By Dustin Cabeal
I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire point of Savage Things is to introduce Vertigo readers to Justin Jordan and Ibrahim Moustafa because the point of the story is lost on me. Lost on me in the sense that it’s breaking some logic that’s being established between the two timelines.
In the past, we see Abel as the leader and the one pushing Cain forward. They’re bonding, but not like in the future in which Cain says that Abel has been dreaming of killing him for twenty-five years. In the present timeline, we see Cain as the one in love with murder and chaos. He’s the one with the plan… but is he? Part of me feels like Abel is still calling the shots and pulling the strings of everyone from afar. At least, I kind of hope that’s the case. It would make the story more interesting.
Frankly, at this point, I find the storyline with the kids to be more interesting than the present storyline. Sure, we know that these government raise psychopaths have been betrayed and want revenge, but is that the interesting part of the story? I can’t be alone in wanting to see them grow up, start missions and the battle between serving their country and serving their desires. That and the guy training them asking them to kill each other all the time seems like a character worth following. Is he a psychopath as well or just so committed to his job that he doesn’t let it bother him? That’s the part I struggle with, I want to enjoy this world more and explore it more, but where it’s at currently doesn’t interest me. I don’t find Abel helping the government agents very believable, and there’s been no character development for him to suggest otherwise.
There was one scene that bothered me, and it was when Abel’s pseudo partner freaks out about the chaos and feels the need to mention that she’s not immune to the death as he is. Which felt like a great opportunity to either tell the reader that neither is he or show just how far gone he is… neither happened. Jordan is a good writer, but he’s cutting too much of the “boring” stuff out, and it’s starting to hurt the story because it’s making these characters feel unnatural in their responses to each other.
Moustafa’s artwork continues to be great, but damn it shines when he’s focusing on the kid's storyline. There’s a focus there that just seems missing from the present storyline. Almost as if he’s not as interested in it either. The gore and the violence are top notch, which makes me wonder if Moustafa has been typecast into illustrating that way or if he enjoys it? We’ll likely never know, and the answer wouldn’t change my enjoyment one way or the other.
Savage Things is lacking. This issue feels incomplete, and so does the overall storyline. The first issue was great, but it’s quickly settled into average, and that’s just not enough to keep me coming back. I highly doubt I’ll even review the next issue, but we’ll see. It’s not my place in a review to say what I want from the series, that’s irrelevant, but that is the feeling I’m left with after reading Savage Things. I want more from it; I feel there’s potential for more, and it’s bugging me that it’s not there.
Savage Things #3
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Ibrahim Moustafa
Colorist: Jordan Boyd
Letter: Josh Reed
Publisher: Vertigo Comics