Review by: JohnnyDestructo
Story by Erik Larsen
Art by Erik Larsen
Colors by Nikos Koutsis & Mike Toris
Letters by Tom Orzechowski
Cover by Erik Larsen

Size: 0 pages
Price: 3.50


Part of me knows I should be, at the very least, mildly concerned at the callous, inappropriate way an actual human is being treated post-humously…but considering the person in question is Osama Bin Laden, I’m finding it VERY difficult to give a grat’s blass. This book was AWESOME. So cheesy, so silver-agey, so much fun!

I haven’t read SD for a lonnnng time. I used to love the book for the first 5 or so years of its run, but somewhere along the line, I dropped it. Well, not just somewhere, it was at the exact point that The Savage Dragon killed a certain character, thus destroying his own time-line and creating an entirely NEW timeline for his book. I didn’t drop it because of this course of events, in fact, I was really impressed with how ballsy it was to just change everything about his long-running story and in essence, start from scratch. No, it was his adjustment to how he wrote the book. Larson, from what I could tell, didn’t want to write the sexy, borderline inappropriate book that he had been writing up until that point, and instead wanted to change it to be more of an All-Ages book and starting writing in an almost Stan Lee from the 60’s and 70’s style, which just didn’t work for me. I dropped it that very same issue. I just didn’t care anymore. That was my last experience with SD (except for when I went back and re-read all those original stories last year. I got to the same point in the book’s history and gave up. Again.)

But come ON, how do you see the image on the front cover of this issue and not at least flip through it? And flip through it I did. More than that, I read every expository word of this book and loved it.
Larson’s style is MUCH looser than I remember, with more shortcuts than I remember, but it was still basically the same Larson I used to love when I was growing up. The characters have all moved on as well. His son is a teenager, his not-really-daughter-from-another-alternate-reality is a teenager (and has had sex! G-A-S-P!), he’s apparently the leader of a cult of aliens and is out in space leading them to a new planet, or something…and he’s wearing a silly outfit with Magneto’s neckline, a logo from one of the characters of Legion of Superheroes, Captain America’s gloves and random stars for no real reason. What? Why not? And that’s pretty much all we really get of the actual Savage Dragon in this issue.

The rest showcase Dragon’s kids Malcolm and Angel fighting…YUP…the giant green reanimated corpse of Osama Bin Laden as it thwomps and thooms its way through the city. Why is he giant and green? Go with your first guess, it’s probably right. And what does Whitney Houston have to do with his defeat? I don’t want to spoil any more, so you’ll just have to read it.

Story: 3 - Good
Art: 3 - Good


  1. Well, Kudos for giving this issue try. Though I must say you’ve missed out on some great stories judging by when you quit. It sounds like you missed the entire Mr. Glum era! Imagine Calvin and Hobbes style comedy, with Angel as Hobbes, and an interdmensional doll-sized dictator as Calvin. Pure gold!

  2. Mr. Glum shows up in issue #104 (according to some website, I’d have to check my issues to be sure) and hangs around until #128 I guess. He’s in later issues, but this is basically the period of time when he lives with the Dragon family. The grown-ups think he’s just one of Angel’s toys, but Mr. Glum is constantly plotting against Dragon, with pitiful results.

    For the most part he’s never the main focus of the story. He’s just a funny character and very representative of the fun Larsen has with the book.

    Actually I think there were a couple guest appearances by Invincible and even George Bush Jr. during that run.

  3. Fun review!

    I’ve never thought about it like that, but you are 100% correct about his writing and overall tone changed with issue 75. I thought the title was super fun until about issue 100, then it kind of dragged for about 30 issues, though always fun. You also hit the nail on the head about his simpler art style. I still like his stuff, but I thought the pinnacle was the stretch from about issue 30-75 or so.

    This a book I will never drop because Larsen crams so much creativity into each issue.

    • Thanks Andrew!

      I feel like I might have a slightly more appreciative view towards the Silver Age now then when he originally switched styles, so maybe I’ll keep on reading…

      This issue was certainly fun enough to make me give the title a second shot

  4. I think it’s important to keep in mind that when Erik switched things up stylistically with issue 76, it was never going to be a permanent change. It was just something he wanted to do for a little while before moving on to something else. Things got violent and crazy again fairly soon, especially once it got into the 90s. Savage Dragon is nothing, if not always changing.

    Of course then it transitioned into a 60s Fantastic Four ‘Family’ style period for a good 10 issues after issue 100 (Mr Glum was introduced here), that… tends to divide the fanbase a bit. But it definitely came out the other side all the stronger for it. Again, it starts out sore of fun and all-ages, then someone gets a fist through their head and its all Larsen magic again.

    • I love how you never know what you’re gonna get from issue to issue. One issue Larsen’s doing his best Kirby homage/emulation, and the the next he’s experimenting with panel layouts. One of my favorite issues started out with a page completely cluttered with panels, and each page had fewer and fewer panels, until at the end it was an awesome double page spread.

      As for the style change, it wasn’t about making the book kid-friendly. It was to show how different the new world he was on felt. As Dragon started to make sense of it and things became more familiar to him, the style started to revert back to what had been used before the change to reflect it.

      I feel a little silly, over-analyzing a series with a giant mutated Osama Bin-Laden on the cover, but Larsen really does some cool things with the book and I’m so glad I’ve stuck with it through the years.

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