PopCultHQ received a preview copy of SAVAGE #1 from Valiant. Arriving on newsstands this coming New Comic Book Day (NCBD), Wednesday, November 30th, the creative team for this new series features writing from B. Clay Moore (Aloha, Hawaiian Dick), with illustrations by artists Clayton Henry (HARBINGER WARS) and Lewis LaRosa (BLOODSHOT REBORN), and colors by Brian Reber (UNITY, X-Men Legacy).
Synopsis for SAVAGE #1:
Writer: B. Clay Moore
Artists: Clayton Henry and Lewis LaRosa
Fifteen years ago, the world’s most famous soccer star and his former supermodel wife –pregnant with their unborn child – disappeared without a trace. The world believes they are dead… But, in reality, their private jet crash-landed on a mysterious, unknown island ruled by prehistoric creatures from another time…
This is the story of how they lost their humanity.
Part of “The Future of Valiant” line-up, a slew of new titles ushering in their next generation of heroes, SAVAGE brings a unique story into the Valiant Universe. The debut issue, which will be presented in the deluxe Valiant Prestige format (high-grade cover stock, custom-designed end sheets, and exclusive back matter), introduces us to the Sauvage family: Soccer superstar sensation Kevin Sauvage, his former supermodel-turned manager wife Veronica, and their infant son Kevin Jr., or KJ. As always, I’ll keep my review spoiler-free, however I will speak on the first couple of pages since they have been available as preview pages from Valiant’s website, as well as PopCultHQ’s preview and first look at SAVAGE #1, and the synopsis above sheds some light on what transpires early on.
The opening sequence depicting a savage (hee-hee) warrior engaging a voracious dinosaur, accompanied with the tragic crash-landing of our protagonists’ plane, is a great teaser intro as to what we can expect from this series. An intense story of survival and instinct, but also a humbling path of self-discovery. The Sauvages, aboard a private jet to the United States where they were hoping to bring even more fame for Kevin by him playing in the U.S., appear to have similar relationship issues as non-famous people. Prior to the crash, and even afterwards, the dialog chosen by writer B. Clay Moore amply defines the nature of their relationship. I was impressed with the amount of backstory that was covered in a relatively short span, all while not feeling overloaded with their history. Moore has done a magnificent job at presenting these two characters (1st appearances, y’all!), give you the 411 on them, and then is free to move forward with his grand narrative. I feel like we are on a journey with the writer as he’s transporting us to a world he envisions capturing some of the best aspects of Land of the Lost, the television series Lost (not the ending, please!)
Artists Clayton Henry and Lewis LaRosa share duties in SAVAGE #1 and the combined arrangement of their scintillating illustrations, along with talented colorist Brian Reber, make for a dynamic look and feel of this series. One of the features of the artwork which I find significant is how illustrations found within this issue have the ability to speak to the reader. To detail even more of B. Clay Moore’s story with or without the addition of dialog and captions. There’s something special in having artists so in tune, so in sync, with the writer where they not only compliment his narrative, but help build upon and expand it. Colorist Brian Reber has a keen eye when it comes to selecting not just appropriate but ideal colors. In many instances throughout this issue, it was Reber’s work that breathed life into the panel. There truly is an impressive synergy with this creative team.
I also really appreciated the additional 8 pages at the end showcasing the process of creating each panel from layout to inks to colors. For those not familiar with the creative process, this is a great visual to display the work involved.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
Prior to reading through SAVAGE #1, I knew from the synopsis and previews I’ve received that I was going in knowing the following:
- SAVAGE #1 is the beginning of an origin story for Valiant’s next great hero
- I knew coming into this issue that the art would be solid. I’ve followed LaRosa, for his cover art and I’m a Bloodshot fan, and I knew of Henry’s work from Harbinger and actually from Marvel’s Alpha Flight about 10 years ago or so. Plus, Valiant has a track record of making thought-out and smart choices for their artists.
- Though writer Moore is relatively new to me, I assure you he’s no slouch. Prior to my reviews, I research the creators and I’ll tell you… Moore has a proven successful track record and has worked with great publishers and creators. That also instilled confidence in me for this series before reading.
SAVAGE #1 is a solid debut issue. The writing is appropriately descriptive (no fluff), the artwork is remarkably fitting, and the comic presents nicely overall. I wish the scene or backstory for the opening intensely savage battle was explored a little further but I completely understand its tease. I also felt that though the ending was an excellent choice on how to close the issue, I guess I felt that last panel (no spoilers here 😉 was almost a given knowing what we do from the title’s synopsis and preview images. Fortunately, I have great confidence that issue two will reveal more of this world and go deeper into the backstory. It’s likely just me simply wanting more! I do like and appreciate that SAVAGE #1 did leave me questioning a few things (in a good way). Sort of a “Why did this happen?” and “What could that mean?” or “I wonder where this is going” kinda questioning. I’m excited to hear more from B. Clay Moore, to learn more about SAVAGE, his inclusion and role in the Valiant Universe, and cannot wait to see what else the artistic tandem of Henry, LaRosa, and Reber produce. This series shows signs of continuously getting better as more is revealed!
PopCultHQ’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Variant Covers for SAVAGE #1
can be purchased beginning this Wednesday, November 30th
at your local comic shop and online retailers.
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Writer – B. Clay Moore
Artist – Clayton Henry
Artist – Lewis LaRosa
Colorist – Brian Reber
Publisher Valiant Comics: