docunknowncoverAnother day and another pulp comic to review. The question is do I add this to my digital pull list or forever cast it into the pit of the despair, courtesy of my delete button?

When evil threatens the citizens of Gate City, it’s up to DOC UNKNOWN to stop them. In “Museum of Madness,” Doc must prevent the monstrous mobster, Boss Snake, from stealing an enchanted statue. Things quickly go from bad to weird in this first installment of an exciting new pulp action adventure!

I would probably say that most of my comic reading is done digitally these days, with my hard copy reading saved for graphic novels (usually indie titles) that I pick up at conventions. One of the new features that have intrigued me about my current digital reading app of choice comixology has been its submit program. This where the company has thrown open the door to indie creators everywhere so they can have the chance to put there stuff out there (provided it passes the Comixology gatekeepers). However like the other areas of the site there is an ever growing number of titles to choose from so I thought I would try to start reviewing some of these titles, rather than some of the more well known titles being released. After all if you don’t know where to find your DC/marvel titles on the app I doubt this geek from London is going to be much help from you.

So the very first title I picked up from Submit was Doc Unknown #1 aka Doc Unknown and the Museum of Madness by Fabian Rangel Jr. The only reason I heard about this title was that someone had sent me copy of the cover and a page of art over facebook (Thank you Mr Rogers). Seeing the comic looked to be based in the pulp genre, which I love, I was busy trying to order it from the comic’s website when it popped up on Comixology Submit.

The tale is a simple one, if you know your pulps. Villains raid museum for supernatural artifact, looking to unleash awesome but deadly powers on and unsuspecting world. Enter one Doc Solomon to break up the party and hopefully foil their nefarious plans.  Also let’s face it any pulp comic that has the words ‘It begins’ in the first few pages you know that things are about to take a nasty turn for the world.

The first thing that stuck me when I hit the last page was that I still knew next to nothing about this newest pulp hero on the block. I’ve had a similar feeling when reading the Black Beetle and this idea  of being throw into the deep end with a fully formed character is one some readers may struggle with. Personally, whether intentional by Rangel, or not I loved this idea as it really lends to the ‘mystery men’ vibe that comics of this genre invoke. It gave me the sense that I am reading the exploits of a character that has been at this for a while and I’m being given a peek behind the curtain of his life. I didn’t need to have a lengthy backstory or explanation of Doc ‘s abilities (which seem to just be a mix of martial arts, gadgetry and investigative skills) I knew he was the hero and I knew he was a mystery man…job done. Of course if creative team wants to expand on his character with some more background as more issue come out then that suits me fine.

As I said earlier the plot is pretty straightforward with some nice little twists towards the end, opening up some interesting arcs for the next issue. I won’t give it away but I really like the main motivation from Boss Snake, the main villain in this issue. It was not at all what I was expecting and cast Doc’s reptilian foe in very different light than when the issue opens. The final panel pretty much says it all…Doc better bring his A game for issue 2 because the baddies sure are.

The artwork provided by Ryan Cody is clean and crisp and works well for this type of genre.  Big props to Codys’ action sequences which can be difficult to pull off in comics but he makes it look easy. There’s also a nice use of a different colour palette/art style to highlight the origin of a particular character which is a nice touch. Of course art and story can be lost with poor lettering but thankfully with some solid lettering by Ed Brisson this is never an issue. By the way Fabian, Ed and Cody if you’re reading this can I say that any pulp tale which has our hero punching out a goon framed by a  lightning strike, with added sound effect is already a winner for me.


The look of Doc Unknown himself reminded of the classic  Batman Animated TV series. In fact Doc Unknown himself evoked memories of a character called the Grey Ghost in one of the episodes who was voiced by Adam West.  I was hard pressed not to hum the Gray Ghost theme whilst  reading the opening pages (after a spooky prologue) which showcase Doc  taking down some goons as it felt like I was watching the intro to the cartoon in comic form.


Overall Doc Unknown is a great read and comes highly recommended from this pulp fiend. I will be checking out more comics from the Comixology Submit program so watch this space.

Oh and if Doc unknown had a theme tune I reckon this would be it…

GS Rating: 5/5

Reviewer: Nuge

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

One comment

  1. Hey, the second issue is on Comixology now! –Fabian

%d bloggers like this: