It would appear that the “Malcolm Dragon gets laid a lot” party has finally ended. Now begins the hangover and the undeniable consequences that follow such wild and free-living. Malcolm may be one hellacious superhero mountain of a dragon who can crush baddies with his bare hands. But he may just have another super-weapon of the swimming variety that can wreak some serious destruction as well. We will have to see. As for Issue #204, Things look to be getting a little bit sticky in the world of young Malcolm. And not in a good way. Now I should positively hate this run of Savage Dragon stories as I am well past my teen angst years and I am interested in really only those things that I have grown to expect in a Savage Dragon book…Those things being heavy-duty fisticuffs and super slamming action. We haven’t had a whole lot of that except in pieces here and there. But young Malcolm has been doing a lot of slamming, just mostly horizontal, and diagonal, and vertical. Hey, the guy has been awfully busy.
I should hate all of this. Yet strangely, I have found this direction of the new Savage Dragon to actually be quite interesting as you see that just because you are pretty much invincible, there are simply some things out there that you cannot control. It is an angle that I do not remember ever seeing in a comic series. And it has added some light heartedness to go with the more serious things that have hit from time to time since this new direction began. For Malcolm, it is tough to be a Dragon teenager.
Issue #204 loads up the consequences as we have an accusation and another confirmation related to er, uh, sensual activities. And making matters worse, there might be a little money motivation involved too as some sleazy elements in the print world might just pay a mint should some evidence be out there of said er, uh, sensual activities. We will just have to see.
For being a writer advanced in years more so than Malcolm, Erik Larson does a good job in hitting the troubles that dumb kids can get into. Whether they are a dragon or not, stupid actions are stupid actions. Also at play is young Malcolm’s future. Sure he has super powers and is hard-core. But Malcolm also has some writing talent as well and pretty decent grades. He may have a future somewhere else should he decide to pursue it. If he decides to choose it. It makes for some compelling reading that feels like a superhero afterschool special.
Artistically speaking, it is hard to render any criticism to the man who has drawn a version of this character during its entire run. The art is strong and Larsen has it down cold, leaving the writing side of things for analysis.
And in that writing, I have seen wit, grit, and strong interactions between the characters. No one is two-dimensional and all have some substance to them with their own voice and drive. Even Neutron Bob, wiped of his power, has a touching moment with his mother within the pages of this issue.
Savage Dragon has been become a kind of fun read for me. There is nothing too terribly overwhelming or underwhelming for that matter in any issue. #204, like so many of the others, flows, entertains, and makes you ready to pick up the next one right where the last one left off. To me, that is a sign of a good comic and a much-needed “fun” break from the dark and bleak stuff that I normally read week in and week out. I have found myself liking the bright colors and happy flow of watching Malcolm struggle. Maybe I am just a little bit sadistic. But in Malcolm’s turmoil, I find entertainment. There, I said it. Savage Dragon, though generally not the kind of story roll that I would normally be into, has brought me into the fold.