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COMICS REVIEW: "Savage Avengers #1"

Written by Gerry Duggan

Art by Mike Deodato

Colors by Frank Martin

Cover by David Finch

Don't let the cover fool you, only Conan and Wolverine star in this issue, with a brief appearance by one other.

As established in the 2013 series Savage Wolverine, a new Marvel book with “Savage” in its title can only mean one thing: the Savage Land. After Conan’s unlikely time-crossing team-up in the recent Avengers: No Road Home, he exited the story by being transported away, not to his own Hyborian Age, but to elsewhere in our present, in a land full of dinosaurs. Conan didn’t seem to mind one bit.

Savage Avengers opens with Conan still roaming the Savage Land, seeking battle and the treasures he has heard rumors of. Learning to speak English in No Road Home has really come in handy. Conan encounters warriors wielding samurai swords and throwing stars, along with a particularly hard-to-kill fellow with “sneak-blades” in his hands.

The meet-greet between Conan and Wolverine is as foul-mouthed, bloody, and epic as it should be, lasting a very satisfying number of pages. Logan’s response to “I am Conan…of Cimmeria” is laugh-out-loud.

A satisfyingly epic battle includes a pretty dirty kick, even for Wolverine

The warriors are members of the Hand, who Wolverine has tracked to the Savage Land. They are kidnapping people of great talent from around the world and bringing them to the ancient City of Sicles, for a dark and supernatural purpose. Now they are charged with pursuing individuals with superhuman talents, guaranteeing to attract the attention of more heroes to the Savage Land, as this issue's cover teases, but doesn't fully deliver.

Colorist Frank Martin shows great examples of the current trend and ability of modern colorists to use the computer's capabilities to take the artist’s background inks and transform them into pure color, receding in density to create great depth of field and atmosphere.

Suitably, popular Brazilian artist Mike Deodato’s style in this series isn’t as sharp and precise as his other recent Marvel work in Infinity Wars and Old Man Logan, but is raw, rough-cut, and yes, savage. Sadly, Savage Avengers will be Deodato’s last Marvel work for a while, as he had announced earlier that he would be leaving Marvel after his run on this series. Hopefully, it’s a long run.

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