by Angela Cainen
Writer: Max Bemis
Artist: Nathan Stockman
Cover Artist: Marcus To, Michael Walsh, David Lopez
You might recall from our February round-up podcast that we all liked Savage #1, which told the tale of Kevin ‘Savage’ Sauvage. A teenager who had been born and raised in the mysterious “Faraway”, after a plane crash stranded his parents there. He spent much of his life fighting dinosaurs before he ended up in modern day London, where he became a social media celebrity thanks to his older brother Henry.
Then worlds collided and Kevin showed his dinosaur fighting prowess when dinosaurs attacked London. He defeated them but was captured by Project Bizarre (not an evil organisation according to their Twitter) and now at the start of issue #2 he finds himself in their headquarters, being faced with evil mad men types, a very pretty, intelligent, young woman and of course DINOSAURS.
The humour of Savage is its real strength and there is a heck of a lot here, from Valiant character in-jokes and name checks, to the bizarre ramblings of Professor Hanley Nealon and Kevin’s awkward attempts at not insulting female scientist Mae. I laughed out loud several times when reading, and then I reread the jokes and laughed as hard the second time. Valiant has been missing a decent comedy title since the last run of Quantum and Woody wrapped and Savage fills that hole admirably bringing back more of a sense of fun to the Valiant universe.
Max Bemis has done a really good job of writing the humour and keeping the jokes working, and at the same time there’s some good character work here too. I love to see Kevin ripping out the tongues of vicious dinosaurs but I also love his interactions with Mae, possibly the only young woman on the planet who isn’t aware of his social media status (how refreshing). Said interactions are both awkwardly hilarious but very reflective of the characters.
The art by Nathan Stockman really compliments the writing with some great dynamic pages of movement showing Kevin’s escape attempts. Whether he’s attacking dinosaurs, climbing or jumping, Kevin’s movements on the page are great. An early page also has so many speech bubbles it shouldn’t work, but it does and works really well. Plus the blood and guts are well realised which is what you want. I won’t spoil the contents of it but there’s a splash page that has really good art and some of the most hilarious captions.
If you are a British person you may blink a few times at the use of English slang – me old geezer – but honestly that’s about the only gripe and nitpick I can find, aside from Kevin’s mysteriously specific-to-the-situation pop culture knowledge. Honestly that’s a very minor thing you can pretty easily let go because the internet exists.
If you liked issue #1 you will love this issue. If you did not read #1 go and do that now and then read this one.
Recommended. I give it 5 out of 5 dinosaurs.