I once started a crazy collection of Savage Dragon 2 years back… it just snapped in my head when I began to track down Erik Larsen’s old Spider-man issues (where he wrote and draw). I like his ‘enthusiasm’ which he articulates through his artwork and plots. It is (almost always) over the top and ‘shocking’. He tries to ‘wow’ the readers by pulling out new tricks from his hat (or rather head). Look at his de facto character of 15 over years (more if you include the fact that he created Dragon from his childhood years): he’s a cop, a team leader, married, fighting with gods (& God, apparently), trapped in another universe, had children, burnt into crisp, etc. etc.
It gets a bit ‘too much’ after a while… and coupled with his taking over the Editor in Chief position of Image Comics, the title just got ‘snagged’… and suffered. Fan base dwindled (me included), as issues came out sporadically.
But things changed. He’s no longer busy, except on the Dragon. And surprise, surprise… after that awful Solar Man chapter (I really detested that)… here we have an issue that tells the highlights of Dragon and his newly requainted family’s (Angel and Malcom) day, as it unfolds, day after day. According to Erik (whose signature I plagiarise as my own – his “E” and “N”), the whole issue follows 120+ days in Dragon’s universe timeline.
Guess what… it works. It is nice to see how each day corresponds to the same day of another week. Recurring issues are dealt and expanded. The nicest moments (to me) revolves around his children’s settling down to their new status quo, after being lost for a long while in Dimension X (ala ‘the Negative Zone’). Dragon’s own battle with a heavy financial burden grounds the whole setting with reality; here is a superhero who is struggling to make ends meet, and has a family to manage. Some things have to be sacrificed (relationships and security). But towards the end, you get glimpses of progress in the life of Dragon and family.
It makes one go “Awwwwww….”
Welcome back, Erik Larsen!
Things I liked:
- Malcom and Angel are back!
- Jokes abound (not forced)
- The lengthy letter’s column!
Overall Fun Factor: 8.5/10