By Dustin Cabeal
There is a lot to enjoy about Savage Things as long as serial killers being used as terrorist agents is your cup of tea. In a lot of ways, Savage Things is either the American answer to James Bond or Jason Bourne with psychopaths. Take your pick on which sounds more appealing to you.
There is an issue with the story though and its writer Justin Jordan’s desire to trim the fat from conversations. Those long-winded dialogue trains that take us to where we all know the story is going. Nowhere is that more present than the “Now” opening in which Abel and Kira square off in an interrogation room. The entire conversation ends up feeling pointless as Kira calls bullshit on all of Abel’s answers and informs the reader that his “escape” was calculated and planned. The problem being that we’re still learning the world and the history, so Abel’s escape holds no weight with us. The outcome is that Abel wanted to be recruited for job… so bother presenting all of this to the reader? It feels disingenuous in that it’s just a pissing contest where everyone but the reader knows the winner. Sure, there’s some cool lines, but it ends up reading like this: Cool line, piss on it, cool line, piss on it, cool line, piss on it, smile, next scene.
There are some great aspects of the story and Abel’s character. The biggest being that he doesn’t just grow a heart. He accepts collateral damage as part of his actions as we see later in the story. That is incredibly believable. It is ultra-annoying when the “hero” killer badass spends all his time worrying about the civilians all of the sudden just so the story can continue.
The artwork is fantastic and frankly the number one reason to show up for this series. Ibrahim Moustafa illustrates some great gunplay, action, and gore. I would hate to see the man’s nightmares after illustrating this series. Moustafa adds all the personality to Abel’s character, with his smile and the glimmer in his eyes. Also, he illustrates a ton of decapitated heads in this issue, so there’s that too if you’re looking for an ample amount of decapitated heads in your comics.
The story is still developing in this series. Much like Abel, we’re still in the dark, but hopefully, we’ve gotten enough of the backstory out of the way to move on and dedicate more pages to plot. Though I think everyone reading this series would agree that just reading the story from the kid’s timeline would be very enjoyable and interesting. While this is still a good issue, it’s just not quite as good as the first issue.
Savage Things #2
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Ibrahim Moustafa
Colorist: Jordan Boyd
Letterer: Josh Reed
Publisher: Vertigo Comics