Savage Avengers Vol. 1: Time is the Sharpest Edge collects the first five issues of writer David Pepose, artist Carlos Magno and colorist Espen Grundetjern’s action-packed series. You can read in depth reviews of issues #1 and #2 on AIPT to further satisfy your curiosity. The series introduces a new lineup that consists of Conan, Daredevil, Weapon H, Anti-Venom, The Black Knight, Cloak and Dagger.
The first issue does a fantastic job introducing us to all of the characters without just being an information dump. Whether you’re a diehard Marvel fan or someone just getting to know the franchise, Pepose respects your time and delivers just the essentials for the story. The characters come together in a way that makes sense and isn’t just haphazardly assembled.
The standout issue in the collection for me was issue #3. The majority of the issue is a battle with Daredevil serving as tactical expert for the group. It’s a well-choreographed fight and utilizes each of the characters in unique ways. The result doesn’t seem tedious or longwinded at all. The reveal of Deathlok’s true identity at the end of issue #3 is also an intriguing cliffhanger that sets the stage for the rest of the volume. It’s clear that Pepose has a deep knowledge of these characters and is able to find exciting and new powers for them to explore. One example is Dagger healing Anti-Venom (which comes back in an important way in issue #5) and Weapon H transforming into a giant Red Hulk/eagle amalgamation.
The creative team on this book does almost everything right. The art is truly inspiring throughout the whole series, with no dips in execution. The ability of Magno and Grundetjern to render magic and sorcery as well as technology is impressive. In a book with so many epic moments, they somehow are able to keep outdoing themselves. One of my favorite moments was the reveal of Devil Dinosaur, a red tyrannosaurus rex that bursts into action in a gladiator arena only to be absorbed by Cloak and then released later on to devastating effect.
One aspect that should be mentioned is the heavy use of narration boxes. It’s a throwback in a lot of ways to older comics, and may disorient some readers. It can seem like you’re reading two stories at once, but the narration provides important context and flows well with the dialog. The love triangle between Anti-Venom, Cloak and Dagger seems a little out of place, but it could provide interesting interactions in future issues.
I think I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Marvel no longer holds the license to Conan the Barbarian, and there is a great tribute to the character in issue #5. It shows Conan in a throwback art style throughout different periods in his long, illustrious life and is a fitting farewell to such a pivotal character.
With amazing art, nonstop action and interesting characters, Savage Avengers Vol. 1 is a must read. The eclectic group of heroes and antiheroes adds a fresh spin to the superhero team up book that can so often be filled with fan service and one-dimensional plots.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!