Writer: Gerry Duggan
Art Team: Patch Zircher, Java Tartaglia, and Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 6, 2019
I find Savage Avengers to be a monthly entertaining action romp that started in the Savage Land but has quickly sprawled out into various other locals of the Marvel Universe. The story has heavily featured Conan but puts necessary spotlights on what the rest of the cast is up too, and this issue continues to follow suit. That formula can get you further on board with the ongoing narrative but doesn’t do much to catch up new or lapsed readers, so it’s a bit of give and take in that respect. So let me do my best to fill in the blanks for you, as we see what Conan and crew are up to this month. Let’s discuss…
The issue begins with a slight background on Voodoo, before both Kulan Gath and Dr. Voodoo take a mystic death trip. Here Kulan likes to do what the many villains before him also love to do, show the heroes their whole all-encompassing plan, as Kulan reveals to Voodoo he is honing another ancient power, the Shuma-Gorath, revealing that once when he can harness that power everyone and everything is in big trouble. A little research into the Shuma-Gorath reveals it has ties to both Dr. Strange, and even further back to Conan’s god Crom, so pieces of the puzzle regarding the who and why of the characters Kulan Gath is dealing with are beginning to fall into place, and I love when that stuff floats under the radar with only subtle mentions all while not changing things to suit the story at play. It’s a good mix of drawing from the past to tell a story in the present and I can always get behind things like that.
From there we jump to Elektra, who has a pretty cool scene taking down the Hand seemingly pretty effortlessly while discussing recent business with Doctor strange in regards to just who and what they are exactly dealing with. The name Kulan Gath unsettles Dr. Strange as he recalls their past, revealing that once Elektra is able to track down Daniel Drumm, Voodoo’s brother turned by the Hand, to find him at the Sanctum. I enjoy this section of the title and especially find the art to be great, but the sudden importance of Voodoo’s brother is a little puzzling to me unless of course, I’m missing something from a past titles connection, or even something from earlier in the series that slide by me. A man can only research so much in one night.
From there, we hook back up with Conan, after his recent adventures fresh from the Annual, as he stumbles into a local hole in the wall for some swill to take his mind of beating the crap out of everyone he encounters. After a couple of drinks, Conan is pegged in the back of the neck by a tranquilizer dart, putting him out for a bit of time. Conan arises, quickly sensing something is off, as he bursts through the surrounding defenses quickly coming face to face with Dr. Doom. Doom has transported Conan from South America to Latveria, which is about where our story ends, as Doom invites the barbarian in for food and drinks. What exactly Doom wants will have to wait until next month as the book ends on a rather strange cliffhanger but intriguing none the less.
While I enjoyed Deodato’s time on the title I also really really enjoy Patch Zircher and Java Tartaglia coming to take over the book. The action scenes look fantastic, Kulan Gath and the rest of the villains all look great and menacing, overall as a whole, the title just flat out continues to be a great looking comic book with next to none of the transition issues that are my pet peeves at times.
Overall, Savage Avengers continues to play the long game with its cast and it’s a quest to take down Kulan Gath. The connections to the wider Marvel Universe are starting to show themselves, and with the puzzle starting to take shape, I find this simply to be a story I unapologetically enjoy for many reasons. Path Zircher and Java Tartaglia take over the art duties here and do a great job of continuing to give this book a great looking action-centric feel picking right up where Deodato left off. While it’s not overly new reader/lapsed reader-friendly, if this is a ride you’ve been on, there is plenty to enjoy again this month.