Saturday, 19 December 2015

The Savage Dragon 1 Review

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.  

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

 Notes :
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, 
Mrs Harris, 
Johnny Nitro.  

Review :

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, 

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