Erik Larsen has a real tour de force on his hands here with this current Savage Dragon storyline, which has enabled him to write this issue, which is just jam-packed with action, but action backed by (and reinforced by) some intriguing characterizations.
Please note that the above cover is NOT the final cover. The final cover is an impressive "old school comic book" style colored cover. Very nice work.
As readers might know, long-time Dragon supporting character, Mr. Glum, the evil/cute little friend of Dragon's step-daughter Angel, has been trying to kill Dragon for years now. However, just recently, he finally found the means to DO so. Glum, through the mysterious "God Gun" has taken over the world by wishing that everyone would do whatever he says.
This issue opens up "one year later" (hehe...pretty funny, huh?) with Dragon trying desperately to stop Glum, but Glum's forces are just too strong. This doesn't stop Dragon from trying, though, as demonstrated in a number of expertly done action sequences (by the by, for those who don't know about it, Larsen is currently writing, drawing, lettering AND coloring Savage Dragon - impressive, huh?).
Meanwhile, a more interesting (well, to me, at least) development is seeing what time has done to Angel, who has grown closer to Glum, and more, well, evil. This is demonstrated by a number of funny, but cruel scenes. However, at the same time, Larsen does not just gloss over this relationship. Instead, he makes it very real, while at the same time, very disturbing (as Mr. Glum IS a little dude with a big red head). Still, the emotions demonstrated are so bold that, under a different writer, it would sound stupid, but Larsen manages to pull it off. It is the sort of emotion you would see in, say, a Fourth World Jack Kirby comic book. Where it is so open, so stripped of pretension, that it really affects you.
The book has a number of demonstrations of Glum's power, as well as a look at what is going on with his conquering plan, which includes mainly making Earthlings make the world look like Glum's old home planet, which is hard, as it was a big red planet that was shaped like Glum's head!
The key to the action in this series comes from the fact that, since this is Larsen's property, through and through, there is no status quo that he has to return to. So there is a certain sense of freedom and urgency that comes with Dragon's actions in this book. Freedom of the reader not knowing what will happen next, and urgency for Dragon to save the day BECAUSE we do not know what will happen next. It makes the action that much more enjoyable. The frenetic pace of the book is hard to keep up with, but it is worthwhile.
I enjoy Larsen's art, so I dug that in the book, but I know he (like most very stylized artists) can be an acquired taste. Like John Romita Jr.
The coloring was quite good.
The ending was a bit gimmicky, but it doesn't HIDE from the gimmick of it all, and its a gimmick that ties into Larsen's plot, while giving this plot (which is quite interesting) more exposure, so I cannot fault him for it.
Overall, this has been a good storyline, and this was a good issue.
Recommended without reservation.