Friday, 6 November 2015

The Savage Dragon Mini Series 2 Of 3

The Savage Dragon  2 of 3
Born Again Patriot  

Synopsis  :
This issue opens in the sewers of Chicago where Dragons takes out the latest treat,  Arachnid  whom feeds on  the  remains of the people he has ensnared there. 
Before cutting back  to  "before" where we are introduced to an, as of yet nameless nurse  (  An Stevens  )  who calls Dragon, Mr Dragon. 
Considering he has no name,  and has no idea  who he is yet, he likes the  name. 
In his bed room Frank Darling is  worrying about something, something that is spiralling out of control. 
We aren't told yet what this something is though. 
Before cuting back  to Dragon  target practising  in the police precinct.
And then  we cut back  to  "now" reintroducing Superpatriot  as a cyborg,  having made a deal with  a devil.  Cyberdata,  an organisation  that originated from the pages of  Cyberforce. 
We cut to  dragon  locking the door on his new apartment and meeting  his  next door neighbour, Debbie Harris, whom  will be very important  later. 
Their conversation is cut short  by Dragons beeper  and he shows up  at a mall, where there is a hostage situation. 
The three superfreaks, our old friends, Basher,  Hellrazor and Mako,  want to trade the hostages  for Dragon. 
And they do, since Dragon wants the  hostages they obliged, by throwing them to him. 
Things  go worse from there on in.  Dragon is outmatched and barely able to hold his own.
When Superpatriot  smashes in through a wall and starts shooting  killing the super freak indiscriminately. 
Dragon, being a police officer  naturally disagrees with this and tries to stop him. 
After a viscous beating  Superpatriot is about to kill Dragon, before Alex Wylde intervenes and tells him that Dragon is a  police officer.
Which shocks Superpatriot into  babbling incoherence. 
The  bewilderment  gives Dragon just  enough time to  punch  Superpatriot's lights out 
But he is  hurt badly and losing  blood rapidly.
Dragon loses consciousness and crumples on the floor.
The comis ends with  everybody  seemingly dead. 
Things look bleak. 

To Be continued  ?

Credits :
Story\Art\ Ink\ Erik Larsen 
Letterer, Chris Eliopolous
Color, Gregory Wright and Steve Oliff
Editor, Jannie Wong.

Notes :
fFrst appearances : Arachnid, 
Debbie Harris,
Anne Stevens,
Cyborg Superpatriot. 

Deaths: Basher. 

Dragon sports a   bike  with a  gun  and wearing a pair of shades, no doubt a reference to the Terminator  in T2, which was  still hugely popular  at this time. 
The panel below that, sports a very Sin City, looking Dragon.

This is the  issue where  Dragon gets his name, a name he will keep for the remainder of the series.
this issue is  28 pages  for  1.95  again 

Review :

Issue 2  once again  opens  right in the thick off it, with  Dragon taking out a cannibalistic  man spider mutant, in  the sewers. 
This may or may not be  a  pointed attack on Marvel and Spiderman or just tongue in cheek,  poking fun, though it's a bit too barbed for that. 
For some reason or other, quite a few  of the Image founders  were  quite  vocal in their acrimony towards Marvel.  particularly,  McFarlane and Liefeld,  Larsen seemed to be more neutral on the  subject, but wasn't  above  jabbing at times.

We also find out where Dragon got his name from and at the same time introducing  burse Anne Stevens, who  once again will  play a  rather big  part  in the  coming issues. Right now she is nothing but a bit player.
We also find out that  things  are to as they may seem with Frank, as he starts to become unglued for something he did  to get Dragon on the force. 
At the second  issue  Larsen is already starting  to  lay the foundations for  long term plots 
and we are also introduced in to a staple of  The Dragon comic. 
Long term  plots will not  be dangled perpetually in front of the reader.  Some wil be played out  over a longer period of time, but they are never forgotten and they all have an end game 

We will get to  the mystery of what eats Frank as  we get there. 
Even though Debbie is introduced here, I wil have a few choice for her  later

The majority of the comic is  taken up  with a few flashbacks  and  the  battle between Dragon,  Superpatriot and  the three Vicious Circles bruisers  
The  fight it self is rather brutal  and violent, far more violent then most Marvel Comics at the  day.  

And Dragon is hopelessly  outclassed  even more so when Superpatriot barges in and starts killing indiscriminately, blowing a hole the size of a softball in  Bashers  head  and mistakes  Dragon for a Viscous Circle goon.  
But it establishes some genuine  tension  and  Dragon might be The "Great Green Hope" of Chicago, he is not  invincible. 
This introduces two  staples at once, completely random deaths that come out of nowhere.
And  death is permanent.  ( Unless it isn't ) 
Larsen never shies away from killing main characters  and the death usually sticks. 
Sometimes the character returns either from a alternate earth or different point in time but the original character is usually dead. 
The comic ends on a very bleak note  with  dozens of dead civilians,  three possibly dead Viscous Circle goons and  Dragon himself  heavily, wounded  lying in a  pool of his own blood possibly dead.  Making you wonder if  the comic is  already over, before it well and truly started.
Issue 2  is again  fully formed  with cover to cover action and giving out  dabs of  characterization and developing  plotlines. 
Unlike other Image Comics from this era, which were too busy  throwing  dozens and dozens of  new characters at you or mostly moped. 
The Savage Dragon just got on with it, helped along with Larsen's  cartoony dynamic art and Eliopolous's dynamic and  often over the top  letters  and onomatopoeia.

1 comment:

  1. I think I mentioned before that I read the original mini-series; the only SAVAGE DRAGON I've read. I do remember that man-spider bit, and at the time I took it as a little jab at Marvel, especially considering Larsen was best known at this point for drawing Spider-Man.