Rating: 5/5 – Jason Bourne Meets Seven in Vertigo’s New Thriller.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
Savage Things bursts out of the gate strong. I’ll recap the 1st 3 pages, not really a spoiler since you’re going to hit these in the 1st 30 seconds of reading the comic: We open on a boy watching a fire in a field (that appears to be one that he himself set). He bikes home to find a man sitting on the couch with his dead parents (the man has killed the boy’s parents). He asks the boy one question, “What would you do if I let you go?” The boy’s answer, “I’d kill you.” Calmly stated, no trace of anger or emotion on his face. “I think you’re going to like your new home.” And we’re off…jump to 25 years later.
Justin Jordan (Luther Strode, Spread) has created a world where the US government recruits sociopaths as youngsters and trains them to be weapons. Diabolical. Effective. Volatile. The rest of the issue sets up the point of conflict for the series, which is set to run 8 issues. It’s graphic and cryptic, and it causes the men who created the “at least they’re OUR sociopaths” program to sit up and take notice. All the pieces are not on the board yet and it’s not completely clear what side every character introduced is going to end up on, but the story certainly grabbed my attention from page one and didn’t let it go until the end. Artist Ibrahim Moustafa has a clean and realistic style well suited to the story and solid page design that varies to drive the pace of the story, but doesn’t go overboard on overly complex design which worked for me to keep the story rooted in an almost documentary-like reality well suited for an espionage thriller like this. Jordan and Moustafa augment the present day action with flashbacks that build the backstory which are distinguished by a muted color palette provided by Jordan Boyd.
Savage Things pulls no punches and I have the feeling that by the end of this 8 issue series Justin Jordan will have taken us on a tour of the world-view of sociopath assassins, both those who have gone off the rails and those that have been reined in to serve the side of good. I have the additional feeling that “good” in the context of this series is going to be a lot more of a grey area, mostly good in contrast to the very clearly delineated “bad”. If you like thrillers with mysteries to be solved, clandestine government agencies, and action like you’d find in Bourne or Bond, then Savage Things is probably going to be right up your alley. It’s a series that is, for me, right in the classic Vertigo sweet spot. I loved this issue, the only negative for me is that this is an 8 issue series and not the beginning of an epic series like 100 Bullets.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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