Review – Savage Circus: Chapter Two, Heavy Metal Elements comic written by Brendan Columbus with illustrations and colouring by Al Barrionuevo & Candice Han.
The circus is in town with a truly explosive and savage opening night, one that the people of Basin Bay will never forget. As the town’s awe and whimsy turns to awful whimpering, Ricketts and his gang make their way on foot out of danger. With carouselling carnage for carollers and Scrooge stomping stampedes, one question is on the mind of Deputy Brady Harrison; Who the **** is Lewis Savage?
Initially, I was disappointed to see that the menagerie of monsters were just plain old animals. The previous issue led me to believe that we were going to see some freakishly outlandish predators from across the globe. I feel an opportunity for Barrionuevo to shine through unique designs was missed here, hopefully there’s something lurking in the cages of Savage Circus that we have yet to experience.
That being said, when Barrionuevo is tasked with illustrating a Savage Circus, he is SAVAGE. The man has some demons in his closet and he’s let them run amuck on these pages with visceral violence that is sure to ruin everyone’s Christmas.
One small addition to this issue that I really like is the introductory tale of Motagwa the Elephant. While I can’t see any story development for an animal hellbent on berserking their way through Basin Bay, I appreciate the effort made to give the animals a reason for their savagery in a coherent way that embellishes the story being told. I hope to see more of these fun little backstories of primal bloodlust throughout the series.
Okay, I’ve found my comparisons – at least for this issue of the series. Columbus has gifted us with a story where a lot of people you’d like to see get eaten, get eaten! Not unlike Jurassic Park. What is excitingly enticing about this story however, is it’s potential for a Scott Pilgrim Vs The World scenario where Brady has a bunch of boss battles with each of the unique prowling predators in order to reach the final boss, Lewis Savage. Obviously with less cartoony antics and more of a grandiose gorefest of fun.
In conclusion, Savage Circus: Chapter Two while undoubtedly delivering on it’s savagery, has yet to wow me with the dazzling displays of a carnivorous carnival. Themes of Christmas and the Vietnam War are lost or indifferent to the menagerie mayhem and the heist sub-plot feels a little out of place now. Nevermind the robbery, that woman just got her face chewed off by a lion!
It’s too soon to say whether these characters are worth getting invested in or not. Perhaps they are simply a festive feast for the parade of pantheon predators. In any case, showbiz tells us to start on a high and end on a high, the Savage Circus has not lost me yet and I look forward to the next act.
Let us know in the comments your thoughts on Savage Circus: Chapter Two, be sure to check out my review for Savage Circus: Chapter One and tell us what you’d like to see over here at BGCP!
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