By Leroy Douresseaux
September 11, 2009 - 11:29
|Kevin Maguire's black and white cover art for the alternate cover of The Life and Times of Savior 28 #2.|
The Life and Times of Savior 28 seems to have developed out of writer J.M. DeMatteis’ desire to examine violence in superhero comic books. The Life and Times of Savior 28 is about the life of titular superhero, Savior 28… as told by Dennis McNulty. A depression era orphan, McNulty became Savior 28’s sidekick The Daring Disciple, and eventually the man who would kill Savior 28
The Life and Times of Savior 28 #2 recounts the mental toll being a superhero took on James Smith a.k.a. Savior 28. Believing that he was AWOL when the nation needed him most on September 11, 2001, James tried to kill himself…several times…unsuccessfully. McNulty details what he saw as Savior 28’s hypocrisy and what he believed to be the futility not only of Savior’s goals, but also of his methods. McNulty then takes the reader back to the time of Savior 28’s first breakdown – Buchenwald.
In my review of the first issue of The Life and Times of Savior 28, my focus was on the story and on scribe J.M. DeMatteis. I would be remiss if I continued talking about this series without taking note of the contribution of series artist, Mike Cavallaro (The Wizard of Oz, Penguin Puffin Graphic Classics). If Jack Kirby were to have drawn post-modern superhero comic book stories, they might have looked like The Life and Times of Savior 28. Imagine DC’s 1993 miniseries, The Golden Age, drawn by Jack Kirby instead of by the actual artist, Paul Smith, and you’ll have a visual suggestion of The Life and Times of Savior 28’s graphic sensibilities.
Cavallaro’s storytelling, however, is not meant merely to recapture the pictorial manners of other artists. Cavallaro’s post-modern, pop-art comics style (if you will) humanizes DeMatteis’ story, giving visual soul to a story that is as much political commentary as it is a critique of superheroes. Cavallaro captures both Savior 28’s troubles and Dennis McNulty’s conflicted soul.
Mike Cavallaro: http://www.66thousandmilesperhour.com/