Friday, December 2, 2016

Review - Savage #1 (@ValiantComics)


"It's okay--we're safe--we're safe--"

The rich and famous generally have an easy go of things, parlaying their success into obtaining anything and everything they could possibly want. That success often comes at the expense of privacy and normalcy and regardless of whether or not you think it's a fair trade, there's something to be said about being able to get away. In Savage #1 from Valiant Comics, getting away is a little more violent than one successful couple imagined. The issue is written by B. Clay Moore, illustrated by Lewis Larosa and Clayton Henry, colored by Brian Reber and lettered by Dave Lanphear.

Fifteen years ago, the world’s most famous soccer star and his former supermodel wife-–pregnant with their unborn child-–disappeared without a trace. The world believes they are dead, but, in reality, their private jet crash-landed on a mysterious, unknown island ruled by prehistoric creatures from another time. This is the story of how they lost their humanity.

There's certainly nothing new about being stranded on a strange island and having to make a go of it, but Moore is offering a slightly different twist. In the world of Savage #1, the main characters are celebrities and Moore is looking to play upon their general expectations of luxury as juxtaposed against the hardships of true survival. In that regard, Savage #1 definitely hits the ground running as Moore slowly builds up to the present situation that boasts dinosaurs. Otherwise, Savage #1 is a pretty straightforward first issue that features informative dialogue to provide the reader with plenty of context for the tale. Moore clearly defines the characters and includes enough that their primary characteristics will resonate with the reader.

Larosa and Henry illustrate the book with a very urban take on a family being stranded on an island which makes sense considering the social caliber of the family. The issue opens with a very fierce battle and Henry hones in on the savagery well--courtesy of Larosa's attention to detail when it comes to rendering the dinosaurs. There are also a variety of panel layouts that keep up with the action as well, with Henry relying on a mix of panels that sport a myriad of sharp angles. Henry also varies between lush, scenic backdrops and stark backgrounds that help move the reader in and out of specific moments and emotions. Reber's colors add more to this effect, as the island looks pretty luxurious (considering it's likely to be anything but).

Savage #1 is a well-paced first issue that lays the groundwork for an intriguing tale of survival. The main characters are thrust into a very unique situation that neither their status nor reality has prepared them for. Moore's script is solid and gets right to it, introducing the reader to the players and the stage. Henry's illustrations are a great fit for the narrative and hone in on the island as a picture of savagery. Savage #1 is an appropriate title for a book that's slated to get a lot more violent as it progresses.

Savage #1 is available now.

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