Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Mike Deodato
Thrown together by chance as they are caught up in the villainous schemes of a mighty evil wizard, the world’s greatest anti-heroes find themselves fighting alongside one another just to survive. This is a tale that starts off with an action packed showdown between Conan the Cimmerian, who recently found himself trapped in the present day after helping the Avengers deal with a cataclysmic event, and none other than the Wolverine. Even though the face off is really the product of a misunderstanding, and once both of the skilled combatants find there is no easy way to overcome the other, they make a truce, it is still an epic fight and an incredible way to enter into the plot of the book. From there the action only intensifies as some of Marvel’s greatest not-so-heroic heroes enter the fray, like the Punisher, Elektra, Dr Voodoo, and even the alien symbiote Venom.
Kulan Gath, a sorcerer supreme from Conan’s time, has somehow managed to find his way to present day earth. Here he has joined forces with the notorious Hand organization, and with his own skilled apprentice they seek to carry out a ritual to summon an ancient Deity that will destroy the world. And to do this, they will need the blood of the greatest warriors on earth to use in the ritual, the blood of those who shed the most blood. Kulan Gath and the Hand lay traps and lures, bringing these, the greatest fighters of the world, for them to sacrifice. But they have not anticipated the arrival of all the warriors who are drawn to the scene, and have underestimated the tenacity of those they have lured. Or have they? As soon it is revealed that Kulan Gath’s ambitions are far greater than merely being the servant of a destructive god-like monster, and now this new team of Savage Avengers, forced into an alliance by chance and circumstance, must not only find a way to unravel the real plot that drives Kulan Gath, but also battle the hordes of his followers and somehow stop the Elder God named Jhoatun Lau, once it is summoned and unleashed on the world.
Gerry Duggan writes an impressive tale with this story, weaving in both Conan and Wolverine into the action in the first chapter, and having them come to blows in an exciting battle that not only sets the stage for the carnage that is to come, but also helps to cement their own alliance in a believable and plausible way. From there the story slowly and steadily escalates, as the battles with the Hand ninja and Gath’s other servants increase, and more heroes are drawn in and thrown into the mix. While doing this remarkable task, at no time having the story seem convoluted or illogical, Duggan even manages to slip in little jokes and jests, references and character mannerisms to really sell the merging of this mismatched group of characters in such an extraordinary struggle.
It’s been a while since I enjoyed a mainstream title such as this on so many levels. And with tying in so many different kinds of characters, while still being true to each of their personalities, is a truly mind-blowing achievement. Duggan’s Savage Avengers was a really nice surprise, and what started out for me as something that looked liked it would be entertaining to read, and actually turned out to be unbelievably good. I enjoyed Savage Avengers: City of Sickles considerably!
Boardgame and graphic novel enthusiast. Marvel or DC? Image. Old-school gamer. Avid role-player. Kermit for president. I believe that werewolves will rule the world one day.
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