Advance Review: `White Savior’ #1 Is A Laugh A Minute
by Tom Smithyman
You figure out pretty quickly that White Savior doesn’t take itself very seriously. That’s a great thing for the reader, because the constant barrage of humor, along with some nicely differentiated artwork, helps this book to stand out from the rest.
Todd Parker is not your average hero. In fact, this irreverent, wisecracking New Yorker is about the furthest thing from it, even fainting at the sight of his own blood. Yet when he is mysteriously transported to feudal Japan, he doesn’t have much choice.
Parker ends up saving the life of a clan leader – he accidently bumps into the would-be killer while tripping in the middle of battle – earning the gratitude of the warrior but also the ire of his aspiring assassin. Before too long, Parker realizes he’s in the middle of a story his grandfather was always telling to him. It’s the story of Nathan Garin known as Inoki, the white savior who was supposed to save the clan but ended up getting everyone slaughtered.
It may sound like an epic war story – and there’s plenty of battle scenes – but White Savior is really a comedy. While it seems to take itself seriously on the surface, the story by Eric Nguyen and Scott Burman takes less than a page and a half to show its true colors – nonstop humor and fun. That’s a very good thing because the writers have a clear talent for making readers laugh.
For example, in the middle of pitched battle, with literal blood and guts spilling everywhere, the warriors cry out about their injured body parts: “My groin!” “My phalanges!” “My duodenum.” “My popliteal fossa!” (It’s the diamond-shaped space behind the knee.) And so on… It’s extremely entertaining and adds an unexpected element to a story that could easily have taken itself too seriously.
Nguyen pulls double duty by creating the art for the series as well. He shows real skills by radically changing his style during the battles and time in ancient Japan vs. the more mundane panels in modern New York City.
It’s a great start to the four-part limited series. The challenge now will be to maintain the momentum the creators have established, to keep the humor levels consistently good and to continue to surprise the readers.
White Savior #1 will be available for purchase on January 18, 2023.