By Gary Carlson
The Savage Dragon’s journey through the past, present and future of Big Bang Comics continued in BB #14, published by Image Comics in October of 1997. What had started as a potential single issue continued to grow, spilling over into this second part and eventually into a third issue.
This wasn’t the original plan as evidenced by the front cover to Big Bang Comics #14, penciled and inked by Rich Buckler, which features, among others, Berzerker, who doesn’t show up until the conclusion in BB #18 some six months later.
Oh well. . . . .
Unfortunately, his fellow police officers, including Alex Wilde don’t recognize him, and are put off by the big green guy wearing a bomb strapped to his chest. In fact, they call in the cavalry – in the form of the National Guardians.
“Who just in the Hell are the National Guardians?” asks a bewildered Dragon as an arm reaches in and drags him out the window. He finds himself facing an angry Ultiman who punches him, announcing that he’s been waiting for 59 years to do that.
Dragon is confused. In issue #12 he met Ultiman in the 1960s and 1980s, but never in the 1930s. Another atomic punch literally launches Dragon through time, where he finds himself facing Ultiman in 1938.
The blast propels Dragon to 1952 in Korea, where he meets the goddess Venus, who is working as a U.S. Army nurse. She believes Dragon, and realizes that he’s
talking about Dr. Binana, who discovered a gateway to another Earth and that maybe he is from that other plane. Unfortunately, Binana and the heroine Thunder Girl disappeared in 1946 during a visit there and were trapped.
Dragon blasts back to 1944, hoping to use Binana’s device to get back to his own time and world and free himself of the time-bomb. Once there, he stops Binana from killing Molly Wilson, who is trapped and unable to transform into Thunder Girl. Once free, she helps Dragon locate Binana’s portal device and sends him home.
Or so they think – unaware that Binana has unplugged the device – trapping the Dragon between Earth-A where it is 1969 and Earth-B where it is 1949.
Unfortunately, the time-bomb detonates, sending him to 1965 where he meets the Agents of B.A.D.G.E. who think he’s a communist spy sent there to steal the cosmic powered Infinity Orb.
There Dragon meets the lovely and deadly Oblivia, whose kisses bring extinction – erasing the victim and all memory of them from existence. She brings Dragon to the Palace at Time’s End and introduces him to the Time Being, an anomaly who exists outside of time.
The Time Being claims to be protecting the time-stream, which is being weakened by the time-bomb strapped to Dragon’s chest. But before he can send old finhead back to his own time, Dragon discovers a room full of trapped Ultimen, whose powers are being leeched to power up a giant Infinity Orb. And that’s where the issue ends, promising a mind-bending conclusion in Big Bang #18.
The issue was plotted by myself with Chris Ecker, and scripted by me. The art for the chapters was provided by:
1997 – National Guardians: pencils: Joe Cooper • inks: Patrick Tuller
1938 – Golden Age Ultiman: art: John Thompson
1952 – Venus: art: Dan Preece
1944 – Thunder Girl: art: Bill Fugate
1949/1969 – Gold and Silver Age Blitzes: art: David Zimmermann
1965 – Agents of B.A.D.G.E.: layouts: Mark Lewis • finished art: Ken Lester
The End of Time – The Badge, Time Being, Oblivia: pencils: Joe Zierman • inks: Ken Lester
Like Big Bang #12, this issue is another of my favorites. I feel like the artists of each section did a great job nailing the styles of their time period. They are all among my favorite all-time Big Bang artists – and working with Rich Buckler again was a blast.
Thanks again to the fantastic Erik Larsen for making it possible and trusting us with the Savage Dragon.
Until next time – –
Big Bang Comics and all related characters are © and TM Gary S. Carlson and Chris Ecker. Savage Dragon and all related characters are © and TM Erik Larsen.
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