Nov 222011

The Kids Are Alright is the latest TPB from writer and artist Erik Larsen. Taking issues 169 through 174 of his series The Savage Dragon into this volume. The events of the book focus on how Angel and Malcolm the kids of the original Dragon are moving on with their lives after their Dad dies. Nothing overly shocking is contained in the book itself. No land mark issue is being reprinted. No amazing first appearances. Although we do meet a couple of new villains. The most important of which is Thunder-head. The son of the old Skull face. That having been said though it was a great and fun read.
Mr. Larsen has been a very reliable source for something that has become way to hard to find in comics today, continuity. Now when I say continuity I don’t mean making sure that the characters are in the right costumes and that no one mentions villain X, because he wiped the worlds memory of him. What I mean by Continuity is the on going story of the charters in a linear progression that allows you to follow a story.
The Savage Dragon has been around since the early 90’s and is still going strong. What a reader gets when he picks up this book is a dose of realism that you just don’t find in superhero books anymore. We have watched characters grow up die and change. All of these events have added to the foundation of the series. And here we are now following the adventures of the Son of the original Dragon. This long standing stead direction gives us an environment that we care more about and the events in which have more meaning an substance because they are more lasting.
Most modern superheros have to many writers and creators taking brief stops on them. What might have seemed important with one creator now is not even a foot note with another. And don’t even get me started with the constant interruptions to a characters continuity because of the mega cross overs that plague the industry. Cross overs that force writers to arrange their work to fit them into the grand scheme of the world shacking event. An event that is only world shaking until the next mega crossover 4 to 6 months later if your lucky.
Comics used to have a lot more meaning and content to them. The only place that you can find true meaning and content any more seems to be not at the big two. And that’s why I loved reading this book. It took me back to the early 90’s and the great times of reading the first Savage Dragon issues, and you are reminded of special moments along the way. And when things change in a book that you have a vested interest in you will remember and more importantly come back for more.
If I was forced to try and point out anything wrong with the TPB it would be that Malcolm is way more mature than any fourteen year old I have ever met. At the same time though I don’t know any fourteen year old that can juggle cars either.
If you have never read the Savage Dragon and you love superheros then you should. Mr. Larsen gives you a great mix of humor and reality that has been very consistent and fun to read. I recommend not only this TPB but going out and picking up any and all of the back issues you can. And when you read them you will start to get an idea of what it used to be like to read superheros when continuity mattered.

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