Savage #2, out from Valiant Entertainment on March 17, has writer Max Bemis examine the title character’s mental limitations. The artwork by Nathan Stockman shows how Kevin Sauvage feels restrained by the modern world. Despite all of the flashy colors from Triona Farrell, the lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou shows how awkward Kevin feels. It’s a great story about trying to connect with others and all of the awkwardness that gets in the way.
Savage #2: Bigger Implications
Bemis displays how Kevin’s main conflict in Savage #2 isn’t just fitting in with modern life, but dealing with his self-consciousness. It becomes apparent that amid all of the celebrity life and mad scientist encounters from the last issue, Kevin never really adjusted to normal life. When speaking with a girl who doesn’t know his celebrity status, he is awkward in his presentation. Without an influencer script or proper social skills, Kevin fumbles his words. The reader empathizes that despite Kevin’s celebrity status, he’s still a teenager.
It doesn’t help that his brother, Henry, is proving to be a bad influence. Constantly, Henry shows more concern with monetizing his brother than actually caring for him. One of the reasons Kevin has trouble talking to a girl is because Henry is a greedy chauvinist uninterested in teaching his brother social skills. Worst of all, instead of any concern for Kevin’s well-being during and after dinosaur attacks, Henry wants to publicize them. With Henry serving as a gateway to modern life, the reader can’t help but empathize with Kevin and his frustrations with this lifestyle.
Ferocity Loses Its Edge
Stockman gives the images of Savage #2 a confining sense of scale. Throughout the issue, Kevin looks small and restrained even when he’s not wearing restraints. He only moves wildly when he’s in danger. Not that it does him any good when going through a double page spread labyrinth full of death traps. Sure Kevin escapes, but he looks completely exhausted at the end.
All that blood curdling rage in orange by Farrell can’t even buy Kevin a moment of peace. Some of the panels in the above labyrinth have a sense of annoyance with their green and blue backgrounds. The reader can’t help but empathize with these color coded moments. They’d be pretty annoyed and exhausted too after such a gauntlet.
Lettering Of The Wild!
Finally, the lettering by Otsmane gives the words spoken more meaning. Kevin, in all of his appearances, goes between being loud to soft spoken. A number of times Kevin begins and ends his sentences with stylistic fonts to show how much energy he’s trying to put into his words. A huge sound effect looking word to get people’s attention can quickly get the momentum running, until Kevin says something he regrets. Which then leads to a softer speaking font in lowercase words that express how much that misspoken word affects the moment.
When speaking with Savage #2 antagonist Professor Hanley Nealon, who flaunts his dramatic speech, it’s hard not to feel awkward. Nealon likes to feel in control of the situation which is where his use of speech balloons comes in. The balloons guide the reader around the page and his lab, while Nealon himself says many words without really saying anything. This all sounds intelligent, but it’s really just his way to disorient Kevin and the reader. Nealon’s flair for the dramatic shines through in a splash page where Nealon explains his motivations for Kevin in one big stylistic word balloon. It’s deranged and unsettling to the reader.
Tune In For Savage #2
Savage #2 is really getting readers more invested in the journey of Kevin Savage. With how much the modern world only wants to exploit Kevin, the reader empathizes with his frustrations. A brother who shows no real care, a mad scientist ready to experiment with him, and Kevin’s own disillusionment with his “savagery.” It will leave the reader begging to see Kevin’s next stage of development sooner.