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Savage Dragon #149

Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009
By: Shawn Hill

Erik Larsen
Erik Larsen, Nikos Koutsis (c)
Image Comics
ďDart AttackĒ

Plot: Thereís a brand new Dart on the scene. Not only was she behind the kidnapping of Dragonís children, but now she wants Dragon dead, too.

Comments: This is another one of Larsenís object lesson stories. In a world where so many are super, and most of them are idiots, how many scars do they leave on young, impressionable minds?

I wish I could keep track of all the alternate realities and timelines and parallel lives that run through this book. But even the characters in the book canít keep it straight (for the record, Iím sure Larsen can, but he may be the only one). Dragon meets his new sergeant this issue (in the rebuilt police station after the last one blew up, killing everyone inside except for Dragon of course), and goes on patrol with an old partner, who tries to help him address the fact that his body just died, and heís actually taken over (in some unknown way) the body of the villain that killed him.

But since it still looks like Dragon (those green genes will out!), whatís the difference? Dragonís already dealt with cloned wives, multiple versions of most of his lovers, a replacement daughter for the one that went bad, and a son from another dimension. He takes it in stride, and his new partner might have too, if Dart didnít pick that moment to slice him in half with her magic sword.

Dartís story is one of living close to the halls of power (sheís a legacy hero, the daughter of Sgt. Marvel, but more in the Syndrome mold than any of the better examples she could have found, like the original Dart herself Ö who died horribly more than once, but was a hero and a teacher). Good people are thin on the ground in Dragonís world, and while Allison Summers is more effective than Dart ever was, sheís also completely amoral, and may have killed her own parents and grandfather. Okay, striker amoral; sheís a sociopath.

Dragon faces her with everything heís got, and she does wind up outclassed, if surprisingly not dead. Sheís another subplot from this point on, as is Daredevil, one of the few revived heroes from Chicagoís golden age who seems to be making a go of things. Only heís a little naÔve for the sneaky freaks Dragon knows so well.

Larsen is on a roll again with this title. As always, itís full of surprises, action, tight costumes and massive creeps. The inking is especially solid and detailed these days. Can he do it? 200 issues, all with the same artist/writer? Of course he can. Next month, heís 75% there!



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