141f 02/42 Men of Fear

Chuck Welch
February 18, 2002 - 1942 / bama / Bantam 133-144 / clark / nanovic / novel / pulp

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What turned Doc’s tough, hard-fisted crew into quivering cowards? To find out, Doc races into a strange mystery and the bizarre secret of a foreign power!

The Bantam cover of this novel reuses a part of the artwork from the Bantam edition of “The Green Death.”

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  1. Thomas Fortenberry says:

    We are told at the opening of this tale that trouble explodes under Doc & company, and that Monk lives on danger. Heck yeah! And that’s why we love ’em.

    Another reason we love these guys is that they often pal around with none other than Pat Savage. Get the heck out the way, boys, let’s see some more Pat.

    Later on there is a scene where Monk is hit by an irrational fear — which is horrible for Pat (and us) to behold such a man as Monk scared. He is running terrified and out of control. Renny jerks him around to stop him, which we are told is tantamount to suicide. No kidding! Would anyone want to be the guy who had to stop a rampaging, addled Monk? Might as well step in front of a locomotive and stop it. (Note: Later, when Ham becomes a victim of this crazy fear, Monk is very relieved because he knows otherwise Ham would have ribbed him for life about being scared.)

    There are some other neat Renny moments in this book. Once he slaps Ham down in anger. Yeow! You know that has to hurt with those gallon jugs. At one point Renny gives some very good advice to all the underworld: When you think you are getting the best of Doc, you are at your worst. That should have been printed up as a maxim for the wall of every criminal headquarters.

    Another thing revealed in this volume is the fact that Doc employs a worldwide detective organization made up of Crime College graduates. Hmmm, not only does he capture and wipe out memories of underworld figures, but then he employs a private army of these mindaltered criminals? Don’t let the press ever get hold of this one, because it’s starting to sound like a plot by Dr. Doom or something. There might be some slight ethical issues here.

    There are a whole lot of other little moments, as usual in a Doc adventure, but some that show a rougher side than usual. Like Doc breaking a criminal’s jaw with a punch and Monk looking devilish while he tortures someone. Long Tom, in disguise, likes repeatedly slapping a criminal. Ham also is shown to be a tough dude. He punches Monk so hard in the stomach that Monk can’t breath. So these are all strong, worthy men of high adventure alongside Doc. Etc.

    Good scenes throughout though the overall mystery is not one of the best.

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