SAVAGE AVENGERS / STRIKEFORCE – THE DARK ELF REALM [Marvel Comics Reviews]: War of the Realms!

Kevin “Pastor” Palma
SAVAGE AVENGERS #1 – Marvel Comics

I’ve never been a fan of Conan. So, the announcement that Marvel would release an Avengers title starring Conan did nothing for me. What interested me was that Gerry Duggan would be writing it, given how much I’ve enjoyed his work outside of events. Those factors were why I went into this first issue of Savage Avengers with relatively low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. Conan is just doing his brutish Conan thing, but what’s entertaining and interesting is everything going on around him.

Putting The Destroyer head-to-head with Wolverine, a virtually unkillable guy with metal bones and a nasty temper, leads to some brutal yet hilarious action. However, the most interesting things about this issue are the setting and the conclusion. Duggan seems to thrive in settings that allow him to make some deep Marvel Universe connections that don’t clash with the main books, with the Savage Land being center stage here. While I hope he’s able to incorporate more of the lore of the Savage Land, like he did with the cosmos in Nova and GotG, the most exciting part was the conclusion of the issue where it’s revealed that the Punisher will be involved.

The characters are also well suited to Mike Deodato Jr.‘s art style, as he’s very good at drawing ridiculously muscular men savagely beating each other and it definitely works well in this issue. Regardless of my expectations going in, this was an entertaining issue and shows some potential for this series going forward.
3.75/5 Metal Claws.

-Kevin Palma

“Saint” Timothy Markham

On initial reaction, the story seemed like it was going to be awesome. Dark Elf King Malekith has “laid waste to Nine of the Ten Realms”, the last realm being Midgard. Earth’s heroes assemble to fight Malekith. Thor is trapped in Jotunheim and Odin is injured so it is up to Thor’s mother, Freyja, who assembles different teams to handle tasks. This current issue features the team of The Punisher, Ghost Rider, Blade and She-Hulk Jenny Walters. The best parts of this issue are the moments of self-reflection that each character goes through.

Overall, the organization of the character into teams are all very cool; however, I felt like the story on this issue skipped around a bit. We went from meeting at Avenger’s Mountain to suddenly being at what is called the “Bifrost” without much warning or progression. Other than that small problem that I have, writer Bryan Hill did a bang-up job with all the players involved. Leinil Francis Yu, as always, sketches a surplus of panels you want hung on your wall…

In two weeks, we get to see a team made up of Bucky, Captain Marvel, Venom, Deadpool and a few others. The week after, we see Captain America, Spiderman, Wolverine, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Definitely going to be a ton of fun seeing everyone come together in teams! 3.75/5 Supercharged Hero Teams Agree!

-Tim Markham

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