The Navy’s new ultra-secret super weapon vanished from the skies — pilot and plane eaten up by a yellow cloud a quarter of a mile long. The country’s military safety hung in the balance until the Man of Bronze uncovered the deadliest spy apparatus ever.
6 thoughts on “The Yellow Cloud”
This one did not satisfy. The mystery turns out lame and though it is a shorter novel than most, it seems to take a long time getting there. I like the guy pretending to be Monk and Doc’s explanation for why Chemistry doesn’t notice the imposter is plausible. I think this one would have been better if the Yellow Cloud had been real and not some cheap parlor trick. This one has it’s moments but isn’t great in my book.
I really enjoyed this book, but I agree it isn’t a “great” one. The ending wasn’t like “Wow, what an ending!” It was more like, “Oh, it’s over now, O.K., time to start another book.” But I thought it was a fun story with a lot of interesting things going on, even if the way they are tied together at the end is somewhat anticlimactic. I liked the quirkiness of Heck Noe, the idea of MOnk getting a face lift, and the various tricks in the “crazy house” where the story ends.
Philip Jose Farmer trashed this novel in the Apocolyptic Life biography, calling it incoherent and poorly plotted. Actually, this is a pretty well-plotted and logical novel, although by no means a classic. The fun-house hideout in which the final showdown takes place is the kind of thing you’d expect from a Harold A. Davis, although Dent is supposed toi have written this one by himself.
If this book sold well when Bantam reprinted it in the ’70s, it’s only because of the exceedingly cool Bama cover. The story itself is a buzzkill. Why Dent would introduce an idea as interesting as the yellow cloud and then do nothing with it mystifies me. I agree with Andrew above
Dynamite Bama cover. Sadly, the story is rather mundane. This novel appeared at a time when it’s clear that the editors are veering away from outright science fiction explanations for Doc’s menaces and providing simple explanations or no explanation at all. Dent, however, never explained how the Red Snow worked or the mist that Var used in The Land of Terror. But, then, maybe the Depression was wearing thin and everyone was looking elsewhere for the fantastic. This is the year, after all, when both Superman and Batman appear in print for the first time and color was being used at the Movies. This is also the year of Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. (It’s amazing what editors do to some stories. I speak with not a little bit of authority here . . . .)
I, too, came to this one with low expectations after reading Farmer’s comments. But what a surprise… it was an enjoyable story, and showing the usual Davis style. WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD!!!!!! 10
This is the first time in the Doc Savage saga that the main villian disguised himself as one of Doc’s men, to my knowledge. This made the story for me. As for being disjointed or incoherent, I can’t see where Farmer plucked that one from. The story held together extremely well, from where I stood. One minor quibble, tho…. when the yellow cloud was introduced into this yarn, swallowing an experimental army plane, Monk and Ham both steadfastly refused to believe in a phenomenon that behaved as it did, yet only two issues earlier in DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE, in THE GREEN DEATH ( Nov. 1938), Doc himself had disguised his dirigible as a cloud that behaved in a similar way! Go figure… Final rating for THE YELLOW CLOUD, 4 stars!