"Savage Things #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Vertigo Comics
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Ibrahim Moustafa
Colored by Jordan Boyd
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 3rd, 2017
After witnessing terrorist attacks big and small, you can get an idea of how a city would react if found in the midst of one. Cain is orchestrating one on New York with horrific efficiency. Bridges, public transportation, and the docks are under siege and the power plant is the next target. The city’s only hope lies in Abel, a man that grew up with Cain and the other members of this cell in a top secret government program called Black Forest. Will he be able to stop him? Or is it too little too late?
If all this sounds exciting, you are absolutely correct. Savage Things has hit with an intensity that has not let up since the series started. We’re three issues in and it’s maintained and enhanced this level of pulse-pounding action. This could easily be turned into one of the most terrifying and explosive movies ever created. Michael Bay (hallowed be his name) would drool over something like this, especially with the explosions introduced in this chapter.
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I am continually surprised by the kills artist Ibrahim Moustafa showcases in Savage Things. Each issue I think, “That’s the most creative way to kill someone I’ve ever seen.” Then he does it again. We rarely see the act being committed. Instead, we see the blood-soaked aftermath. The Black Forest group unleashes utter chaos. You will reconsider that subway ride after seeing a car filled with decapitated corpses. This is like Grand Theft Auto taken to an extreme.
We get to see a bit more of Cain’s actions, both past and present. It’s tough watching the horror show that was the Black Forest training. These children were taught to turn on one another and recognize and eliminate weakness. Cain has some shred of humanity, showing a bond with Abel, however this is matched with a pragmatism about their situation. He realizes what he has to do to survive, but the difference between him and the other kids is that he also does what he can to help Abel. This empathy is a unique quality in the program.
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The juxtaposition between Cain and Abel’s past and present selves is startling. These boys, however sociopathic they may be, are young and somewhat innocent. This is a stark contrast that with the hardened men we see in the present. They have clearly been through Hell and it shows in every look on their faces. Although they’ve seen and committed similar atrocities, they took different paths. Abel is broken and deranged, looking to watch the world burn, while Cain just wants to be left alone. Now they’re on a collision course with the city of New York stuck in the middle.
This also comes through in Jordan Boyd’s colors. The flashback scene is shown in pale light, like a faded photograph or a lost memory. The rest of the issue has the harsh reality of the world settling in with darkness and dread.
Savage Things is next level action. It features a frightening look at how a highly trained group of individuals could completely dismantle a major American city in the span of a couple days. There won’t be a Bond villain style monologue. Instead, you’ll be lucky to make it out alive, let alone in one piece.