Writer and artist: Erik Larsen
Publisher: Image Comics
Previously: SAVAGE DRAGON #194
Just read this latest issue and, dang, Erik Larsen sure seems to like putting my new favorite teenage (half-)Black superhero, Malcolm Dragon, through the ringer. In these three issues since Malcolm officially became the lead character, the poor kid barely has had time to breath without something going wrong.
For the record, as I said in my review for issue #193 I had purposely avoided checking out any recent back issues, or looking up reviews to catch up, because Larsen said this new direction was a perfect jumping on point so I wanted to come to this title as if I’m a brand new reader, and see if I could keep up. So far, I mostly have, though there are still significant gaps in my knowledge of what’s going on.
For example, the last I remember of supporting cast member Dart was that her legs had been destroyed and she had become the new human avatar for Mighty Man. Well, in this issue we’re introduced to her niece Alison who has taken over the identity of Dart, in the old costume, and has a sword which can apparently cut through anything, and she’s a supervillain, the new leader of the Vicious Circle. I have no clue how that happened or why the VC are following her, since she’s just a regular human and not a “super-freak”. But she attacks Malcolm with a squad of other bad guys and almost kills him.
We also finally see Maxine, the girlfriend that Malcolm keeps mentioning. They go out and discuss the status of their relationship. Her parents still won’t let her date him because he’s not Chinese, although we learn that she’s 18, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Malcolm is confronted by the father of the girl who got killed by Torment last issue, along with a bunch of other parents who are trying to get him kicked out of their High School because they say he attracts danger to the other kids (can’t argue with that). And Malcolm is attacked by a robot sent by Dart and…
Well I’ve been made aware that I probably spoil too much in my comic-book reviews, so that’s all I’m saying. But I liked this story, and plan to continue getting this series. I’m back to looking forward to getting Savage Dragon on a (mostly) monthly basis. It’s like 1993 all over again!
The back of the issue includes (after the traditionally long letters page) a funny one-page strip featuring Angel Dragon, written and drawn by Scott James. Time flies. Last time I was regularly reading this series she was still a little girl. Now she’s an adult, having apparently inherited her mother’s super-powers (and breast-size). I enjoyed that page. Plus there’s another page with three separate comic-strips. None of which really stood out to me.
All in all, this issue provides it’s money’s worth. I recommend that lapsed fans and new get onboard!