Writer: Joe Kelly
Colors: Gary Caldwell
Letters: Thomas Mauer
Review by PeteR
One of the goodies given away on Free Comic Book Day yesterday was a preview of the graphic novel Kid Savage, by writer Joe Kelly (Deadpool, Action Comics, JLA) and British artist Ilya.
The story starts out with a feral child in a loin cloth with his pet two headed ferret, hunting creatures for food and fighting larger creatures for survival. A space ship lands and captures the child to study it. The fact that the spaceship was covered in corporate logos like a NASCAR vehicle was a neat touch and hopefully something that is brought up later in the story. His captors turn out to be a scientist and his two children who are space explorers. Sibling bickering ensues between the two of them. Kid Savage breaks free from his captors, runs about the vessel and comes across a photograph of a woman he remembers from when he was much younger.
I was disappointed by this preview. There was nothing in Joe Kelly’s story that had me invested in the characters. This surprised me because Kelly, among other things, wrote the story What’s so funny about Truth, Justice & the American Way? in Action Comics #775, which was brilliant. Heck, DC even made an entire animated Superman movie from that story, it was so good.
The artwork by Ilya did not excite me. Full disclaimer: I hate saying negative comments about someone’s art. I am lucky if I can draw a stick figure without poking my eye out. That said, I am the consumer and, if I’m going to shell out cash for art, I had better like or be moved by it. The art reminded me of a cross between Michael Avon Oeming’s and Jeff Smith’s art styles but more disjointed and less polished.
How did Kid Savage end up on the remote planet? Who is this family of spacefaring scientists? What is the connection between them, the photograph of the woman and Kid Savage?
Why you should buy this book? The graphic novel is rated as appropriate for all ages which these days is a rarity (outside of Hilo by Judd Winick, but that’s a topic for another day). Since I only read the preview and not the entire story, I may be giving it the short shrift. The complete package might improve as it plays out. Joe Kelly’s writing in the past merits further reading of this story to see where it goes. If you do purchase it ($14.95), please feel free to come back to this page and let me know what you think about it.