In the last installment, we were halfway through Millennium Productions’ original comic story The Monarch of Armageddon, written by Mark Ellis and drawn by Darryl Banks. The tale featured John Sunlight as its prime antagonist, and took place as a direct sequel to the Lester Dent pulp Doc Savage novel, The Devil Genghis.
Across the first two issues of the four-issue story, Sunlight had recovered from his near-death at the conclusion of The Devil Genghis, and had launched a multi-leveled plot to advance his cause of uniting the world under a single government, while simultaneously destroying everything and everyone close to Doc Savage. His wide-ranging manipulations included turning the Mayan Princess Monja against Doc (briefly imprisoning him in the Valley of the Vanished), taking over the operations of a pre-WWII Nazi organization, and allying himself with an ubermensch from a mysterious hidden nation called Thule.
The story continued in Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze #3, which sported a dynamic cover featuring Doc and his cousin Pat, by Brian Stelfreeze.
Sunlight first appears in this part of the story as an assault is made on Doc’s skyscraper headquarters. Not all of Doc’s team are present (he himself is still en route back to New York after his imprisonment in Hidalgo)…but Johnny, Long Tom and Pat (along with a woman the Thulian strongman Xaus had attempted to kidnap) are discussing clues toward the existence of Thule. A group of fake cops attempt to attack them and are foiled by the Empire State HQ’s defensive gimmicks, only to be followed by a second wave of attackers, who detonate explosives that knock the defenders flat.
Sunlight and Xaus then arrive, and things go further downhill.
This time the kidnapping is successful, and Sunlight also takes Pat, leaving behind the stunned Johnny and Long Tom. In the street below as they depart, Sunlight receives a message from Hidalgo, stating that Doc Savage is dead (Doc had faked his death as a means to escape). Interestingly, Sunlight seems distraught that his great enemy has seemingly met his end.
Taking the captive Pat to his yacht Thunderbolt, Sunlight muses on his relationship with Doc, and then taunts Pat (quite unwise…even tied up, Pat remains a hellion to the core).
In a rage over Pat’s defiance, Sunlight is surprised by the arrival of Doc himself (wearing diving gear similar to the outfit he sported on the cover of the pulp magazine Repel). A pitched battle erupts, in which Pat gets loose and initiates even more mayhem…but is ultimately put down by Sunlight himself. This brings the fight to a standstill, and Sunlight escapes with his captives.
Sunlight reneges on his promise to release Pat, instead tossing the body of the other kidnapped woman overboard from his escape craft — as insinuated in the pages above, she had been murdered after being questioned by the hulking Xaus.
So the stage is set for the climax…in which Doc will follow Sunlight to the semi-mythical country of Thule, and his final confrontation with his archenemy.
To be continued…