Erik Larsen Talks 'Savage Dragon' #231, Shark-Woman, Murderous Sex Robots and More

Malcolm Dragon fights off hacked sex robots in the latest issue of Savage Dragon, while back at home his wife and her mother both struggle with being pregnant while on reality television.

That would be a fairly simple issue, if not for a game-changing reveal on the last page and some harrowing action in Dimension-X that promises to shift the trajectory of the upcoming months.

Series creator Erik Larsen joined to discuss the issue.

Spoilers ahead for Savage Dragon #231. If you have not read it yet, go buy a copy and read along with us.

Weird design question: Has the somewhat more X-rated Dragon of late made it more likely that instead of getting her costume back, Dart might continue to be naked as Mako-Dart?

No. That kind of thing can fly in Dimension-X when you're out of your mind but it doesn't fly back on Earth. Most of us are too self-conscious to go running around in the buff like that and Allison is no exception.

With Angel missing and Malcolm and the family seemingly settling in up in Canada, will Dart be more or less free to do her thing in Chicago?

Not entirely, no. Freak Force has broken away from the government at this point and they're back in town, picking up where Malcolm left off. There's also something of a question of where Dart goes from here. Does she reclaim her place as the head of the Vicious Circle? Does she run off to raise her kid in seclusion somewhere? There are choices she has to make.

Obviously last time around, Angel had a lot of help with the pregnancy. You have said before that this time she will be taken care of, but has anybody thought about the prospect of Kevin's baby being dangerous for her mom?

I can't imagine that it hasn't come up. And there's no doubt that there's some danger there.

Given her aversion to PDA last episode, how is Maxine's mom going to handle the reality show? Is that part of why everyone keeps asking what's up with her and Kevin?

I expect that it's going to be a trying time for everybody involved, likely made doubly so by Maxine playing to the cameras and trying to create entertaining TV over simply being herself.

How much fun are you having coming up with Maxine's t-shirts the last little bit?

It's all stuff I ran across doing research here and there. Her shirt from this issue was one I saw in a store window when I was in Toronto. And, honestly, Toronto has been the gift that just keeps giving. There are so many little things which I've run across that work wonderfully with what I'm doing, be it T-shirts, store names, restaurants or locations. It's got a lot to offer.

Is Rapture just too far gone to really consider the implications of a new variable in the Dimension-X story? She says herself that she's never had an Alex before but that doesn't seem to faze her.

Alex is, in her mind, inconsequential because she doesn't have any powers to take into account. In regard to Angel and Jennifer, the versions she's dealt with have all been released in Dimension-X. So any Angel she's met has been an unfrozen one raised there. This Angel, having come from Earth and primarily raised and trained there is a new variable as well but that information wasn't made clear to her.

There has been kind of a lot of talk on social media lately about sex dolls being hacked and/or going out of control. Was this story written in response to that, or is that just a happy coincidence?

A happy coincidence. I'm not actually aware. I guess I have some Googling to do.

Certainly it plays into the overt sexuality that the book has been expressing lately. Even in an issue like this, where the nudity is scaled way back, there is quite a bit of sex. Can you talk about that?

I'm not sure what I can say. I'm trying to simply have sex be a part of life. People have sex. People occasionally take their clothes off. I'm trying not to glamorize it in any way. I'm trying to have things feel real. There's a tendency to do "good girl art" where characters are posed in highly sexualized ways and that's something I'm not trying to do.

Granted, these are good looking people in top physical shape but I'm not trying to pander but to simply show people doing what they do. They're not "playing to the camera" we've just dropped in on them and caught them in the act of living their lives. I want readers to be immersed in this world and part of that is making it feel real even if it's not drawn realistically. If that makes any sense.

At the same time — I'm just showing what can be done. This isn't a sex book per se any more than it's a romance book or a science fiction book or a horror book. I can do whatever I want to here. And sometimes that means there'll be people with their clothes off and more often — it won't.

In this issue, we see Alex really fearing for her life. This is a character who has been around since the beginning, and between being the last survivor of the original timeline and having been retired for so long, is there a temptation to let her survive or is she just another character in this dangerous universe?

It's funny but for some years Frank Darling was my designated survivor. At this point nobody is safe. If there's a good story to tell—I'll tell that.

I kind of love that Maxine has the reality show thing down to a science. But crazy people being crazy people, will she be painting a bulls-eye on herself by going on TV and berating Malcolm like that? I can just imagine the death threats on Twitter.

She'll find out soon enough. She's having fun with it but there definitely is a danger there. People can react in strange and unexpected ways. To Maxine, this is all just fun and games but we'll see where this all plays out once the TV show starts airing.

What is going on with Rapture's army? On the one hand, it seems like she is very much in charge of them but on the other she talks about "doing this alone if I don't have to," which makes it sound like they would turn on her if they weren't getting laid?

She is in charge but part of that involves a lot of satisfying them sexually—which is a lot of work for one woman. And Rapture is 45 years old at this point (or nearly that, depending on how long she was frozen. Given the apparent age of her son, she would seem to be roughly that). In any case—any other woman taking some of the load (so to speak) is a welcome relief.

So is the big last-page reveal here the REAL reason Malcolm got a goatee in recent months?

No, no—not at all. It was a look I wanted to try out and I gave it a go. It does help differentiate the two but that really wasn't the thought behind it.


Savage Dragon #231 is on sale now.