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Savage Avengers #10: Review

Feb 2020
Gerry Duggan, Patrick Zircher

Story Name:

Chapter 10: Ouroboros

Review & Comments

4 stars

Savage Avengers #10 Review by (February 15, 2020)
The title Ouroboros refers to a mythical serpent that bites its own tail to form a circle. The image arose in Ancient Egypt and was given this name by the Greeks. But the image seems to have cropped up independently in many places. In some places the giant serpent encircles the (known) world, eg the Norse Jormundgand.
But what it's got to do with this issue is beyond me.

Kalfu is new to Marvel but we've seen the Swamps Of Ogun before, always connected to Dr Voodoo, initially in Uncanny Avengers v3 #7 and last mentioned in our #4. It's the underworld of Marvel's Vodou (or Voodoo). (Ogun himself has appeared a few times, starting with a backup in Dr Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #17.)
Kalfu is a real Loa of Haitian Vodou, guardian of the crossroads paralleled with Satan. Ogun is another Loa, a warrior blacksmith. I know nothing of a 'real' Swamps Of Ogun or a Vodou underworld.

The Ebony Blade mentioned is presumably that forged by Merlin and sometimes owned by the Black Knight. It was last seen with him in Punisher Kill Krew #4-5. This is the 1st time anybody here has mentioned that they're seeking it.

The next issue box says Return To Hyboria but I don't think it means Conan's going home. The cover has Dr Strange and Elektra kissing. And #0, which is out already but claims to follow next issue, says that in #11 DrS looks into the Hyborian past to study Kulan Gath's earlier life.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Savage Avengers #10 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
OK, Conan, Dr Doom and Dr Strange are still fighting Kulan Gath in his City Of Sickles which currently seems to be a pyramid in the Sahara desert. Last issue we left Doom unconscious, Conan trapped by a giant stone fist, Kulan Gath and Strange both damaged but Stephen Strange now encased as the Iron Mage in armour provided by Doom. (The intro says this is the armour Victor Von Doom wore in the Infamous Iron Man series.) And the initial panels of this issue remind us that Dr Voodoo is currently a spirit whose body is dying somewhere in the pyramid and has asked Stephen for aid.

Battered Gath digs himself out of rubble and starts to attack Conan with an arm ending in 2 snakes, but DrS interposes the Shield Of The Vishanti (presumably the Seraphim are unavailable). Then the Light Of Agamotto shines forth from his Eye of the same and burns the wizard's face. He queries the armour's AI which replies that it has 1 dose of Pym Particles. He magically reprograms them to Pym Particulates which dissolve the rock holding the Cimmerian.

KG has recovered and turns his arm into a blade with which to attack Conan. But Doom has also dug free and now it's his turn to block the attack with an armoured (both physically and magically) fist. Gath's body is now unnaturally twisted but he says he can recover from *anything*.

Strange suddenly turns to a sarcophagus because he's sensed Voodoo's body inside. He opens it with his armoured might and they are horrified to see Jericho Drumm with an octopoidal mini Shuma-Gorath (as DrS explains) enclosing his head. Jericho's spirit begs for help again but their sorcerous foe claims that Voodoo is already dead as he readjusts his body.

Stephen asks his comrades to keep Gath busy while he saves Jericho. Conan attacks with his sword and this time it's Gath who responds with the Shield Of The Seraphim (not the Vishanti) to repel him. Doom takes up the fight but the wizard's magic blade slashes through his armour. Gath tells him to kneel before him and he will inherit this dimension when KG ascends to godhood. But Doom kneels to no man.

Meanwhile ex-surgeon Dr Strange has started to delicately cut Shuma-Gorath off Voodoo's head with an armoured fingertip laser. But Conan loses patience and just rips it free and tosses it away, saying he'll kill SG *again*. (Conan fought Shuma-Gorath before in Conan The Barbarian #259-260. Kulan Gath was involved too, and SG killed *him* there.) Now KG catches the SG avatar while blasting Doom with the Gaze Of Dormammu.

DrV is still dead so DrS sheds his own blood to call on Kalfu to give them sanctuary. And he and the sarcophagus disappear. A top-hatted shadowy man welcomes them to the Swamps Of Ogun. Strange asks him to look after his priest. Khalfu will let Drumm convalesce here, and if he strikes a bargain the god may let him return to life. Jericho's spirit merges with his body and tells Stephen that Kulan Gath intends to summon Shuma-Gorath and then consume him. He tries to give his friend a warning but Kalfu dismisses Strange with a snap of his fingers before the warning is complete.

The Iron Mage returns to reality where Doom is down and it's Conan's sword vs mystic shield again. DrS tells his armour to leave him and surround the wizard, and then to freeze in place. Gath tries to melt his way out but Conan puts the 3rd Eye Of Agamotto around his neck. As we saw happened to a Doombot in #8 the booby-trapped amulet reacts by decapitating its wearer. KG's armoured head tells them even this won't stop him, and he magics his pyramid/city away leaving the other 3 in the desert.

Conan suggests finding somewhere to have a drink before they(?) start looking for the Ebony Blade he's heard about (when?). But Drs Doom and Strange send him back to Brazil where Doom abducted him from (#7). Then they transport themselves back to Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum where they collapse in exhaustion. Stephen wonders how they'll ever fully stop the wizard. Victor suggests involving Mephisto.

Patrick Zircher
Patrick Zircher
Java Tartaglia
Valerio Giangiordano (Cover Penciler)
Valerio Giangiordano (Cover Inker)
Romulo Fajardo (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Travis Lanham.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Doctor Voodoo
Doctor Voodoo

(Jericho Drumm)

Plus: Kalfu, Kulan Gath, Shuma-Gorath.

> Savage Avengers: Book info and issue index

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