This book 100% lives up to the name.
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Ibrahim Moustafa
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
A book that started out with a family being murdered ups the ante this month by showing kids killing other kids for being last in an endurance race.
Wait – it’s not just for shock value anymore. There’s a tale being told here, and the bloody and unfeeling nature of these children is on display at all times, so when we flash forward into present day we see exactly what they’ve become.
Abel and Cain have survived conditions that would destroy most children, and it looks like they came out minus their humanity. This issue brings Cain’s plan into starker effect – as he’s essentially taken the entire island of Manhattan hostage, and is destroying the only ways in and out of town. His goal is chaos, and how do you address and fight against someone who’s entire goal is just to destroy?
With your own little wind up destruction toy, of course.
The Cain/Abel meet-up is bound to happen, bound to be bloody, and bound to last several issues – so don’t expect a clear winner this early in the game.
Vertigo has always been willing to show the bloodier and more graphic side of comics, and this is delivering month after month – both visually and mentally. This book is making me think quite a bit. What motivates these killers and how did they get this detached from humanity?
Comic books don’t get that deep too often, as entire cities can be destroyed in a DC book – and all we end up seeing is how it takes a toll on the god-like creatures that inhabit them. A school is wiped out in Marvel, and we see the heroes kick each other’s teeth in as a response.
This book strips even that aspect away. The body count is high, but it doesn’t matter – as our protagonist couldn’t care less who dies. He’s a killing machine, and dead bodies are just evidence to him to track down those responsible.
This is an odd thing to realize. It’s not detracting from the book, it’s actually highlighting that when we’re reading superhero comics, in a lot of cases it’s WE who could care less about who lives and dies. How many times have we said good-bye to Jean Grey, knowing the right plot twist or hero punching time will bring her right back?
Savage Things is a book about a jaded and detached killer, but man is it holding a mirror up to the comic industry as well. Manhattan might die in this book, and we’ll be rooting for a man we don’t even like?
Well played Vertigo. Well played.