If you enjoyed Savage Avengers #1 you probably love fast-paced action and tons of morally suspect heroes joining forces. David Pepose and Carlos Magno broke onto the scene with a team that consisted of Anti-Venom, Weapon H, Conan, Elektra, Black Knight, Cloak, and Dagger. Combined they still can barely stop a Deathlok hellbent on wiping Conan out of existence, and in issue #2 things got a whole lot more complicated: They’re stuck in the Hyborian Age.
Savage Avengers #2 opens on a chaotic battle scene. Men from Conan’s timeline fight as the Marvel heroes attempt to stay alive and escape death. Pepose does well to draw the reader in with captions similar to the last issue, although they’re a little less character-focused. The third-person narrator definitely adds a lot of extra drama and reflection on what we’re seeing, though.
If the first issue was about establishing each hero and the utter unstoppability of Deathlok this second issue is about establishing the new surroundings. Heroes like Elektra and Cloak can certainly keep themselves alive but it’s not easy. In a great sequence, for instance, Elektra must fight Devil Dinosaur. In another, Black Knight can barely keep himself alive in a brawl set in a tight space. These heroes may be at a disadvantage because they aren’t aware of where or when they are, but it’s clear the danger is due to the hard-edged and violent enemies.
There are a few fun twists in the narrative too. It’s too early to tell if it’s unearned or not, but Weapon H gets a new development in his abilities that mixes things up. It’s also cool to see how Deathlok is attempting to get an edge when technology is behind the times in the Hyborian Age, and it’s nice to see the Hyborian Age one last time since we all know Marvel is losing the Conan franchise soon.
Generally, this issue doesn’t flow as nicely as the last issue. Admittedly the last issue had more structure because it had to introduce each hero and seemed to hit a perfect rhythm. In this issue, the chaos of battle ends up muddling the focus and the story can feel unfocused. Much of this issue is about the heroes getting their bearings and figuring out their next move. That goes for Deathlok too, so by the end, once the focus is figured out the narrative feels like it’s finding its footing again a bit too late.
Magno does a great job given the chaotic scenes with many enemies slashing at our heroes. Espen Grundetjern colors the issue and helps lift up characters in the foreground. Backgrounds tend to get lighter colors which helps separate elements. Magno draws a killer Devil Dinosaur and really any viciousness you see on the page is thanks to his measured pencils. Deathlok doesn’t get a ton to do, but he looks formidable and threatening when he does pop up.
If you love chaotic fight scenes and tons of action, you’ll dig Savage Avengers #2. The action, characters, and the threat of Deathlok are all on point in this second issue, but it doesn’t quite find its footing throughout the chaos.
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