The Savage Dragon 3
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.
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
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, ...no 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 ...red arm length gloves ?
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.