For those of you not yet in the know, the four issues of “Doc Unknown” follows the story of Warren Williams, who spends his night as the protector of Gate City, Doc Unknown. While each of the four issues do make up a connected mini-series, each issue tells a standalone story that can be read separately. Each of the four issues also nicely looks at a different aspects of Warren’s life with the first introducing Doc Unknown, the second showing his past, the third showing more of Warren’s life outside of costume and the final issue revealing a bigger mystery surrounding Gate City. Even with only four issues, Rangel Jr. and Cody have created such a rich mythology with a very interesting pulp hero that has enough potential for many, many more stories to come.
All that is to say that the four issues “Doc Unknown” have captured something of the forgotten essence of pulp comics. Why do I bring this up? Mostly because, oh I don’t know, we’re getting more. This article was largely conceived as to promote awareness for Rangel Jr.’s Kickstarter for a “Boss Snake” one-shot. Thankfully, the Kickstarter has already far outdone itself and has almost been 200% funded. This means that we are surely getting the “Boss Snake: Cold Blood, Cold Streets” one-shot, exploring the origins of the villain introduced in the first issue. Rangel Jr. called Boss Snake “a cross between Killer Croc and Kingpin” and that seems the fairest comparison I could think of, making him a very interesting villain to read about.
Well, now you may be wondering “if the Kickstarter got funded, why are you still making the article?” That’s because now that the “Boss Snake” one-shot got funded, a stretch goal of $5,500 was introduced that would get us another “Doc Unknown” anthology one-shot. “Doc Unknown And The Ghosts Of Gate City”, as the one-shot is titled, will feature four short stories all written by Fabien Rangel Jr. and featuring art from four different artists. The first will feature Phil Sloan and will be titled “Now I’m A Shadow” as Doc Unknown searches for a possibly haunted type writer. The second, titled “Constellations”, will feature Jim McMunn as Doc Unknown must stop a scientist from trying to raise the dead. A group of bank robbers end up awakening an ancient, subterranean evil in the third story, titled “Echo Beyond Time”, as John Broglia joins to provide the art. And, finally, “Doc Unknown” regular Ryan Cody provides the art for the final story, “The Ghost And The Time Machine”.
With still 20 days left on the Kickstarter, they are already within $300 of meeting their stretch goal for the “Doc Unknown” one-shot. So I urge you to check it out, please, because the “Doc Unknown” team have created my new favourite pulp hero and I want to see more stories with this character. And if you’re not already convinced, three of the four “Doc Unknown” stories already published are available online at comixology for less than a dollar each. That is unbelievable quality for great comics.
So please be sure to check out the “Boss Snake” Kickstarter if you’re interested in helping some great comic creators create more great comics.