel Comics adaptation way back in the 1970’s (Issue #7 and #8 and then the comic was cancelled) – so was thinking there would be a werewolf in the story as well. If I recall right the werewolf was more of a Scooby Doo type villain in the comic – unmasked to be El Rabanos, I think… Anyway, this tale rocked. I liked Dent’s descriptions of the rugged Canadian wilderness around  Alex Savage’s cabin and the perpetual fog that seemed to encircle the Savage crew as the mystery evolved. I also liked that all 5 of Doc’s aids were involved as I recall other stories where you got a fair amount of Monk & Ham, but not much of the other guys…The only thing that was starting to get on my nerves was Renny’s constant “Holy Cow” utterances…It did seem to tie the whole werewolf thing up as an after thought though toward the end –  with the big recononing with the gang outside the galleon cavern.  Possibly Dent could have called the story Skeleton Galleon or something else – rather than Brand Of The Werewolf…Otherwise this read like a sweet little time capsule (racist warts and all) back to early 1934…Highly enjoyed it. Next up for me: Fear Cay.

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