Savage Dragon is a long running superhero cop comic by Erik Larson, one of the early books published by Image. I decided to check this book out because it’s been around quite a while, and gotten a fair amount of acclaim.
I was trememdously disappointed. The beginnings of this comic are, simply, crap. Written during the early, illiterate days of image, Savage Dragon is a pointless mix of ultraviolence and ultra-style. It’s a comic written for that dumb fourteen year old who thinks it’s cool when a big green finned guy breaks a big shark headed guy’s spine apart, or whatever. There’s nothing of substance here, no plot, minimal characterisation, no pacing to speak of, just kewl violance and maham.
The plot is: Savage Dragon is a big ultra strong green guy who has amnesia and is found by a cop at the sight of an exploded warehouse. The Chicago police are overwhelmed with trying to contain the supervillian population and can use a big invinvible green guy to help them out. Dragon says no, then says yes, and gets to kick a lot of ass, in between being pissy and angsty. Naturally, they’ll be a new shocking moment of ultraviolance whenever he has a chance of being happy.
The real disappointing part of this book is the formula. Larson will create a bunch of visual designs for villians, throw them in there with no setup or characterisation, and have dragon fight them. Everybody’s a two dimensional chiche.
There are signs by the end of the first volume that things might get better. Dragon starts evolving from a big angry guy to a archtypal good cop. It’s not much, but it’s something. Like I said, I’ve heard good things about the book, but it seems way too ’superhero guys need to go kick the crap of supervillian guys’ for my taste. There’s a way to do superhero stuff with class and plot, and, this ain’t it.
Author: Erik Larson
Volumes Reviewed: 1