Having successfully taken over for his father as protector of Chicago and the world, Malcolm Dragon has finally married his high school sweetheart Maxine.  If you expect the honeymoon to be uneventful, you clearly haven’t read a lot of Savage Dragon.  Your Major Spoilers review of Savage Dragon #210 awaits!

SavageDragon210SAVAGE DRAGON #210
Writer: Erik Larsen
Artist: Erik Larsen
Colorist: Nikos Koutsis
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Gavin Higginbotham
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Savage Dragon: One of the original Image Comics titles, back in the early 1990s, Savage Dragon has been through a lot of different incarnations in the intervening years, including at least three alternate Earths, clones, aliens and the revelation that Dragon himself was actually an alien overlord sent to colonize and conquer Earth.  With the elder Dragon out of the picture, his son Malcolm has taken over as Savage Dragon, engaging in heroics and a few sexual misadventures, while teaming up with his adoptive sister, Angel.  Malcolm has finally married his girlfriend, Maxine (who is pregnant with his child) and set off to enjoy a nice, romantic honeymoon together…


This issue opens, as most issues of Dragon do, with a massive fist fight, this time featuring Angel alone in battle against a group of Chicago Freaks.  It’s a particularly one-sided battle, as none of them are any match for her massive superhuman strength.  Meanwhile, Malcolm’s ex-girlfriend Tierra is found in the morgue, seemingly having died in childbirth, with her Dragon-spawn baby nowhere to be found.  (This is probably bad.)  Fortunately for Maxine Lai-Dragon, also pregnant with Malcolm’s child, a magical spell keeps the child’s part-alien nature and massive powers from injuring her, but she’s not so lucky in her choice of honeymoon island.  When they mentioned last issue that there was a strange curse associated with the island, pretty much anyone who has ever read comics knew what was going to happen: GIANT TIKI MONSTERS!  Maxine is mystically protected, Malcolm is strong enough to go toe-to-toe with them, but the reveal of their master (a villain last seen in these pages DECADES ago) is fun, and the final page reveal that Tierra’s husband has printed rumors that Malcolm’s spawn is responsible for her untimely death bodes ill…


In a very real sense, Savage Dragon’s monthly book is the last bastion of traditional Marvel-style 70’s storytelling left in comics.  As Malcolm transitions from high school kid to grown man with a wife and a job, it’s fascinating to see that Larsen is still threading in his sub-plots, keeping us up to speed on the state of Chicago, the world, alternate realities and more, all with breathless enthusiasm and truly expert art.  No matter what you think about Erik’s artistic choices, you have to view this book as a labor of love by a seasoned pro, delivering the kind of comics he wants to read every month.  Even when the story goes to strange places (the story of Dragon’s four-way with girlfriend, ex-girlfriend and alternate-universe counterpart of his step-sister was the latest example, but the history of the book will reveal dozens of such brilliantly lunatic moments) it’s an enjoyable ride, and this issue makes for a nice, relatively quiet chapter in Dragon’s life.  I still wonder where Papa Dragon is these days, though…


In short, this one is a good one, a solid low-key (bar some giant monster punching) issue that helps to move along subplots without ever seeming slow or boring.  I drift in and out of reading Savage Dragon, as I have since 1993, but this most recent arc (dating back to just before the #200 issue) has me back in for good, enjoying Erik Larsen’s magnum opus, even if I don’t agree with everything it or its creator might have to say.  Savage Dragon #210 features an amazing first-page splash, an important haircut, a little fighty-fighty, some clever dialogue and a fun backup story featuring Powerhouse (whose head is a chicken, so he’s got that going for him), showing off how much fun you can have with a “traditional” comic story, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  Heck, having a comic book number over #100 is a lovely bit of nostalgia, in itself…



A fun chapter with omens of future ramifications, and some truly lovely art by Larsen...

User Rating: 3.55 ( 1 votes)
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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.

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