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.
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
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.
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.
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.