Malcolm and Maxine Dragon will apparently flee to Toronto following Donald Trump's upcoming appearance in Savage Dragon.
Series creator Erik Larsen posted a preview of Savage Dragon #227's cover to Twitter last week, featuring a passport stamp that reads "Welcome to Toronto" and the Dragon family (Malcom, Maxine, and their three children) wearing Canada-themed clothing and drinking Canadian beer.
Currently, the series is in the midst of a three-part mega-story in which longtime villain Mister Glum is trying to "reset" the Image Universe so that he can be reunited with his lost love, Angel. That tale will seemingly feature Malcolm's father Dragon getting his powers back -- although it seems likely that will be temporary since the storyline ends in #225 and the covers for #226 and #227 do not feature Dragon.
The cover to #226 is the "Trump cover," in which the President is depicted as terrorizing Malcolm and Maxine, shouting for supporters to "kill the aliens."
Dragon, Malcolm's father, is an alien; Malcolm's mother was a (super)human woman.
For those wondering, it seems likely this will be a genuine direction change and not just a one-off; Larsen clarified for fans that the image on the cover is meant to be Malcolm and Maxine dressing how Americans think Canadians dress, and encouraged fans who actually live in Toronto to help him remain true to the locale.
"For those who live in Toronto itself--suggestions for neighborhoods and cool locations to include would be appreciated," Larsen said. "I may even go through Google maps and give Malcolm an actual house from an actual street."
The series has been set in Chicago since it started 25 years ago, and during that time Larsen has made visits to the city and taken photos to "scout locations" there as well.
In Savage Dragon #218, Erik Larsen's long-running creator-owned series became the first major American comic book to address the election of Donald Trump to the office of the President of the United States.
The reaction, provided by Malcolm while watching Trump's acceptance speech on TV?
"We are so f---ed."
At the time, Larsen assured readers that the line would have been there if Hillary Clinton had been elected, too.
"That page was the last to go out," Larsen told ComicBook.com at the time. "I knew I was covering the election but I wasn’t sure how it’d go. No matter who had won, the reaction would have been essentially the same: we’re f---ed."
There was, at one point, a time when he considered making it more a part of the issue's story, but there just wasn't the room.
"I was going to have two time-traveling assassins show up—one from a future where Clinton took office and one from a reality where Trump did and in both realities things just went to hell," Larsen added. "But logistically, it was problematic, and I simply didn’t have the space."
Larsen said that when he was growing up, he always enjoyed seeing the President show up in The Incredible Hulk.
"It seemed like there was a presidential portrait of sorts with every new administration," Larsen said. "I’ve made it a point to do that as well and I kind of wanted to just get it out of the way."
Of course, with Savage Dragon having been set in Chicago since its beginning, the Obama presidency was a little more "present" than previous administrations had been, right up to an issue where Dragon (not Malcolm, but his father, who used to be the series lead) met the President. Later, Obama would pardon Dragon for various crimes committed while he was not in control of his body.
At the time, Larsen told us he didn't know whether Trump would play a major role in the comic.
"I’m in a 'wait and see' mode on that. Definitely in the run up to the election there was some serious race baiting and tensions were super high. The guy has been on nearly every side of every issue, so it’s really hard to know what to expect from him as a commander-in-chief," Larsen said. He said that if he perceives Trump as a particularly poor President, he would feel obliged to address that in-story, but if the next four years are relatively unremarkable they probably won't make it into the comic, concluding, "You never know. If Trump’s presidency is at all significant I might touch on it again."
The protests and riots that followed Trump's election made its way into Savage Dragon as well, and Malcolm struggled to deal with both Trump supporters and detractors having problems with him (because he's an alien and a police officer, respectively).
Asked about the decision to feature the new commander-in-chief so prominently, Larsen matter-of-factly told a fan on Facebook, "I had a story I could get out of it."
It seems the story didn't end with merely pitting the family momentarily against the U.S. government, but expands to moving them out of the country entirely. That begs the question of what will happen with supporting characters like Malcolm's half-brother Kevin and his recently-discovered half-sister Masha; both of them live in Chicago and both Marsha and Angel Murphy, his kinda-sorta adopted sister who lived with Malcolm and Dragon, work for the U.S. government.
There's also the question of what happens to Dragon after he regains his powers, although some have speculated that #225 might be more a "going out in a blaze of glory" story for Dragon than a return to form.
Either way, it appears as though Malcolm and Maxine will have a "new beginning," in Canada, come August.
Expect more details soon when the next set of Image Comics solicitations are released.
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