The most savage, most unkillable team of characters in the Marvel Universe is assembled! Wolverine! Venom! Elektra! Punisher! And in their midst – Conan the Barbarian! Conan has returned to the Marvel Universe and his new adventures begin here. What is the City of Sickles? Who is the Marrow God? How is the Hand involved?
There’s a lot to like about Savage Avengers #1 but also a lot to shrug about as well. Written by Gerry Duggan, the first issue brings Conan in the Marvel Universe after his re-introduction in the recent event Avengers: No Road Home. Stuck in the Savage Land, Conan does what he does and as presented the comic generally feels like a Conan comic but just with other Marvel characters and settings.
The debut issue feels like it breaks away from expectations in a way dropping the reader into what feels like any Conan comic but just with a different setting. As the issue progresses new layers are added folding in the Marvel Universe and blending Conan into the Marvel world that we know in a way that’s not jarring. It works because it attempts to create a natural progression instead of something like Conan is just recruited.
The story itself is beyond familiar with Conan wanting treasure and Wolverine on the hunt to stop something the Hand is familiar with. It takes elements we’ve seen multiple times and blends them together the further the story goes along. Throw in some Lovecraftian elements and the result is a weird and fun experience that generally works more than expected.
Mike Deodato Jr.‘s art is the highlight of the issue with coloring from Frank Martin and lettering by Travis Lanham. There’s a fantasy like quality about it all that really feels fun as it blends in elements like the Hand, Wolverine, and Brother Voodoo. The action is solid with visual comedic elements to it that change the tone to a bit more lighthearted fun. But, what really works is the blending of so many different elements into a situation that visually doesn’t look at of place. It’s a potluck world and yet all the elements work together in their own way.
The issue is a nice start. It’s entertaining and fun though doesn’t quite have the explosive hook that has me completely bought in for the next issue. The comic feels like a regular Conan issue with a different setting. The product feels like a Marvel roleplaying game where the dungeon master has brought together a lot of elements because no one could quite decide the direction to go. But, those stories can still be a hell of a lot of fun and the expectation is the first arc will be an off the rails adventure of which we’re just getting a taste.
Story: Gerry Duggan Art: Mike Deodato Jr.
Color: Frank Martin Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review