Written by Justin Jordan
Art by Ibrahim Moustafa and Jordan Boyd
Published by Vertigo Comics
Release Date: April 5, 2017

The savagery in the title makes itself bloody well known in issue two of Jordan’s demented spy thriller series.

We pick up with the aftermath of Abel and Cain’s “initiation” to Black Forest, where unknown at the time but the battle lines are being drawn over twenty-five years ago. From the get-go, Jordan is playing with the religious ties that the two main characters are held down by. Abel shows signs of compassion through the murder and blood lust and Cain…well Cain grows up to be a crazy psychopath trying to destabilize the world so the training and methods of Black Forest are alive and well.

We’re then thrown back into the present with Abel and his current situation. We’re formally introduced to Kira his “partner” and by good measure his new handler for the journey they’re about to embark on. Both of them do not let their guard down for a second, Abel being his “own kind of monster” and Kira being wise to his cunning, talent, and skill sets him in his place rather quickly.

He tests her and learns fast that she’s not on the level of Black Forest but, fully capable behind the quips and all the while making sarcastic remarks about the realization behind the events orchestrating in his arrest. The display of the full force of Black Forest is shown on a single page and Jordan and Moustafa really sell the horrors and terror this small army of men can do, spreading far and wide like a tree itself.

This is where the mission and crux of Savage Things comes into play, there’s no angles or twists it’s cut and dry reasoning and characters working to their own agendas. Kira needs someone better to help take thee once thought dead rogue Black Forest warriors down and deep down inside Abel wants to do what she’s asking.

The Rogue Squad make their presence known at a Hospital Takeover and like the Hotel Murder Spree last issue, it gets grizzly and violent fast. One tossed head delivers the message quite clearly to the authorities and that’s when Abel and Kira arrive to take stock of the situation and more specifically…to let Abel let loose his very particular set of skills on people he grew up with. It’s very telling that Abel isn’t worried about hitting civilians when fighting ex-Black Forest members.

Moustafa is lean, mean, and precise with the usage of panel space and following the action. Everything is seamless and combined with Boyd’s use of colors and emphasis on when to use red to show the fight’s more visceral moments is great for a book that doesn’t shy away from the type of cast we’re dealing with.

The issue ends with Abel in his own distinctive way telling his enemy the war is on and we’re treated to the direction of the next few issues with numerous threats all tying back to Cain are out there. Abel and Kira vs. Cain and his rogue Black Forest team is now on the table and with two issues now, we have the players on board and the signs of things to come.

Savage Things is it’s own type of monster. Everything about this book fits the feel, tone, and world Jordan and company have orchestrated. It’ not much to be said about the art that wasn’t said for issue one. Moustafa and Boyd understand when a character needs to look like an otherworldly monster when making a threat, the scenes being saturated in certain colors to stress the impact of what’s going on or to dampen what just happened with a reprieve. It’s no holds barred in Savage Things and it shouldn’t be any other way…the faint of heart and blood shouldn’t be reading whatsoever.

This is the series about bad people doing bad things in the name of saving the day.

The Verdict: 9.0/10


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