The Savage Dragon 1 Review
The issue begins with Dragon confronting a random freak spree killer, The Shrew who has been killing people in a particular brutal fashion.
Things go evenly between Dragon and The Shrew, but he manages to get away after slashing Dragon's face.
Back at the police office Dragon and Frank have an altercation. Dragon is still the only super powered cop on the payroll and argues that its taking Frank too long to get him additional help.
Dragon narrates to himself that Frank has been acting odd lately, and can't be trusted anymore.
Dragon tries to drown his sorrows before he is harassed by some thug called Johnny Nitro
And it doesn't take long before things go from bad to worse and Dragon trashes the place and most of the people in there.
Just outside Dekalb Illinois there is the scene of a murder, suicide and a voice of an unseen person from the cellar plaintively calling for their mother.
Alex Wylde shows up at the bar after a call and she is worried about Dragon's recent recklessness and surly mood and suggests he goes to Debbie's grave.
He is met there by her grieving mother and things go as well as can be expected.
Dragon confronts The Shrew again, just after his last kill, this time with two chainsaws. The chainsaws end up not being much help after all, and Dragon proceeds to nearly beat The Shrew to death with his bare hands.
Hunched over his victims body, with blood pouring off his fists, Dragon realises what he is doing.
Later Frank sends Dragon out to abandoned underground buildings, where a couple of super powered beings are lurking.
Dragon goes, but reluctantly making his misgivings about Frank's misdirection's clear.
In the underground as it's called, Dragon is confronted by two new superfreaks. Barbaric a huge red bloke and his girlfriend Ricochet.
Barbaric attacks first and Dragon reacts in kind until Ricochet intervenes.
Dragon nearly breaks down, realising just how far gone he is.
In the talk that follows, Dragon makes amends and might be able to offer the two a job.
Story\Art\ Ink\ Erik Larsen
Letterer, Chris Eliopolous
Color, Gregory Wright and Steve Oliff
Editor, Jannie Wong.
First issue of the ongoing series, which has been running for 22 years now.
The Savage Dragon is as of this writing, at issue 212.
First appearances : The Shrew,
Well that was something wasn't it ?
It puts the "savage" back in The Savage Dragon, but does it work as an issue 1 ?
It's understandable Dragon is depressed and on edge in this issue.
Debbie's death has had a huge impact on him.
But the way he goes around with dealing it, isn't exactly stellar.
The Shrew might be a maniac killer, ( unless he isn't, as it turns out ) Dragon deals with it the wrong way. Attacking The Shrew later on in the issue and nearly beating him to death with his bare hands.
While in between trashing a bar in a bar fight.
This is not exactly the book i want to read.
The Dragon books have always been treading on a fine edge of cartoony hyper violence and semi realism, but never went in to out and out mean spirited nastiness.
It was a cartoon funny book as Larsen is fond of saying.
And this is NOT a cartoon funny book.
It's dark brooding and foreboding.
Dragon deals with his grief by nearly beating somebody to death and going around looking for fights.
Thankfully, after dealing with The Shrew, Dragon starts to realise what he is doing.
And at the end of the tussle between Barbaric and Dragon, he seems to wind down and deal with his demons and the Dragon we know appears to emerge again.
Because the Dragon we followed in this comic, isn't the Dragon I care to read about.
Those demons will continue to haunt him though.
Other then that, we get a one page recap of the mini series. A painfull scene where Dragon meets Debbie's mother at her grave. Which goes just as well as you expect it to.
And Dragon seemingly getting wise to Frank sending him all over the city, achieving nothing.
The fight between Barbaric and Dragon is contrived ...again. But they were trespassing, Dragon is a cop and both him and Barbaric overreacted.
Regardless this issue is ..odd, it feels more like issue 4 ( or 5 if you count vs Megaton man ) then an issue 1.
And that's because it is. It's a direct continuation of the mini series.
As a continuation of the mini it succeeds, but as an issue 1 it fails. This is not the Dragon I want to read about.
Imagine this issue being somebodies first ? It would turn them off the character immediately.
Thankfully, Larsen realised his mistake or just realised he had to get the fallout of issue 0 out of the way, because issue 2 is totally different.
But I'd rather read The Savage Dragon vs Megaton Man.
Dragon is still surly, angry and stressed there, but at least that comic doesn't take it self so deadly serious as this one,