Comic Reviews: Savage Avengers and DCEased!


SAV_AVENGERS_1Savage Avengers #1 (Marvel Comics)

We all knew it was only a matter of time for Marvel to have Conan The Barbarian cross over into the Marvel universe, but I don’t think anyone was expecting it to happen this soon, and in a title like Savage Avengers. A new series from Gerry Duggan and Mike Deodato. Jr, this offshoot of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes brings together Wolverine, The Punisher, Venom, Doctor Voodoo, Elektra, and Conan the Barbarian to take on only the most brutal of missions. No, they’re not officially sanctioned (yet), and yes, at first glance making Conan an Avenger is a major eye-roll moment. But surprisingly, this opening issue isn’t just chock full of ridiculous action, it’s also one of the most fun comics of the year.

Freshly abandoned in the Savage Land following the events of Avengers: No Road Home, Conan the Barbarian is on the hunt for treasure, which leads him to The Hand, who are in the process of attempting a ritual that will summon a creature from Conan’s world. Of course, Wolverine is also in the Savage Land hunting the Hand, which leads to the two brutal warriors throwing down before joining forces (aka the “Marvel Method of team-ups”). As the Hand continue to grab blood sacrifices for their ritual, the two warriors learn that the next target is none other than Frank Castle, and if the Hand gets a hold of him, they might complete their goals.

Straight up, this book is a blast, and that’s largely due to Gerry Duggan’s script. Duggan uses his experience writing Savage Sword of Conan to great use with this issue, but he also doesn’t shy away from the absurdities that make up Conan. Having Conan and Wolverine meet is just as brutal as you imagine. Duggan finds a lot of hilarious moments between the two characters, but it’s never at the expense of either of them (once you hear Conan’s name for Wolverine’s claws, you’ll never think of them the same way again).

Mike Deodato, Jr. has had a long career at Marvel, and he’s honestly the best artist they could have picked for this series. His characters cut wide, imposing figures, something that is needed for a book like this. While his inking is a little too dark at times, Deodato, like Duggan, is clearly having a blast drawing this book. He’s set a high bar for awesome moments with this issue, but I’m excited to see what comes next.

Savage Avengers is definitely a bit of a stretch for a series, but it’s easily the biggest surprise of the year so far. I was full on ready to dismiss this series entirely, but within a few pages I was loving every absurd moment of it, and I can’t wait for the next issue. Usually only having two members of a team together by the end of the first issue would annoy me to no end, but with Savage Avengers, it’s something that makes me excited for how the rest of these characters meet up.


DCEased #1 (DC Comics)DCeased_Cv01_GREG-CAPULLO_and_FCO-PLASCENCIA

Just when you thought that zombies were all over, along comes DCEased, a new DC miniseries that brings the undead to the DC universe. You may think this is just a years-too-late cash in on the zombie craze, but with creative talent like writer Tom Taylor and artists Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Guadiano, and James Harren, DCEased actually reads like a pretty intense event series, with plenty of surprises that will keep in the most hardened comic readers intrigued.

After Darkseid attacks Earth and is defeated by the Justice League, he retreats, but not without his prize: Cyborg. Believing that Cyborg holds the key to the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid attempts to use Cyborg’s body to unleash the equation. But doing so could destroy Cyborg, and The Black Rider (the embodiment of Death), is brought in to keep Cyborg alive. Adding the Rider to the Anti-Life Equation yields disastrous results however, as his presence causes the equation to unleash a techno-organic virus that turns all humans into monstrous zombies. After Cyborg’s body is sent back to Earth by a dying Darkseid, the virus is unleashed on innocent people, and the heroes of the DC universe face a cataclysmic event!

Tom Taylor made a name for himself on the Injustice line of comics, and that style carries over to this series as well. Like Injustice, DCEased follows it’s own continuity, but a lot of the characteristics of the DC heroes that Taylor established in his prior work are the same here (Green Arrow has some of the best side moments in this issue). Taylor doesn’t allow the script to get bogged down by too much exposition, and balances the backstory with a growing sense of dread throughout the issue, leading to a cliffhanger that, if true, shows that DCCeased isn’t messing around, and everyone is in danger.

Having three artists on a single comic is sometimes a recipe for disaster, but Hairsine, Guadiano, and Harren’s style are all similar enough to make their transitions virtually unnoticeable. With the exception of a few character designs, none of the pages are too jarringly different, and the three work really well together. The infected people aren’t very cleverly designed, but this is only the beginnings of the outbreak, so there’s a good chance that they’ll look even crazier as the miniseries continues.

DCEased is a fun spin on the zombie outbreak, and seeing it occur in the DC universe definitely adds an interesting wrinkle to the story. As I mentioned before, the real test of this series will be how far they allow Taylor and his artists to go with the story. If no one is truly safe, then this will be a pretty neat story to watch unfold.

Posted on May 1, 2019, in Comic reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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