Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Savage Dragon Trade paper back

The Savage Dragon Trade paper back 

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

Notes : This  trade paper back  collects, The Savage Dragon mini series  1-3
The Dragon  portion of Image issue  0. 
As well as newly inserted pages. 


But first a small detour with the  trade paper back. 
This TPB was  my second  TPB  ever,  after  the Spawn TPB. 
And my  first introduction  to  The Savage Dragon. 
I have been an on and off fan ever since,  and recently gotten back in to the character after  buying  101  issues in one go last year. 

My copy of the book is in poor state and  falling apart, which just goes to show how  often I read  this book. 
And despite it's state, it will always  have a special place in my collection. 
But that's not why I am reviewing  it. 

The  very first  Dragon  TPB is symptomatic  for  almost every  subsequent  Dragon  trade paper back and that's  that  Erik Larsen either reshuffles the pages,  adds  pages or  adds  extra non comic content. 
In this case, he does all three. 

He reshuffled the  page line up of the original  mini series. 
The book opens with dragon in the burning field for example, instead of  the splash page of him  pretty much flying at Cuttthroat in the first issue. 
And more such  reshuffling,  but  it's so extensive I cant  all cover it here.
This makes the original mini series, which were  already pretty  much a  good solid foundation, easier to read. 
And because I read this version first, for me, this is the definitive version. 
There are also  pages included  to introduce Dragon's  colleagues on the force and to show him  tackling  the superfreak problem.
The original mini series  issues were already densely packed, with  28  pages on average and they still felt  like a roller coaster ride.
The TPB  allows  the story to breath. 

But the real reason  for the  TBP to exist is  the inclusion of Larsen's  section of Image 0.
Which was a promo that ran through all  the  first issues  of the  original Image comics series. 
Long story short. all the other Image founders were chronically  late  with their  sections,
Larsen  already finished his section. 
It looked like Image  0  was never going to be released.  (  It did finally saw release, in late  93,  I believe instead on late  92.  )
And because  his  Savage Dragon story was pivotal  for the character and lead directly in to  the main series. 
He decided to include it in the  first trade paperback, instead of keeping  people waiting or in the dark. 

Since then each Dragon TPB  has always included  extra's either in the form of sketches  or scripts  or covers  and extra pages. 
Most of these extra pages have just been linking devices to make things  clear, or to make more sense out of a given scene. 
But I have the  single issues,  so  we are  going  see them  as they  were first released. 
Does this mean  the  readers of the monthly issues get  stiffed  ?
Not at  all,  the  issues, can still stand on their own. 
The trade paperback  version just strengthen the ties, add content where necessary  to  make things clearer add  background or verisimilitude that wasn't there in the original  issues. 

As  for the trade paper back it self  ?
It's essential reading for anybody   who is even remotely interested in The Savage Dragon, 
this should be your first port of call.
It introduces  the Dragon , his  ( limited)  back ground, his status  quo and sets everything up for the next  12 issues  or so .
It also includes  the  pivotal Image  0 story  which has ramifications  going all the way  up to issue  32,  but we will see that when we get there.

Next up,  issue 0. 

Addendum : I have had  computer problems since Saturday the 14th,  after a botched Windows update.  I have only now managed to get things  running again, which have  off course thrown my update schedule  for a loop.


  1. This is the trade that I mentioned I have, containing the only SAVAGE DRAGON material I've read. I had no idea it was rearranged/expanded from the original issues! Interesting.

    1. In so far I know Larsen expands all his tpb's.
      The only other tpb I have, ( A Force To Be Reckoned With ) also includes new pages, but these are few and far in between compared to the mini series tpb.

      I have played with the idea of laying out a complete overview, of how the tpb has been rearranged and expanded. Butthat would be a herculean task and I have enough comics to review as it is.