Malcolm Dragon headed out on his honeymoon in today's Savage Dragon #210, in which he also squared off against a villain who's been gone from the title for so long, her last fight took place in the issue where Malcolm's father teamed up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
How did she hold up against the next generation of fin-headed heroes? Well, it did put a bit of a kibosh on honeymoon plans...but not too much.
Larsen joined us to talk about the issue.
Remember that these commentaries are spoiler-heavy. If you haven't yet read Savage Dragon #210, go grab a copy in person or buy a digital copy.
Angel has been taking center stage a lot in the last few issues. Is it just a question of her being back in town, or do you have some concrete plans for her longer term?
At one point I had considered having Angel inherit the book--not Malcolm. I like her a whole lot. Using her here serves a few purposes--establishing that Malcolm is on his honeymoon, establishing that Chicago has not been left unprotected, and that bad guys are still out there doing bad things.
Plus, I do keep in mind where one story stops and the next one starts because pages will eventually be sitting next to each other in some trade paperback at some point and it makes transitions easier if a Malcolm last page is followed by somebody else on the next splash or a clearly different setting.
I kind of love her “You don’t even have powers! Just funny-looking heads!”
Not everybody is a major player. In comics of old, seven guys in suits might rob a bank but because none of them are visually distinctive, readers aren't left wondering, "What's up with that guy in the brown suit?" They're all but ignored. I'm trying to come up with my own version of that. Not every bit player is important. Some are and some really aren't.
I have to assume that Frank Jr. isn’t dumb, and he’s got a pretty good idea of what happened to Tierra, right?
He does. There is a small bit of doubt as to whose kid it is--so Frank's keeping it mum but he's pretty sure that it's Malcolm's kid. There'll be more on that later, of course.
You have a reused page layout in this issue, right?
When I was drawing this issue it dawned on me that I had another wife fleeing from a menace in Spawn and I thought it'd be fun to use that some layout here since both books go on sale the same day.
Page 10 feels really Kirby-inspired. The posing, the expressions and the villain designs all kind of come together. Is that just my imagination?
My work in general is pretty Kirby-inspired. Since that page was on a six-panel grid which Jack used frequently, it looked a bit more Kirbyesque than many. There weren't any swipes along the way--it's just an influence that bubbles to the surface at times.
The force field bubble is a great idea for keeping Maxine from becoming bad guy fodder too soon, but do you ever sit there and think about whether it’s more dramatically interesting for her to have it or not have it in a given scene?
I do think about it. Likely it'll get played out and old hat. I don't want it to become a superpower of sorts if I can help it. I want Maxine to stay normal and semi-grounded. At the same time--she's constantly in the line of fire and I don't want her to be canon-fodder or a recurring kidnap victim either. Malcolm's dad went through a few girlfriends over the years as have many, many superheroes. It just becomes a cliché and I'd like to avoid that. At the same time--this device will wear out its welcome as well, if I let it.
Virago has…a hell of a look. She kind of reminds me of Magpie from those post-Crisis Batman issues and Byrne’s The Man of Steel. Did you think about updating her at all? She’s not one of those characters who seems to get out a lot, so I guess it makes sense she’s kind of frozen in time.
She's appeared exactly one--in the second issue of the ongoing book. Deciding to include her was kind of a last minute thing as I was sitting here struggling for some kind of motivation for these assembled monsters. I could have them be real Hawaiian gods who have fled to a remote part of the island or something else.
Gavin reminded me that I'd stuck a Hawaiian god in a crowd scene in an earlier issue and it made me reconsider having them be the real thing. I thought--hell, Virago animated stone statues and that prompted me to go in that direction. Her costume is a pain in the ass to draw--and very '90s Image comics. Since she had only appeared once before--I wanted the look to be fairly consistent so that she would be recognizable to those who may have seen her before.
Once they finally got to her, she went down pretty fast. Was that a narrative decision or just a question of space? Obviously beating her wasn’t THE POINT of the issue by a long stretch.
The beating wasn't the point. It's kind of like seeing behind the curtain at the end of the Wizard of Oz. Once you know who's there the movie is as good as over. Once we see it's Virago--well, the threat is over to some extent. She's vulnerable. If the stone minions had caught some normal humans--game over--but they rounded up Malcolm and Maxine. Her demise was a forgone conclusion.
It seems like every major beat in the Tierra pregnancy thing, Malcolm has found out from Gossip Rag in one way or another. It’s safe to assume that he’ll know by the time we pick up next month, since we see somebody walking toward him with the paper?
That's a thread we'll be following for a bit. They don't necessarily see that paper but they find out soon enough. His reaction won't be glossed over.