Vicious Circle (comics)

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Vicious Circle
Publication information
Publisher Image Comics
First appearance Savage Dragon Mini-Series #1
Created by Erik Larsen
In-story information
Type of organization Criminal organization
Base(s) Mobile throughout Chicago
Leader(s) Overlord
Agent(s) Abner Cadaver

The Vicious Circle is a criminal organization of mutants, cyborgs, monsters, assassins, and magicians that serves as the primary opponents for the superheroes in Erik Larsen's comic-book titles, primarily the Dragon.[1]


The group has a varying line-up, sometimes consisting of five-to-six members and sometimes having a staggeringly huge membership. Originally the Vicious Circle was led by the Overlord, an armored mastermind who ruled all of Chicago's underworld. Later, it would be ruled by the technology controlling Cyberface. Once the Savage Dragon started policing the streets of Chicago, the Vicious Circle began to falter and its members started winding up in prison, the hospital or just plain dead. The Vicious Circle remains a consistent thorn in the Savage Dragon's side, and frequently faces off with the SuperPatriot and others including Raphael of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For example, during issues 10 and 11 of the series run with Image, he took on the entire Vicious Circle himself in a bar fight.

The Circle desires to utterly control Chicago. Members have attacked the Dragon time and time again, willing to kill anyone who gets in their way. Occasionally, they use subtler methods.

A power vacuum causes an inter-faction war, ending with the sex-changed Johnny Redbeard in charge.[2]

Using insiders, they have Dragon fired and replaced with a more buffonish superpowered hero, She-Dragon. However, this plan fails as She-Dragon is carefully trained by other police officers and becomes a credible threat.

The Circle is briefly part of the superhero/gang war that erupts in New York City, as mentioned in Wildcats #28.

Circle members are part of the heroic resistance when Martians attack Earth, though they try to claim power and territory once the Dragon kills all the aliens.

After the alien invasion, the Dragon shrunk much of their group with a Martian device, sucked them up in a vacuum cleaner and tossed them out the window. The shrunken members were then used to free other members from jail.

Presumably, the Vicious Circle, along with most of Earth, are dead after a cosmic entity named Universo attacks the planet. Some people of this Earth survived to travel to another, but it is not known whether any Circle members did.



Further information: Overlord (comics)


Further information: Cyberface



Horde is a fictional villain in the comic book series Savage Dragon where he, 50 issues, a secret antagonist, plotting events from behind the scenes.

Horde is the wizard Fon~Ti, the wizard who grants mortals the power of Mighty Man. Trapped and controlled by Mighty Man's old enemy The Wicked Worm. Duplicated bodies of the worm covered Fon~Ti at the command of his old rival Abner Cadaver and used him to slowly take control of Chicago's super-powered criminal underworld.

Horde possesses a number of characters before stepping out of the shadows, the first character is possessed in the very first issue of the Savage Dragon's ongoing series. First the homeless freak The Shrew; then veteran hero Superpatriot; The Dragon himself, causing him to go on a mindless rampage nearly destroying the city of Chicago; vigilante Mace and wannabe heroine She-Dragon; before taking control of criminal Cyberface. Horde used Cyberface to control the Vicious Circle, the biggest super-criminal organisation in Chicago. When Cyberface was killed for the third time Horde revealed himself, took control of all of the Vicious Circle members with his worms.

The Vicious Circle under Horde's leadership cause enough problems to force The Dragon to return from Washington DC and deal with them himself in a final battle in the series' fiftieth issue. During the battle at their headquarters and despite Horde using She-Dragon's power gloves, The Dragon is able to kill off the Wicked Worms covering Fon~Ti with a can of industrial insect killer.

Fon~Ti returns eighth issues later to destroy his old enemy Cadaver and revive the Dragon fully, who had been killed shortly after destroying Horde.

Horde used the leech-like worms that covered his body to control people's minds. The Leeches, later referred to as 'Wicked Worms' (as they were all duplicates of The Wicked Worm), attached themselves at the base of each victim's skull. Each worm, it was later revealed, also had the intellect, personality and power of speech that the original Wicked Worm had.

Jimbo da Mighty Lobster[edit]

Jimbo Da Mighty Lobster was a large, super-powered anthropomorphic Lobster who cursed frequently and battled The Dragon simply to prove he was the stronger of the two. In the end The Dragon threw the fight to end the battle and Jimbo went away thinking he was indeed, the strongest. He was not seen again.

The character was the winner of Erik Larsen's 'Ultimate Character Creation Contest'. Launched in issue 1 of the Savage Dragon ongoing series with a deadline of July 31, 1993 fans could enter their finest creation (Hero or Villain), the prize was their character would appear in issue #10 and the creator would retain the copyrights. Several thousand entered and Larsen chose the winner (Jason Merritt).

Jimbo was super-strong and invulnerable, plus had two strong claws instead of hands. He was a criminal of some kind 'making runs' using a boat.



Unhappy with the way that OverLord was running the Vicious Circle, two of its seemingly minor members joined forces to try and claim power for themselves. Octopus and OpenFace performed a number of thefts from electronics warehouses such as Donner Electronics, killing any guards they encountered. This drew the attention of Officer Dragon along with neophyte heroes Justice and She-Dragon.

In the main warehouse of Donner Electronics, Dragon caught up with his suspects and OpenFace provided cover for his partner to escape. Despite being apprehended and ultimately sentenced to time in Stronghold Penitentiary, Octopus was able to remain at large and continue his plan. Octopus created a device using the stolen electronic mechanisms and used this invention to summon the recently resurrected CyberFace to him.

CyberFace became a mindless pawn of Octopus and was entombed below the city of Chicago to prevent his discovery by the police that very much wanted him back to testify against OverLord. Octopus was forced to abduct Officer Howard Niseman which led Dragon down into the sewers. He apprehended both the disorientated CyberFace and the enraged Octopus.

Octopus remained in prison until the Martian invasion decimated much of Chicago and allowed CyberFace to assert control. The police tried to get Octopus to help them bring down CyberFace but he escaped and gathered up the remains of his former pawn when his unstable body blew up. Octopus took this disembodied head and attached it to the body of BrainiApe.

CyberFace and Octopus were soon joined by PowerHouse and then Baby Boom and OpenFace in building up a rebellion against the rule of Horde over the Vicious Circle. This attempt left both Horde and CyberFace dead, leaving PowerHouse, BrainiApe and OverLord II battling for sole leadership. PowerHouse ultimately won out and installed Octopus as one of his inner circle.

OpenFace and Octopus aided the miniaturised Dataman in analysing and reversing a shrinking gun for the smaller Vicious Circle members so that the criminal organisation could return to full capacity. OpenFace was later reverted to a normal human when the second Nega-Bomb detonated. He and the rest of the Vicious Circle were left without purpose and were forced to restart their lives… until Universo consumed the entire planet.


In this reality, Octopus was among the thirty or so Vicious Circle members that refused to pledge loyalty to CyberFace when he killed OverLord. Unfortunately, their exile to the devastated Chicago left these outcasts losing members until around half their number had fallen. Octopus managed to remain alive and was present when this group’s fortunes begun to change.

The leader of this faction was HellRazor who was talked into an alliance with Dragon by his colleague Neutron Bob. These Vicious Circle thugs were part of a rebellion mounted against CyberFace’s primary headquarters in the White House. Octopus came through such a dangerous conflict alive but was apprehended by the newly formed Liberty League before he could escape.

A massive breakout at Stronghold Penitentiary later occurred and Octopus was able to return to work with the Vicious Circle. The organisation was being restructured by SkullFace, using the older members as cannon fodder to eliminate Dragon. Octopus and OpenFace created a massive android that was deployed against their target but when it was destroyed, the pair was assumed to have been killed, but this was actually all a ruse. They had in fact created holographic illusions of themselves that they knew would be destroyed so that they could continue their research unmolested.

Octopus and OpenFace remained hidden for years and combined their efforts to draw the OverLord armour down from space where it was found by the Chicago Police Department. They activated the suit’s most powerful photon blast to exterminate all of the officers present. Unfortunately, their plan to control the OverLord armour and conquer the Vicious Circle fell through when it was taken from them by an unknown figure. The duo fell in line behind the new OverLord and worked as his chief scientists, creating a way to employ Dragon’s blood to restore older Vicious Circle members to their former glory, albeit with a Dragon-ised appearance.


Octopus appeared as a recurring villain in the Savage Dragon Animated series, and was voiced by Rob Paulsen.


Openface is a fictional scientist and secondary antagonist in Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon comic book series. He is a short, noseless man with olive skin whose head splits vertically to reveal a large Venus Fly Trap like second mouth with a large tongue. he was the main villain of Savage Dragon issue #12.

Openface was first seen stealing from a laboratory when the Dragon and new heroes Justice and She-Dragon interrupt them. Unable to free his head from Openface's second mouth, Dragon ripped out the villains tongue with his teeth, it was later stitched back on.

Having escaped during the prison break organised by Cyberface and, following his old partner's escape from prison 11 issues later, teamed up with Octopus to take control of the Vicious Circle criminal organisation. Once their plan failed, Openface was not seen again.

The Savage Dragon series was originally set on another Earth to the one it is now. On this new earth Openface took part in an attempted coup to liberate the world from Cyberface, who had become a dictator.


  1. ^ "Larsen Shakes Up "Savage Dragon," Updates "Ant" Status". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  2. ^ "Savage Dragon" #24 (December 1995)