Sometimes there are comics that have so many ideas you can’t even catch your breath, and Savage Avengers is one of them. The series started with Conan and a team of mostly misfit heroes, and now it’s steeped in 2099 lore and characters. Savage Avengers #8 mixes 2099 with crazy time-travel implications and the main crew of heroes: Weapon H, Elektra, Cloak, Dagger, Deathlok, and Anti-Venom. Given they’re fighting a version of Ultron that defeated Doom 2099, they’re probably screwed, but what is new for this superhero group?
Savage Avengers #8 opens with a flashback detailing how Ultron defeated Doom 2099. This catches you up to speed and sets the narrative off on a terrible future where robots roam and kill everything in sight. The narrative doesn’t stop for a second after this flashback closes out as writer David Pepose keeps the action and the narration moving. This book keeps the explosions going and the violence at a high level.
The unconventional captions, at least in modern comics, continue to reflect on what we’re seeing or adding color where dialogue or visuals can’t. It gives the series a unique feel, and while it can feel overly done at times, it’s a nice touch.
Dialogue is fun, especially Punisher 2099, who speaks in that weird futuristic techno-speak. Each character has a cadence that sets them apart, and it’s fun to see how Pepose plays with each character’s voice.
Character development feels light or absent at times. Seeing Anti-Venom connect with Deathlok, for instance, seems a bit stuffed in. That might be due to all the action going full-tilt and the characters rarely getting a moment to speak to each other.
There are some big ideas in this issue and possibly more than the usual in a single-issue comic. In fact, I’d argue we get a couple that could be the centerpiece of an entire story arc. Carlos Magno pulls them off splendidly with a great cliffhanger full-page splash. There are multiple character designs on that page alone worth lingering on. Mango has a great talent for adding a lot of detail in any given scene, and he’s a great choice for a book like this, with so many characters standing around in any given panel.
There are some instances where the action can be confusing to suss out, possibly because of the colors by Espen Grundetjern not entirely separating background and foreground enough. It’s not helped, given the amount of dirt and metal flying around as explosions go off. Still, I found myself looking at certain panels, not quite knowing where a character was about another. Usually, you can piece it out, but unfortunately, it’s not immediate at times.
If you like tons of big ideas packed into a single issue, check out Savage Avengers #8. Characters literally die on the page, get reborn into new forms, and supervillains have their day in the sun too. That includes Doom 2099, who plays the part of a reluctant hero.
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