Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Riding a Dinosaur

Last week, I was struggling to remember if the Conan comic I reviewed was my introduction to Conan--as I started reading the Lancer paperback reprints of the original REH tales at about the same time.

Well, Turok, Son of Stone #79 (June, 1972) was perhaps my introduction to the greatest dinosaur hunter ever. Though, once again, I don't remember for sure. It may have been another issue.

Darn it, I'm making it hard for my future biographers, aren't I?

Anyway, this is a typically fun story. Turok and Andar see a kid trying to ride a styracosaurus. They save the kid's life and learn two things. First, riding a dinosaur is a rite of manhood for the boy's tribe. Second, there's a narrow passage through the cliffs that might just lead out of the Lost Valley. But that passage is guarded by a big carnosaur.

The two Indians try to navigate the passage, taking out the T-Rex sentry with their poison arrows. This leads to the necessity of avoiding a herd of triceratops that charge into the passage, then avoid it a second time when they charge back out after tussling with the T-Rex pack that resides at the other end of the passage. So they need to figure out a way to get through the passage without being either trampled or eaten.

The cool thing about the original Turok stories is that the resolutions didn't depend on the
protagonists simply picking off dinosaurs with poison arrows to come out on top. The best tales depended on Turok using his brains as well as his fighting skill. This time around, it involves coming up with a plan to get to the end of the passage alive and discovering if it provides an escape from the valley. It's a good plan, but not without risk. In fact, it results in Turok and Andar being forced to themselves ride a dinosaur.

If this was my first encounter with Turok, then its no wonder I became a fan. This is a well-constructed, straightforward adventure yarn with some great imagery. Who doesn't want to see a herd
of triceratops rumbling with a pack of tyrannosaurs? Who doesn't want to see two Indians taking a wild ride atop dinosaurs? I'll go there every time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...