Erik Larsen Talks 'Savage Dragon' #234

Savage Dragon #234 featured a resurrection, a transformation (or two), some live-size, murderous sex dolls, cannibalism, and lots of death.

So -- it was an issue of Savage Dragon, basically.

While not quite as crazy as the last coupel of issues have been, this week's installment set up quite a bit of what is to come in the next few months while advancing the two major plots -- one on Earth and one in Dimension-X.

Series creator Erik Larsen joined ComicBook.com to discuss the issue, which you can pick up today at comic shops and online.

Okay, so obviously the elephant in the room first: MAXINE IS BACK! Why bring her back and more why the misdirect?

It’s a matter of planting seeds and seeing what grows.

There had been bits I’d set in place earlier on—some discussion of what might happen when Maxine’s father was dying. There was a question of—well, what if Malcolm had injected his father-in-law with his blood? Would that have saved him? I wanted to play around a bit with that idea and I wanted to see Maxine in a Dragon form, plus I wanted to have a fourth child with lightning powers and I thought that this was an exciting path to take.

It had some misdirection, a resurrection, a transformation and all the rest. Plus it left with a lingering question of: Could this work again? Could this save other lives? And if so—where does that leave Malcolm Dragon?

Malcolm's blood, and Dragon's, tend to be intermittently a big problem (as we saw last issue), but that has been largely sidelined for a while. Will this potentially bring some of that back into focus?

Yeah. There’s a lot of potential for stories here. This could go any number of ways and it’ll be fun to explore the possibilities.

Is this an issue that will set up a lot of future plotlines? Both Maxine and the robo-babes have kind of...leading…lines.

It’s like a Hydra—cut off one head and two will take its place. Even when things appear to get tied up with a nice shiny bow there are thing here and there which can be followed up on down the road. The Sex-Dolls are still out there—and whoever is pulling their strings is still out there.

You know, it really never occurred to me, but did this Sharona go through the merging and her non-evil self just didn't help to offset her crazy or give her the idea that cannibalism isn't the answer?

The merging in her case made her even more schizophrenic and crazy than ever. Whatever was in her head was like a fever dream--a mad jumble. She didn’t get a lot of good out of it. Maybe just a bit more hate for Jennifer and Alex—her two rivals for Dragon’s affections.

Will this experience change the way Maxine deals with the reality show, or was this issue kind of a one-off in that department?

The show is a work in progress. Both Malcolm and Maxine are learning on the job.

After last issue's misdirect, I have to ask: is there any hope for Jennifer?

I know that I should leave this hanging and not give a definitive answer but no. Zero. She’s dead. We saw that she was dead. This is where her story ends.

Admit it: you kind of like the "SPUT" solution to probelms occasionally, don't you?

I do. But I also kind of regret my choice of sound effects. It was initially meant as a humorous end but there are situations where it’s just a bit too goofy, Dragon’s death back in #225 was one of those.

On the one hand, I would think that after everything they have been through together, Angel and Alex would be close. On the other, Alex is just a regular human. If they make it back to Earth, do you see this as a new status quo for them, or just a partnership of convenience?

Some of Angel’s best friends are regular humans. Both she and Malcolm have stayed in touch with and are close to regular humans. Having spent the better part of a year together in Dimension-X…yeah, I would think so. I don’t think the two would just say goodbye and go their separate ways if they ended back on Earth.

I saw your tweet about potentially moving on from twice-up. Is there something recent that hasn't come out well in the translation? Or just a general observation?

Just…various things. That shot of Maxine toward the end wailing on a Sex-Doll on the page where Malcolm jabs her in the tongue with Freak-Out is so much more impressive on paper than in print. Bold lines get reduced to ones that are vastly more delicate.

I dunno — it can be frustrating at times. I wish there was a page size that worked out the way I’d like but everything seems to have its advantages and disadvantages. I’m definitely seeing some of the shortcomings here — at the same time — I moved to this size because the standard was giving me grief as well. This is likely one of those things there is no perfect solution for.

Is it tempting to bring somebody in the vein of Rex Dexter back in? Right now there are like 3 different situations where a tech wizard might come in handy.

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Yeah, and likely there is somebody out there somewhere. It just feels like something of a cheat—like Dr. Strange saying the right words and waving his arms and everything’s all better.

I’d rather have the characters that are in place figure stuff out and solve things from within than pull a fast one. That kind of character can end up being the answer to everything.