Savage Avengers #8 Review

Writer: David Pepose

Art: Carlos Magno

Colors: Espen Grundetjern

Letters: VC’s Travis Lanham

Cover: Valerio Giangiordano & Chris O’Halloran

Variant Cover: Marco Checchetto & Marcio Menyz

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: 3.99

Release Date: December 14th, 2022

The SAVAGE AVENGERS are desperate to stop Ultron in 2099 and save humanity. And it looks like their best hope is to rely on Victor Von Doom.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Savage Avengers #8 Review.

The Dispatch

SAVAGE AVENGERS serves up no shortage of spectacle. The action is bombastic. The narration borders on mythic. And the stakes are frequently nothing less than life as the heroes know it. It’s important to keep all of this in mind when I say that SAVAGE AVENGERS #8 is the series’ most shocking issue yet.

The team has a desperate plan to stop Ultron in SAVAGE AVENGERS #8, and it’s courtesy of Doctor Doom 2099. Numbering Doom among them, the team heads for Latveria. They hope to retrieve Doom’s Time Array Gauntlet–the piece of technology that transported Doom to the future in the first place. Just getting there proves difficult. First the team has to survive being shot out of the sky. Then they’re ambushed by Deathloks. Next they face a Sentinel-sized Doombot that doesn’t recognize its old master. But these are little more than distractions compared to what’s waiting for the team when they get to Tyger Wylde’s lost fortress–the gauntlet’s secret hiding place.

And there’s no way to talk about SAVAGE AVENGERS #8’s story any further without spoiling events that must be experienced first hand.

A large part of why the second half of SAVAGE AVENGERS #8 qualifies as jaw dropping rather than just surprising is how Pepose uses Doom. The issue opens with a two page flashback to the 2091 siege of Latveria. Doom’s nation didn’t bow before the machine assault, and the relentless combat between Ultron’s Deathloks and Doom’s Sentinels and Doombots became known as the Iron Front. This battle in and of itself isn’t terribly important (though Magno’s full page spread of Deathlok on Doombot action is quite impressive). But it reinforces that Doom did not go down easily.

Doom’s ability to hold out against Ultron better than everyone else gives his plan and his ego added weight. If anyone can hold out against Ultron long enough to make this desperate plan work, it’s him. As a result when things go sideways too fast for Doom to even realize it, we’re just as shocked as the characters in the story. And having seen Doom’s stand with the Iron Front, what happens here is downright ignominious.

SAVAGE AVENGERS #8 will likely get talked about because of the action and unexpected developments in the issue’s second half. But it’s important to make note of several very effective character beats that Pepose includes. There are a couple more moments during the battle that furthers the Cloak/Dagger/Flash love triangle. Dane Whitman gets a nice moment when his back is up against the wall.

Two standout character moments come in the opening pages before the jet is shot down. Elektra tells Jake (Punisher 2099) that she knew the original Punisher. She warns him that wearing his symbol carries with it a lot of sacrifice. That’s something Jake says he already understands, and their exchange is top of our mind in the issue’s final pages. And by far the best character beat comes between Flash and Miles. It’s affecting enough, though, that like the team’s action in Latveria, I am not going to spoil it for you here.

The Art

The way Pepose writes Doom gives added weight to the story. Though it wouldn’t be nearly as effective without the opening pages’ flashback depicting the Iron Front and for that Magno gets the credit. Only one page is devoted to the large-scale battle, and Magno makes it something to remember. Doombots, Sentinels, Deathloks of all sizes–it’s an impressive display and a very effective way to visually communicate the power Doom still commanded at the time and reinforce that he may still bring enough power to turn the tide.

As a series SAVAGE AVENGERS is very action centric, and Magno’s ability to visually depict large scale chaotic action sequences is outstanding. It can be easy to take that ability for granted when it’s on display every month. But in SAVAGE AVENGERS #8 Magno gets to show off a little bit with some truly brutal moments in the issue’s second half fight sequence. It’s these moments that add the truly jaw dropping quality to the issue. Pepose’s story might be shocking on its own. But Magno brings it to life in a way that sticks with you afterward. The final pages of this issue might be the most memorable sequence I’ve read this week.

Final Thoughts

SAVAGE AVENGERS #8 is the latest issue in a series that delivers fun and compelling stories every month. The story balances character and action expertly while the art team realizes events that stop just short of delivering a gut punch. The one reservation I have is that this issue raises the stakes so high that a satisfying conclusion could be hard to achieve. But in any case, it’s the most incredible ending in the series so far. And for a series that never pulls punches–that’s saying something.


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