SPOILER Dies in 'Savage Dragon' #233

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Savage Dragon #233, on sale today.

Erik Larsen's long-running, creator-owned series Savage Dragon will enter a whole new stage next month, after a shocking ending that killed off one of the series' biggest characters.

Following last issue's cliffhanger, which saw Malcolm Dragon's wife Maxine fall unconscious after being electrocuted by the super-powered baby she was carrying, this issue brought her to the hospital, where an emergency C-section saved the life of the child -- a baby girl -- but not of Maxine, who died after a second shock hit her during the procedure.

"It’s a matter of weighing all of the possible storylines this way and that," Larsen told ComicBook.com of the decision to kill Maxine Dragon. "Are there more stories to be told with the two as a couple, or is there more potential in Malcolm being a single father with four children and his own TV show? Is there more to say about the character? Is there not? I have to look at all of the angles and weigh all of the options. It’s seldom as simple as it appears. Often I’m plotting out different paths and looking years into the future. "

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(Photo: Image Comics)

Maxine, who met Malcolm in high school and married him shortly after they turned 18, has been a stay-at-home mom to Malcolm's three children (fathered during a controversial foursome that saw each of the women become impregnated). Her death is not only a loss to the comic but also means a change in status quo, with Malcolm now a single father.

A reality show, pursued by Maxine during her life, will remain a part of the title -- and gave Malcolm and Maxine, both of whom spent the issue unconscious following last issue's events, a voice in the proceedings.

"I didn’t want Maxine or Malcolm to make any decisions here," Larsen admitted. "Both of them know things that the doctors may not know and I wanted that out of the conversation. At the same time — I didn’t want Maxine to die without having heard her voice or seen her in action to some degree and that’s why I incorporated the reality TV show as much as I did — to remind readers of what she was like when she was conscious."

Over the last two years or so, Maxine's insatiable sex drive and apparent depression have been big drivers of story in the series, especially as she began to feel helpless and in over her head raising a trio of super-powered toddlers. The NSFW elements of Savage Dragon have generated headlines and controversy...and now, in all likelihood, will be significantly diminished as the character at the center of those elements is gone.

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You can check back later today for more from our interview with Larsen.

Savage Dragon #233 is on sale now. You can get a copy at your local comic shop, or pick up a digital version on the Image Comics website or ComiXology.