This thread could quickly disappear, but it’s a subject I’ve wanted to talk about for a while and know there’s a one or two on here who are loyal fans to this book, so I’ve started this thread and I’ll see where it goes.
Why a full thread and not just the ongoing comics or other comics threads?
Really because a general topic before I delve into any specifics, and this might be a bit too long and sporadic for single posts.
The timing of this is pretty coincidental, I’ll explain why.
Savage Dragon has been a book long championed by Vince B on the 11 o’clock comics podcast, but in the last year or two he’s turned up the focus on it and the other co hosts have started reading it again.
I’ve been meaning to pick it up for quite some time but couldn’t find the right jumping on point, as it sounded like I missed out on a lot of good stuff.
They’ve said that Larson is giving increasingly less of a fuck and has been putting out a no holds barred anything goes book for a couple of years now - mainly due to so few readers that the controversy seems to escape the attention of the bedwetters on social media, and it goes under the radar.
I didn’t like Savage Dragon when it came out. I didn’t really like any of the Image books back then, part teen snobbery on my part.
I picked up the first omnibus a few years back, really struggled to read it. It was a lot of punching and I got about 10 issues in and sold it on eBay again.
Some serendipity recently with a lot of chat on 11 o’clock comics, bit of chat on here and a comixology sale, selling each issue for 69p, combined to make me take the leap.
I picked up a couple of random issues, read them, thought they were fantastic, and decided to go back further and I found the kind of jumping on point at 192-193 where Malcom effectively take over. So I’ve got issues 192-243 and I’ve added it to my monthly Previews order to start picking it up in singles.
Having only read a few issues I can’t go in too deep here, but a few general points then some specifics on 192, which contain spoilers.
First off, despite there being a fairly large amount of word balloons, it never feels a turgid read - it’s a really enjoyable and engrossing book which keeps you turning the pages.
Larson has a lot of messages about how to treat people and the characters feel completely 3 dimensional
There’s a helluva lot going on in each issue but it never feels too much, just really rich.
His art does change from page to page, gets tighter and looser, style varies a bit but I throughout I can’t shake the feel that there’s a mash up of Frank Miller, (Marshall Law era) Kevin Oneill and Keith Giffen in here, sometimes even Neil Adams.
Not that I’m saying Larson doesn’t have his own style, he’s been doing this a long time, it’s just what I think of as I’m reading it.
In issue 192 Dragon is effectively depowered and due to spend another 10 years in jail appealing a death sentence, the depowering being a conscious decision so that he can keep his race going with only him and 1 female of his species left to breed, and she would be unable to give birth to his kids if they were superpowered, due to the damage the baby would do, as she herself does not posses superpowers.
Malcom pretty much takes on the mantle but decides to take a softer approach to dealing with villains, much to the disdain of his stepsister who he also seems to be having intimate relations with, although I may have picked that up wrong.
I know some of the stuff that will come up in the next 50 or so issues and I’m looking forward to seeing how that unfolds here.
What I’ve also enjoyed is the letters page seems to be well used and gives the impression that although this book doesn’t sell well it has a dedicated bunch of followers.