This week’s Savage Dragon #155 was an action-packed issue with a lot of craziness going on; the first part of “Dragon War” saw the first major conflict beginning to bubble to the surface between Darkworld’s Dragon and ours, as well as a battle between Dragon and a decidedly more Dragon-looking Cutthroat and Glowbug, which demonstrated pretty clearly that the Vicious Circle has gotten a lot closer to creating a clone of Dragon that doesn’t blow up right away. Creator Erik Larsen sat down with Blog@Newsarama to discuss the issue.
Blog@Newsarama: So, ahh, Kirkman recently talked about the sales boost that putting “Beware the Hunters!” and then a story part number on the front of his book had for The Walking Dead. Are all those floating dollar bills on the cover what you hope to get out of “Dragon War”?
Erik Larsen: The reasoning behind that is simply to help the audience know where a good place to jump onboard is. One of the tough things about a long-running book like Savage Dragon is readers don’t know when it’s a good place to give the book a try. I actually do a pretty reasonable job of making it accessible with any given issue–but this IS the start of a longer story so it made sense to point that out.
Oh–also–this wasn’t brought up but I should point it out. The cover was based on an older cover–from the 99¢ “The Dragon” series which reprinted the miniseries, expanded into five issues. And pages 9-11 were based on the opening sequence from the very first issue of the very first miniseries back in 1992. I thought it would be a kick to revisit those especially since this will be the last appearance of both Cutthroat and Glowbug. Art style’s changed a bit over the years, it seems.
Blog@: What are the odds that the Darkworld Dragon’s act of heroism was, without his even knowing it, exactly what Urass expected, and that the whole prison attack was a setup?
EL: Those odds are pretty good–especially considering the fact that, as Dread Knight, he commanded an army of robots. It was no coincidence.
Blog@: Where did they get some of Dragon’s blood for the transfusion, after how hard it’s been to come by lately? Or did they just get it from Kurr-Dragon at the Police Department?
EL: That’s a secret.
Blog@: Was it the transfusion of “our” Dragon’s blood that made Darkworld Dragon’s scars heal?
EL: Yes. Darkworld Dragon didn’t have Dragon’s healing powers. His powers had been negated previously. Now, for the first time, he will be at full strength.
Blog@: Is that the Dragon who’s in Kurr’s body, or Darkworld Dragon, who’s fighting Cutthroat on the next page after the parole hearing? He’s talking like Kurr-Dragon, but it comes right on the heels of Darkworld Dragon talking about “finding his niche” or whatever.
EL: It’s “our” Dragon. The star of the book.
Blog@: It’s interesting that, after all that time of having a corpse hanging around and insisting that his dad couldn’t possibly be dead, Malcolm is just now starting to decide that Dragon is really gone after they’ve successfully reanimated him. During the Dragon War, is it safe to say that he’ll be a bit of a wild card?
EL: That’s safe to say, yes. Malcolm is still young–and somewhat confused by what’s going on. He’s trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again and having one hell of a time doing it. Time to get more king’s horses, I’d say…
Blog@: So, ahh…the Golden Age Daredevil’s got a thing for the young blondes, huh?
EL: Or they have a thing for him. I like playing the Golden Age Daredevil as something of an innocent. I don’t imagine that he’s thinking about shagging this 15-year old girl. I imagine that he’s thinking she means they could fight crime together and that Malcolm was her crime-fighting partner before so this would be akin to Robin sneaking off to team up with Superman in his mind. He’s not thinking that she wants to be his girlfriend necessarily. Angel, on the other hand, is clearly smitten by DD.
Blog@: Again, Overlord is talking about ditching the Vicious Circle name. Clearly, though, he’s got a vision that’s already starting to take some shape. When all’s said and done, a bunch of Dragons fighting is a pretty appealing story idea—but will Overlord be the one really behind a lot of the conflict?
EL: Absolutely. Overlord is still running the show and calling the shots to some extent. Just because it’s a Dragon War–it doesn’t mean there won’t be others in the mix.
Blog@: And, simply because it feels like it would satisfy a kind of narrative within this issue…if you were in Vegas, would you rather put money on Darklord being dead along with his world, or being the new Overlord?
EL: Well, we did see his dead body, but given the multiple earths involved—I wouldn’t rule out much of anything. Still–Darklord was a guy who ruled a planet. It seems a bit beneath him to want to be a crime boss in Chicago.
Blog@: Alright…so the question that I asked earlier feels less stupid now that we’re seeing Darkworld Dragon actually IN a police uniform. But why does he immediately assume that they’re going to fight? There’s no chance the two can coexist?
EL: Darklord Dragon knows how their previous encounter ended–and he did go to Rex Dexter’s place with the purpose of confronting his doppelganger, so it’s safe to assume that he has a pretty decent idea where this might be headed. He does at least pay lip service to the idea of talking it out–even if he thinks that’s unlikely.