Jeff Deischer is a prolific author and I’ve greatly enjoyed both his non-fiction works (he wrote a wonderful chronology of Doc Savage) and his novels (mostly featuring superheroes). This time around he’s written a pastiche of Doc Savage in which Doc Brazen returns from retirement at the turn of the 21st century, bringing together a new group of aides to help him in dealing with an attack on the Brazen Institute, which is where Brazen alters criminals to be productive members of society.
This is my favorite Doc Savage pastiche of all time, bar none. It captures the feeling of a classic Savage novel while making enough tweaks to keep thing fresh. The new aides are all fun and I found Oz and Noble to be a nice updating on the Ham/Monk dynamic — to be honest, I think I might actually prefer Oz and Noble! Thankfully there are no pet pigs or monkeys around…
I remember when DC tried to update both Doc Savage and The Shadow to the modern day, with very mixed results. A lot of people think these characters only function in their original eras — but Deischer puts the lie to that theory. He proves that Savage/Brazen can work in any time period.
A masterful novel and one that I know I’ll return to in the future. Bring on more Doc Brazen!