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PREVIEW: 'Nuclear Family' #1 by Stephanie Phillips, Tony Shasteen, and JD Mettler

 America, 1957. Elvis dominates the airwaves and apple pie is served after every meal. But, with the dark cloud of nuclear holocaust looming, Korean War vet Tim McClean’s major concern is taking care of his family in the atomic age. When the first bomb does drop on an unexpecting Midwest city, Tim and his family find themselves plunged into a strange new world, where what’s left of the United States has gone underground while continuing to wage war on Russia with unthinkable tactics. Based on Philip K. Dick’s short story Breakfast at Twilight , NUCLEAR FAMILY is written by  Stephanie Phillips ( Butcher of Paris, Heavy Metal , ARTEMIS AND THE ASSASSIN, RED ATLANTIS) and illustrated by Tony Shasteen ( Star Trek ). It’s Cold War-era science fiction at its most timely and terrifying. As Phillips explained when interviewed about the series by The Hollywood Reporter at the end of last year, “[it’s] about a family that seems like the ideal nuclear family in the 1950s. But, when an unexpected

REVIEW: 'Savage' #1 by Max Bemis, Nathan Stockman, and Triona Farrell

From the mad minds of international superstar, Max Bemis and powerhouse artist Nathan Stockman come the craziest action book of 2021.

Teenage heartthrob. Feral social icon. Dinosaur hunter?

Born and raised on an uncharted island full of prehistoric dangers, Kevin Sauvage has a taste of home when a mutant dino threat invades England!

SAVAGE #1

Writer: Max Bemis

Artist: Nathan Stockman

Publisher: Valiant Comics

Release Date: February 17, 2021

Cover Price: $3.99


Score★★★1/2 (3.5/5)

I wasn't very familiar with Kevin Sauvage despite a Valiant series back in 2016. So I wasn't sure what to expect from this new series from Max Bemis, Nathan Stockman, and Triona Farrell. 'Savage' #1 is a couple of things. It's an accurate depiction of the vapidness of social media influencers and modern pseudo-celebrity culture. It's also a variation of the Tarzan story, where a feral boy grows up among dinosaurs on an island only to return to modern-day London where he aches to return to killing wild beasts. And if we're honest we can't blame him either because battling dinos is an effing blast to witness. 

The backstory here is that Kevin is the son of a soccer star who goes missing along with his mother and returns as a teenager. His origin is briefly summarized when Kevin talks to his brother who's also his agent and PR flack. Bemis puts together a fascinating juxtaposition between Kevin in his element among ferocious beasts and the derivative nature of pop culture celebrity. One Kevin adores and the other he abhors. He makes it known to his brother that this life in the limelight is not for him. He comes off gruffly, just over the attention, and yearns to be back on the island, Faraway, fighting dinos. Thanks to some mysterious circumstances he gets his chance when mutant dinos invade London.  

This is a Valiant book so of course it has action. The introduction of Kevin is sandwiched between some fun and gory man versus beast action sequences. It's all brought to glorious life by Nathan Stockman and Triona Farrell. Stockman's creative framing maximizes Kevin's passionate and brutal attack on the dinos with reckless abandon. He's a killing machine and he thrives cutting through one dino after another. Farrell's colors are bold and varied playing into Stockman's cartoony designs making it a feast for the eyes. 

If anything is missing from 'Savage' #1 it's Kevin's authentic personality. We know on the surface he's tired of the selfies and interviews and just wants to be back on the island killing dinos. But who is he really and is he someone we can truly root for beyond just fighting beasts. He comes off as mostly unlikable so there's room to grow. 

'Savage' #1 is unlike anything else in comics right now. It's a fun reimagining of Tarzan, where Tarzan is a popular teenage media star who loves to fight dinosaurs. There's some character work needed on Kevin Sauvage to make us care about him but there's no denying the brilliance of the artists behind the crazy action.  

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