Writer: Max Bemis
Artist: Nathan Stockman
Colourist: Triona Farrell
Letterer: Hassan Ostmane-Elhaou
If you haven’t been reading Savage you have been missing out on a) some marvellous dinosaur action and b) a rather hilarious book. I wouldn’t say this is a jumping point because it isn’t. It’s the last issue in this run. What it is, is a book full of pop culture references, gory dinosaur action and get some nice little character moments.
Previously we discovered Savage’s big brother Henry (who we discover was a brony in his youth so do with that information what you will) was in league with Project Bizarre, who wish to capture young Kevin Sauvage and dissect him to open up a portal between the world and the faraway where Kevin grew up (and interestingly learnt to speak lizard which comes in handy).
We open with Henry recounting the jealousy of his childhood and why exactly he’s thrown his lot in with the bad guys. Except he’s recounting to a homeless guy (who incidentally plays Magic) whom he pays. There’s something rather sad in seeing Henry so focused on destroying his brother when there’s no real reason for him to do so, something even the homeless guy remarks on providing a little voice of wisdom.
Of course we don’t spend too long pondering that (or what exactly happened to their sister who is mentioned out of nowhere) because well the dinosaur monsters are running rampant across the country and its up to Kevin to stop them by… well murdering them in some beautifully gory ways, be it pulling limbs off or cleaving skulls with an axe. There’s almost a poetry in the art as we see him twisting and leaping and tearing through the dinosaurs.
He’s joined by Mae (she’s gay by the way in case you wondering. What’s great is Kevin takes this in his stride because he’s got a friend and that’s what counts) who is force to be reckoned with herself.
The humour is still front and centre. I never knew how much I needed a Stargate joke or a reference to Kurt Russell. Not to mention Kevin taking it out on dinosaurs when Mae can’t hear what they’ve actually said to insult him. The interplay between Mae and Kevin is still both touching and very funny at times.
There’s also a really nice current underneath the action of Mae and Kevin’s friendship, of Henry and Kevin’s brotherhood too. There’s some really nice things being explored as we know these characters now. Kevin yearns for a father figure (his butler let him down), Henry yearns to be appreciated by his brother, Mae yearns to kick dinosaur butt with her friend Kevin. It all comes together to make a few strong emotional moments even as the banter and pop culture references rain down.
Though this is the end of this arc of Savage it feels a little sudden and leaves me with questions relating to Henry’s fate, and Nealon’s fate (cliff-hanger much?). There’s so much action that sometimes the emotional moments don’t get to breathe as much as they feel like they should. A little more time, another issue to deal with more fallout might be good, though I know that Valiant work in four issue arcs.
I have enjoyed Savage. The art has really helped too as it has remained exciting and dynamic. There’s some really great dinosaur fight scenes and I did reread some panels picking up the different details, there’s also a lot of detail both gory and just in the textures of the dinos themselves. The colouring has also helped with a vast array of monsters all appearing in distinct colours and the choice of background colours really highlights the action.
Oh and the lettering is still excellent. Differentiating speech really well and also helping with the whole modern feel.
I want to see more of Savage as I think there’s some really good potential shown here. Frankly, who doesn’t love a guy wearing bones beating up and slaying dinosaur monsters?
I know I do.