The Savage Dragon's Rogues' Gallery
The Savage Dragon's Rogues' Gallery(pop culture)
Having put his creative stamp on series such as The Amazing Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, Image Comics co-founder Erik Larsen introduced The Savage Dragon three-issue miniseries in 1992, followed by an ongoing monthly series in 1993. The character had originally debuted in Megaton #2–#4 (1984) prior to Larsen's success at Marvel and DC Comics, but the creator had never forgotten the Dragon or the seemingly endless supply of supervillains he had conjured up. Some of these villains were whimsically named or manifested a downright silly appearance, while others were fashioned with a deadly, dramatic sensibility. From the first issue of the original Savage Dragon miniseries, though, the villains Dragon came up against contributed as much as the central character and other supporting players in setting the tone, style, and attitude of the series. The Vicious Circle made their debut in The Savage Dragon #1 (1992). Headed by OverLord, the superpowered criminal element in Chicago had supplanted the traditional forces of organized crime with relative ease. With such lieutenants as the shark-like Mako, the blade-wielding HellRazor, and Skullface, a superpowered skeleton with long, red hair, OverLord and the Vicious Circle had run ragged over law enforcement until the Dragon was found unconscious and unharmed in a burning field. Once Dragon became a police officer, it was all-out war between the criminals and the cops. OverLord was revealed as Antonio Seghetti, a former mob chieftain who gained control of the super-powered crowd with a high-tech suit of armor and ruthless willpower. He was not without rivals, though. CyberFace (Savage Dragon #5, 1993), the head of a rival criminal organization known as the Annihilators, was once Sebastian Khan, Seghetti's second-in-command. Khan's reward for helping develop the OverLord armor was betrayal. Revenge, or plans thereof, ensued. CyberFace's powers allowed him to control any mechanical device. Horde was another early villain (Savage Dragon #16, 1995), and he was one of the first elements that tipped Larsen's hand that there was a lot more thought and structure to his world than some of his peers had put into their creations. Horde had originally been the Wicked Worm, a 1940s foe of the hero Mighty Man, Larsen's pastiche of the original Captain Marvel. Inspired by Captain Marvel's enemy Mr. Mind, Wicked Worm had merged with a sorcerer to become a powerful creature that could send out his component leaches and take control of another person's mind. Larsen never seemed to hesitate to kill off a villain, perhaps because he has never been at a loss for introducing a new one. Such foes as BrainiApe (a gorilla with a brain in a glass bubble; the brain turned out to be Adolf Hitler's) and Powerhouse (who looks like a big, weird chicken pretending to be Superman) are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Bad guys such as SkullFace, the Fiend, Cutthroat, UnderMind, Johnny Redbeard, Furious George, Abner Cadaver, Devastator, Darklord, Chelsea Nirvana, Evil Dragon, OpenFace, and even Mister Glum are never far away. The Dragon's world has been made, unmade, and remade, but the supervillains persist in helping to define the character of the series. Numerous members of his rogues' gallery appeared in the USA Network's Savage Dragon cartoon series (1995–1996).