Comic Review. Savage Dragon #193

Story and Art:  Erik Larsen Published by: Image Comics Release date:  Feb. 19th, 2014 Erik Larsen introduced us to the Savage Dragon 22 years ago (longer if you count his […]

Story and Art:  Erik Larsen

Published by: Image Comics

Release date:  Feb. 19th, 2014

Erik Larsen introduced us to the Savage Dragon 22 years ago (longer if you count his pre-Image debut but for the sake of not being a nitpicker, we’ll just stick to his 1992 mini-series debut).  Since that time, Larsen has treated readers with 192 stories of Savage Dragon.  The once evil tyrant Emperor Kurr who had made plans to kill every human on Earth until his pacifist people stripped him of his memories, except for a few days’ worth of television programming, and left him on the planet he was moments away from conquering (that took 13 years before we knew that story).

Erik Larsen has written every one of those 192 issues (if I am wrong, I am sure I will be told).  We have been treated to the best that comics offer.  Off the wall stories steeped more in imagination than in reality.  Like God versus the Devil, super villains made of worms, a chicken, and a suit capable of projecting crap (affectionately and appropriately named ‘Dung’), time travel, aliens, alien invasions, sex, crime, mutilation, possession, capes, spandex, good versus evil, and of course Larsen’s artwork (one of my favorite pencilers working today).

Now, with 22 years’ worth of stories under his belt, issue #193 of the Savage Dragon almost becomes an issue #1 for readers.  Well, it would be easier to teach your dog how to read the tax code in Latin than it would be to undo all of what the Dragon has been through but issue #193 provides readers with a place to start.

Any comic book reader who is interested in jumping on to new titles, it can occasionally take a small personal loan and a month off of work in order to catch up on the entire back story of that title.  Yes, a personal loan at a ridiculous interest rate and ‘you just got your hip replaced’ time off from work would be needed to read all of the Savage Dragon, issue #193 is a brilliant marketing move for Larsen.

Without retconning everything that happened before, restarting the “first 5 years” of his character, or creating an entirely different universe with more “realistic” looking heroes and villains and Sam Jackson, the Savage Dragon #193, if you’re interested in starting to read, gives you that opportunity.

Dragon’s son, Malcolm takes over as the Savage Dragon, starts a new high school, and continues to battle the kind of bizarre villains his father was accustomed to fighting.  Larsen continues to write and draw and what has led many readers to the title, remains the same.  This issue doesn’t necessarily pack loads of excitement, it does set up future stories and for a book that is allowing new readers to jump aboard, I understand the restraint.

And as you ask, why a new direction in issue #193 (don’t lie, you asked)?  As said by Larsen himself in the letter’s page:  “Why #193 and not #200 or some other round or significant number? I don’t know. It just kind of felt right. When I was a kid Herb Trimpe’s last issue of the Incredible Hulk was #193 and Jack Kirby returned to Captain America with #193 so there was this kind of magic and charm to me about that number and really every issue should be special, not just anniversaries and nice round numbers.”

So if you have (or had) any inclination of wanting to begin reading the Savage Dragon, issue #193 is your chance.  Think of it as a start if you’re a new reader and a fresh start if you have been a long time reader.

Savage Dragon #193 gets a solid 3 out of 5 Saluting Caps





41827*Rating system is based on Captain America Salutes .  The worst rating is 1 saluting Cap which means he’s saluting you just to rub it in after he gave you a red/white/and blue beatdown. The best rating is 5 saluting Caps which means a Living Legend is acknowledging just how kick ass you are, congratulations soldier.

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