Tarzan, meet Sauvage.
On November 30, Valiant Entertainment introduces a new family of characters into its mythos – with the spirit of one that’s no more – in Savage. Writer B. Clay Moore and artists Clayton Henry and Lewis Larosa are introducing a star soccer player and his family 14 years after they crash-landed on a mysterious island ruled by prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs. It’s Swiss Family Robinson meets Tarzan, with a whiff of the one-time Valiant character Turok (now owned separately by Comcast).
Moore talked to Newsarama about Kevin Sauvage, his wife Veronica, and their child Kevin Jr. and this strange new world they found themselves in, and how a family can be changed by being stranded there for 14 years.
Newsarama: Clay, it's good to see you doing more comic books. What can you tell us about Savage?
B. Clay Moore:In brief, Savage is the story of the son of world famous soccer (football!) star Kevin Sauvage and his equally famous wife, Veronica. We meet him some fourteen years after the three of them crash-landed on a strange island.
And when we meet him, he's fighting a dinosaur.
We then flashback to the beginning of their story, and tell the parallel tales of how we got to this point, while following the younger Sauvage from there.
Nrama: When this was announced, some people got a strong Turok vibe given that character's previous connection with Valiant. What can you say about that?
Moore: Dinosaurs drift in and out of our story, but the focus has always been on a son of privilege forced to endure treacherous circumstances, and how those circumstances shape the boy. The “feral boy/stranger in a savage land” concept is one I've always wanted to play around with, having grown up on Edgar Rice Burroughs books, among other influences.
Nrama: Can you tell us more about Kevin and Veronica then?
Moore: Kevin "The Savage" Sauvage was a soccer prodigy discovered as a child on the streets of France, and purchased by an English football club. His wife, Veronica, is the daughter of a wealthy British family, and fell in love with Kevin while he was still working his way up through the ranks as a young man.
As Kevin evolved into one of the greatest football stars in England, Veronica managed his career to unprecedented heights. They have three children together, and a rather rocky marriage, particularly recently.
With Kevin's career now winding down, he's embarking on a world tour that will culminate with a stint playing soccer in America. Kevin, Veronica, and young Kevin Jr. are flying through a storm in a private plane when we first meet them, fourteen years ago.
Nrama: And how would you describe this pre-historic island they've landed on?
We'll learn more as we dig into the story, but the strange events that happen on the island aren't limited to pre-historic creatures and Savage boys.
Nrama: Unlike some other series announced in this wave by Valiant, this is a standalone 4-issue book. How does that affect you, knowing you have a solid beginning, middle and end?
Moore: The primary goal is to make readers hungry to follow the character wherever he goes from here, but it is nice to be able to introduce him and flesh out his origins over the course of four issues.
Nrama: How does Savage fit within the larger continuity of Valiant's titles?
Moore: Savage is just starting his journey, so most of that remains to be seen. Continuity is ever-evolving, after all.
Nrama: As I said, it's good to see you doing more comic books. You recently returned in a big way with Aloha, Hawaiian Dick and you've done some smaller work recently for Valiant and DC. Can you talk about this return to comic books?
Moore: I never left comics, really. I've spent a lot of time the past few years prepping things for the future and kicking around Hollywood, but I've always been working. After The Whistling Skull came out from DC in 2012-2013, I spent some time doing digital odds and ends for DC, as well as a few special projects, not to mention one-offs for people like Viz, Lion's Forge, and the Bad Karma anthology.
But I knew that once Aloha, Hawaiian Dick was finished, I wanted to refocus on new stories and re-establishing myself with a series of new projects. Following Aloha with Savage is a nice segue, and hopefully just the tip of the iceberg.
Nrama: Big picture, what are your goals with Savage?
Moore: I'd love to see people respond enthusiastically to this story, and then see Sauvage establish himself as a mainstay in the Valiant Universe. I couldn't be more grateful to Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons, editor Tom Brennan, and the rest of the Valiant gang for letting me leap into what has become one of the more vibrant lines in comics.
And I'm doubly jazzed to be working with collaborators as talented as Lewis LaRosa, Clayton Henry, and Brian Reber. The work they're doing on this book is stellar. That's a thing writers are supposed to say about books they work on, but in this case it's the honest truth. The work speaks for itself.