The Savage Dragon 11 Review
Meet Doug Herman, he hates. He hates because he is told to hate and has no real opinion of his own, which makes him perfect Fiend fodder.
In the mean time Dragon is channel hopping and he doesn't like what he sees, since it's mostly about him.
And Mrs Harris also doesn't like what she is seeing, to the point of making her TV fly.
As Mace takes down a Visceous Circle goon send out to recruit him, he is approached by Alex Wylde of all people, who is send to recruit him for the police.
In the mean time, Rapture drags Dragon off for a date, where in the middle of the restaurant, Vanguard and Wally appear to pick up Lurch.
The morphbot, which was posing as Frank Darling and who was blasted to atoms.
When Rapture sets Dragon off at his apartment complex and leaves, Dragon is attacked by the new Fiend and actually struggles.
Untill his beeper goes off, Dragon is needed and doesn't give a damn about The Fiend he is needed to save lives.
At this point Doug Herman realises that Dragon is trying to do good and he stops hating.
Which id the end of him and his role as The Fiend.
Overlord in the mean time knows Cyberface hes been brought back to live and he is not happy.
Cyberface alone, knows who Overlord really is.
Project born again, is from Marc Silvestri's Cyberforce title and was responsible for Cyberforce's creation.
They have been mentioned previously in the mini series.
Writer-Artist : Erik Larsen
Letters : Chris Eliopolous
Colors : Reuben Rude
Editor : Jannie Wong
Josh Eichorn Title: Dullard
As if you couldn't tell yet from the cover.
The fiend is back and from the looks of it, Larsen agreed with, him needing a redesign.
Or what's also possible is that his design changes with each new host.
The Fiend himself, looks more like a wisp of red smoke.
We also get to see something we don't often see in this title.
Text boxes ! And a slightly vindictive, but no less true exposition on human nature and today's Fiend's vessel Doug Herman. Who is a follower a man with no opinion of his own, he just follows the opinions of others.
And try as we might to deny this, this is true for a lot of us, who have no strong opinion of our own. We just follow the mass or somebody who has a strong opinion.
Larsen ties Doug Herman's lack of backbone and taking everything he hears at face value, in with Richards screeds about Dragon which, are half believed by the publisher. And mostly created for controversy and to sell news papers, which is again an all too real condemnation.
Truth and news be damned, it's controversy news really thrives on. Clickbait and views nowadays, anything to get people to read the article. As long as they don't think for themselves, just reiterate what they have just read.
So after those heady concepts, we switch to Dragon who is channel surfing and most of what he sees is about himself, oh joy.
This is a stab at superheroes treated as stars trope, which is so often pinned on Youngblood for some reason, but dragon 11 on it's own does it better then Youngblood ever did.
The 5 issues of that rag I read anyway. The later issues by Alan Moore and the reimagined version by Joe Casey are, so I heard better.
But then, the only way for Youngblood would be up anyway.
And hey it's not Aunt May !
I mean Mrs Schwartzblatt and she has been hitting the talk show circuit.
Other then Mrs Schwartzblatt, the others on the panel are one of those the truth is out there people.
A priest who thinks Dragon is a gift of god.
And another priest, who says he is da debil !!!
Mrs Harris is back too ...hooray
she is watching the same show and gets a bit irate, when some brainless bimbo talks about how happy she is with Dragon.
Irate to the point that she throws her TV out of the window.
Sure hope nobody got hit by that thing.
Mrs Harris also let her self go.
I'm not exactly thrilled to see Mrs Harris again and she will continue to be a thorn in my side, for the coming 21 issues.
While people do strange things in their grief. Her irrational hate for Dragon borders on a comic book cliché and I still hold this book better then that.
Dragon's and Rapture's relationship also picks up steam, Rapture practically drags Dragon off on a date.
Where Vanguard appears in the middle of the restaurant to come and retrieve Lurch.
And this is where we get some awnsers about, what the hell Frank is doing still alive.
A bit unexpected that.
But we have already seen Frank alive in issues 8 and 10 and Larsen wisely doesn't yank our chains around or plays dumb or has fake out, non awnsers.
Vanguard entrusted one of his morphbots, Lurch, to Dragon for one reason or another. Dragon and Frank used it to disguise it as Frank.
So Frank would stay out of shot.
Things didn't go as planned, as Overlord blew Lurch up and kicked Dragon's ass.
Vanguard warns Dragon that if he plans to get away with this charade, he better make damn sure Lurch is dead.
well that was something !
Issue 8 already showed us that Frank was still alive, but it doesn't quite diminish the impact of issue 7, where Frank or Lurch in this case, was obliterated.
It's a fake out with out making it feel like a fake out and unlike certain other 90's comics, this mystery doesn't treat its readers like idiots, nor does it drag it out for a prolonged period of time.
And Larsen does seem to have a goal in mind.
Speaking of goals, that subplot from last issue about the Viceous Circle trying to recruit Mace goes as well as you expect. Mace says no with a spiked ball to the face.
Oddly enough, for whatever reason the police force decided to try and recruit Mace as well and send Alex Wylde out to recruit him, of all people !
Well at least it's not Howie.
That wouldn't have gone well I'm sure.
The rest of the date goes without a hitch, would you believe and Rapture leaves Dragon in front of his apartment complex. After all they are supposed to take it slow.
And that's where The Fiend comes in having been given an upgrade in both strength and outfit, and Dragon clearly struggles with him this time.
Also, fingers shoved in face must hurt.
The fight actually goes pretty badly for Dragon and it's good to see him struggle once in a while. The last few issues the fights were relatively easy, even when messed up or he was just too evenly matched.
This time however Dragon seems to be in real trouble.
Untill The Fiend overplays his hand, by claiming he is evil and that Dragon is good and he can't have that.
Doug Herman realises that Dragon is actually trying to do good and he stops hating, which is the end for him and The Fiend.
This comes over as a bit contrived but it works well enough. Dragon seemed to struggle with The Fiend and it's not another gratuitous fighting scene. ( hello Jimbo and Superpatriot, hey get back here ! )
But actually furthers the plot, since there will be another vessel for The Fiend one that hates him more then anybody.
No prizes for guessing who that is !
And finally we get to see Overlord again, killing yet another underling because he failed to kill Cyberface.
Thanks to project born again, Cyberface lives ! He lives !!!
Overlord isn't exactly happy with this and does what he does best, strut around pompously and arrogantly proclaiming he is over and lord.
Saying that when he kills somebody, they stay dead.
We will see that little proclamation to come back, to bite him on the ass very soon.
Issue 11 is a return to form. It's everything issues 8, 9 and 10 want to be.
Not a page is wasted. The fight scenes are integral to the story, instead of just there to eat pages.
And the subplots, that were rather haphazardly strewn around in the previous issues, are brought to the foreground again. While we get inklings about new ones too.
And the Frank mystery is tied off too !
Not that Larsen is done with this storyline, not by a long shot.
A fine issue ,the title is climbing back up from the slump it found it self in.