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Savage Tales #1

Posted: Saturday, April 7, 2007
By: Ray Tate



"Witch's Familiar"
"Battle for Atlantis"
"Where Walks the Hunter"
"The Elder Things That Fell to the Earth"

Writer: Various
Artists: Various
Publisher: Dynamite

Savage Tales is the new quarterly title from Dynamite starring their biggest hit Red Sonja. The best thing about this first issue is the Arthur Suydam painted cover. There's some fun to be had in some of the stories, and the art is uniformly good, sometimes even better, but there's an inherent flaw in the setup. I've already forgotten two out of the four stories, and I'm not absolutely certain I'll remember even the Red Sonja tale, in the span it takes for the second issue to arrive.

The Red Sonja story by Ron Mars--not Marz--starts off well with a blowhard trying to sell a tavern audience his amorous adventure with the crimson-haired She-Devil. Things turn bad for him on the third page when Adriano Batista and Caesar Rodriguez combine forces to illustrate an awesome splash page of Sonja. She looks to be seven feet of muscle.

Sonja is in a downright jolly mood. She lets the blowhard keep his head. She then proceeds drink herself silly, rescue a damsel in distress, and find the tables turned on her. We'll have to wait until next issue to see how she fares. It will be a long wait.

The legendary Pablos Marcos with the colors of St. Jepan Sejic still cannot make me care about "The Battle for Atlantis." The contrast between the art and Leah Moore's and John Reppion's narration amuses as does the ruler of Atlantis' silly hat, which reminds me of the headgear worn by the Mu villain from Godzilla vs. Megalon. The real trouble with the story is that there's not one protagonist. This makes it difficult for me to care what happens.

Luke Lieberman's and Michael Avon Oeming's "Where Walks the Hunter" stars the dog-pelted murderous enemy of Red Sonja. Sorry. Don't care what happens to him. He's a villain, and a rather nasty, one-dimensional one. Nice art though by Kevin Sharpe and colorist David Curiel.

The second best story of Savage Tales is the Cthulhu based and hilariously titled "The Elder Things That Fell to the Earth." Mike Raicht gives you the conflict between two brothers influenced by the opposite ends of the Lovecraft spectrum. Pere Perez and Curiel provide you with good-looking dinosaurs and aliens. Kron's beard appears to be a squiggle, but the same can be said about some real beards.

This is an all right anthology. If you ask me, Dynamite would have been better off making this book a short-story collection rather than a chapterplay combo, and why on earth haven't they included the Lone Ranger, Darkman, Xena and/or Ash? Savage Tales doesn't intrinsically imply sword and sorcery.



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