TITLE: Savage Dragon Issue #226
YEAR: August 2017
COMPANY: Image Comics
Writer/Artist/Inker: Erik Larsen
Colors: Nikos Koutsis
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Flats: Mike Toris
Editor: Gavin Hiccinbotham
Paul Dragon, the original Savage Dragon is dead.
With the multiverse now combined and everyone having all these memories from various alternate worlds, there is a lot of confusion going around in the world.
And suffice to say, many people are pissed.
Issue #226 takes place not long after Paul Dragon’s death and a funeral for him is being done. And because there have been a few funerals for Paul Dragon, many people think he will be back.
Creator/Writer/Artist Erik Larsen has said that comebacks happen in other books but for “Savage Dragon”, the original Savage Dragon is dead and won’t be coming back.
And I think the character Angel says it best to her mother, who feels there is a way to bring him back. Angel tells her mother how he exploded and now he’s soup.
And as the heroes now step in to fight the bad guys, the world has changed. President Trump has signed an executive order to outlaw all extraterrestrials in the United States.
The authorities and his followers intend to take that executive order into action and as Maxine (wife of Malcolm, son of Paul and the current Savage Dragon) and her children (who are also like their father) are walking home, Trump supporters decry that the children must be destroyed or deported. And as they try to raise a ruckus in front of Maxine and her children, Amy Dragon breaks one of the supporter’s finger.
Meanwhile, as Malcolm and Frank Jr. are trying to take on looters, Sue (Smasher) along with Alex is planning to go back into Dimension-X to see if she can bring back Paul by going to Darklord’s Abandoned Lair and grab his time machine.
Kevin (Thunder-Head) is being terminated from his company because with the multiverse now combined into one, people have memories of Kevin being an bad guy who killed people. But this Kevin tries to plead that he has never done anything wrong and he is being found guilty for a crime he didn’t commit.
As Malcolm and Frank are walking, the FBI show up and try to take on Malcolm, telling him that he and his offspring are going to be thrown into Dimension-X where they belong.
All hell breaks loose and Frank fights them off. When Frank Jr. tells Malcolm what about Maxine and the kids as the Feds will be after them too, Paul knows he must find and protect them.
What do Sue and Alex find in Darklord’s Abandoned Lair? What happens when Malcolm arrives to find Maxine and the kids?
Needless to say, this sets up a fantastic story arc where the United States wants Malcolm and the kids but all extraterrestrials gone.
As for bringing back Paul Dragon, I know Erik Larsen said he doesn’t want his comic book bringing back a dead character that he intentionally felt it was his time and it’s now the next generation, Malcolm to be the primary focus.
The truth was Paul Dragon was not the same anymore after losing so much, including his hulking mass. But as a longtime reader since the original mini-series, I would love to see Paul Dragon return. He can still be dead and I say this by thinking Goku of “Dragon Ball Z” fame. He’s dead but yet, he comes back to help out when the powers may be gives him a certain amount of time to take care of business. Of course, I’m not saying that Erik Larsen will follow that route but I think it’s plausible that Paul Dragon may come back, some way, some day, in the future. Heck, he’ll need to come back if “Image United” is ever completed.
But as “Savage Dragon” has always been a contemporary comic book that reflects the times, it’s really interesting to see how Larsen utilizes the current President and an executive order against all extra-terrestrials. We’ll see where Erik takes this story for the next issue.