Erik Larsen On Savage Dragon #248 and the Road to 250

Things are starting to heat up in Toronto as Savage Dragon comes back to comic shops for the first time since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic and members of the Vicious Circle make their way north after a dramatic prison break. While Canada has outlawed Freak-Out, the compound that removes the powers from superfreaks, the U.S. is eager to use it, dousing the city of Chicago with the stuff and creating a stampede out of town that's likely to leave fans wondering for years to come what the status is of some of the Dragon villains seen escaping the prison at the start of the issue.

As usual, Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen has joined ComicBook.com to break down the issue. Spoilers ahead, so if you haven't picked it up at your local comic shop or online yet, head over to ComiXology and do so!

Heading back to Chicago even for a short time feels like the world is getting smaller again. Is the plan to have some of the old villains stick around after whatever happens in #250?

That’s the general idea. I haven’t touched on Chicago in quite a while or much of the insanity there. It was an opportunity to drop in on some old friends and see where things are and to move some chess pieces around the board. When Malcolm Dragon and Angel Murphy moved north, there was a void created and we really haven’t touched on that or how the city was dealing with that. This addresses that and brings some of these players up to Malcolm’s neck of the woods.

Angel’s comments when she hands over the Freak-Out read a bit like a Chekov’s gun. How scared should fans be?

I do think all the time about how this book might be different if various characters were eliminated or moved on. Nobody is safe, really. I could lose 90% of the cast and still have more characters to explore than in most books. This issue is a prime example, as I casually eliminated a character who has been part of the book since #5. Just because a character has been in the book for a long time or seems like a major player is hardly an indication that they’re safe.

Is there any part of Dart that wants to make for the border specifically to give Malcolm a hard time?

Oh, sure. That’s part of the appeal of Toronto. The other part of that is that it’s a comparatively-sized city to Chicago and that it’s largely ripe for the taking. There aren’t serious obstacles to contend with.

Obviously the Freak-Out gassing is clearing a lot of characters off the board. Do you have a relatively full accounting in your head or is that TBA?

We can only count dead those we see die. We can only those safe that we see are safe. Some are turned human—a few perish because they’re turned human and the rest are unknown at this time. We’ll sort out the bodies if and when it comes up.

Was there a message in the fact that the immediate reaction shot we got from Angel to the proposal looks like “little kid” Angel, or is that just because she was shocked?

More that. I dunno — I liked the visual of it. It makes her seem more overwhelmed by the situation. She feels like a kid stepping into an adult world, taking on adult responsibilities — and she immediately steps up to do that — but there’s that moment where it just hits her and gives her pause.

How do you come up with names like Web-Slinger and Wall-Crawler?!

Heh. It just seemed like a fun idea.

What makes Maxine immediately jump to “you might die this time?” Is it just all the close calls lately?

It’s bigger and potentially more deadly than anything he’s yet encountered and they’ve had some very close calls of late. This has the potential of being deadly.

Is this the first time we’ve seen Mark and Peter Jonson as superheroes? How long has that been in the works?

Literally decades. When I was a kid I drew Dragon comics and I had introduced both Mark and Peter in those comics, and in those they were almost immediately turned into adult superheroes. I knew that I’d get there, eventually, but I wanted to play that out in real time rather than have them age artificially. This is one of those things that was in the works from very, very early on in the series.

Will the Destroyer and the Crusader stick around for the foreseeable future?

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Time will tell but it is nice to have some of these longer term plans finally play out. We were there when these two were kids in cradles. In some respects I have made incredibly long-range plans and in others, I’m literally making this shit up as I go. Both can be enormously fulfilling and fun.

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