Written by: Gerry Duggan
Art by: Ron Garney, Matt Milla, and VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 30, 2019
I am not a huge fan of Annuals, especially for books that have been out less than a year, but I really hope this one gives Savage Avengers a shot in the arm. While I like this series enough, I thought the first arc started out stronger than it ended and it still feels like it is a limited series rather than an ongoing. Let’s see if this Annual can change all of that…
The issue opens up with a bit of human trafficking and maybe the one person who will try to make sure it won’t happen for much longer. Yea, it’s not a feel-good type of beginning, but things pick up when we head off to…Hell. I never thought I’d ever say that! That’s where we met up with Daimon Hellstrom as he quickly heads north if you know what I mean.
The issue heads to Brazil next and we see our man Conan who is up to so sins of the flesh…or he would be if the ladies were doing what they are being paid to do. Yep, Gerry Duggan is making things a bit too realistic for my liking here! That continues with Conan getting into a bar fight that ends with a couple of gory deaths and Conan hanging with the ladies again…and more. The “more” means that he agrees to kill some slavers for them and then…more. Wink Wink.
Okay, I see what Duggan is doing here. Even though Conan is in the modern-day world, he still ends up doing the things he usually does like killing slavers. It makes total sense, but I want a little more than that from this book since there are a couple of Conan books on the shelf that already let Conan be Conan.
Again, the Son of Satan shows up to get the party started and we get a team-up that I never expected and it gets even cooler when Black Widow shows up. After a brief mention that all of this might just tie into Kulan Gath, the team start making a plan of attack, until Conan just attacks the slavers on horseback Cimmeria-style!
After the slavers are taken care of, Daimon shows just how much he resembles Bettleguise (at least when trying to call him) and we do get an idea of how Conan will be able to get back home if and when he wants to. The issue ends with a loose idea of what Kulan Gath’s next plan involves and Conan getting shit faced. At least some things are right in the world!
This was an okay issue that had some over the top action yet still struggled to bring the excitement. The dialogue was fine and the art fit the story well, but I guess the problem was actually that there just wasn’t much story. It all seemed like a quick set up to get us a tidbit of information to steer the series in its next direction. I need more than that to keep reading and it’s getting harder to justify with each issue.
Savage Avengers still feels like a book looking for both a purpose and an identity and unfortunately, this Annual provides neither. It’s a forgettable story that gets us going towards the next phase of the story, but besides that, there isn’t much to write home about. To make matters worse, that little bit could have been thrown into the next regular issue as one or two splash pages to save us all some money. I am shifting from liking this book to wanting to like it and I just hope I don’t go further down that ladder.