Like many of Erik Larsen's characters, the Savage Dragon was created by Larsen while he was a child in school and Larsen drew the Dragon in homemade comic books. The original Dragon, inspired by elements from Captain Marvel, Batman, Speed Racer and Hulk, differs from the modern incarnation. A redesigned Savage Dragon was featured in 1992 in two issues of Graphic Fantasy, a self-published title with a small print run, published by Larsen and two friends, the Dragon as a widower and a retired member of a government-sponsored superhero team. Dragon then made an appearance in the third issue of Gary Carlson's Megaton anthology in its Vanguard strip, which Larsen had been drawing, now with a living wife. Both the Graphic Fantasy and Megaton issues containing the Dragon have since been reprinted in high-quality editions from Image Comics, who published the million-selling mini-series and ongoing series which has run written and drawn by Larsen since 1992 as a green amnesiac, who joined the Chicago police department after being discovered in a burning field. A copy of Megaton #3, the first non-self published appearance of Savage Dragon, and the first time he used the name "Savage Dragon" as opposed to Paul Dragon, is up for auction from Heritage Auctions today, in a CGC 9.0 grading. 'Savage' was added to the character, after a cease and desist order from Dragon Magazine. Which makes this the first appearance of "Savage Dragon" even though the character had appeared a number of times before – but years before his more famous Image Comics' debut.
Megaton #3 (Megaton Publications, 1986) CGC VF/NM 9.0 White pages. Erik Larson story, cover, and art. Dragon appearance. Angel Medina's first pro work (pin-up). Overstreet 2021 VF/NM 9.0 value = $50; NM- 9.2 value = $70. CGC census 8/21: 12 in 9.0, 128 higher.