Savage Dragon #198 Review

Savage Dragon #198

Story/Art: Eric Larson
Colours by: Nikos Koutsis
Published by: Image Comics

As the mighty Savage Dragon nears the big 200, Eric Larson delivers a suitably solid issue 198. There’s thrills, spills, slices of melodrama and some good, old fashioned, fisticuffs featuring our favorite fin headed bruiser. This issue has 3 strands: the familial difficulties residing in the relationship between Malcolm and MJ, Malcolm’s first day as a Senior, and, much to the readers’ delight, some classic Dragon action. Obviously, the areas of the book that really draw you in, are the areas of conflict and violence. The subtle undercurrent of humor works well, and the melodrama is effective while avoiding being maudlin. Eric Larson has been doing this for long enough to know how to put together a good book, and with SD 198, he does just that. The pacing of the book is a little off, a kind of stop-start feeling to proceedings, though the upturns in the flow more than compensate.

Visually, the style of the book is pleasing on the eye, there are certain elements that have a kind of rough feel to the characters (noticeably in the opening section of the book) but that aside, you have some really strong visuals – some of the panels are sumptuous in style. The moments in the book dealing with the subterranean terrors evokes a delicious hint of the mighty Mike Mignola’s Hellboy – but this is an Image book and most assuredly Eric Larson is at the helm, so a very different puppy to the ‘Red one’. The battle beneath the streets, with Malcolm battling an army of ant-men, demonoids and Trolls, this is easily the most appealing section of the issue – add a little side humor of a poorly timed phone call and there you have the essence of the book in a nutshell: workable dramatic action mixed with tinges of humor. Admittedly you don’t feel any perilous danger, even with the gargantuan terror in the closing scene, but that is a minor complaint. Essentially this is a well put together and fun book. Savage Dragon is on the cusp of the big 200 – and well deserving is the title of its’ longevity.

Overall  Score : 7/10