Review: ‘Savage Avengers’ #4 Reveals A New Destiny For A Familiar Hero

by Tony Thornley

Deathlok burst into the pages of Savage Avengers with a strange demeanor for the frequent anti-hero. In Savage Avengers #4, we learn this version’s origin, and it’s a stunning future for one of Marvel’s greatest heroes.

Cover by Leinil Yu & Sunny Gho

This unexpected origin issue comes from David Pepose, Carlo Magno, Espen Grundetjern, and Travis Lanham.

Once he was Miles Morales. Now he’s a Deathlok, a mind-controlled killing machine obeying the whims of Avenger Prime. If he can break through the computer, he’ll be his own man again, and maybe, just maybe, Conan and the Savage Avengers will have a chance against Thulsa Doom and his master, the serpent god Set!

Miles Morales has had a rough go of it lately. In the course of this issue, Pepose has single handedly told the best Miles Morales story that Marvel has published in years. While the framing sequence is simply Miles-lok fighting the Deathlok program, but he tells an engrossing story about a young hero who refuses to quit until he’s saved the world. He avoids the cliches of Uncle Aaron or the multiverse and just tells a damn good story about Miles, and his selflessness and determination.

This issue could have been nothing but that, and it would have been the best Miles Morales issue I’ve read in a very long time. But it’s also an incredibly fun rescue mission to free Conan, with Elektra and Black Knight leading the team to save the barbarian warrior. All around a lot of fun, including Lanham’s lettering work on the script (especially the extremely pulpy narrative captions).

Magno has a strong artistic identity, and though the first issue of the series was good, I did think it missed his hyper-detailed touches in favor of something closer to Marvel house style. Here he leans in and visually it’s wholly Magno. His version of Miles, though slightly grown up, is instantly recognizable, and in showing the twisty/agile Spider-Man facing the hordes of the Annihilation Wave, he proved that he can bring that hyper detail to an engaging action scene as well. Grundetjern’s colors makes it feel like a grim war, but doesn’t wash it out or lean too far in the direction of making it muddy or difficult to read.

I’ve been enjoying this series more and more by the issue. This was the one that makes me want to see the series get a long, long tenure. I know the rumors are out there that Marvel is completely losing Conan, and I don’t know what that would mean for this book, but hopefully that’s just a small stumbling block as the series moves forward.

Savage Avengers #4 is available now from Marvel Comics.


A familiar hero gets a heartbreaking second origin and not in the way you expect. Though the entire team gets a spotlight, Pepose and Magno create a tragic new version of Miles Morales that will resonate in the Marvel Universe for a long time.

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