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In 1999 the Volgan Republic of Asia invaded Western Europe, defeating and occupying Britain in hours, leaving only resistance groups fighting for liberty. When London lorry driver Bill Savage found out his family had been killed in the invasion, he took up arms against the invaders.

One of 2000 AD's debut titles in 1977 under the name of Invasion! and written by then editor Pat Mills the original story lasted 44 issues before being discontinued. However in 2004 the story was resurrected by Mills and re-titled Savage.


  • Alternate History: Savage's solution to avoid Failed Future Forecast. Here the timeline diverged in 1989 when the Volgan Peoples Party was founded.
    • Possibly even earlier, as the SLR (A British FN FAL clone) is still in service in 1999. Justified, though, as at the time Invasion! was published, the SLR was still Britain's service rifle and the SA80 had not been designed yet.
    • Might be even ealier, Vashkov's Motive Rant centers around Bomber Harris using poison gas on the order of Winston Churchill during the allied intervention in the Russian Civil War.
    • Also, Princess Diana wasn't killed in a car crash, nor did she and Charles divorce in the Savage verse.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The MkI Hammersteins are unable to distinguish between friend and foe, killing everything in sight. The MkIIs have the opposite problem: They actually surrender when they calculate collateral damage from the battle and decide it's not worth lowering property prices.
  • America Saves the Day: Subverted. The U.S. government officially stays out of the war for years until freeing the United Kingdom is within their interests; Namely the newly discovered oil fields in the North Sea.
  • Anti-Hero: Savage shows no mercy whatsoever towards the Volgs or Les Collaborateurs, often gunning them down in cold blood without a second thought. In fact, in Book 10, he's established to be a Serial Killer.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Heavily used in Invasion! all Aristocrats that appear are collaborateurs.
  • Badass Longcoat: Savage has a tendency to wear long coats in the newer stories in order to conceal his shotgun.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Subverted. Krasnodon is stated to be the Volgan equivalent of JFK in that he's handsome and charismatic. A couple is seen discussing this in the pub with the wife noting that Krasnodon can't be evil on account of his looks. However, the Volgs fuck Britain up worse under Krasnodon, even hitting the country with an EMP to regress the country to The '80s.
  • Berserk Button: Some Volgs insult Noddy's mother. He responds by gunning them down with a shotgun.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: By the time of Book 4, Electromagnetic Pulse technology has reduced Britain to early eightes technology.
    • Fashion also appears to have regressed.
  • Blood Knight: Savage. After his wife and kids are murdered, all he does is fight Volgs. He plans to get himself killed in book VIII at the end of the uprising, because he doesn't feel that he can live in peace, but his resistance cohorts want him to live, as he's become a symbol of freedom.
  • Cain and Abel: Jack Savage faked his death and was working with the Volgs all along. Naturally, Bill is not happy when he finds this out.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Savage retcons away a prolog to Invasion! called Disaster 1990 which had a nuclear explosion at the north pole, melting the ice, flooding Britain. That said, it got reprinted and packaged with December 2012's and January 2013's issues of the Megazine, which lampshaded the whole thing.
    • Quite possibly also Savage's cameo in Armoured Gideon.
  • Captain Ersatz: Pat Mills was forced to make the Volgans this after Executive Meddling in Invasion!
  • Character Development: Savage goes from little characterization (Barely any backstory and sterotypical working class attitude) in Invasion! to having a much more detailed backstory along with a wider family and more justification for his continuing struggle in Savage.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Called Double Yellows
  • Cyborg: The Grinders are humans who have been augmented with weaponry to subvert the new British government.
  • Darker and Edgier: Savage compared to Invasion
  • Day of the Jackboot: Britain is invaded and conquered by the Volgs in around eight hours after they deploy nuclear weapons.
  • Death Seeker: Savage reveals himself to be this in "Rise Like Lions". The rest of the resistance won't let him die, as he's become a symbol of freedom for the British people.
  • Decapitated Army: Subverted. Savage kills Vashkov in Book 2. Krasnodon takes over and the struggle continues, if anything, worse than ever.
  • Failed Future Forecast: Averted in Savage. The Volgans are turned into a fascist party that took over the USSR in the 1991 coup.
  • Gun Porn: Or, more specifically, Shotgun Porn. Bill's preference for shotguns is shown with detailed closeups of several shotguns. In the original Invasion strips, he uses a double-barrelled side-by-side coachgun before upgrading to a Remington 870, which carries over into Book 1 of Savage. In Book 2, he uses his old double-barrelled for a "Special Occasion"; Namely, the assassination of Vashkov. In later books, the Remington 870 returns, as well as an Amsel Striker and a Serbu Super Shorty.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Savage is quite brutal in his methods of dealing with the Volgs, doing such things as shooting surrendering/fleeing troops, slaughtering a restaurant full of people who dine with occupying troops and using his mentally impaired brother-in-law to gain info by generally putting him in harm's way. Some of the other resistance groups are little more than thugs using the revolution as an excuse to commit criminal acts.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The entire conflict was masterminded by Howard Quartz in order to field test the ABC Warriors.
  • Hufflepuff House: The entirety of mainland Europe. Apart from one cross-channel hop in Invasion! and savage being part of the Free European Army (FEAR) in Savage, the struggle in Europe is not mentioned. Averted in Book 10, where Savage has moved to Germany to continue the fight.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The global recession of the late noughties and 2010s still happens in the Savage verse in spite of the Alternate History, as evidenced by the "Ghost Estates" of Ireland used to test the Mark II Hammersteins.
  • Kill It with Fire: Certain roads have been sprayed with a combustible material that sets people on fire should they step on it. It gives a double meaning to the phrase "Don't cross a double yellow", as not only is "Double Yellow" a slang for a Volg collaborator, but the fire fields are actually marked with double yellow parking lines.
  • The Lost Lenore: Bill never got over the deaths of his wife and children. He absolutely hates the Volgs over it so badly to the extent that where most people lay wreaths on the anniversary of the death of a loved one, Bill goes out with a shotgun and shoots a couple of Mooks.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: At the start of Book 1, Bill has surgery to resemble his brother, Jack, who was believed killed at the start of the Volgan invasion. He changes his identity again by the time Book 4 rolls around and, by Book 9 at least, no longer resembles Jack.
  • More Dakka: Several examples. The two that stand out are Savage's use of the "Steel Storm", a six barreled assault rifle with an incredible firing rate that uses a coded ring to authorise its use and Savage's slaughter of an entire restaurant full of "Double Yellows" when the State Sec attempt to arrest him.
  • Monster of the Week: Invasion! followed this pattern with single issue stories of savage defeating the Volgans in a different location with the occasional longer story.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Volgans are a fascist party that took control of the old Soviet Union after a coup against Gorbachev. They even have a division called the SS.
  • The Neutral Zone: Ireland, at least early on. Later, the Allied forces use Ireland as a base to launch their assault on Britain with the Hammerstein Mk 1s.
  • Monumental Damage: Tower Bridge is blown up by the Volgans along with other bridges over the Thames to keep back the ABC robots as close in on London. Rather pointlessly considering they can cross at multiple points further up river (Oxford and Virginia Water).
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Martine Green attempts to seduce Savage to spare her life after he finds she is one of the ones responsible for Tom's death. Savage simply shoots her.
  • Occupiers Out of Our Country: The original Invasion! strip and the first nine books of Savage follows Bill Savage's fight against the Volgan occupation of the United Kingdom.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Laugh this off, twinkletoes."
  • Prequel: Savage is set in the same universe as ABC Warriors and the last couple of books have begun to introduce Hammerstein, Mek Quake and Blackblood robots as well as explain how Howard Quartz ended up as a Brain in a Jar.
  • Putting on the Reich: because of Depending on the Artist the Volgans in Invasion! dressed more like Nazis than Russians half the time (the other half, they're dressed like Americans, though these stories were published when The War on Terror was in full swing). They also often uses WW2 German looking vehicles.
  • The Quisling: Scooty, the puppet Prime Minister in Savage
    • Simon Creepton, the Prime Minister in Invasion!
  • Television Geography: An example occurs in Savage. After Savage and a group of resistance fighters have formed blockade on Oxford Street, a truck comes to take them to the Centre Point building. However Centre Point is on nearby New Oxford Street. They should barely have to walk five minutes to get to it.
  • Serial Killer: By Book 10, it's established that every March, Bill takes his shotgun and goes out to kill Mooks, leaving empty casings at the scene. One of the major antagonists is a Volgan detective assigned to find him.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Savage has a preference for "shooters" in combat. Chantry manages to identify him this way when he takes on his brother's identity (and face). After this, he tends to use pistols and submachine guns instead.
  • State Sec: The SS is basically this. Chantry and Head are members of this organisation, with Chantry spending Book 1 attempting to identify Savage. He even sacrifices Head to maintain his cover inside the resistance.
  • La RĂ©sistance: Several groups. It's implied that Savage is the only thing keeping them from turning on each other.
  • Robot War: Doubles as a crossover with ''ABC Warriors" when the Americans finally attempt to liberate Britain they use Mark 1 Hammerstein robots against the Volgans.
    • Book seven also gives up the Mark 1 Blackbloods.
    • A Mek Quake unit is captured by the Volgs and used to demolish surrendering Mark II Hammersteins.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The first three volumes makes occasional usage of "Funk" in place of the more potent swearwords. Leads to some surreal moments when Savage sounds like he's talking about the Volgans being in a Disco ("Those Funkin' Volgs!"). This seems to have been dropped entirely after Book 3.
  • Working-Class Hero: very strong in Invasion!, much less so in Savage.
  • You Killed My Family: Savage's motivation to kill as many Volgs as he can is to avenge his wife and kids.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: in Savage at the end of book 3, Savage succeeds in driving the Volgans out of southern Britain. However by book 4 the Volgans have reinvaded (off panel).
    • Savage manages to kill Vashkov in Book 2. He is replaced with his next in command, changing almost nothing.
    • In Book 9, Britain is finally liberated, but the new pro-American regime is unpopular in its own way, especially with its use of robots and the Volgs have an underground terrorist movement of cyborgs trying to subvert the country.
  • Zeerust : Invasion!'s depiction of future Britain is now incredibly dated, its basically the late 70's with a few futuristic pieces of technolgy.