Savage Avengers #1/Writer: Gerry Duggan\Artist: Mike Deodato, Jr.\Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham\Colorist: Frank Martin\ Publisher: Marvel Comics\May 1, 2019
When I first heard that there was going to be a new Marvel title called Savage Avengers #1, I was intrigued. First off, I read everything Avengers or Avengers related. Then I saw the cover. You’re telling me that there is going to be a team that has Conan the Barbarian, Wolverine, Brother Voodoo, Venom, Elektra and–wait for it–the Punisher? To quote Leo DiCaprio in Django Unchained: “You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.” The series is written by Garry Duggan (Deadpool, Infinity Wars) with artwork by Mike Deodato, Jr. (Infinity Wars, Old Man Logan).
The story begins with a Pavorotti-like opera singer getting kidnapped to the Savage Land, and later a place called the City of Sickles. He is subsequently sacrificed as part of a ritual to raise Jhoatun Lau, the Marrow God. All within the first few pages. Are you interested yet?
Right after that, we meet Conan the Barbarian, who was last seen in Avengers: No Road Home (where he aided the heroes in their battle against Nyx, the Queen of Night). At the end of that battle, he was thrown into the Savage Land, and he has been there ever since.
In the middle of Conan’s bout against undead ninjas of the Hand, Wolverine enters the fray. Naturally, the two turn on one another, in a very satisfying battle for fans of either character. And before too long, the fight is resolved in the most Conan/Wolverine way possible.
From that point, we are introduced to future team members Brother Voodoo and the Punisher, and we learn what part they have to play. The introduction of Brother Voodoo has a nice sense of humor to it. And the Punisher is lured by the cult, in hopes of making him their sacrificial pièce de résistance. I can’t wait to see how in the wide world of the Savage Land they get Elektra and Venom in the game.
If you are going to title a series Savage Avengers, it had better live up to the savage reputation preceding it. And I can say, without of an ounce of doubt or reservation, that it most certainly does. Gerry Duggan holds nothing back in his writing and Mike Deodato, Jr. is right in step.
Duggan has put together a great story and doesn’t waste any time getting you right into it. Basically he grabs you and doesn’t let go. The story is fast moving, bloody and violent. It’s well…savage. There is definitely a method to the madness. Duggan is weaving a very intricate plot. There is no way you can read this book and not want more.
It was recently announced that Mark Deodato, Jr. is leaving Marvel, after his run on Savage Avengers. And as sad as that is, he is certainly going out with a bang. His love for this series and its characters is obvious in every panel. I love his splash pages, and he displays an excellent sense of perspective. I feel that this truly among his best work. He definitely put his heart in all those Wolverine and Conan scenes. And Frank Martin’s colors are a perfect complement to Deodato’s work fitting the overall tone of the series so well.
The verdict is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Martin Reese is a writer and creator of innovative, dynamic sci-fi and fantasy projects for transmedia platforms. He is the author of the blog Martin’s Theory of Relativity where he discusses topics relevant to People of Color in sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comics. He is also the author of the story book Mulogo and His Quintuple of Trouble.