Savage Dragon is an ongoing comic book series published by Image Comics
and one of the company’s original launch titles. The title character, Dragon, is
a green-skinned, muscular alien with a large fin on his head and the ability to
rapidly heal. He had no memory of his past before he was found in a burning
field by Lt.
Frank Darling. He eventually joined the Chicago PD to
help them battle “superfreaks” (the term for superpowered beings) that were
part of the criminal organization known as the Vicious Circle run by the
|The Dragon and his universe.
was created by Erik
Larsen as far back as elementary school; appearing in many
of his homemade comics. The character underwent some revisions and maturation
by the time it saw legitimate publication in the pages of Graphic Fantasy, a self-publishing
effort by Larsen and two friends in 1982. By the time Larsen left Marvel Comics with
his fellow creators to co-found Image, Dragon had evolved into his current
form. Initially, The Savage Dragon was a three-issue
mini-series, but its success turned it into a regular series
the following year completely written and drawn by Larsen.
|The Dragon and Alex.
success of Batman: The Animated Series marked a renewed
interest in networks for shows based on comic books. The additional success of
Image’s debut drew networks towards their properties for potential adaptations.
Cartoon Studios acquired the rights to adapt Larsen’s
comic into an animated series that would run on the USA Network’s
Action Extreme Team programming block.
series largely boiled down and condensed the essence of Larsen’s book: Dragon
(Jim Cummings) was recruited to the Chicago PD to deal with Overlord (Tony Jay)
and his legion of superfreaks. Those superfreaks included Mako the Shark (Jeff
Bennett), a criminal in the army who was mauled by a shark when an experimental
bomb was detonated, turning him into a human shark; Octopus
a seemingly-immortal being with octopus tentacles coming from his torso;
Bludgeon (Cummings), a super-strong low-level member of the Circle; Arachnid
a mutated man-spider with multiple arms and matching abilities; Basher
another Circle strongman with ambitions that often led him to act outside of
Overlord’s orders; and Horde
a being comprised of mind-controlling worms. Aiding Dragon was his partner,
Alex Wilde (Kath Soucie), and his female counterpart, She-Dragon (Jennifer
Hale), as well as the occasional outlaw Barbaric (Bennet).
|The Fiend looking for his next host.
Dragon debuted on September 21, 1995 and ran for two seasons. Season 1 was
co-produced by Lacewood
Productions and season 2 by Studio
B Productions. AKOM
Productions handled the animation based off of
character designs by Frank
Suarez. Larsen has often described the comic as a practice
in self-indulgence, tossing in anything he thought would be cool without much
rhyme or reason. That meant it often featured content that wasn’t appropriate
for Saturday audiences. As a result, the show was considerably more toned-down
than the comic and featured a more typical stand-alone story structure that
ignored any sort of ongoing character arcs. The series was written by producer Duane Capizzi,
and Jess Winfield.
|Dragon vs. Warrior King.
As with the other entries in the Extreme
Team—Wing Commander Academy,
Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm—Savage Dragon took part in
“The Warrior King” crossover event on November 16 during its second season.
Developed by Will Meugniot, the titular barbarian (Michael
crossed between dimensions to find and acquire the Orb of Power, which could
control the weather of any planet. While The Warrior King was seen in all four
shows, their respective characters didn’t cross over. It was coordinated so
that each episode would air on the same day, resulting in each series being
shown outside of their regular timeslots. However, the event received little to
no promotion, and outside of the rearranged schedule there was no indication
that there was anything special about that day.
|She-Dragon: NOT a bootleg.
has described the show as a “meh” effort on the part of those involved,
praising the decent animation but panning the watered-down tonality of its
overall presentation. He continues to publish the comic through Image, having
surpassed 200 issues with no signs of stopping. The show, however, has largely
faded into obscurity beyond dedicated fans of the character and animation.
While bootleg versions of it have been made available on YouTube and for sale at conventions, the show
has yet to have any sort of legitimate release on either DVD or VHS. It has,
however, been made available to stream on NBCUniversal’s
streaming service, Peacock.