Writer: Erik Larsen
Artist(s): Larsen, Frank Fosco, Scott James
Publisher: Image Comics
Plot: Dragon continues to look for Jennifer and Angel wants to help. Meanwhile, a family reunion at Rock House Diner is interrupted by bad blood. Some time ago, Alex Wilde thought she had Dragon all to herself, and Dragon thought Jennifer had accidentally killed her abusive husband.
Comments: Well, the cover promises “80-pages of All-Out Action!” and Larsen always tries to deliver. When he ups the price like this he also tries to up the content, as a sort of boon to all his loyal readers who have been waiting months in between issues. Larsen is busy running Image these days, and he has several other irons in the fire, so Dragon hasn’t been coming out like clockwork since issue #100 or so (when the last big multi-arc plot events reached their climax).
We’ve been dealing with fall-out since then, and I’m not sure what it all means anymore. With all the parallel universe hopping, I don’t know which Dragon, which Angel or which Jennifer we have. One Angel went very very bad under Mr. Glum’s influence, one Jennifer lost her powers, and one extra Dragon waits in a holding cell pleading for his release.
The better part of the issue is given over to an extended story about Rock and his family-run diner, which is threatened by the Vicious Circle once they learn of his estranged daughter. The daughter, Gina, is plucky and resourceful, and though freaked out by powered adults like Feezle, Beast Boy and Widow, she adapts quickly to her new life.
There are some funny moments in the issue, as the villains attack Rock’s home and diner simultaneously. They don’t bank on Rock’s friends, though, including Zeek and a blue lass who casts shadows. The ensuing events are rather clichéd, but what makes the story work is how Larsen repeatedly slows down the fights to include realistic bits of conversation, emotion and familial feeling, even among the bad guys. There’s a very earthy quality to this issue, and Focsco’s slightly Kirby-esque depictions of big, ugly bruisers (and carnivorous subterranean worms) keep the action coming. He also makes Gina a fun youngster in her cheerleading costume, and has fun with the quirky powers of Widow and her daughter Janey.
A final story shows Alex on the last day of her relationship with the wrong Dragon, and the cheesecake art is fine considering the bedroom location of the brief story.
Also included in this issue is the usual long letters page and the most heartfelt tribute to the recently passed Mike Wieringo I’ve yet read. While not involved in a major story at the moment, the Dragon remains an entertaining, humorous and clever spoof of many previous superhero books.
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