Writer: David Pepose
Art: Carlos Magno and Espen Grundetjern
Letters: VC’s Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 18th, 2022
Deathlok is in full Terminator mode in Savage Avengers #1, relentlessly targeting Conan for crimes against the Timestream. It’s a battle that makes World War 2 look like a game of checkers. As the bullets and blades fly, Daredevil (Elektra Natchios), Anti-Venom (Flash Thompson), Cloak & Dagger, Black Knight, and Weapon H get involved. But whose side are they on?
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If you’re looking for a quiet low-key book where a group of heroes discuss philosophy and the universe while saving the world, go check out some other comic. Savage Avengers #1 lives up to its name from beginning to end, a brutal, bloody, and action-packed debut that continues featuring characters from the fringes of the Marvel Universe, but this incarnation of the book contains a more interesting mix of personalities.
David Pepose masterfully juggles the character introductions and the main plot (which involves the Cult of Set planning to set off a Madbomb at the heart of the city).
Conan’s battle with the Cult of Set and Deathlok frame the book, but throughout the issue, we get interludes with the other characters in the book: Elektra’s Daredevil and Flash Thompson’s Anti-Venom, both on their own missions, meet up and join forces.
Cloak & Dagger have a surprisingly touching conversation on a nearby rooftop. This was my favorite moment in the book. Even though I’ve never been a fan of Cloak & Dagger, I love that their relationship is explored a bit here. It’s the only peaceful moment in the 1000mph action in this book.
Black Knight and Weapon H stumble into each other while stopping some common thugs. This was the weakest part of the issue, and a very brief interlude, thankfully. I wasn’t familiar with Weapon H, but he seems like a fascinating and very powerful character.
It’s so much fun to read a book where the heroes couldn’t care less about shedding blood. The fight between Conan and Deathlok is especially vicious and brutal, and I loved it!
Deathlok is written differently here than I’ve seen him in other books. He’s very much a robotic, T-1000-type character, unwavering and relentless. It’s a perfect match-up for Conan, who relishes a good knock-down-drag-out fight like most people relish a steak with a buttery baked potato on the side. As one-note as Conan is, you’ve got to love a character whose main goal in life is just mowing through as many enemies as he can.
The issue ends with one hell of a twist and I can’t wait to see how the series continues next issue. Great great stuff.
Carlos Magno’s art on Savage Avengers #1 perfectly captures the brutal violence of the characters, with their weapons drawn in great detail. The backgrounds aren’t super detailed, but the characters themselves (especially Weapon H, Conan, and Deathlok) are drawn in a Kirby-like fashion, huge and intimidating. He struggled a bit with Elektra’s Daredevil and Dagger. Any characters that are acrobatic and agile come off a bit clunky, but overall, the art complements the action in the book.
Savage Avengers #1 is a great debut for this incarnation of the team. There are tons of great fights, each of the characters gets a moment to shine in the issue, and the book perfectly sets up a major dilemma for the next issue. Highly recommended.