REVIEW: 'Savage Avengers' #5 by David Pepose, Carlos Magno, and Espen Grundetjern



Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Carlos Magno, Espen Grundetjern
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 14, 2022
Cover Price: $3.99


Conan is dead. Long live Conan of Cimmeria. But with Thulsa Doom and the Cult of Set ready to accomplish their ultimate plan, the Savage Avengers might not have time to mourn. Can Marvel's deadliest heroes dig deep within themselves to save the past, present, and future or will Deathlok's journey across the timestream have been for nothing? With the fate of the world at stake, the Savage Avengers will face the threat the only way they know how - to the death.

★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

I knew going into 'Savage Avengers' that it would be good based on the creators attached but frankly, didn't know what to expect. Not only was it good, but it was also far more epic and emotional than anticipated. The conclusion of the opening arc was the crescendo of a magnificent symphony of cinematic action, endless imagination, and noble heroics. David Pepose, Carlos Magno, and Espen Grundetjern just showed what Marvel is capable of when it gives its B-list characters the respect they deserve in a time-warping adventure of a lifetime. 

Over a span of five action-packed issues, the arc for these characters is one of turmoil, defeat, confusion, teamwork, transformation, pain, and triumph. Not lost in all this is the commitment to drawing out the humanity of most of the characters under the pen of Pepose. By doing so, the conclusion hits that much harder because of the valiant effort each of them put forward and their unyielding heroic spirit. Add in the jaw-dropping revelation that Deathlok is Miles Morales reborn and the demise of Conan the Barbarian and you have a seminal volume in the making. 

It's also a testament to Magno and Grundetjern who absolutely killed it on the art and brought it to life. Undoubtedly, they surpassed everything Pepose threw at them creating one of the most consistently awe-inducing fight sequences after another. And the use of magic versus weapons was a riveting dance choreographed with intelligence and confidence. This is why you pick up a title with 'Avengers' on it. You want a show and they gave it to you. 

Pepose's dramatic and almost-poetic narration gave the story gravitas and elevated the stature of these characters with respectful and elegant prose. As an independent comic book creator, Pepose passionately grinded it out making his dreams come true. Now, it would not shock me if Marvel locked him up for a few years as evidenced by this tour de force. 

'Savage Avengers' closes out the first arc in blockbuster fashion with more amazing stories promised ahead. It's been a non-stop thrill ride with a surprising amount of heart and valor. The creators left it all on the page and it shows. I can't recommend this series enough.