Savage Dragon #251 is a fresh new start for this 30-year-old series by Erik Larsen. Joining Larsen for this week’s release are letterer Ferran Delgado and colorists Nikos Koutsis and Mike Toris.
Prior to Savage Dragon #251, Malcolm Dragon is dealing with the COVID pandemic as well as supervillains. But nothing could prepare Malcolm for a visit from an alternate version of his dead father.
Savage Dragon #251 Hijinks
Savage Dragon #251 follows the classic Larsen formula of absurd superhero hijinks that anybody can jump into. The alternate classic Savage Dragon, Paul, is learning to deal with filling in for the late hero. Despite having the general outline of tropes and elements of the original dragon-like supporting characters and villains, he makes it clear he’s not exactly the same. Paul has experiences entirely unlike the original Dragon; for example, Malcolm does not exist in his world. Yet despite how shaky this introduction is, by the end, it looks like fitting in won’t be too big a deal. Malcolm and his half-sister Angel accept that Paul’s the least weird thing in their lives. Especially with the uncertainty of then pandemic.
Larsen continues to provide the pencils and inks for the character designs in Savage Dragon #251. Paul Dragon’s distinctly different head fin attests to how he’s not necessarily the same character. All while keeping the panel work to fit in with situations. One page has 15 panels depicting a conversation between Malcolm and Paul that doesn’t feel overwhelming. It’s just a back-and-forth attempt to find even ground. One that suddenly erupts into a brawl that it’s almost funny with how it comes out of nowhere.
The coloring is shared between Toris doing the flats and Koutsis doing the decorative details. Toris’ simple colors that often have gradients provide a great canvas for Koutsis to fill in highlights like lighting against shadow. Each of these techniques perfectly complements Larsen’s designs, making the inks look much bolder as a result.
Delgado’s lettering is professional in how his word balloons stay within the panels to focus on the task at hand. That is until they need to reach out to complementary panels. Other times they color code like in Malcolm’s conversation with Maxine to display playful emotions. And then, there are the wordmarks that have creative uses in how they present actions. Almost none of them come out completely the same, this prevents the action in Savage Dragon #251 from feeling dull.
Enjoy Savage Dragon #251
Savage Dragon #251 continues what makes it so enjoyable. Sure it has some of the standard superhero tropes like alternate universes, but it’s mostly for laughs. The new character practically serves as someone just entering this part of Savage Dragon, along with the new readers. Because who cares about continuity if you can still have a good time?
What do you all think? Is this new development worth the time? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.