Or – “This Is Not Former Captain America Steve Rogers, But He’s Dead Anyway.”


Sure, lots of superhumans die.  Ferro Lad.  711.  The Comet.  Thunderbird.  The second Flash.  Captain Marvel.  Hell, Phoenix and the Immortal Man have made a career of it.  But most of them have the decency to wait until after their series begins to take the big dirt-nap…  not so for Savior 28.  So what makes him so special?

S282.jpgPreviously, on The Life And Times of Savior 28:  Years ago, an innocent young all-American lad had SOMETHING happen to him.  Some said aliens came to Earth, empowered him, and gave his cousin a chiclet.  Some say that the FBI created an experiment that would empower the ultimate American soldier.  In some versions of the story, the spirit of Uncle Sam came to him in a dream and gave him the power of the Spirit of America.  In any case, whatever happened left the young man more powerful than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet, able to outrun Warner Brothers’ most skilled lawyers, but still sharp enough to cut a tomato paper thin!  He became Savior 28, defender of the weak, fighter for what’s right, his brother’s keeper, and the finder of lost children.  But, as Skid Row might have told you, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, and we have come to bury Savior 28, not to praise him…

J.M. DeMatteis is one of those names that I don’t see nearly enough in comics, as I love his work dating back to the “Six-Fingered Hand” era of Marvel’s ‘Defenders’ comic, but I’ve never seen him write Superman or a Superman analogue that I can remember, and this issue makes me wish I had.  Or, to be frank, wish I had before now.  We open in media res with Savior 28 and his Bizarro-esque counterpart Savior 13 duking it out in the middle of an unnamed city.  13 threatens to kill 28’s girlfriend, and S-28 loses his cool and decks the villain full-out in the face, sending him flying across the landscape.  This is the precise moment where the resemblance to other comics ends.  Our story is narrated by Savior 28’s former kid sidekick, simultaneously telling the story of the days immediately after 28’s murder and the story of who he is and how he came to be. 

Cutting bck and forth through the decades, we see Savior 28 as a Patriot in the 40’s all the way through to his days as a disillusioned crusader in the present, going over his various origins, the lies he told (“Stories are more important than the truth,” insisted Savior 28) and the people he protected.  Cutting back to the battle with Savior 13, we see the horrible aftermath of that massive punch, as 13 lies in a crater, motionless.  “By the time of the San Francisco incident,” explains our narrator (whose name, if given, I can’t find in the issue) “Savior 28 and Savior 13 had been engaged in their private war for more than sixty years…  Imagine how 28 felt that day when he realized that he’d KILLED him…”  More terrible for Savior 28 was the fact that his girlfriend, the woman he was protecting from his old enemy died immediately afterward of nothing more horrible than old-age.  Savior 28’s drinking binge kept him unconscious and out of action for days…  one of which was September 11th, 2001.   The issue ends with the assassin’s view of the death of Savior 28, as the narrator explains, “I loved him…  I hated him…  but I swear…  I never thought I’d end up being the worthless little $#!+ who killed him.”

It’s a powerful moment, sure, coming on the heels of a super-dramatic moment when Savior 28 wakes up on September 12th.  Mike Cavallaro’s art comes across as a hybrid of Bruce Timm and Jack Kirby, with it’s own unique touches, and really conveys the drama of the story with broad (but not simple) strokes.  The issue reminds me a bit of Powers, with less talky-talky and ultraviolence…  I’m still not entirely sold on the use of the events of 2001 in fictional constructs, but it works here because it’s not the primary focus, just another brick in Savior 28’s wall of self-loathing.  I’m interested to see where this story is going, and I’m definitely on board for more.  The Life and Times of Savior 28 works with archetypical characters and settings, giving us something you don’t see in a lot of comics: a whole new take.  The Life and Times of Savior 28 #1 is a good’un, earning 4 out of 5 stars…


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

Previous post

Review: Invincible #60

Next post

Review: Top Ten - Season Two #4 (of 4)


  1. Some dude
    March 21, 2009 at 6:02 am — Reply

    “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till It’s Gone)” is by Cinderella

  2. ykw
    March 22, 2009 at 11:39 am — Reply

    I’da said Joni Mitchell, but that’s what comes of spending my youth in punk clubs and not stadia fulla mulletheads…

  3. March 22, 2009 at 7:50 pm — Reply

    “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till It’s Gone)” is by Cinderella

    Cinderella and Skid Row are the same band, they just changed their name for tax purposes. Lately they go by Ozzy Van ZZ Led Ded Def Zeppard Bon Whitesnake. :)

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section