Saturday, July 29, 2006

Double Dragon

Two tales from Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon have hit the shelves of comic shops this week, both following up on events from earlier in the series. The first story goes much further back in the comic's history, dealing with events that took place prior to the first issue, while the latter stars a supporting character in light of events from the title's more recent past.

Savage Dragon #0
Erik Larsen
The origin behind the long-running comic's title character is revealed at long last! From the outset, the green-skinned Dragon was found in a burning field naked with no memories of a past life. For Image Comic's tenth anniversary, Erik Larsen decided to finally reveal the finheaded hero's origin in the Image Tenth Anniversary Hardcover, where other launch titles saw their original creators come back to the books. Since Larsen never left, he upped the ante on his title with this story. And it was an epic tale involving an alien race, a chosen one, sacrifice and betrayal. Of course, given that Dragon is such a morally-grounded good guy in the comic series, it stands to reason that he was formerly not such a noble guy. It wasn't too hard to see that one coming. You could even say that it was expected. It was a fine origin, albeit void of many surprises and not exactly very awe-inspiring as the cover boasts. B

Erik Larsen & Franchesco!
Events from Savage Dragon #117 saw She-Dragon shoved into Dimension-X by one of Dragon's shorter enemies, Mr. Glum (the one now ruling the world back in current continuity), a fact that is rehashed via flashbacks along with several other pivotal moments in She-Dragon's history (many of which were pretty superfluous to the story at hand). But about a third into the book, we are treated to an actual story of She-Dragon's adventures in Dimension-X, including running into Dragon's son Malcolm and Dragon's dark doppelganger, both of whom ended up in Dimension-X at various times along with a slew of other characters. Forget trying to follow this book if you're not invested in the series. Despite the ample flashbacks, there are a ton of in-jokes including an appearance by G-Man who appears in back-up strips of Savage Dragon who also went to Dimension-X. I didn't even remember Dragon's dark self, but had to ask Patrick for a refresher. It's all very convoluted. But it was a fun story. She-Dragon, originally a spoof of She-Hulk, has always been one of my favorite characters from Savage Dragon, and as such it was nice to see her kick some butt in her very own one-shot. I loved the art on the book by Francheso, despite the ample amounts of T & A and the lame excuses for having her attire ripped to shreds for the sake of the story. Key events take place in this book that bring things up to speed with current continuity and will be followed up in the very next issue of Savage Dragon. C

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