HABEAS CORPUS

Real Name: Habeas Corpus (see comments)

Identity/Class: Arabian pig (exact species unrevealed);
    Active in the 1930s;

Occupation: Pet

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Andrew Blodgett "Monk" Mayfair (owner);
   
Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks, William Harper "Johnny" Littlejohn, John "Renny" Renwick, Thomas J. "Long Tom" Roberts, Doctor Clark Savage, Patricia "Pat" Savage

Enemies: Inca in Gray (General Fernanez Vigo)'s agents, Craig "Masher" Miller, Mohallet;
   
antagonistic towards
Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks, Chemistry (see comments)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Monk Mayfair's penthouse apartment, Wall Street, Manhattan, New York City;
   formerly Bustan, Arabian Peninsula

First Appearance: (Literary) Doc Savage Magazine#10: The Phantom City (Street&Smith, December 1933);
    (Marvel) Doc Savage Magazine#2 (October 1975)

Powers/Abilities: A small but smart razorback pig of indeterminate species, Habeas has been trained like to a dog to perform a number of tricks, including attacking on command (his own name), targeting specific areas ("off the cuff" tells him to target pant legs), or the nearest human ("Bite him"). He has also been taught to chew through ropes and other bindings. His teeth are strong enough to chew through wire, and he has sharp tusks which can gouge a target painfully. His long legs permit him to run like a dog, and he can track by scent better than a bloodhound.

Length: 14" (by approximation)
Shoulder height: 10"
(by approximation)
Weight: 6 lbs.
(by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
(see comments)
Fur: None (see comments)

History:
(
Doc Savage Magazine#10: The Phantom City (fb) - BTS) - The pig later dubbed Habeas Corpus lived in the city of Bustan on the edge of the Rub' al Khali desert in the Arabian Peninsula until he encountered Andrew Blodgett "Monk" Mayfair, a visiting adventurer who was part of Doc Savage's retinue. Having long tormented his friend Theodore Marley Brooks with the nickname "Ham" (see comments), Monk took an instant liking to the feisty animal and purchased him from his Arab owner for one qirsh (around four American cents). Monk claimed the Arab told him the pig had become troublesome as it taken to going out into the desert to catch hyenas, then dragged their carcasses back to his owner's house; the veracity of this is questionable, not least because of the lack of hyenas in the Arabian desert.

(Doc Savage Magazine#10: The Phantom City) - Since Ham was a lawyer, Monk named his new pet Habeas Corpus to further increase the insult, then he introduced the animal to his friends. It subsequently helped them defeat their current foe, Mohallet, being used as a carrier to spread itching powder Monk created to Mohallet's men.

(various intervening novels) - Monk trained Habeas Corpus to chew holes in Ham's tailored suits. One of the other associates of Doc taught Habeas to bite the nearest person when told "bite him"; since outside of missions this nearest person was often Monk, Ham and the others often issued the command when Monk was being annoying. Monk also began using his excellent ventriloquist skills to sometimes make it appear like Habeas could speak English, allowing him to impress women, insult Ham and confuse enemies on differing occasions.

(Doc Savage Magazine#32: Dust of Death) - On a mission to the South American nation of Santa Amoza, Ham, Monk and Habeas Corpus were stranded in the jungle following a plane crash. Separated from his associates, Ham encountered an ape that resembled Monk, and when Habeas wandered into the same clearing, the pig immediately stopped warily upon sighting the ape, who took a similar obvious dislike at the shoat, snatching up a stick and striking it. As Habeas fled squealing with the ape in pursuit, Ham immediately decided to keep the ape as a pet, both to annoy Monk and to give Habeas something else to think about other than devouring Ham's suits. As the ape ambled back into the clearing, Ham dubbed the creature Chemistry, a reference to Monk's profession as a world-renowned scientific chemist.

    Monk was as unimpressed with this as Ham had hoped once the two men were reunited, and even less so when he witnessed how Chemistry and Habeas interacted; after his initial attacking of Habeas with a stick, Chemistry subsequently liked to grab up the protesting porker and hold him like a pet, behavior Habeas seemed to dislike even more than being struck. Subsequently, Ham and Monk were captured by natives, who were being manipulated by the Inca in Grey's agents. Still free, Habeas made a nuisance of himself until he was cornered after fleeing into the hut where Monk and Ham were tied up. The Inca's agents were about to kill the pig when Chemistry snatched Habeas up protectively; seeing their sacred ape's actions, the natives intervened, making it clear to the outnumbered agents that they would not permit the pig to be harmed. Begrudgingly, Monk accepted that Chemistry had saved Habeas' life; Habeas showed his gratitude by biting Chemistry, then had to flee into the jungle to evade the ape's renewed wrath.

   After Doc Savage and the rest of his team came to their fellows' rescue and the Inca in Gray was unmasked and defeated, the tribal chieftain gifted Chemistry to Ham, who took him back to the United States, thus ensuring the two animals' feud would continue.

(Doc Savage Magazine#3/2 (fb) - BTS) - Spring 1933. When Ham made the mistake of sleeping over in Monk's Wall Street lab/apartment rather than going back to his own apartment for the night, Habeas stole the lawyer's new suit (probably at Monk's urging) to use to make a nest in his cot for the night. Monk added a perfume he had concocted designed to make the material smell nice for Habeas, and, not coincidentally, smell terrible to Ham for when he inevitably tracked down his missing clothing. The next morning when Ham awoke to find his suit missing, he immediately correctly assumed Monk was involved somehow and confronted the chemist in Monk's quarters. When Monk feigned ignorance about the missing suit, Ham challenged him to a sword duel.

(Doc Savage Magazine#3/2) - Habeas Corpus relaxed on his new bedding in his cot in the corner of Monk's lab while Ham and Monk dueled. Eventually Monk admitted what had happened to Ham's suit, claiming that it had only been taken because Habeas had been cold during the night. Ham struggled trying to get his suit free from under the uncooperative Habeas, prompting the lawyer to inform the "Arabian runt-hog" that if he didn't yield in their tug-of-war, Ham would turn him into bacon. As he leaned over the cot, Monk seized the opportunity to swipe Ham across the butt with his sword, slicing a hole in the derriere of Ham's expensive pajamas, and causing him to straighten up in shock, finally pulling the suit out from under Habeas. 

    Before Ham could change clothes, Monk's secretary Marla arrived, as did a visitor, Veronica Curtis. Ham tried to hide his...embarrassment... while simultaneously trying to outdo Monk in charming the two ladies. As this was happening, Habeas exited his cot and began inquisitively checking out the new arrivals. Seeking to impress Veronica, Monk exploited Habeas emergence by throwing his voice, making it appear as if the pig had complimented the lady. When it became clear that it had succeeded in winning Veronica's interest, Ham realized he had lost the round to Monk and left the room to get dressed.

   Veronica explained that she wanted to take Ham to meet her brother, who needed to hire a research chemist. Monk agreed, but, suspicious she might be misleading him, insisted he had to bring Habeas along, and that before they departed he would need to rub Habeas down with an ointment that would keep the pig's skin soft; in truth it was a volatile chemical catalyst, harmless in itself but which would interact with hydrochloric sulphate to produce a powerful acid capable of eating through cell walls. As Monk finished applying the "ointment," Ham returned to the room to make his farewells, offering a few final insults to Monk and making an insincere apology if he had interrupted Monk and Veronica. Monk reassured him that they had merely been speaking off the cuff, then repeated the statement "off the cuff" more loudly for Habeas' benefit. At the instruction the pig raced forward and ripped at the trouser cuff of Ham's right leg, shredding it in seconds. Shouting in anger at the pig, Ham pulled free and slammed the door as he exited.

   Heading down to the street, Monk hailed a cab, and when the driver tried to refuse to take Habeas, Monk menacingly made it clear his pig would be allowed in the vehicle. The cab dropped the trio off by the warehouse her brother's business operated out of, and Monk told Habeas to wait outside for the moment. While Habeas did as his master had instructed, Monk went inside and discovered that Veronica's "brother" was actually her boyfriend Craig "Masher" Miller, who, unknown to Veronica, was a major figure in organized crime. When Monk refused to work for him, Miller had both Monk and Veronica tied up and locked them up in the warehouse's lab.

(Doc Savage Magazine#3/2 (fb) - BTS) - After deciding he had been left waiting long enough, Habeas followed his master's scent trail into the warehouse, chewing his way through the wire coverings on the ventilation shafts to access first the warehouse and then the lab.

(Doc Savage Magazine#3/2) - Having fully expected Habeas to come looking for him, Monk had taken the opportunity to nap while waiting, and was woken by Veronica upon Habeas' arrival. After the pig rapidly chewed through the ropes restraining both captives, Monk scraped the "ointment" off Habeas' back and began mixing up some acid. Habeas wandered the lab while Monk waited for the chemical interaction to finish, but Miller walked in before the process completed itself, and pointed his gun at Monk. Keeping his head, Monk informed the gangster that the warehouse and its contents would be enough to satisfy any writ of Habeas Corpus. Hearing his name, the pig suddenly leapt for the startled Miller's left leg, catching the mobster off balance and causing him to fall and drop his gun. Monk immediately pounced on Miller and was in the middle of beating him into submission when Miller's criminal rival Gunner Caccone crashed the party, smashing a car in through the warehouse wall and opening fire with Tommy guns. Realizing that the gunfire was likely to strike the acid he was brewing and mix it with the lab's other volatile chemicals, Monk grabbed Veronica and leapt with her threw a window into the river, just before the warehouse exploded.

(Doc Savage Magazine#3/2 (fb) - BTS) - Habeas also escaped the explosion and was found by the police outside the building, coughing (presumably from inhaled smoke during his escape). He was reunited with Monk by the police, and Monk checked Habeas over to ensure he was uninjured.

(Doc Savage Magazine#3/2) - Habeas watched with Monk and Veronica as the warehouse burned down, then accompanied them as they headed back to Monk's penthouse together.

(Doc Savage Magazine#5) - On June 18, 1933, Habeas accompanied Monk to Doc Savage's 86th floor apartment atop the Empire State Building in Manhattan, where the rest of Doc's friends were unpacking recently arrived shipping crates. Spotting Chemistry sitting atop one of the crates, Habeas and the ape immediately began screeching and squealing at each other, a noisy exchange egged on by Monk. Unable to reach Chemistry, Habeas settled for standing by the ape's wooden perch angrily grunting at him. Ignoring this all-too common situation, the humans moved their discussion into the quiet of the adjoining room, leaving the pets to continue their noisy dispute without an audience. After a few minutes, Doc and his associates headed out on a mission; the two animals paused their argument to watch them depart, and Monk took the opportunity to remind Habeas to be good and bite the "tailless baboon" every chance he got.

(Doc Savage Magazine#4) - On February 28, 1936, Habeas was with Monk in Doc's Empire State Building headquarters, with Monk loudly fawning over the contented pig in an unsuccessful attempt to get a rise out of Ham. The lawyer informed Monk that he and the "ridiculous swine" had already exhausted his capacity for revulsion, so continued attempts to annoy him were pointless, especially as he was about to leave for a fitting at his tailor's. Taking this as a challenge, Monk lowered Habeas to the floor and announced that if Ham was getting a new suit then he wouldn't be needing the cuffs on his old trousers. Releasing his grip on Habeas, Monk shouted an instruction to the pig to chew Ham's trousers, eliciting an excited "roink" from the animal. Reacting swiftly, Ham drew his sword from its cane sheath as he whipped around to point the blade at a confused Habeas, and angrily warned the chemist that if he didn't keep the pig away from Ham's trousers the lawyer would slice the animal into bacon. Monk reacted aggressively to this threat against his pet, but paused as Ham called his bluff and pointed the sword at his neck instead, then took the excuse of answering the suddenly ringing phone to deescalate the situation. Habeas wandered around his master's feet as Monk took the call, and watched as Ham reignited the argument by throwing a dart past Monks' face.

(Marvel Two-in-One#21) - At some point in 1936, Habeas was with Ham, Doc and Renny Renwick in Doc Savage's Empire State Building headquarters, sitting on Renny's lap and quietly enjoying being petted. This moment of quiet was interrupted by the arrival of Lucinda Lightner, who had arranged to visit Doc to discuss her husband, Thomas Lightner. However, moments after entering the room she fainted. As Doc caught her and carried her over to the couch, Renny pushed Habeas off him and stood up, informing the pig that the lady needed the couch more than it did.

(Doc Savage Magazine#6) - Habeas accompanied Monk as he bought himself a top hat and cane in an elegant Manhattan haberdashery in the hopes of impressing his new secretary, Monica, whom Monk was hoping to woo. Finishing his purchases, Monk walked with Habeas to a nearby newsstand. As Monk checked out the magazines, Habeas "groinked" aggressively at a yapping poodle. Spotting a headline about an entire town dying, Monk decided Doc needed to be alerted, and began running for the Empire State Building, thoughtlessly yanking Habeas' leash so hard that the pig became airborne as he was dragged along.

   Upon reaching Doc's headquarters to find Doc absent, Monk tried to tell everyone else his news, but Ham had only just discovered Monk's most recent practical joke at his expense, and was so irate that he tried to begin a cane duel with Monk. Habeas watched as Renny intervened, stopping them because there was someone arriving at the headquarters via the elevator. This proved to be Monica, on whom Ham immediately moved in, much to Monk's annoyance. The aides enlisted Monica in helping them scour the newspapers for more information about the slain town, while an unnoticed Habeas chewed up one of Ham's suits that he had somehow gotten hold of.

(Doc Savage Magazine#2) - Despite the cabbie's concerns about the mess a pig might make in his back seat, Habeas accompanied Monk in a cab to the Empire State Building. They arrived at the same time as Ham, and Habeas watched impassively as his master and Ham exchanged their customary insults, then accompanied them in the elevator up to Doc Savage's headquarters, where the rest of the team were waiting. A few minutes later a seemingly blind visitor, Sandy Taine, arrived to see Doc, accompanied by what appeared to be her seeing-eye dog, Caliph. As Sandy outlined the problem she was seeking Doc's help with, Caliph and Habeas warily faced off, whining and sniffing with uncertainty rather than actual hostility.

Comments: Created by Lester Dent, writing together under the Street&Smith "house name" (pseudonym) Kenneth Robeson.
    Adapted to Marvel by Doug Moench and Rico Rival
.

    Habeas corpus is Latin, with the words meaning "to have" or "to hold" and "body," respectively. It is a legal term, meaning that a person being held in custody is to be brought before the court to determine if that person is being legally detained.
--Snood

   Habeas Corpus appears in a number of Doc Savage novels after his debut in The Phantom City. However, for his profile here I've only included that "origin" story (on the assumption that it presumably still happened in the 616 Marvel universe more or less as the novel depicted, or else Monk wouldn't own him), Chemistry's origin story Dust of Death (since that too must have happened in some form for Ham to own the ape) and his Marvel appearances.

   Like his nemesis Chemistry, who is an ape but of indeterminate species, Habeas Corpus is a pig but his exact species remains unrevealed. While the Marvel comics and even the Doc Savage movie of around the same time portray him as looking like a fairly average if small domestic pig, the novels call him a razorback and make it clear he is far tougher and fiercer, closer in temperament to a wild boar than a farm animal. He is also implied to be hairier than the smooth, pink-skinned version depicted in the comics. For comparison, the images in this comments section include an illustration of Habeas taken from the original pulp novels, a sketch of Habeas done by Dave Cockrum for a proposed Doc Savage newspaper strip (not Marvel afaik, but Dave seems to be one of the few artists to actually try to match the art to the description the novels give for Habeas, which say he has dog-like legs and long, almost wing-like ears), and finally a picture of the pig used in the Doc Savage movie. 
    In Marvel's Doc Savage Magazine#2 and 3 the pig's first name is misspelled "Habeus. "

    It's helpful to understand the dynamics of the relationship between Ham and his friend Monk. Brigadier General Theodore Marley Brooks and Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Blodgett Mayfair met during the Great War (World War I). Despite genuinely being friends, willing to lay down their lives for one another, their outward relationship is almost unremittingly antagonistic, stemming in large part from practical jokes they played on one another back during that conflict. Mayfair gained the nickname Monk because of his apelike appearance - long simian arms, thick red body hair and a sloping almost Neanderthal-brow. For a joke, Brooks taught Monk some "compliments" in French to say to a visiting French general, which got Monk promptly thrown in the guardhouse for several days. Less than a week after Monk was released, a shipment of hams was stolen from the supplies. At the scene of the crime investigators found Marley's billfold with his private papers inside, and when Marley's quarters were searched as a result, the missing pork was found there. A sharp lawyer, Marley eventually cleared himself of the resultant charges, but not before news of the incident spread across the army. Everyone had a good laugh at Marley's expense, and he gained the nickname Ham as a result, a cognomen he did not appreciate. Though he (rightly) suspected Monk of stealing the hams and planting the evidence, Ham was never able to prove it. So Monk taking on a pig for a pet and naming it Habeas Corpus as a nod to Ham's profession was a way to constantly remind Ham of this humiliation. And when serendipity gave Ham a chance to return the favor by getting himself a pet ape that resembled Monk and naming it Chemistry as a nod to Monk's profession, there was no way to pass Ham was going to pass it up. Though Chemistry is antagonistic towards Habeas Corpus, and both Habeas and Monk are antagonistic towards Chemistry in turn, they are all still on the same side when push comes to shove, willing to risk themselves to protect the others should the need arise.

    This profile was completed 05/09/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Habeas Corpus has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)

Doc Savage Magazine#5, p21, pan2 (main image)
Doc Savage Magazine#4, p5, pan3 (Habeas with Monk)
Doc Savage Magazine#5, p31, pan1 (with Chemistry)
Doc Savage Magazine#3/2, p10, pan5 (ripping Ham's trousers)
Marvel Two-In-One I#21, p1, pan2 (Habeas in color, sitting on Renny)
Marvel Two-In-One I#21, p3, pan9 (Habeas in color, side view)
Image taken from unknown Doc Savage novel (original Habeas Corpus illustration)
Dave Cockrum design sketch for Monk Mayfair (cropped to just show Habeas Corpus)
Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze movie still (Michael Miller as Monk with unidentified pig as Habeas Corpus)


Appearances:
Doc Savage Magazine #10: The Phantom City (Street&Smith, December 1933) - Lester Dent (writer), unknown editor
Doc Savage Magazine #32: Dust of Death (Street&Smith, October 1935) - Harold A. Davis and Lester Dent (writers), Paul Orban (art), unknown editor
Doc Savage Magazine#3/2 (January 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Rico Rival (art), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Doc Savage Magazine#4 (April 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Marie Severin (pencils p1-8), Tony DeZuniga (inks p1-8, art for rest of story), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Doc Savage Magazine#5 (July 1976)
- Doug Moench (writer), Tony DeZuniga (art), John Warner (editor)
Doc Savage Magazine#6 (October 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Tony DeZuniga (art), John Warner (editor)
Marvel Two-In-One I#21 (November 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Ron Wilson (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)


First Posted: 09/01/2021
Last updated:
05/09/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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