Erik Larsen on Savage Dragon #255's Blood-Soaked Game Changer

This week's Savage Dragon #255 picked up where last month's fast-paced and blood-soaked issue left [...]

This week's Savage Dragon #255 picked up where last month's fast-paced and blood-soaked issue left off -- only to stomp on the gas and double down on just about everything after an issue that left Malcolm seemingly dead at the hands of Dart, this week fans got a look at the fallout of that battle -- and it was none too pretty. Meanwhile, virtually every character in the comic is left pondering what all of it means right along with the audience. From Chicago, where we meet up with the Darlings and Bellco Labs, to Dimension-X, where Alex and Paul Dragon go in search of closure, the issue feels very widescreen.

Series creator Erik Larsen presented a continuation of last week's mayhem which, even with Malcolm out of commission and with his life hanging in the balance, still feels like it forwards the overall narrative of the series. Larsen joined go break down the twists and turns of the issue.

There are spoilers ahead for the issue, so don't read on unless you've already seen it!

The retro packaging on the cover really works well with PAUL Dragon getting his first solo cover. Was that on purpose?

We're doing retro '70s covers as variants, so there's that along with the more standard covers. I colored this particular cover myself and I tend to go more flat than Nikos does so it does look a bit more old-timey because of that.

Should we read anything into the fact that Alex calls Paul "Dragon?"

I think Alex wants Paul Dragon to be her Dragon—our Dragon—the Dragon she knew. But at the same time, Paul largely answered to the name "Dragon" in his world, so it's not unusual for him. But I think Alex is projecting a bit.

Between Angel and some of the conversations that Malcolm and Maxine have been having, it seems like the next generation of heroes is...not so into heroics. Is that a commentary or are you setting up the next big change?

They have gone through a lot. Malcolm's come close to dying a few times and Angel had to be pulled back from the brink. So, it's understandable. It's especially so when you've faced the abyss. In Maxine's case—she's been pulled out of her afterlife twice—so she's quite wary of Death. And she certainly doesn't want to have to raise four superpowered children as a single parent.

After...all of that...that was a pretty surprising end for Dart. It almost feels arbitrary. What made you go with a cop being the one to kill her?

They were on the scene and she was standing on Malcolm. It seemed the most obvious choice. Had North Force arrived earlier it's more likely she would have been taken alive but the police were there. Luckily for them they took the shot without yelling out a warning shot. She could have transformed into shark form and that would have been the end of all of them.

Is there any kind of commentary to the fact that just a few months after the BLM issue, we're back to having the police in riot gear riding to the rescue?

Not really, no. Like it or not, they do have a job to do and they would be called in to deal with this sort of thing. It's not as though they'd just be talked into surrendering or something.

Any chance at all that the "it can't be -- you're dead!" cover coming up isn't REALLY Mako but instead Mako-Dart?

You'll have to wait and see about that one, I'm afraid.

Does this leave a power vacuum in the Vicious Circle or will it fill up quickly? Obviously Rogue Warrior was already angling.

It does and Rogue Warrior is in police custody. So it's not as simple as him filling that role. There are others who would happily step in and take up the job.

How "prepared" are the kids for the reality of how dangerous Malcolm's lfe is? Obviously it isn't like they haven't seen it before, but that scene with Jackson was heartbreaking.

It's hard to know what really resonates with children who are that young. Both Maxine and Malcolm's fathers both died in their lifetimes but they were incredibly young at that time, so they probably don't have strong memories of that. Then again, several of them have actually killed others—so they've seen it firsthand. But that's a bit different--it wasn't somebody they knew and then lost. There's nobody in their lives that they've lost which they can remember.

"I'd like to think we're more responsible than that at Bellco." Anybody there ever read a newspaper?

Well, yeah. But everybody likes to think that they're working for one of the good evil corporations.

Is Billy as good a chance as you've had in a while to give us a Dragon-looking baddie whose powers aren't just "a slightly tweaked version fo Dragon's?"

We're still a long way off from a point where Billy might be considered a baddie. He's just a little kid.

Is the implication with the baby at the end that Jennifer was pregnant with a Chosen One when she died, and it survived her grisly death? Or is it just another variation on Michael?

Michael and Jennifer had an encounter. She got pregnant. When she died the child inside her fed on her organs and dug itself up and our of her grave, dragging her remains behind them. When we saw her grave being disturbed sometime back, that was this child digging themselves out. In the succession, yeah, this would be yet another chosen one, which brings s to quite a lot of them.