Another Avengers title will be hitting the stands this May, featuring a strange lineup of heroes including Doctor Voodoo, Venom, Wolverine, the Punisher, Elektra and Conan of Cimmeria? We’ll get back to that in a minute.

Let’s assume it’s one of those magical adventures where Conan finds himself in the modern age. It’s happened before … in alternative timeline stories. This may be the first modern cross-over of the Marvel Universe and the Hyborian Age character since Marvel’s soft-reboot.

They are going to be adventuring in the Savage Land, a scientific curiosity, where prehistoric creatures, magic, and mutants are the order of the day. The Savage Avengers will be written by Gerry Duggan who is also writing the Savage Sword of Conan and drawn by Mike Deodato, Jr.

Let me start this article with a single word of consternation: ARGGG!

What happened Marvel? Every time I think you guys might be just about to see your way clear of anal-cranial inversion, you relapse. I know these characters have history, some of it contentious, and Conan being a fish out of water ought to be hilarious but was this really the best you could do?

Let me ask just a few questions and make a few suggestions. I know it’s already set in stone but maybe you can just think about this in the future. Was this sausage-fest of Savage Avengers necessary? Yes. I said it.Aren’t Venom and the Punisher overexposed enough? I was going to point out Wolverine as well, but since he was dead for a bit and now has his patented “hot-claws” I don’t have as much room to complain as I might like. (Hot-claws? WTH?)

I am absolutely sick of seeing Venom’s damn dental work and his Gene Simmons tongue stretching all over the place. How about we give Frank some vacation time, because he has been murdering his way across the Marvel Universe, nonstop for 45 years? Were there not enough Savage female Avengers available?

There was plenty of room on this team for some women (yes, they would be replacing men…) and without even trying hard, I could think of at least six who could have been included and fit the bill of Savage Avengers! (Not to discount Electra; is certainly savage enough, skilled enough and certainly murderous enough to hold her own under most circumstances. But I don’t like her. Not even a little bit.)

Here are Six Savage Avengers, you could have chosen

Black Widow is the original savage female Avenger. They don’t get any better at the job or any darker when it needs to be. She was a spy and an assassin, for Pete’s sake? She’s great with guns, handy in a fight, and can make any team she’s on deadlier.

The savage She-Hulk could have been a nice addition. Granted, she is trying to get her powers under control but in the Savage Land, a Hulk is always handy to have around. Jen could use some page time since her last book was canceled with She-Hulk , written by the magnificent Mariko Tamaki.

Tigra has been running around in a bathing suit for decades. Please get her a costume. Please.

What I wouldn’t give to see Tigra back in action. Upgrade the look, get a better grasp of her powers and capacity, give her some renewed confidence and she would have fit the bill nicely. It has been a while since I have seen her and I’m not certain if she’s had any page time since the soft-reboot.

How about Silver Sable? That woman will kill just about anyone for a buck? Not an Avenger, you say? Neither is Conan. Or Venom last I checked. I would love to see Silver Sable as an Avenger, I think the energy she would bring to the team would be electric. A perfectionist, with an eye for detail, pure leadership material, I can’t figure out why she never became an Avenger. (Oh wait, they don’t get paid. Or not the prices she’s getting for her clients.)

I know… let’s find Valkyrie. She hasn’t been seen in a while but she was as savage as they come. Magically aware, physically capable, a master swordswoman and an Asgardian to boot. She would be excellent in this lineup, a perfect mix of offense and defense and someone for Conan to admire from a technique perspective. A thousand-plus years of swordplay must come with a few skill perks.

Last but not least, my perennial favorite from the future, a woman who takes no guff from any man, the Undisputed leader of the Femizons, the Empress, Thundra! She’s savage to the bone. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who’s game to punch both the Thing and the Hulk in the face in the same day and call it just a day beating down the patriarchy is fine by me. A visitor from the 23rd Century, Thundra came back in time just to beat the Thing, reputed to be one of the strongest warriors of our time period. Because.

As usual, bro-culture at Marvel finds a way to take a team of six and make it as lacking in diversity as possible without even trying. And yes, I understand. You want the comic to sell. Or so the conversation goes.
Venom’s hot. Wolverine’s hot. The Punisher’s on fire, thanks to his recent Netflix appearances; Electra is dynamic, sure to draw a crowd and Conan hasn’t been seen in ages. People are hungry for him, by Crom! I get it. This team is comic umami. But it’s totally lacking in diversity. Doctor Voodoo is the only concession and he’s still male…

I can see from the trades, Conan and the Avengers are going to be spending some time together, but I feel this book was meant to appeal to the male fans who cried so hard when Jane Foster became Thor. Enjoy your fan-service boys, I think I will be missing this one.

Savage Avengers by Gerry Duggan and Mike Deodato, with a cover by David Finch, goes on sale in May.


Thaddeus Howze
Thaddeus Howze

Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.