The Saviors earns a ‘trade wait’ recommendation along my personal grading scale. Despite applying the ‘end every issue with a full page cliff-hanger’ technique, I feel like the storytelling pace is relatively moderate with a focus on developing the main character, which may lead to a more enjoyable experience when complied into a single volume. Overall, it’s a solid read matched with adorably appropriate artwork, an appraisal which should surprise no one given the combination of publisher and creative talent.
But seriously, why am I even writing a review? The Saviors is a new book from Image, written by James Robinson with art responsibilities falling to J. Bone. Artist J. Bone has provided pencils and inks for a successful smattering of artwork for DC. James Robinson is a permanent member of the ‘must read soon list’ for new comic book readers; with resume highlights like Starman, Batman, Superman, the most recent version of Earth 2, and upcoming Fantastic Four and All-New Invaders in the Marvel Now lineup. And in case you didn’t get the memo, Image is untouchable right now. With their combined reputations, a positive review for this title is a foregone conclusion.
Issue #1 introduced Tomas Ramirez, a stoner gas station attendant voluntarily living a simple life somewhere in the American southwest. He stumbles upon a lizard-alien-man government conspiracy and finds himself running for his life in the middle of the dessert, in the middle of the night. Issue #1 concluded with Tomas hanging off the side of the cliff, attempting some sort of Indiana Jones maneuver, but coming across more as Kevin Bacon in Tremors.
Issue #2 opens with a great action/rescue sequence, where the ‘stranger passing through town’ from the first issue returns in his classy sports car to save the day and drop some expository dialogue, all while displaying his manly, rugged jaw line prominently. The men plan to escape from the alien riddled nowhere town by detonating a bomb above an abandoned gas station, because why not.
Throughout both issues, what really captured my attention was the dialogue of the main character. There was something sweet and earnest and quirky about the way he babbled to himself. The art provided by J. Bone matched that tone beautifully, with a style somewhere between Batman: The Animated Series and classic Disney; simple, familiar, expressive. The creative layouts in these two issues have convinced me that this book should not be read on a computer screen; moving back and forth on opposite pages is messy on a computer screen but natural in real life.
Considering how many X-Files comics I’ve been reading recently, it’s hilarious to me that I would describe The Saviors as “like one of the funny episodes of the X-Files, like the José Chung episode, maybe.” I promise that being obsessed with the X-Files isn’t my thing. Of course, no one was thinking that until I pointed it out.