By Gerry Duggan, Mike Deodato jr., and Frank Martin
It’s not uncommon to see different factions of Avengers teams pop up here and there. We’re used to the main title, which usually features the big names like Thor, Captain America and Iron Man. There have been teams like the West Coast Avengers, or the U.S. Avengers as well, but none of them have ever been as brutal as this weeks Savage Avengers. The body count of the line up alone is more than all the other Avengers teams combined. This is an opportunity to see a brand name super hero team throw the moral compass out the window and lay into nasty villains who deserve it.
Gerry Duggan has certainly worked his way up the ladder at Marvel. He’s written big events, he’s done Deadpool, and now we get him on Savage Avengers. What works for this issue is that Duggan doesn’t rush things. The issue is larger than a standard comic, but much of the focus is on a meeting between Logan and Conan. This meeting would take time to figure out as both characters are act first talk later types. Duggan gives the meeting enough time to play out, which of course includes a fight, and the resolution seems natural. Another thing Duggan did that worked out well, was not introducing every character this issue. Sometimes there is pressure to show everyone who will be on the team in the first issue, and it can be a bit much. Duggan is clearly taking his time developing how things come together, which is a good move. Of course, with a name like Savage Avengers, there has to be violence and blood. Duggan doesn’t let us down this issue, as people get their throats slit and stabbed in the head. If you’ve always wanted more violence with your Avengers, this is the book for you.
The pencils this issue are handled by Mike Deodato jr. with colors by Frank Martin. Deodato jr has a very dark and distinct style that is almost perfect for this book. Deodato jr gives us probably one of the best cliff falling moments in this book. As Logan and Conan fall, we get six panels detailing the fall. Deodato gives us various closeness, like a panel of Logan using his claws to break the fall; ultimately, the page just works. The action scenes in this book, and there are a lot, look great. Seeing a sword clang against Logan’s claws is always cool. The colors by Frank Martin really add to the moodiness of the pencils. Orange and yellow backgrounds fill the book and allow the shadowy characters to stand out. The art needed to be darker to match the tone of the book, and Deodato jr and Martin deliver.
If you think Savage Avengers looks like it will be a book that has too much firepower, you may not be wrong. There is something to seeing all these violent characters interacting with each other though. Gerry Duggan has set the first issue up nicely, but hasn’t bogged it down with too many character introductions. The pencils and colors fit the style of the story and enhance the reading experience. If you’re looking for a change of pace Avengers book, Savage Avengers is the cure.