Monday, 4 January 2016

The Savage Dragon 3

The Savage Dragon 3 

Summary :
The issue opens with Peter Klaptin, about to make his first public appearance after losing his  trademark hair in a fire.  But when the assistant producer comes to  get him he is gone.
Dart is out on her own, trying to hold back a jailbreak and she is  quickly  assisted by  Star without hair.
But they  have no powers  and are soon overwhelmed untill Mighty Man comes to save the day !
Well them at least.  

Dragon returns to Chicago and visits Dart in the hospital.
Things go swimmingly, Dart and Dragon antagonise each other  and Dragon is oddly incredulous about Mighty Man returning.
The Vicious Circle puts the pressure on Frank and  despite  Dragon asking a few pointed questions, Frank claims there is nothing wrong. 
It also turns out that Debbie's mother had a  half hour long talk with Arnold Dimple, before he came over  and accidentally shot Debbie 
And then The Fiend attacks, but it turns out his bite is worse then his bark  as he gets shot down after barely hurting Dragon. 
He changes back in to Charley Macarthur from  accounting, but The Fiend is gone.  warning them he will be back.
In DeKalb the police has finally shown up.  

Notes :
First time we see Star without his hair.
First time we see Peter Klaptin. 
First time we suspect a connection between Star and Klaptin
First full appearance of the new Mighty Man. 
First appearance of The Fiend

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


Issue  3 is an issue of many  firsts.
It introduces  The Fiend.
It lays down the foundation of how many future Dragon issues will work, with rapid  cuts.   
And its also the  first  issue that  actually feels like an actual Dragon comic.  

Issue 1  felt more like  an issue four, an extension of Image zero and dealing with the fallout of Debbie's murder.
It worked well enough as that, but it failed  as an issue 1. Or as an  introduction to Dragon who was wildly out of character and unlikable as a result.
Speaking of Debbie's death,  issue 3  makes it clear that Arnold Dimple, Debbie's ex and accidental shooter, had a long conversation with Mrs Harris.
Whatever was said. she may have had a hand in  the accidental death of her own  daughter.
Let's think about that for a bit.
Issue  2  worked  as a Dragon issue, but  it was part  of a crossover. 
And included 2 short stories, in a 52  page comic.
Issue 3 is the first one that stands on it's own. 
It is also the second part of a mini arc that  will end in issue 6. 
And it works pretty well.  

This issue also lays down the foundation of every future Savage Dragon issue.
Striking a balance between ongoing sub plots, new subplots and the rotating supporting cast.
There are always at  least 3 to 4 stories going on which intercut each other.
Sometimes  there are just minutes between pages, other times it's days or weeks.
It can be a bit disorientating at times, but it's never unclear for long.

Dragon is off course still the main character, but the comic isn't solely his party anymore. 
Larsen  keeps on  world building and putting his  team together.
With Dart and Star, dealing with a jail break, while Dragon is out of  town. 
We also get to see the mystery such as it is, around Peter Klaptin.  ( Who doesn't at all look like Peter Parker the way Larsen drew him ! ) and the now hairless Star.
And Klaptin just happens to be away, just as Star goes in to action.
The jailbreak  is mostly used  to  show us what Dart is capable off, after she was introduced in issue 2. We haven't see much off her so far until now. She and Star manage to hold their own, which is lampshaded in the comic book itself. Bodycount wonders why  they are even slowing the jailbreak down.
But the real  reason  for the jailbreak is to re introduce, the superman analogue of the Dragon comics. 

Mighty Man, don't laugh.
He swoops in and saves the day,  ...I told you not to laugh. 
Well more or less, he takes out a few superfreaks and hauls Dart and Star's asses out of the fire.  ( And in a very  90's  move, we get a shot of Dart's ass. )
When Dragon finally returns to his own comic, the Frank subplot gets some more  forward momentum, but not a whole lot is done with it yet.
This plot will  be sorted out before long though, before it wears out it's welcome.  

Dragons incredulity when hearing from Dart that Mighty Man is still alive is a bit, ...odd to say the least. 
He was out in New York, fighting  stone gargoyles along side talking turtles and he is a  green skinned, super strong bullet proof  cop with a fin on his head, in a city inundated with super powered miscreants.  
You'd think in that setup he'd be more lenient about the possibility that Mighty Man is still alive. 
But at least Dart gets some characterisation out of this issue. 
She and Dragon won't be getting a long very much in future issues.
So far her personality is  ..prickly. 

And then we have The Fiend. A character that seems to have a personal grudge against Dragon and is fuelled by hate. Able to hope from person to  person and capable of  using their hate to become more and more powerful. 
This is a an  interesting concept  for  an  antagonist  and it's a character that will continue to bedevil  Dragon for at least  2 and a half years, well in to the mid 30's.
It's a bit of a shame then that  he looks absolutely ridiculous  right here. 
Green pants, black shoes, long flowing silver hair, naked upper body   and  arm length gloves ?
...Okay then. 
Larsen at least  redesigns The Fiends appearance next time we see him.  

This issue is packed, my review is already long enough as it is and I only touched on what amounts to maybe half the comic 
And future issues will be just as packed as this one .
After a great start  with the mini series and then a bit of a rough start, after issue 0  where the comic tries to  find its footing. The Savage Dragon 3 is the actual first issue,  and it's a great, if  gruesome start.

This issue also has another back up comic,  This wont be reviewed as of yet.
The back up comics will be rounded up later on  and  reviewed  after issue 10. 


  1. I know you said Klaptin looks like Peter Parker (or doesn't, wink-wink), but from that shot of him you provided, my first thought was Harry Osborn for some reason. Maybe it's the color of his hair.

    I know SAVAGE DRAGON takes place in real time... do we know how old Dragon is supposed to be at this point? I assume that's part of the mystery but I was curious if it was ever retroactively established later. I assume he must age slower than most if he was still running around as powerful as ever until just recently.

    1. Uh maybe, but later on Klaptin really has that Peter Parker blockhead Larsen used to give him.

      As for Dragon's age. I can't really give a solid awnser, but according to the letters page Dragon is in his twenties in 1993. So let's say he is 25, that would make him 48 in issue 200.
      I know Dragon's origin. It's not an origin I agree with or care for, because its so at odds with how he has been portrayed and his personality, but it's the origin Erik chose for him

    2. Interesting. Honestly, he seems like one of those characters that doesn't really need an origin. Just have him show up with amnesia, take off running, and never look back.

    3. He was untill 2006 or 2007 or so, when Larsen revealed his origin.
      Personally I think its rather mleh and at odds with how he was portrayed.
      The whole Mrs Schwartzblatt thing was actually funnier and dropped pretty quickly once the gag was over.
      It also played with the whole non mystery and the mystery of his origin was quickly dropped from the title, if there even was one.