Reviews

Review – Savage #2 (Valiant Entertainment)

Savage #2 (Valiant Entertainment) cover A (detail) by Marcus To (w sticker)
  • Writing - 6/10
    6/10
  • Art - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 7.5/10
    7.5/10

Savage #2

Writer: Max Bemis
Artist: Nathan Stockman
Colorist: Triona Farrell
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: March 17, 2021

What does Project Bizarre want with Kevin Sauvage and why did they attack London with dinosaurs? Kevin is going to find that out, and more strange things.

Overall
7.5/10
7.5/10
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“Weird Science” Savage #2

Welp, in Savage #2 we find Kevin Sauvage, the boy who grew up in the land of dinosaurs, in the hands of Project Bizarre. Kevin’s older brother had turned the now-teenage Kevin into a social media sensation upon his return. The wild boy from such a savage land has everyone smitten. But what does Project Bizarre want with Kevin, and why and how did they bring dinosaurs back to attack London? 

Savage #2 (Valiant Entertainment) cover B by Michael Walsh
Savage #2 (Valiant Entertainment) cover B by Michael Walsh

Kevin finds out more than he ever wanted to know about Project Bizarre and all of their nefarious doings. Plus, Kevin finds out that maybe his brother does not have his best interest at heart. And being a social media star has its downfalls, as he continues to search for his purpose in Savage #2.

Writing

So, as I noted in my review of Savage #1, I was not too sure what to make of the ending when Project Bizarre showed up. Savage #2 fills some of that in, but I am not totally sure how much I like it. Max Bemis throws us right in, as the first eight pages or so are dedicated to delving into Project Bizarre and what they are doing. It gets a little long in the tooth and feels like Bemis is doing a lot of what he did toward the end of his Moon Knight run (which I was not a fan of). The pacing is just not very good; I feel like this big discussion could have been broken up a little better.

The dialogue is not fantastic, either; there are a few eye-roll moments that I had. But, part of it may be that the characters are supposed to sound like that, so maybe that is intentional as well. Savage #2 fares much better when Bemis has a focus on Kevin and his brother. Their relationship and the end of the issue are extremely interesting.

Bemis at times seems to lose the more “character moments” getting wrapped up into these wild scenarios or focusing on more nuanced things than the big problems facing the characters. I am hoping in future issues Bemis stays focused on Kevin and his problems introduced in this issue.

Art

The art by Nathan Stockman and colors by Triona Farrell are the stars of the show in Savage #2. Truly some tremendously done pages and panels. Stockman details everything superbly well. The trip through Project Bizarre’s headquarters is an absolute visual treat. All these wild things are brought to life in wonderful detail. Triona Farrell’s bright colors are magnificently done and bring the pages into focus.

Stockman’s cartooning style is perfect for the series, as well. It has a realistic look and feel to it; yet, it is cartoony and exaggerated at the same time. It matches the tone of the series perfectly. It catches the serious elements well, and the more silly and goofy things perfectly, but it can also be shockingly violent, all at the same time.

The MVP of Savage #2 is letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. You talk about putting in the work—this man right here put in the work. My gosh, this book was filled with word balloons. Otsmane-Elhaou does a fantastic job of getting all of this dialogue and narration into the issue. Plus he does a great thing with the font, bringing out when people are quieter and then exaggerating certain words or sentences. Great job at capturing the characters’ emotions.

Conclusion

Man, I really was excited about this series and the first issue was promising. But Savage #2 has toned down the hype for me. After his Moon Knight run I was not too excited about Bemis’ writing, and it seems that he is falling back into what he did over at Marvel, a bit. But, I like what he did at the end of this issue. So, it does have me interested in issue #3. The first part of this issue was a slog to get through and a little eye-rolling at times. The art is really the savior for Savage #2. If not for the tremendous visuals from Nathan Stockman and Triona Farrell, I am not sure I would have made it through the first few pages. 


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