Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Savage Dragon 6

The Savage Dragon 6

This issue opens with  6 panels representing  TV screens and the news, discussing The Shrew who was left off the hook, because he was apparently possessed by a leech in the back of his neck. 
An unidentified alien left to the police by Supreme, the image universe's  analogue  to Superman. 
Superpatriot who has attacked the pentagon,  R Richard Richards, who has written another article  condemning super powered beings in general, and officer Dragon in particular.
Pete Davison, also known as Cesspool presses charges against the city of Chicago, for  excessive force
And finally a live report about the fracas going down  in the lair of the annihilators, which is where we left off  last issue.
And that's where we come in. 
The fight goes about as expected for Horridus, she gets pasted. 
Dart is fed up with rules and regulations. She throws 3 darts in some guys neck,  (  !!!  )  knees him in the groin and then kicks him in the face.
Maybe she has anger management issues.  

Dragon is picked up by some  transparent skull freak with  telekinetic powers, who forces dragon to beat himself up.
 But its not long before Dragon  punches his lights out. 
Rapture handles things well enough, but  is totally unprepared when a freak made from  shards, launches shrapnel at her.
Dragon  jumps in again and takes the shrapnel to the chest, telling her to get ready  and fast. 
Dung in the mean time hoses people down  with  dung, oh dey  !
The tide turns against the police forces, until Mighty Man himself  flies in to save the day  !! Oh, devy !!
And Dragon finally realises that  this worlds mightiest man is still alive. 
The tide  is quickly turned again and the annihilators  quickly turn tail to  the  handy dandy teleporter room.
Barbaric goes after them and nimrod that he is deals, with the situation by hitting the teleporter, with the most ridiculously huge sound effect ever seen. It's so huge, it nearly  takes over the whole panel. 
The annihilators disappear and Barbaric surmises that he may have killed them. 
Cyberface however, is taken in custody.  

Dart reads Mighty Man the riot act about him abandoning her and Star in issue 3 
and he explains himself as best as he can. 
In the mean time, Mrs Schwartzblatt meets up with her boy Rodney  !!
The tearfull  reunion is however less then she had  hoped for. 

Things with Freak Force however  come to the inevitable boil and the whole  group resigns, fed up with rules and regulations. 
Together with Mighty Man and later on Superpatriot, they form a  freelance
bounty hunter group. 
Despite this, Frank meets up with Dragon. 
Cyberface decided to sing and they have a warrant for Overlord. 
They can finally nail his ass. 

Credits :
Story and Art : Erik Larsen
Letters : Chris Eliopolous
Color : Steve Oliff and Reuben Rude
Editor : Jannie Wong. 

Josh Eichorn's title: Drone from sector 7 G

Notes :
The alien reference, refers to Vanguard issue 1. Where Supreme, beat up Vanguard and left him  at the police station. 
The Superpatriot reference, refers to the first Superpatriot series, there were two, issue  3. 

Review  :
This is the issue where things come to a head.
The penultimate issue, where  Larsen has been building towards too, where  his world building and  slow character introductions pay off  in. 
And it's also the issue where  lots of plot strands are tied off, as well as new plots kickstarted.
The launch  titles of Images Comics were mostly all sound and fury, with very little story  behind them. 
Lets do something  kewl, and figure it out later.
The Savage Dragon was not like that, it  just looked like it was.
It looked very unfocused and chaotic, but it's not.
It's just very fast paced. 
And the ideas  and stories just  keep coming on. One of the strengths of The Savage Dragon as a comic, is that  a story rarely wears out it's welcome and is usually dealt with in, a few issues. 
There will be long term plots simmering in the background, but everything introduced will be dealt with, one way or another. 
But this issue ties up a lot of things in one go. 
It deals with the long running simmering dissatisfaction of  Dragon's superpowerd colleagues. 
Them breaking their ties and starting up as freelancers in the pages of Freak Force. 
This is one of the longest running  plot points of the comic thus far, with  Superpatriot  introduced in issue 2 of the original mini. 
Barbaric and Ricochet  were introduced in issue 1.  
Dart in issue 3, Rapture in issue 5 and Horridus in issue 4  
Mighty Man was mentioned in issue 1 of the mini and reintroduced in issue 3.
Speaking of Mighty Man, here he comes to save the day. This issue leads off in to the 18  issues of the Freak Force, on going series, where Superpatriot will be joining them.
A series I don't have currently.  

This issue also has Mrs Schwartzblatt finally meeting her boy Rodney !
Ahem, meeting Dragon. 
It's a fairly muted meeting with Dragon confessing that it doesn't feel right to him and that he is not her son. 
This is not the end of it, this plot line will continue for a while, to it's hilarious conclusion. 

This issue is also the big one,  it's where the Frank subplot finally comes to a head. 
It was already  pretty much  busted wide open in issue 5 but this is where  it  really starts kicking in to high gear.
They have a warrant and can finally nail  Overlord himself and take the Viscous Circle down. 
Whohooo  !!

But despite all the plotpoints I just discussed, most of the issue is given over to a fight scene per Image tradition. But even this is a carry over from issue 5 where Cyberface, Overlord's second in command  is captured  and he decided to sing like a canary. 
This issue isn't rushed, it's just very densely plotted. 
New plot points are dropped on the very first page with a device lifted from Spawn and Youngblood and arguably The Dark Knight Returns, the news panels. 
We are introduced to mind controlling leeches. 
Vanguard being dropped off at the police station,  a plot point from the Vanguard mini series. A mini series I don't have on  hand currently. 
Superpatriot being taken over by The Covenant Of The Sword in his own four part mini series. 
Introducing R Richard Richards, a parody of  J Jonah Jameson with the same kind of  zealous yellow journalism, against super powered beings. 
And finally Pete Davison, better known as Cesspool, suing the city  for being  hit by darts, as per issue 4  touching again on the difficulty the  new  officers have with  abiding by the rules  and dealing with regulations.  

Issue 6 is a great issue, in a series already building up steam. Its densely plotted, with  old stories coming to a natural end, while new ones are introduced.
The Dragon comics are one great big huge serial comic, were each issue flows in to the other. There is no natural breaking point.
No easy, to break them up for the trades, arcs. Each issue is a story on it's own with  ongoing storylines in the background. 
Issue 6  is a  great example of that. 
When people argue that early Image, was nothing more then empty action with no story,  the first 10  issues of The Savage Dragon are a great counter argument.
Spawn used to  have the same upwards momentum as the Dragon albeit with more purple prose and then it hit a brick wall around  issue 32  and  contended with merley the illusion of  forward momentum and spinning it's wheels. 
The Savage Dragon  has always continued to move onwards and upwards. 
There are a few cracks however. 
This is the first issue that pushes forward the idea, that each issue of The Dragon takes place in real time and covers one month. 
That doesn't always add up in practise though. 
Issue 5 and 6 take place the same day for example, but on the whole it does  work  if you  squint. 
It also explain the at times rapid  and  apparently  random cuts.  



  1. I think it would be really hard to have each issue equate to one month, no exceptions. You'd never be able to do cliffhangers! Makes sense to me that there could be a two-parter set on one day, but then the next issue picks up two months later, or something like that.

    "Drone From Sector 7G" would of course be a SIMPSONS reference. It was probably a pretty recent one at the time, too.

    1. Yeah that's pretty much what happens. What is confusing at times though, is that the comic suddenly shifts gears and a page can take hours days or even months later, from the next page. Issue 64 does that a lot.
      But it's never made unclear. You can tell its a different time frame, because of the abrupt shifts in situation.
      But the time frames don't always sync up.
      I will complain about it once in a while.
      That Simpsons reference went right over my head.
      But this is a 23 year old comic and I never liked the Simpsons much to be honest.