Review: Savage #2
Teenage heartthrob. Feral social icon. Dinosaur hunter? Raised on an uncharted island full of prehistoric dangers, Kevin Sauvage has a taste of home when a mutant dino threat invades England only to wind up captured! He’s back in Savage #2.
There’s nothing that takes me out of a comic, or really any prose story, then the word bloke being used in a way that doesn’t feel right. Whether it’s because writers from this side of the Atlantic use British slang as often as they can to prove a character is really British, or whether it’s an excuse to show that they simply know the slang, more often than not the words are crammed into the dialogue in unnatural ways that seem to make sense. Unless the person reading the comic is a Brit, in which case there’s usually more eye-rolling than enjoyment. In most cases, less is more with British slang – the word mate and ending a sentence with “yeah?” instead of “eh?” will do the job if you’re not sure how to use the words in the context we’d typically use them.
Max Bemis is one of the few writers who uses a lot of slang for Savage (the character) and doesn’t miss a beat. Which in some ways also took me out of the book because I was waiting for a misstep that never happened, which caused me to read the comic twice before I realized it.
That Bemis’ take on Savage is different than B. Clay Moore’s first miniseries should surprise nobody – the setting alone is going to have that effect on the story. The series move from a survival comic (almost survival horror) to one bordering on the science fantasy isn’t an illogical step with story in the comic has Savage as an unwilling guest of a mad scientist/visionary intent on using him for experimentation and research (as an aside, the reading of this book coincided with me and Bemis plays into to absurdity of the mad scientist trop with his tongue firmly in is cheek (either that or he’s so brilliantly earnest about the Project Bizarre angle that you can’t help but love it).
Nathan Stockman, Triona Farrell, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou round out the creative team for Savage #2 as artist, colorist, and letterer respectively. Otsmane-Elhaou’s work is noticeably good in this issue, which is a rare feat for a comics’ lettering to stand out in a positive way, with his liberal use of colored fonts and upper and lower case becoming more than just a method to convey Bemis’ words. This book is an example of lettering as its own art form, a comic to show those who claim that anybody can throw words onto a page, which although that is a true statement, the same is also true; anybody can write a story or draw a picture – but there’s a difference between my pictures and Nathan Stockman’s pictures). Stockman’s art is great; there’s a very punky feeling to the comic, at times evoking Pushead’s art style, but almost consistently embodying the rebellious nature of the title character.
The comic looks great, from top to bottom. I wasn’t expecting to laugh during this comic, but there’s an undeniable streak of humor throughout Savage #2 that never quite stays in its lane, swerving between slapstick, dark, and often the downright silly. It doesn’t overpower the story, which is fantastic, but rather adds another layer of fun to an already enjoyable book. I love it.
Story: Max Bemis Art: Nathan Stockman
Colours: Trionna Farrell Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review