Erik Larsen, writer, artist, and creator of Image Comic’s title, Savage Dragon, doesn’t shirk from controversy for the sake of a well-written story. He’s already portrayed many political figures within his decade of writing this book: Hitler, both the Bush men, Barak Obama, even God and the Devil. And like the days of comics-old, he doesn’t shrink from putting in some of his own criticism or bias. Heck, Hitler was depicted as a brain controlling a large ape.
To this list of figures (both good and evil) Larsen is adding Osama bin Laden. This isn’t the first featuring of bin Laden, though. He also appeared in issue #145 in order to have a faceoff with Barak Obama – promptly getting punched in the face by the president right on the cover.
Osama bin Laden’s return to the pages of Savage Dragon is a little different, though. Partially this is due to the fact that in the real world, Osama bin Laden is dead. Death is never an insurmountable obstacle for a comic writer, though. As it turns out, the part of the ocean where Osama bin Laden had been deposited was actually filled with radiation – which, because this is a comic, brought the al-Qaida leader back to life. This new Osama is big, green, and rather resembling the Hulk, actually.
“Radiation is the cure-all. You get some of that stuff and life is good. In the real world, you get diarrhea and your hair falls out. But in comics — boom! — you’re brought right back to life,” says Larsen, who envisions the issue as a send-up of old Atlas Comics stories from the 1950s that featured monsters wreaking havoc on the populace.
“There’s not really going to be anybody going, ‘Whoa, don’t hit him!’ He’s kind of a (jerk), let’s throw that out there.” (USA Today)
Too soon? That’s the question Larsen is expecting to get from critics. “It’s not like this is ancient history and we’re looking at pictures and most of the people are dead and gone. This guy did evil crap recently,” said Larsen in his USA Today interview.
The Osama bin Laden issue is set for Savage Dragon #177, which will come out in October. For more information on Savage Dragon as a title in itself, visit SavageDragon.com.