Valiant's newest series Savage hit shops yesterday and I got a chance to read it last night. This book feels very different than most of the other series from the company. It may be closest to Divinity in that it takes place far away from the rest of the Valiant Universe.
The story from B.Clay Moore, Clayton Henry and Lewis LaRosa starts off with a young man taking on what appears to be a velociraptor… dinosaur names have changed a lot since I was in school, so I have no clue… the man clear knows what he's doing, this isn't his first dinosaur rodeo obviously. Once down, he collects some eggs and takes them back to what he seems to call home. But there are some modern day items in there like a lighter, etc. We then jump to "Then" and we get the rest of the set up.
Our main characters in the "Then" are a married couple and an infant son who survive a plane crash and end up deserted on a mysterious island. The man is a futbol / soccer player in the wanning years of his career making the move from the U.K. to the U.S. in hopes of regaining some of his popularity. His wife is all business and you get the feeling they love each other and their son, but both are caught up in their public life too much to enjoy a private one. There is a definite David Beckham / Victoria 'Posh Spice' Beckham vibe to the couple and I don't think that's by accident.
Having two artists on this book works nicely. The 'Now' portion is drawn by Lewis LaRosa and has no dialogue. The seven pages he does are action and easy to follow. His style stand out nicely and fits the title Savage. The 'Then' parts are drawn by Clayton Henry and feel a bit more like the Valiant Universe books. The change in artists helps drive the difference between the two times and helps created the new normal in the 'Now'.
Moore spends the first seven pages letting the art create the universe, but he spends the next nineteen building up these two characters and how apart they've grown. They surprise each other with their actions and are both a bit cynical towards the other. They're examples of the types of people that have been created by technology and the instant gratification society. They believe it's more important to be popular people than good people. And even when they do good things, it's met with cynicism and skepticism. It's hard to feel bad for these two at the moment… their kid, definitely, but not them.
This is a set up and character building issue, so it's hard to judge on it's own. Putting the seven pages of "Now" in the beginning was a good idea, or people might not care about these two on the island. But the mystery of how we get from "Then" to "Now" and why there is an island with dinosaurs on it in modern day is enough to make me want to pick up issue two.