Savage Avengers #1: You got a lotta great ideas, Bub
Yesterday was New Comic Book Day, and with it came my most hotly-anticipated book of 2019: Savage Avengers #1. Based solely on its amazing union of Wolverine, Conan, The Punisher, and Venom, my personal hype has been high. Throw in a character I know, but not well—Elektra—and one brand new to me—Brother Voodoo—and you’ve got a pretty good case for Brian Warshaw’s Book of the Year before a page was ever drafted. Well, the book is here now, and I’m sure every single one of you is wondering: did it live up to the hype?
Yes (and not yet)
Right up front, I must acknowledge that, if it gives us nothing else, Savage Avengers gives us this, the greatest Skottie Young cover of the last six minutes (and possibly forever):
Beyond that, I would rate Savage Avengers #1 as very solid and very good, with some moments of absolute brilliance. This is a #1, so it has to start setting up the conceit of the entire series, but not rush things. Duggan scripts this setup nicely, focusing predominantly on Conan and Logan, who have one of the most delightful skirmishes I’ve read in quite some time. Artist Mike Deodato, Jr. draws it beautifully, with outstanding color work from Frank Martin, and Duggan’s banter between the Cimmerian and the Wolverine is for the ages. Where else are you going to find this?
Travis Lanham’s lettering is quite good, too. While I might prefer a somewhat girthier dialogue font, it still works, and his SFX and narration boxes fit the mood perfectly—particularly the contextually rugged borders and “shadow” boxes on the latter:
We get a brief blink-and-you’ll-miss-it look at Venom, and short scenes with Voodoo and Punisher; we don’t see Elektra, but the presence of The Hand paves the way for her involvement; but, more importantly, Duggan begins to sow the seeds of the conflict that will unite this unique pack of Avengers. Unless I’m mistaken, there is also an implicit promise that we’ll eventually see the team take on a Frost Giant, and that is both a perfect reason for such a team to come together and also the most amazing thing I could possibly imagine.
Finally, Duggan gives a perfect tease at the end—the sort of thing that makes you desperate to tune in next time: not because you’re worried about our heroes, but rather because you know things are going to get ugly for the bad guys. So, so, ugly.
So would I call Savage Avengers #1 great—a book that rises to the hype I’ve felt for this series? No. But it has great moments, and I’m convinced that it may prove to be the perfect formula for the first issue. It does all of the right things to draw readers in and create demand for subsequent issues, and it does so with excellent dialogue, artwork, and lettering. You could certainly do a lot worse than that.
Interested in reading Savage Avengers? Support us on Patreon for less than the cover price of this book, and I’ll send you my digital codes for the book each month. If it comes out twice in a month, you’ll get both. Annuals? Yup. There’s only one such perk available, so if you’re interested, hurry over to patreon.com/comicsnow. Once you sign up to support and let us know you want Savage Avengers, I’ll send you the code for #1.