Larsen’s “Dragon War” starts to take its full toll on the world of the Savage Dragon; caught by his son in the act of eating another Dragon’s brain, “our” Dragon, who has regained his original, dictatorial memory set and lost the ones he made on earth, slaps the kid basically into orbit and starts taking on all comers, while all the supporting characters navigate themselves into position for what looks to be a pretty massive smackdown between the morally-ambiguous Savage Dragon and the morally-ambiguous Vicious Circle (now with a handful of Dragon clones). The coolest part of this story, and the most confusing part, is trying to figure out who the hell you’re supposed to be rooting for.
Blog@Newsarama: So is Kurr going to carry the scars of his battle with Darkworld Dragon throughout the story, to help differentiate him from other Dragons?
Erik Larsen: No. There won’t be any other evil twins or lookalikes that dress in an identical manner. Dragon’s healing ability will take care of the wound in short order–in fact it has already. By the end Of #157 he was back to normal.
Blog@: I just wanted to see: Kurr’s eating the brain; do they need to be eaten or just completely destroyed?
EL: They need to be completely destroyed. If Dragon threw a guy into the sun it would be every bit as effective–but that’s not as easy as it sounds. Under the circumstances, eating his brains was the most effective way of taking care of the problem.
Blog@: So it’s pretty common knowledge around the house that Angel is hung up on Daredevil? I’m surprised Malcolm hasn’t been more actively opposed to it. Maybe just because he’s been distracted?
EL: He’s teased her about it in previous issues. There’s not a hell of a lot anybody can do about it, really. He’s her stepbrother, after all, not her parent. And even then–at a certain point a parent has only so much influence.
Blog@: So our newscaster, here—will this poor man’s brain melt if Stewart actually DOES start giving Overlord and the Circle some credibility?
EL: That’s R. Richard Richards–and we’ll just have to wait and see how this all plays out.
Blog@: Who’s the female dragon breaking out of Stronghold? I feel like having been out of circulation for a while, I missed or forgot something.
EL: She’s called Mutation. She appeared in #142-143 and briefly in #144. There’s some question as to what she really looks like and who she really is because she can transform.
Blog@: When was the last time we saw Flash Mercury?
EL: If you don’t count the one panel in issue #144 where he was seen in a crowded movie watching Speed Racer than it was in #126 after Mr. Glum had just used the God Gun to command everybody to do his bidding. In that issue Glum kicked him through the roof of the warehouse he was using as a hideout.
Blog@: What percentage of the Circle villains really believe what they’re saying in terms of how they never really wanted this life and felt driven to it?
EL: I can’t really give you a hard number there…
Blog@: I mean, it’s a pretty convenient “out” for the nastier bad guys to use, even if most of them are on the level. Think anyone’s hoping to use it as a reset button to get the eyes of the cops off them while they go back to their old ways?
EL: It’s the old “I blame society” dodge and while there is some truth to that–where poverty or other conditions have led people to do desperate things here in the real world–there are also people who are legitimately, unquestionably evil. Overlord would say that he’s trying to weed out those evil bastards, bring them to justice and then make things better for the rest but there’s some question about whether he’s being naïve or simply deceptive.
Blog@: I like the way that you handled the whole process of the Dragon-cloning thing. You gave us the first few awkward, horrible steps but then waited to have a big reveal this issue when the process had been a success. I feel like to have them hop right into a success would have been unbelievable, but having the “eureka!” moment happen on-panel might have killed some of the drama and left us wondering, “So when are the others going to show up?” Was that on purpose?
EL: Part of the nature of doing this book set in real time has been boiling things down to the essentials and letting the readers fill in some of the blanks. Answering every little question of how things happened can get both tedious and silly as pseudo-scientific jargon is tossed around. Sometimes less is more.