Part of Valiant's three new properties (the others being Generation Zero and Britannia), Savage seemed like an interesting departure away from the general line the publisher had been putting out: an almost: nobody had powers, nobody had a vendetta. Hell, we don't even know if the lead character will be out in the world anytime soon. So what makes this book so damn good?
First, the premise is incredibly cool - imagine the world's most famous soccer player marrying a world-famous model/actress. Sound a little like David and Victoria Beckham? Now imagine David's skills are on the decline, and he has to move his family from the Premiere League to the MLS. All of that seems plausible (because it happened in real life), and the fact that writer B. Clay Moore does an amazing job of showing us the intimacy, the fear, the doubt, the love behind the scenes - the dialogue they had on the plane alone alternated between snark and heartbreak in moments.
Now, imagine two sets of completely different artists portraying differently-toned narratives...and each story being visually stunning. Lewis Larosa handles the scenes with Savage taking on jungles and dinosaurs. There's a primal ferocity on display that is realised through harsh tones, stunning colors, and inks that emphasize the grime and savagery. It's perfect.
For the more modern, more civilized parts of the story, Valiant vet Clayton Henry's clean art displays the couple in an engaging manner. They wear their emotions on their sleeves, and the tight inks and colors do a great job of showing life before it turns terrifying. The scene on the wreckage towards the end is particularly powerful, as Sauvage's revulsion is on full, relatable display.
This is a really thought-provoking book that has captured my interests immediatey: I love the different artistic styles, I love the real-world comparison, and I love how bold Valiant is being with these new ideas and comics. This is a book where society is scraped away by tooth and claw, and the journey from one point to the other looks like it'll be harrowing.