The Savage Dragon 12
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.
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
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 ?
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.