I started reading Doc Savage novels four years ago and since I first picked one up I've been on the hunt for a copy of the The Man of Bronze. So many of the later tales are based on the set up from this initial story that I felt like it was a must have in order to fully understand the series. In some ways I was right.
The novel sets up the foundation for how Savage is able to sustain his heroic efforts and establishes his connections with the Maya. It also provides a standard for all future efforts in the series to be measured against as Savage's talents are pushed to their limits throughout the story. This tale also begins one of my favorite traditions in the Savage line: future technology actualized.
On the whole the novel shows the early growing pains of a character that has been freshly launched and that is still fully developing. The quick writing and energetic actions scenes make up for those little hiccups that come along with early tales of any heroic figure. We're also shown what would become a regular feature of the line when Doc Savage acts as the Deus Ex Machina repeatedly throughout the story.
Still it's a good tale and an excellent introduction to a cast of characters that would set the tone for an entire generation of authors.
Four Rocking Chicks out of Five