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Comic Book / Savage Avengers

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Savage Avengers is a comic book series launched in April 2019 as part of the Marvel: A Fresh Start initiative, written by Gerry Duggan with Mike Deodato Jr. on art.

After finding himself transported to the modern day, Conan the Barbarian finds himself allied with a ragtag band of... very violent people, who unite to stop the sorcerer Kulan Gath. The team initially consists of:

  • Conan the Barbarian (Conan of Cimmeria) — Barbarian adventurer from the Hyborian Age, destined to become King Conan of Aquilonia.
  • Doctor Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) — Master of the voodoo arts, Houngan Supreme and ally of Doctor Strange.
  • Elektra (Elektra Natchios) — Former assassin of the Hand, current assassin for hire and sometimes ally of Daredevil.
  • The Punisher (Frank Castle) — Soldier-turned-vigilante who kills criminals after the death of his family.
  • Venom (Eddie Brock) — Former Spider-Man villain turned anti-hero, bonded to an alien symbiote.
  • Wolverine (James "Logan" Howlett) — Canadian mutant stabby man.

The team is darker and more prone to violence and killing than other Avengers teams, and is marketed as such. The series sees Conan regularly interacting with the wider Marvel Universe since Marvel regained his publishing rights in January, 2019 and the Avengers: No Road Home miniseries.

The series ran for 29 issues.

A new Savage Avengers series began in May 2022, with a new line-up, albeit still joined by Conan.

For a similar title released oddly close to this one, see Strikeforce.

Tropes featured in Savage Avengers include:

     Volume 1 
  • The Adventure Continues: After their trip back to the Hyborian Age to permanently deal with Kulan Gath as a boy, Kang strands Conan and eventually takes King Conan's crown and sword. But Kang notices a single sentence has been carved on the sword - "This Isn't Over". Intrigued Kang goes back and allows Conan to return to the modern times so he can eventually collect his boon from Dr. Strange.
  • Advertised Extra: Venom does very, very little in the series proper. While there is a prominent symbiote for Conan and another symbiote antagonist, Venom barely has anything to do and has very little panel time. He's likely just on the promotional material and covers due to the popularity of the character and the concurrently running Venom (Donny Cates) run. It's to the point that he doesn't even appear past that first arc.
  • All for Nothing: In issue 15 of the original series, Black Widow tries to distract some cultists by unzipping her bodysuit and flashing some cleavage, only to have Elektra simply sneak up and backstab them. Black Widow's a bit embarrassed on her own unnecessary action, as Elektra says Natasha's too used to working with lesser people like Daredevil.
    Black Widow: I guess you didn't need the distraction…
  • Always Someone Better: With the expanded roster debriefing on the moon, Dr. Strange mentions that Kulan Gath is far and away the most powerful sorcerer on Earth and that the last time he had a major fight with Gath, it took him and a combined force of Avengers and X-Men teams to defeat him, with only a few people involved retaining memory of that time. Now Gath's even more powerful. Black Widow is disturbed as she thought the "Sorcerer Supreme" is the mightiest, before Stephen explains to her about Gath's route to power.
  • Anti-Hero Team: The team is filled with people who have zero problem killing and who were lured together by Kulan Gath specifically because they're bathed in death. The team even adds two major supervillains to its roster with Dr. Doom and Kang joining the team and no one judges.
  • Back from the Dead: Conan's symbiote — which sacrificed itself to heal him in the first arc — is resurrected in the King in Black tie-in when he is engulfed by a symbiote dragon.
  • Badass Boast: After the team beats Kulan Gath and resurrect Shuma Gorath, the god asks what if he doesn't keep his side of the bargain. Dr. Strange goes up to Gorath and tells him that he'd then face the most savage warriors in the world. Gorath laughs, but agrees to leave the universe.
  • Bad Future: One where Kulan Gath has won, and an elderly Conan is the only person still alive to fight him.
  • The Big Guy: Because the team is rarely fully assembled, they usually only have one on hand, but there are a few members who serve as heavy hitters.
    • Venom served this purpose on the original line-up, albeit briefly. However, he only worked with them once, before his own problems prevented him from being on the team.
    • Magik served as the second Big Guy. When a team is sent to retrieve a third Eye of Agamotto from Sadurang, most of the team is ineffectual besides her.
    • Juggernaut is recruited later on and is the most visually obvious example, and absolutely wrecks house on his missions.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kulan Gath's Bad Future (after numerous time-excursions) is prevented and the Savage Avengers wreck him in the following battle. However, Kang the Conqueror implies Conan turning Past!Kulan into a warrior instead of killing him as a child is only delaying his inevitable development into a villain. Plus, defeating Gath involved a Batman Gambit that restores Shuma-Gorath to its full power, meaning Strange had to trade one villain for another.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: With Magik joining the group, the three females are now Magik (blonde), Elektra (brunette) and Black Widow (redhead).
  • Blood Magic:
    • Kulan Gath needs the blood of people soaked in death to perform his summoning ritual, and is happy with the Savage Avengers turnout given their histories. Wolverine in particular is a nice bonus for him, having a healing factor and all.
    • Doctor Strange uses a spell on some of Kulan's blood to astral project through his history. This apparently carries the danger of getting lost in the past permanently, so he has Elektra remain close to pull him back into the real world, if need be.
  • Body Horror: There's quite a few instances in this Marvel foray into Dark Fantasy, but perhaps what takes the cake was actually done for laughs. When Conan and Deadpool are held up in Ryker's prison, Deadpool pickpocketed a guard but got the guard's house keys. So Conan comes up with his own plan...which was to shove Deadpool through the tight bars. The result ripped and crushed Deadpool's body so badly that his ribs and intestines were hanging out, leading the hardened cons of the prison to gape in horror, with one puking up.
    • Kulan Gath gets one when Magik stabs him with a dagger tainted with Shuma Gorath's flesh and blood. This enables the god to resurrect inside Kulan and tentacles rip through the wizard as he's being devoured body and soul by Shuma.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Conan is less concerned with being trapped in the modern-day and more curious as to where Wolverine got those wonderful claws and killing people.
  • The Brute: Before Cain Marko joins, the Savage Avengers are a Dream Team... when it comes to sorcery and combat skill. But when their mightiest (one-time) member was Venom followed by peak human (or better) Wolverine and Conan, kid teams like Champions (2019) and Runaways have more muscle. Enter the Juggernaut, with him on the payroll the team has one of the most elite Class 100 powerhouses in Marvel.
  • Butt-Monkey: Conan and the Rhino join forces to steal funds for the Bar with No Name, when Spider-Man goes after them. Poor Peter, not only they do land some hits on him and successfully make off with a bank's gold, Conan rips the seat of Peter's pants so he has to web up the hole. Peter didn't even get Conan's name, so all he could do is vow vengeance on the Cimmerian one day.
  • Cannibalism Superpower:
    • In issue 0, Doctor Strange tells Magik that Kulan Gath has grown stronger since their last encounter with him. He says this is from him cannibalizing other mages, including some previous Sorceror Supremes. Strange finds out that this is how he's always increased his power, starting after being expelled by his teacher for demanding more power and literally getting a taste of it from a drop of blood from their fight.
    • Strange gives Conan a special mission: Strange needs a major boost in power to deal with Gath's new plan, so if Conan can cut off a piece of Gath, he's to give it to Stephen as a munchie. (Un)fortunately, Conan doesn't get the chance.
  • Came Back Strong: The Sickle Priest that got fed into a woodchipper and burnt in hellfire, Kulan Gath revived those ashes and gave Johan Richter new powers. Johan did come out a bit misshapen in the process.
    • Shuma Gorath not only gets resurrected with all his power back, he also gets to slowly digest Kulan Gath and add the godlike wizard's power to his own.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Kulan Gath is using the Third Eye of Agamotto in his ritual which Stephen corroborates as well as the second eye being in the possession of a dragon. This dragon was seen boasting of the second eye in Tony Stark: Iron Man in its War of the Realms tie-in.
    • The "combined force of Avengers and X-Men" Dr. Strange mentions in issue #13 is a reference to a 1985 storyline in Uncanny X-Men, which also featured a resurrected Kulan Gath as the villain.
    • Kulan Gath had captured a symbiote to lure Venom into his trap, evidently remembering the antihero from their encounter in the Spider-Man/Red Sonja crossover.
    • When the unnamed symbiote bonds to Conan, it manifests a Necrosword to help him slay the eldritch god Jhoatun Lau. Malekith and Eddie Brock would use the Venom symbiote to manifest Necroswords during the War of the Realms and Absolute Carnage respectively.
    • When Venom appears towards the end of the first arc, exposure to Jhoatun Lau's cosmic energy has transformed the symbiote into a draconic form in what was intended as a nod to Venom (Donny Cates) — though Venom's dragon form looks nothing like those of the other symbiote dragons.
    • When Kulan Gath injures Doctor Strange, Doom calls in some equipment to help him. Strange is encased in some armour that heals him, and it's revealed to be Doom's Infamous Iron Man suit.
    • When Juggernaut and Magik meet up, Cain is still pissed off at Illyana for the events at the end of Uncanny X-Men (2018), where she lost control of her powers, ripped out the Gem of Cyttorak and sent him to Limbo.
    • Magik decides against killing Sadurang, since one of her best friends is a dragon, referring to Lockheed.
    • Conan eventually wanders off in New York while they wait for Kulan Gath to make his play, ending up at the Bar With No Name, the popular villain bar featured in Spider-Man's comics.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • The first cover indicated Elektra would still be in her new, MCU-inspired outfit. In the series proper she's wearing her classic outfit.
    • #8's cover teases a fight between Conan and Doctor Doom. The two spend the issue dining with one another and never clash, even after Conan calls Doom "vain" right to his face.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Black Widow's team massacres Kulan Gath's earthly forces. The team just sends out Wolverine and the Punisher to easily wreck 'em, while Natasha, Elektra and Hellstrom go after the high priest. The cult did manage to shred Wolverine's costume while the nearly immortal high priest managed to stab Hellstrom in the chest with a sickle (which barely did anything to the hellspawn sorcerer).
    • Kulan Gath fights the Avengers, the X-Men and the Savage Avengers at the same time. He easily slaughters them all leading to a Bad Future.
  • Dark Fantasy: Anti-heroes: check (with even the more heroic members willing to use darker methods than they normally would), Crapsack World: check (the comic features various cities in their worst light where modern slavery and gangland control of whole towns is common), Religion of Evil: check, Eldritch Abomination: check and so on, etc. Pretty much every checkmark for Dark Fantasy gets marked.
  • Darker and Edgier: Even for the 2010s, this is one of the darker Avengers line-ups and series. All of the main cast except Voodoo have body counts numbering in the hundreds at least and are completely fine with killing (Well, Strange does try to rein in some of the more trigger happy team members, but he isn't too bothered when slaughter happens all the same) As the series progresses, the more altruistic members of the team like Voodoo and Doctor Strange are vastly outnumbered by more murderous additions, including Magik, Black Widow and Juggernaut.
  • Death from Above: Against Sadurang, Magik teleports a charging Juggernaut far up in the sky. Cain then crashes so hard into Sadurang it leaves a huge, burning crater.
  • Deal with the Devil: A symbiote dragon engulfs Conan and revitalizes the codex of the symbiote that had bonded to him in the first arc. The symbiote tells Conan that Kulan Gath had tortured it for a century and tells him to bond with it once more to seek revenge against the evil sorcerer, threatening to kill him if he refuses.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: The series ends with Kang revealing that he even has trophies of Conan hidden away only to find out his sword has the message “This Isn’t Over” etched on the blade.
    • Given his position, this is part of Dr Strange's day job. He gets a few moments in with Shuma Gorath once the entity is restored.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • In the first annual, Conan gets very into Black Widow. He's also so into Elektra that he doesn't notice Doctor Strange walking behind him. Neither of them seem to return his interest.
    • Widow uses this against a group of Gath's worshippers in Brazil, leaving them distracted by her bosom long enough for Elektra to slice them from behind and set their captured women free.
  • Does Not Like Magic: A recurring joke throughout the series is Conan's, per usual, disdain for magic. He takes an immediate disliking to Doctor Strange, though he does express fondness for Doctor Doom, due to Doom's more warrior-like apparel and more boisterous attitude when fighting. Similarly, and ironically, he doesn't hold anything against Magik either, probably for the same reasons - and he's grudgingly impressed by Strange when he sees the critically wounded Sorcerer armor up with Doom's Iron Man suit, and refuse pain medication and any weapons, relying on it solely for defense and life support.
  • The Dreaded: Kulan Gath is so terrible a foe that the Avengers and the X-Men, both at this time were in testy relations, gladly joined forces with the Savage Avengers. Meanwhile each member of the Savage Avengers are The Dreaded in their own right, so a team of these elite killers, villains and top sorcerers are something no super-villain wants to take on - including Shuma-Gorath.
  • Drugs Are Bad: During the debrief on the moon, Conan mentions his experience with a couple of prostitutes. He likes his booze but doesn't approve of some the girls' vice with narcotics, likening it to slavery with no collar. He calling it the "cursed poppy" was more right than he realized, the girl doing a line then turned into a Shuma-Gorath monster which he had to kill. Turns out Kulan Gath has been getting drug dealers murdered and having their stashes tainted with Shuma-Gorath bits, this angle lets the Savage Avengers bring back the Punisher to the team.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • The first arc involves Conan, Wolverine, Elektra, Doctor Voodoo, Black Widow, the Punisher, and (eventually) Venom teaming up to stop Kulan Gath from summoning an entity called the Marrow God, Jhoatun Lau. They fail, but manage to vanquish it nevertheless — though it marks them with a curse before dying.
    • Shuma-Gorath of the Many-Angled Ones pops up, with Kulan Gath treating it as cosmic calamari in order to assimilate its power and become a god himself.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • When Elektra and Dr. Strange teleport to Mexico to recruit Conan, the Cimmerian is rightfully pissed at Stephen for banishing him back to Brazil and wants to know why he shouldn't gut Strange. A few words of reason and a firm handshake after and Conan is actually friendly towards Strange from then on.
    • Juggernaut had beef with Magik after she depowered him and dumped him in Limbo, He was initially declined working with them, but once Conan hands over the bag of jewels from Strange, Cain Marko is happy to help them and was hunky-dory with Illyana.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The rest of the team including hard-asses like Magik, Wolverine and Elektra, are disturbed to hear how nonchalant Conan was at just having killed a possessed prostitute (he beat her to death with the prosthetic leg belonging to one of the other women) and then went back to having sex with the survivors. Black Widow was so troubled that she was still stuck on that when the others returned to the problems at hand.
    Logan: Dontcha just hate a party crasher?
    • Conan visits a brothel during his time in Brazil, only to discover that the women are not there willingly, and ends up slaughtering the slavers before setting the workers free. Conan is perfectly fine with prostitution, but sexual slavery is another thing entirely.
  • Face Your Fears: During his encounter with Johnny Blaze, Conan has a run-in with Nightmare, and the reader is shown what Conan The Barbarian fears the most - dying of old age in bed, too weak to even hold his sword anymore. Nightmare lampshades that this kind of death is what most people would consider the best outcome they could hope for, but for a proud warrior like Conan, it's the last thing he wants.
    • Nightmare also knows what Kulan Gath himself is most afraid of - he's afraid of Conan, even if he doesn't want to admit it.
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • Conan and Wolverine start out trying to kill each other but eventually come to respect each other after fighting Kulan Gath.
    • The same can be said of Conan and Frank, on their road trip back to America, with Conan consoling Frank regarding his family. Conan is also getting that way with Deadpool in their arc for King in Black and Venom rather likes Conan and was glad to see him in Mexico during the Empyre event.
    • Eventually the entire team becomes one, to the point of gladly having their victory feast at Dr. Doom's and Conan proudly toasting everyone there (including the wizards) as some of the most savage blades he's ever had the honor of standing with.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Conan in the modern era takes some time to adjust, but finds small comforts where he can — such as beer and peanut butter (he notes that one pleasure is he eats like a king here).
  • Food End: The Kulan Gath arc was about to end with a victory feast, but during the eating Kang and Dr. Doom felt there needed to be One Last Job.
  • Foregone Conclusion: As is the norm with Conan, and even he brings it up here as a dream he had — he needs to live long enough to become King Conan. Whatever happens to him in the modern-day, he needs to somehow end up back in the Hyborian Age for further adventures, and eventually earn his throne.
  • Great Escape: During the King in Black event, Conan gets arrested shortly after partying at the Bar with No Name. There he meets Deadpool and through a rather grotesque plan, they manage to escape jail. Before they leave, a fellow inmate Night Flyer has an adventure prospect for the two.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: When Wolverine passes out and leaves Conan to fight on his own, Conan just swings Wolverine around by his legs to make use of his claws.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Against Gath, there's no such thing as too much firepower. Doctor Strange and Elektra had been busy recruiting more members like Black Widow, Magik and Daimon Helstrom. The expanded roster is barely enough and when Black Widow suggests bringing on the Punisher on account of the drug-dealing angle, Strange approves with the caveat they keep him on a short leash to prevent too much human blood being spilled. At the Sanctum, Dr. Strange sends Widow and Hellstrom to recruit Frank and gather even more members and material for the teams - the preview of the next issue has the Punisher Kill Krew getting involved.
    • The Savage Avengers fail...alongside their allies the mainline Avengers and the X-Men. The only ones still alive are a one-eyed Conan and a crucified Dr. Strange, so the new plan is enlist the aid of the evil Kang the Conqueror.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Since he doesn't have a grudge against most modern-day villains, Conan doesn't mind hanging out at the Bar with No Name with several lesser-known villains, and the Juggernaut.
  • Good Versus Good: Partially...Conan and Deadpool (plus criminal mercenary Nightflyer) end up in a fight with some of the Marauders when Conan and guests were robbing an "abandoned" Hellfire Club mansion that was actually a safe house/money stash for Krakoa.
  • Guest-Star Party Member:
    • The first annual features Conan teaming up with Daimon Hellstrom and Black Widow.
    • A multi-part story has Conan teaming up with Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom, who weren't part of the team. Solicitations later revealed that Strange would be joining the team.
    • Conan also works with Johnny Blaze against Nightmare.
    • The above examples are the ones that stay with the team, other characters who've teamed up with Conan but never joined include the Marauders, Deadpool, Night Flyer and the Rhino.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: Kulan Gath's evil plan in the second arc is summoning Shuma-Gorath in Brother Voodoo's body so he can consume it and steal its power to become a god.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the second arc Kulan Gath is defeated by placing the third Eye of Agamotto on him and letting the curse he had placed on it do the rest.
  • Home Base: Conan gets one for himself during the King in Black arc. The Marauders and Conan's group fail to save Cyclops and Storm, but Conan's group put in a good effort so Night Flyer and Deadpool happily got a duffel bag of cash and left. Conan didn't want any...he really likes the Hellfire Club mansion and its liquor collection, so he claimed it as his prize. Wolverine admired Conan's ballsiness and agreed.
  • Honor Among Thieves: When Night Flyer reveals his big adventure for Conan and Deadpool is...looting an abandoned Hellfire Club mansion. Conan gets very suspicious and asks why they're needed for such an easy outing. Nightflyer gets where Conan is coming from and explains. There's too much money for one person to carry and he owes them both for getting him out of Ryker's. Plus if he gets them a big score now, they'd perhaps consider working with him again in the future (Night Flyer ain't much of a fighter, having a pair of wily enforcers will go a long way in keeping this version alive).
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • The Marauders and Conan's group try to rescue Cyclops and Storm. Not a chance, the possessed X-Men are too hostile and powerful to take alive and it's only through some quick thinking by Conan and Iceman's powers that they're able to escape with their lives (Deadpool was temporarily reduced to a stump). All they could do is return to the Hellfire Club mansion and lick their wounds over some fine whiskey.
    • The united forces of the Avengers, X-Men and several other heroes against Kulan Gath goes terribly and ushers in a Bad Future that only Kang the Conqueror can deal with.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Conan often solves his bad moods this way, but especially his final battle with Kulan Gath, he drinks a bottle of extremely vintage Krakoan whiskey.
  • It's Personal: Kulan Gath took the bodies of Frank's deceased family for his ritual, which is why Punisher enters the story.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: With the roster expanded, Stephen tells the team that they'll need to split up. One team will barter or steal the 2nd Amulet of Agamotto from Sadurang, an Asgardian dragon (leaving it alive is preferred but not necessary) and the other will defend the planet against Gath's earthly forces while Dr. Strange works with Shuma-Gorath.
  • Mission Briefing: The team has one that starts on the moon and finishes at Dr. Strange's Sanctum Santorum. Strange gives background on modern encounters with Gath, Voodoo explains to newcomers that Gath gets power from cannibalism, Elektra mentions the murder and consumption of the Hand leader and an Egyptian Cult. Black Widow mentions that Gath's cronies are decapitating South American cartel members and is puzzled. Voodoo believes it somehow involves Gath's boast he'd consume Shuma Gorath. Conan has a tale that gives context to the Widow's and Voodoo's input and then the team is given their particular assignments.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Even after Doctor Voodoo warns that spilling even one more drop of blood into the stone cistern will allow Jhoatun Lao to cross over, Conan proceeds to bisect a hand ninja with his Necrosword and dump his corpse into it.
  • No Name Given: Averted. The Sickle Priest that the Savage Avengers fed to a woodchipper has grown beyond being an Elite Mook. His identity is revealed in Issue 20, he's Johan Richter a Nazi pilot that ended up in the Savage Land during World War 2 and joined Kulan Gath then and there. Kulan has need of his lieutenant and resurrects him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Conan orders water in a bar!! Turns out the Bar of No Name served him leftover Oktoberfest pumpkin ale and he had to wash the flavor out of his mouth. An annoyed Conan tells the bartender never to serve him gourd ale again. This conversation would lead to a bank heist and fight with Spider-Man.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: After Black Widow's team had their Curbstomp Battle against Kulan Gath's cult, Wolverine wonders if his buddy Conan and his group did as well. Cue next scene, a triumphant Sadurang in humanoid form stands over Magik who's on her knees while Conan, Juggernaut and the Black Knight are all knocked unconscious.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Conan declines the deal with the symbiote and is unimpressed with the symbiote's threats. The symbiote then reveals its history on Earth. It had been put in a glass bottle and put on the market as a djinn for sale. Its only moment of kindness on Earth, was when that era's Sorcerer Supreme bought and freed him, with the symbiote staying on as a guest and cultural exchange student...only to have Kulan Gath invade and murder the wizard. Kulan Gath tried eating the symbiote and when that didn't work, he took to torturing it for fun for millenniums and not the century that he previously mentioned. Now the symbiote is old and broken. Conan is touched by the tale and agrees to join with the symbiote, until they finally kill Kulan Gath. This feels like a near-Whole-Plot Reference to "The Tower of the Elephant".
    • When the choice comes down to killing Kulan Gath as a child to prevent his reign or leave him be and potentially have him re-surface, Conan decides to Take a Third Option: He (with Kang's help) frees Kulan from slavery early into his life and becomes The Mentor to the boy in exchange for the promise that he'll never touch magic as long as he lives. The Sorcerer Supreme of the time puts the new warrior Kulan to a test and is satisfied. Kang however isn't and thinks Conan's merely delaying the inevitable.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Dr. Strange uses his magic to have some levitation sex with Elektra.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Dr. Strange and Elektra have sex before they start their actual campaign against Kulan Gath. Both are very pleased with the experience though neither thinks it's likely they will have any further encounters as their odds of surviving the fight against Gath are really bad. They also both agree they were just blowing off steam and don't want a serious relationship.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: The Juggernaut joins the team after getting paid with a bag full of jewels courtesy of Dr. Strange. Without that payment, he was going to see them out.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After Conan kills Kulan Gath with the cursed Eye of Agamotto, Strange and Doom decided it was best to get rid of the ancient barbarian. So they teleport him back to Brazil which greatly inconveniences an incensed Conan.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Doctor Doom of all people is this to Conan when the latter escapes the simulated city he'd been placed in. He's downright hospitable to Conan even after the barbarian insults him to his face and doesn't take much convincing to work with him and Strange against Kulan Gath.
    • Bishop is leading the small group of Marauders and after a fight with Conan's group, he doesn't hold a grudge and hires them for the rescue attempt of Cyclops and Storm. Even after they fail, he still pays Deadpool and Night Flyer a small fortune and Conan ends up with a mansion to squat in.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During their little fight, Spider-Man gives Conan the "With great power comes great responsibility" spiel. Conan scoffs and thinks Peter is pathetic, telling that "With great power comes great reward...", that it's the strong who prosper while the weak rightfully fall. But Spider-Man is a great fool who volunteers to uses his powers to benefit the corrupt rulers of New York as they trample everyone else. Spider-Man can only ineffectually say that Conan has him mischaracterized. It's less about protecting the innocent (which Conan will also do on occasion) and more about Spider-Man's insistence on protecting EVERYONE, no matter how little they deserve it.
  • Revolving Door Casting: The main protagonist of the series is Conan and stories almost always involve him. While there is a semi-official team, other than perhaps Dr. Strange - characters will pop in and out of the roster. In fact a number of members including the Punisher, failed to show up for the final battle.
  • Sentient Weapon: Conan bonds with an unnamed symbiote during the first arc and uses it to form a sword, but it apparently dies after the fight with the Marrow God is done. It returns during the King in Black tie-in, and Conan happily makes use of its abilities.
  • Series Continuity Error: The first arc was published at the time when Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote had parted ways, with the implication being that the Venom who appeared to help fight Jhoatun Lau was the hostless symbiote. However, the tie-in for Empyre has Eddie Brock — who is missing the beard he sports after the first arc of Venom (Donny Cates) — ask Conan if he remembers him from that fight; which leaves where the first Savage Avengers arc fits in to the timeline something of a mystery since at the time Eddie was preoccupied with looking after his son Dylan and didn't have the symbiote — and after that, was immediately swept up into the events of Absolute Carnage.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slave Liberation: The Black Knight was found beating up a bunch of KKK members, when Conan's squad teleports in. Conan requests Whitman's aid and throws the Black Knight a bag of jewels. Whitman is actually insulted and says he only fights for those oppressed by tyranny. Magik hands him a photo of who they're taking on (the photo is actually of Sadurang who had conquered a city and oppresses its inhabitants). A dismayed Black Knight quickly joins the team. So the team now has both heavy hitters from the Punisher Kill Krew.
    • With Wolverine and Punisher fighting the cultists, the rest of Black Widow's team free the girls who were enslaved into making the drugs then Elektra tells the women to help themselves to all the money in the cult's mansion as reparations..
  • Squishy Wizard: Averted, no spellcaster has a glass-jaw especially Kulan Gath. Conan, Dr. Doom and Strange triple-team the guy and the three really lay into him, including Doom spraying him with an acid blaster from his armour. It took Conan decapitating Gath to stop him.
  • Start of Darkness: Kulan Gath was sold as a slave during childhood, eventually ending up under the ownership of an abusive sorceror. Realizing that his master would eventually kill him, Gath managed to poison him, then took over his house and property, including his magical texts and artifacts. Already damaged from his abusive upbringing, and with no teachers to help him, the magic Gath taught himself quickly began to corrupt him, twisting him into a monster the stronger he got.
  • Straight Gay: Nightflyer reveals to Conan and Deadpool, that he's gay and is in a relationship with his lawyer. Nightflyer asks if it'll be a problem. Conan has no issue, he knew lots of great warriors who were homosexual.
  • Sword and Sorcery: This series is essentially a take on Sword and Sorcery featuring one of the genre's greatest protagonists but in a contemporary world with superheroes.
  • Take Up My Sword: In the Bad Future offscreen, a dead Dr. Doom gifts Old Man Conan with his old Power Armor (the one with the cloak, Doom himself was using the Doom version of Iron Man) which Victor had enchanted to resist Kulan Gath's passive scrying.
  • Take a Third Option: When Kang and Conan go back in time, the plan was to kill Kulan Gath when he was just a slave. Instead Conan kill the evil wizard that bought and would have corrupted Gath. He then gives the slave the magic sword that Dr. Strange supplied him and makes Gath promise to be a warrior. Kang is disappointed and states this merely delays their inevitable battles with Gath.
  • The Team Benefactor: The Savage Avengers aren't hurting when it comes to resources. They get supplies, funds and other forms of aid from Dr. Strange while Dr. Doom and Kang have also chipped in.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: With the superheroes initial defeat by Kulan Gath, it takes time travel shenanigans by Kang and Conan to avert a Bad Future.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Black Widow's entire team gets their own lethal hits on Kulan Gath's near-immortal high priest. The priest is unimpressed with their efforts, until Wolverine tunnels through the guy and then feeds him into a wood chipper. Daimon Hellstrom then incinerates the remains with hellfire.
  • Token Good Teammate:
    • Not that the cast is evil, but Voodoo is definitely the most moral of the main cast and is less prone to stabbing or shooting his problems away. Notably, he's one of the guys who isn't there because Kulan Gath needs a murderer to sacrifice.
    • Strange fills this role among the team-up with him and Doom and Conan. He wants to save the people who have been possessed and asks the two to not kill, which they ignore. And after the victory against Kulan Gath, it was Strange that dissented against the plan to go back in time and murder Gath when the guy was merely an abused slave.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When he first came to the modern age, Conan had no idea how to use a gun and if he got his hands on one - he'd use it as a club. Some time before the King in Black event, he learnt how to use one. After the jail break with Deadpool and Night Flyer, the three of them went to the confiscated weapons locker. While the other two got their old gear back, Conan was unarmed when he went to Rykers. So he helps himself to a machete and a sawed-off shotgun, which he uses against a symbiote dragon. The next issue, Conan gets another level up when he agrees to bond temporarily with the symbiote dragon. It then becomes a Morph Weapon that's linked psychically and physically with him.
  • Too Powerful to Live: At the victory feast, Dr. Doom and Kang decide that Kulan Gath is so powerful and cunning that he may even escape his current demise. So Kang and Conan go back in time to deal with Gath when he was just a child slave. Rather than kill Gath, Coan instead kills the sorceror who bought him as a slave, then offers to train him in the ways of the sword rather than leave him to be corrupted by magic again. Gath accepts, and the two remain together until the boy is strong enough to fend for himself.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The solicitation for issue 13 said that the Savage Avengers would finally assemble, complete with the list of members. While this includes the original cast and Doctor Strange, it also includes characters who have only made brief appearances, such as Black Widow, Daimon Hellstrom and Magik.
  • With This Herring: Sometime after his exile to Brazil, Conan lost the Cool Sword that Doctor Doom traded to him. So when Mexico is under attack by Cotati and the only ones who can save the day are Conan and Venom, Conan is given...a broken parking meter to fight with. He quickly took the opportunity to upgrade from that by taking a machete from a slain food vendor.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Conan doesn't much care for modern paper currency, even if he knows it's value, and prefers to be paid in (or steal) gold and jewels.
  • Would Hit a Girl: After Callisto stabs Deadpool in the head, Conan punches the Morlock leader in the face making her gush out a fair amount of blood.
  • Zero-G Spot: When Elektra and Strange have their Pre-Climax Climax, he uses his magic to turn off gravity for him. Elektra is apparently, agile and flexible enough not to need it, to his delight.
    Elektra: Do you turn off your gravity for all your women?
    Strange: That will be the least memorable part of tonight, I think.

    Volume 2 
  • And the Adventure Continues: Due to Marvel deciding not to renew the rights to Conan, #5 serves as his send-off by having him willingly stay behind in the Hyborean Age to get the rest of the team back home. This is followed by a montage of Conan's future adventures in his native time period ending with him on his throne as King of Aquilonia surrounded by his family...with the logo of the Avengers emblazoned on the walls of his throne room.
    Narrator: But no matter what legacy he left behind, Conan would always know this...he was an Avenger...and his legend would live forever.
  • Bad Future: The 2099 arc (Issues 6-10) sees the Savage Avengers transported to the future of 2099, which has been warped into an even worse hellhole than usual due to faulty time-hopping. Ultron has conquered the future Earth and set up his Machine Empire, with Punisher 2099 leading a failing resistance front.
  • The Cavalry: In the finale of the 2099 arc, the Savage Avengers free Ultron's contemporary prisoners, who are all-too-happy to help them battle the Deathloks.
  • Cock Fight: Upon seeing Agent Anti-Venom and Dagger having a moment, Cloak tries to start one. Dagger is not having it and swats both of them aside with a light blast.
  • Covers Always Lie: Subverted. The cover for "Volume 2" shows Deathlok standing alongside the team as though he's a part of it. He does work with Issue #5, after having spent the first four issues as a side-antagonist. Issues 6-10 avert this, cementing him as part of the ongoing roster.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Volume 1. Volume 1 had numerous bits of banter and even whole issues dedicated to levity. The story of Volume 2 meanwhile is less joke-heavy and much more linear, more emphasis put on the threats Deathlok, Thulsa Doom and later Ultron all pose to the heroes.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Dagger ends up falling for Anti-Venom despite Cloak's attempts to confess to her. Circumstances force him to get over it. Inverted by the end of the 2099 arc, where a dying Cloak manages to get his feelings out, which Dagger eventually reciprocates after her own revival.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Miles hacks into the connected database of the Deathlok-converted Avengers, who have all simultaneously given up on trying to fix things; thinking this is punishment for their numerous misdeeds. Miles motivates them just enough to undo their brainwashing and regain their original bodies, which they use in a counterattack against the Machine Empire's forces alongside other 2099 combatants.
  • Love Triangle: Dagger finds herself caught between Cloak — who tries to work up the courage to tell that he loves her — and Agent Anti-Venom, who she has a mutual crush on. She eventually chooses Cloak.
  • Narrator All Along: Issue #10 reveals that the narrator throughout the series is actually the Watcher, who turned Miles into Deathlok, and sent him after Conan in the first place, in order to restore balance to the timestream.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Ultron manages to effortlessly wipe out the Savage Avengers and sic them on Punisher 2099 and Miles as Deathloks. With Miles' help, they get better.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The Deathlok chasing after Conan is doing so due to his actions in the previous volume messing up time.
  • No-Sell:
    • The Madbomb affects quite a number of people, but Conan and the other heroes seem to resist it.
    • The Savage Avengers are an absolute joke in the face of Ultron 2099, who dispatches all of them with ease.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: Conan's adventures this time bring along Agent Anti-Venom, Cloak and Dagger, Weapon H, Black Knight (Dane Whitman) and Daredevil (Elektra Natchios). Their foray into the year 2099 adds that year's cartoonishly-bloodthirsty Punisher (Jake Gallows) and Doctor Doom to the mix.
  • The Reveal:
    • The Deathlok chasing after Conan and our heroes is revealed in issue #3 to be a future Miles Morales.
    • Issue #10 reveals that the narrator, as well as the one who turned Miles into a Deathlok, is none other than the Watcher.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The group gets one in the form of Doctor Doom 2099, who keeps bailing on them whenever their situation gets bad. Downplayed however, as he does get into numerous fights with Ultron and even saves the team from a crashing jet.
  • Same Plot Sequel: In Volume 1, Kulan Gath gets his hands on a reality-destroying Eldritch Abomination and is only thwarted by messy time travel. The first five issues of Volume 2 see Thulsa Doom and his cult attempt to revive a reality-destroying Eldritch Abomination called Set, thwarted by even messier time-travel from a Deathlok-converted Miles Morales.
  • Super Mode:
    • Due to Deathlok messing with his gamma reactor, Weapon H becomes able to transform into not only his regular grey Hulk form, but a Harpy form, a Red Hulk form, and a Leader form.
    • To even the odds against Set, Agent Anti-Venom unleashes his symbiote's full power and transforms into a symbiote-dragon.
  • Superpowered Evil Side:
    • Agent Anti-Venom's symbiote goes berserk for a while after being hit by the Madbomb and warped through time, taking on the appearance of Eddie Brock's Anti-Venom form until it's subdued.
    • Dane Whitman is revealed to be so suffused by the Ebony Blade's power that he can become the Bloodwraith even when not wielding it.
  • Swapped Roles: On a meta-level. Volume 1 saw Conan as a Fish out of Water on modern-day Earth. Volume 2 shoves different Avengers into both the past of Conan's Hyperborean Age and the Crapsack World of 2099.