Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Savage Dragon 12

The Savage Dragon  12

Summary :

Faux Frank's back  !
He gets blown up by Overlord  !
In the mean time Dragon's colleagues read his fan mail  out loud  after his appearance on the jerry rivers show. 
He had hoped it would lead to  anything about his past, but as it turns out its all just crackpot mail.
Including one from a girl named Amy Belcher, who wants to become his partner in fighting crime. 
A new vigilante with the name Justice,  is doing the rounds  in  an  "specatcular" manner.

While discussing Mace declining  the offer from the police force with Alex, Dragon gets a call  from  dispatch about a super freak  tearing in to the guards at Donner electronics. 
Both Justice and She Dragon  noticed something was up and assumed the other is the culprit. 
And naturally a fight ensues, until Dragon  appears on the scene and tells them to knock it off or he will knock their heads. 
He tells Alex to  shoot the two dimbulbs  if they move while he  goes  looking around to see if the  intruder is still around.

And he is, and he bites Dragon's head  !
Dragon in turn, repays Openface in kind by ripping his tongue out. 
In the Visceous Cricle tower a creepy scientist examines  the remains of Faux Frank. 
And he  concludes that this was neither human, nor Frank Darling.  

Credits :

Writer-Artist : Erik Larsen 
Letters : Chris Eliopolous
Colors  : Reuben Rude
Editor : Jannie  Wong

Josh Eichorn title : Brazen Hussy

Notes : First  full fledged  appearance  of She Dragon as She Dragon.
First  appearance of Justice.
First appearance of Openface  and  Octopus

Review  :

Well the cover says it all  doesn't it  ?
But first, we get  a very familiar  looking opening page, one we have seen before in issue  7. 
To Larsen's credit he doesn't  lay dumb with us he doest play the  audience for a fool. 
The opening narration tells us exactly, what's going on here. 
The Frank we see here is a fake, a robot  and he is here because his last  command was to  arrest Overlord. So he will. 
This nicely explains what's been going on, recaps the previous few issues.
Brings new readers up to speed and doesn't play the  audience for a fool. 
The story has already been  blown wide open in issue 11, so there is no  sense in pretending and Larsen doesn't bother to obfuscate.  It's dealt with right away.  

Overlord doesn't  really  deal with it that well  and starts to  think that something is wrong after he  blows  Faux Frank to atoms again.  ( Gee ya think  ?  )

The scene that follows is Dragon's  colleagues reading  some of the  "fan" mail, he received after the Jerry Rivers show. 
Which is the usual crackpot mail you can expect, but what makes this  scene amusing and worthwhile is that some of the  letters are paired up to  the faces and reaction shots of  his name colleagues. And for a moment  you  are suspended in disbelief, because they just might actually be saying that.  

Most of this issue is given over to the  big introductionary fight between Justice, who  runs around in super patriot's old pyjama's.  (  Justice is  Superpatriot's son. He  also has a  daughter, Liberty. 
Yes Liberty and Justice this will be revealed in Superpatriot's second mini series.  )
And She Dragon,  over a misunderstanding. 
It's about as thrilling as it sounds, even though Larsen portrays it  with his usual enthusiasm. The heroes fight each other, to fill pages trope was as tired  in 1994  as  it is now.
One could argue it's because of She Dragon and Justice both being  totally inept and new at this job.
 ( See  Justice over shooting  two drug dealers, while jumping down and landing in a  dumpster  )

Remember She Dragon ?   The green skinned, blond haired woman, who was a back ground character way back in  VS Megaton Man 1  ?
No  ?
Well here she is again,  She Dragon  ( not at all a pun  on She Hulk  )  is re introduced here and she will  remain to be a major player in the series.
Right now  however, she is a bit rough around the edges and that's a polite way  to say inept and useless. 
Pretty much  the same like Justice then. 

There is also a  rather gruesome scene where  the  burglar, who caused all this jumps  on Dragon and  turns out he can split his face in half, to reveal a huge  maw with  even bigger teeth  ! 
Naturally he decides to  clamp his big jaw on Dragon's, head who tend proceeds to rip his tongue out with his own teeth. 
Just to give the comic that  touch of savage, that the  title proclaims. 

Savage dragon 12 is a  perfectly  fine  perfectly middle of the road  issue of the title. 
It introduces new  characters. 
Offers up some  action, a few gross out moments and some humor. 
Other then the introductions and the opening scene, it doesn't really move the story forward in any way shape or form  but  they don't all have to do that.  

Except the last page where  the remains of Faux Frank are being studied and the  creepy  cyber engineer concludes that its not human  or Darling, and it never was.
Which is our cue for the unravelling of Frank and Dragon's dashingly  fiendish scheme.

Issue 12 is neither monumental  (  bar that tongue rip scene  )  nor exceptional, but its at least  not a misfire  like 9 was. 
But perfectly middle of the road  and  you can do a whole lot worse then that.
Released during a time when the Image bubble started to deflate a bit. Where at least  one Image founder  was a decent writer and willing to keep pushing his title forward.
Because unlike other comics, The Savage Dragon is never content to linger too much in the same status  quo.  

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