When I first read the description of Savage, from Valiant, I was instantly in love with the concept. A rich soccer star crash lands on a dinosaur infested island with his wife and baby child sounds like a perfect way to mash up dinosaurs with a Tarzan type story. Unfortunately for me, the first issue of Savage doesn’t do a whole lot to explain the world of the story.
As I briefly explained in the intro, the plot in the first issue of Savage is just a little bit thin. We get to look in at Kevin Sauvage and his wife, Ronnie as they are on a seeming cross-Atlantic flight. As they are having a mild dispute over their finances and how to best market Kevin’s skills in the United States, something terrible happens to the plane and it goes down hard.
The trio gets to safety on a nearby island, as Ronnie falls asleep, Kevin gets supplies from the wreckage and sets up a home base. After awhile, Ronnie wakes up and the two talk. Kevin starts to drink and she berates him.
After Ronnie falls asleep again, Kevin decides to go on a journey to scope out the island. He comes upon a crest of a hill and finds a boat. Looking inside, he sees a woman torn apart. Leaving to go back to the jungle, he encounters a dinosaur.
Aside from a look at the begining at a dinosaur fight between Kevin’s apparent son and a dinosaur, we don;t get to see how this world works. I know this is the first in an ongoing series, but I would really like to know what is going on on this island. While learning more would have been nice, I can wait until the next book to find out what is really going on.
It needs to be mentioned that the writing in Savage is a little British. I don;t mean this to sound insulting or pretetious, either. You can definitely tell that the main character is from the United Kingdom, or otherwise, not the United States. This writing is a strength, though. By making the characters realistic in their language, the authenticity has more credibility.
The only other complaint I have about the actual writing is the fact that the dialect feels stilted and a little unnatural. This could be intentional, to stress the marriage’s potential problems or even the stress of the situation.
I enjoy the artwork in Savage. The panels are explosive and expressive. The combat scenes with the dinosaur are especially visceral and good looking.
Small details in bigger panels express where the story could potentially go without being ham fisted.
The artwork does what it needs to do and contributes to the story in a way that the text alone just can’t. That itself is a victory on the art strength. The characters’ expressions are shown in each and every panel, and the readers get to know how they feel based on their expressions.
If the art stays at this level, I will be satisfied with the artwork.