For most the name “Fortress of Solitude” refers to the secret arctic headquarters of Superman. In fact that is not at all what it refers to in this context.
In 1933, a full five years before Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 and 25 years before the Fortress of Solitude was introduced in Superman Magazine #241, the Fortress of Solitude was introduced in the pages of Doc Savage Magazine #1: The Man of Bronze.
The First mention of The Fortress of Solitude from Doc Savage #1: The Man of Bronze:
Doc Savage said slowly: “I was far away when my father died.”
He did not explain where he had been, did not mention his “Fortress of Solitude,” his rendezvous built on a rocky island deep in the arctic regions. He had been there.
It was to this spot that Doc retired periodically to brush up on the newest developments in science, psychology, medicine, engineering. This was the secret of his universal knowledge, for his periods of concentration there were long and intense.
The Fortress of Solitude had been his father’s recommendation. And no one on earth knew the location of the retreat. Once there, nothing could interrupt Doc’s studies and experiments.
Dr. Clark Savage, Jr. was a scientist, a surgeon, a musician, and a crime fighter. He was raised from birth by his father to battle evil in the world. His first case involves investigating the death of his father. His efforts are supported by a secret gold mine in the South American country of Hidalgo and aided by 5 men who he met during the first world war when they were all POWs. For more than 180 stories in the 30’s and 40’s Doc and his Famous Five battled evil all over the globe.
I discovered Doc and his friends when I was about 12-13 a little younger than the target audience of 15 when they were written in the 1930’s. I was drawn to those stories like a moth to a flame. I still read them from time to time almost 30 years later. I hope I never outgrow Doc and his adventures.