Nick Takes On: Savage Dragon #166
Published: December 1, 2010 - 8:51am
Sooo, ya 'member last week when I told ya that Erik Larsen was gonna have major events going down in The Savage Dragon series? Well the first of those two bombshells has been dropped. However, before we can talk about issue 166 we have to talk about issue 26. But, before we talk about issue 26 we have to talk about another character altogether, WildStar. Stay with me here...STOP! SPOILERS AHEAD! I MEAN IT, STOP NOW OR YOU'LL RUIN IT FOR YOURSELF!!
DETERMINED, AIN'T CHA? ALRIGHT, YOU WERE WARNED.
Waaaaay back in 1993 the WildStar: Sky Zero miniseries was released. The premise being that WildStar is from the future but essentially has to live out his own personal Groundhog Day, stuck in a time loop that has him repeating the events in his life until he is able to break the cycle. Needless to say, he does so and ends up living in the Savage Dragon's hometown of Chicago.
Ok, jump to 1996 and issue 26 of Savage Dragon. WildStar is having flashes of the future and one of these flashes includes the Savage Dragon's teenage son (not yet born in 1996) standing in some type of decon suit on a post nuclear event planet.
And now we are up to 2009, Savage Dragon has a human step-daughter (Angel), a biological teen-aged son (Malcolm) and has regained his memories that had been erased. Turns out he was actually a vicious Emperor that had designs on taking over the Earth for his people.
Issue 166 has a very angry Dragon, now back to being Emperor Kerr, setting up a command center on a space station and plotting the end of the world. The station has been powered by WildStar who is in a highly weakened condition. Dragon has released strange pods all around the Earth that are essentially gas canisters that will kill everyone. Angel and one of Dragon's old nemesis (Mr. Glum) attempt to stop the Dragon but to no avail. Not only does he pop the canisters and release the gas, causing mass genocide, he also kills Angel in this process. The book ends with WildStar looking at Malcolm who is wearing a decon suit and standing in the middle of a ruined city. Yup, the same scene that Larsen drew 14 years ago!
Say what you will about Savage Dragon, but that is one hell of a payoff. Human race, over; daughter, dead; and a 14 year old callback. I know a lot of people don't care for Erik's art (I might be one of them), but for loyal fans of the book, that has to be one of the top 5 moments of all time. So long as we don't get Bobby Ewing singing in the shower in issue 167, I'd say Erik delivered on his promise.