Months after his escape from bondage and a few years since his last really big story, Thor, the Norse god of thunder, made his way to Canada, in the hopes of getting some vengeance. Sure, the guy who beat the tar out of him and left him in Godtown to be punished has been dead for a couple of years now, but Dragon's son Malcolm became a perfect target for Thor and his son, Mikki. Things only got more chaotic as North Force, ill-equipped to deal with a threat of Thor's magnitude, got involved, and an already-bloody rampage by Thor got more intense.
Setting the stage for April's North Force-centric issue of Savage Dragon, the issue gave a look at the relationship between the team and Malcolm Dragon -- a fairly strained one. It also gave them some reason to take him a little more seriously as the issue went on.
Larsen joined ComicBook to talk about the issue, what's next, and whether we have seen the angry god at his worse yet. There are spoilers ahead, so if you haven't yet read it, pick it up at your local comic shop or snag a digital copy and read along.
This showdown with Thor has been a long time coming. Was it just a question of finding a place to fit it into the main feature?
It needs to fit. The stage was set in Savage Dragon #250 but I had other things to do which took priority. Sometimes it’s nice to build anticipation a bit.
This issue is a harsh reminder that your Thor is a lot more like the Thor of myth than the Thor of Marvel. Do you think we've seen him at his worst yet?
I wouldn’t think so, no. At least—he wouldn’t think so. He’s a god and sees himself commanding this planet and having all humans bow before him. I would imagine he would very much like to be in the position Glum was in for a time, where everybody on Earth did his bidding.
Have you considered selling t-shirts with Maxine's various slogans on them?
Most of these are taken from actual shirts. Some are local to Toronto and some are just goofball things I’ve stumbled across. Most can be found online and purchased.
Do you think Malcolm really feels the way he talks about Paul in his gut, or is he just feeling guilty about potentially connecting with a Dragon who isn't Dragon?
I think he’s very torn and doesn’t know quite what to feel. In many ways he is a complete stranger to Malcolm and in others—he’s very much like his old man. It’s not something he’s had to deal with before.
I love the idea of Alex and Paul getting married and being "the grandparents." It feels like a fulfillment of something that fans have wanted for a long time. Was that always your intention with Alex -- to settle down with SOME Dragon -- or did it evolve over time?
It evolved over time. Initially Alex wasn’t even going to be a recurring character. When she was first introduced she was just another nameless police officer but her role grew over time. She’s the one of a only a few characters who has survived since the first issue of Savage Dragon. All the villains in that issue as well as Lt. Frank Darling and Dragon himself are no longer with us. Since being reintroduced recently, finding Dragon has been Alex’s driving quest and it’s finally paid off. And I do like them as a couple.
I see Angel is working out in this issue. Is she going to be getting back down to a more regularAngel shape, then, or will a little of the quarantine weight stick around as she does less superheroing?
I’m not sure at this point. I could go either way. There are certainly plenty of people who have stacked on the pounds and plenty more have always had their own battle of the bulge. I have a few things in mind. And that’s part of my working method—not to have one place where I’m headed—but to plot out multiple possible timelines for each character and keep track of their goals and aspirations. There’s no one answer. Being able to turn on a dime helps me to be able to keep readers guessing.
These poor people Thor just bursts in on -- given that we've heard Malcolm talk about the Marvel movies before, it really tickles me to think that they might be almost as baffled by this Thor as they are terrified.
I would imagine most people would be somewhat baffled by these characters in general. If some God came crashing through my door I wouldn’t automatically assume he’s on the level. I’d need some convincing. In Thor’s case he’s got various legends, comic book and movies to confuse matters.
You have used the dramatic action posing and layouts to sell moments of humor before -- often in the bedroom -- but it's a lot of fun in the snowball fight. This feels like something that works better in comics than any other medium. Is that part of the appeal?
Oh, sure. It’s a lot of fun drawing snowball fights. And grownups often overact when they’re playing with their kids and clowning around. Snowball fight lend themselves to wild and overly dramatic poses and such.
Is this issue foreshadowing how Malcolm's relationship will be with North Force going forward, or will the battle with Thor change the dynamic a bit?
Malcolm is proving himself in regard to North Force. They’re skeptical at first and that’s understandable to some degree. To them, he’s a guy coasting on his Dad’s reputation and the star of a reality TV show which lasted one season. They don’t immediately take him seriously.
Do you think Malcolm could make good use of Mjolnir, given his super-aim? That's a power we hvaen't seen as much lately.
The hammer is enchanted and it returns to Thor. Some years back Dragon swiped Thor’s hammer and glove and when he hurled it at a bad guy he clobbered him goo but then the hammer returned to Thor. It’s not something that would be very helpful in the long run.0comments
Mikki's death feels like the kind of sudden, arbitrary violence that we see a lot in Savage Dragon. There's a verisimilitude to it that's lacking in a lot of superhero comics, but is it as spontaneous to you as it feels on the page? Do you know going in that this is how an issue will end?
Often I really don’t. This one in particular took me by surprise. I had every intention of having this wrap up by the end of the issue but it could not be contained! Lately I have been writing and drawing the book a page at a time. I go in with everything semi-worked out in my head and then consider various options as I go. It can be an exhilarating and often frustrating way to do things but I think it makes for a better book. I can be taken as much by surprise as the readers can!