A drama-heavy issue, Savage Dragon #185 isn’t the most exciting or visually appealing of issues. But what it lacks in explosive content, it arguably makes up for by going back to some Savage Dragon’s roots and key themes; some issues get lost in the greater universal setting, after all.
The official description from Image:
Savage Dragon is on trial crimes he committed when he had reverted to his Emperor Kurr persona. Now the world is his witness as the shocking verdict is read. Meanwhile, Malcolm Dragon has troubles of his own: Thunder-Head and Double-Paige! Comes with our highest possible recommendation!
Whilst there is more than one story present in this, the main focus is, of course, Savage Dragons trial. At its most basic level, this does get down to some of the themes that are often missing from the larger stories. Savage Dragon started of as a police officer – the character has always had themes tied into good and bad, right and wrong in conjunction with the law and society. The trail process raises a lot of these themes and makes a few points of its own.
This also provides a retrospective of previous events in Savage Dragon history. The dialogue here is well written, showing a lawyer’s take on key events, highlighting a very different Dragon to the one regular readers are familiar with. Of course, this itself makes for excellent reading, watching the very system that’s at the heart of Savage Dragon essentially turn on its hero.
Unfortunately, a lot of this is dialogue heavy. Whilst this is definitely well-written, its makes for a lackluster issue in terms of visual appeal. Savage Dragon‘s art has always been loose and ‘sketchy’, but this occasionally suited the action and fast-paced sequences. Long court sequences are a different matter. Besides an occasional close up on the titular dragon, the detail is kept to a minimum. Considering how personal this issue is at times, a lack of detail is a strong hindrance.
As for the side arcs and developments. These are also heavily drama-based. Whether its relationship troubles or other dynamics from the younger cast of Dragon, the over all feel of this issue is one soaked in drama. Again, this arguably suffers from art at times. The small panels work well with the pacing, but it only makes things even harder to see. Whilst this is definitely a decent read, be aware that it is definitely reading, not simply looking, that is Savage Dragon #185‘s strong point.