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Savage Dragon #s163-168: Emperor Dragon

sd163I remember seeing Savage Dragon #1–from the original mini-series–on the new/recent indy-comics’ rack at Capp’s Comics in Mentor Ohio, way back when. And I remember when the first issue of the series proper came out, and I ESPECIALLY remember that 2nd issue, when the TMNT guest-starred.

I remember the series making waves–articles in Wizard, controversies over depictions of the Divine, and just what the character could and would be put through.

sd164And yet, I never really read the series.

I recall hearing stuff about the 75th issue, and actually picking that one up. Giant-sized, if I recall. Involved some time-traveling villain as a kid, before he grew up to become that time-traveler. And Dragon killed him….resulting in an all-new world.

I realized that was a good jumping-on point, and followed the series for several issues of this new world, particularly enjoying the cover dress, sd165made to look like classic Marvel books, or so it seemed.

But the series quickly faded off my radar.

Every now and then since, it would show up again–generally the anniversary issues. A friend gave me a run of the first 30-32 issues of the series several years back, and I’ve had my eye on the Savage Dragon Archives volumes (Image‘s version of DC‘s Showcase and Marvel‘s Essential lines).

This past summer, when I went on a tear dropping most of the comics I’d been following, burned out from events, sd166I noticed a new storyline starting in Savage Dragon, and put the title on my pull list. And I’ve faithfully bought each issue for the past half-year.

But tonight, I finally sat down and READ the things.

And it’s almost like things have come full-circle.

This Emperor Dragon arc has the look and feel of classic silver-age stuff…Larsen‘s art is very Kirby-esque. And the story is one that could only be told in a book like this, never in something from Marvel or DC.

sd167I wasn’t sure what I’d think, but I found myself–especially after I finished reading–realizing how important the story is to the overall Dragon mythos. And in a way, it felt like issue #75 all over again, except better, for having so much more history behind it.

Savage Dragon is one of the original Image series, and one of the longest-running series not from Marvel or DC, with nearly 2 decades behind it. I followed along with this story pretty well without MUCH background knowledge. sd168And while this story very likely strongly informs what’s to come…it seems that the coming issues would make another nice jumping-on point for an entirely new status quo–one on the level that rarely gets seen in comics, it seems.

Been a fun ride, and I plan on sticking with the title for awhile longer…and maybe actually play some catch-up for backstory.

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