Savage Dragon to Die in October?

Savage Dragon #192

Erik Larsen has released a preview of the Savage Dragon #192 cover to his Facebook followers, hinting at the death of Savage Dragon in the issue.

Savage Dragon, as seen in the cover at right, is being led to the electric chair--justified in-story by the fact that he's in prison for mass murder and set to be executed. Of course, whether a being as powerful as Dragon can be killed by conventional means remains to be seen, and has been the subject of some debate both in-story and in our interviews with creator Erik Larsen, who provides a monthly commentary track for the title.

"The reality of the situation is that these things tend to drag on for years," Larsen told ComicBook.com back in January. "It’s not as though they decide to execute somebody and then pull the trigger the next day. It can take decades. But yeah–if it’s not done correctly–they could be in the same situation."

The situation we were talking about was what led to his being sentenced in the first place: Dragon's series began after a bloodthirsty dictator from another world was dropped out of a spaceship and landed on earth,  stripped of his memories and identity. That powerful alien being became Dragon, but years later when he was seemingly killed in battle with Overlord, his body regenerated...a little too much. Kurr's persona returned and he nearly wiped out the human race in a plan to take over the planet for his displaced people. Ultimately through a combination of genetic manipulation and time travel, Dragon was able to go back and "kill" his previous self before the serious body count took shape, but even in the altered timeline that serves as the story's setting Kurr killed quite a few people.

As is wont to happen in superhero stories, this isn't the first time Dragon has been mind-controlled into criminal behavior...and the prosecutors elected not to take that it wasn't "really" him into account when prosecuting the case this time, citing the danger to the city and the world if it happened again.

What's notable about the cover of #192 is that it immediately precedes what Larsen has referred to as a "new beginning" for the title.

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“So, plans are to make some rather sweeping changes in Savage Dragon so that issue #193 can be something of a new beginning,” Larsen said yesterday. “There’s something someone somewhat magical to me about the number 193 – it was the issue where Jack Kirby returned to Captain America, which was the first time I was able to buy new Jack Kirby Captain America comics off the stand. Issue #193 was also the issue where my favorite Hulk artist Herb Trimpe concluded his rather lengthy run on The Incredible Hulk. So, I’m looking forward to Savage Dragon #193 and my new beginning.”

Dragon's children, Malcolm (a high-schooler who looks like Dragon for the most part) and Angel (a star-spangled blonde superheroine who just graduated high school) have been the stars of the title, in spite of the name of the book, since Dragon was first presumed dead and only somewhat handed the reins back over to their old man when he returned from the apparent dead (and then a brief exile in space).