Turok Dinosaur Hunter #1 Review

by @WednesdayComix on Feb 12, 2014

Writer Greg Pak (Eternal Warrior, Planet Hulk), artist Mirko Colak and Dynamite Entertainment bring back the classic Gold Key character Turok: Dinosaur Hunter!

The Good

"Turok: Dinosaur Hunter no. 1" was for the most part an enjoyable read. Originally introduced in 1954 in "Four Color Comics no. 596" (Western Publishing/Dell Comics), Turok was a young native of early America whose survival rested in defending himself against...well...dinosaurs. There's been several stories featuring the character for over five decades. Since Gold Key and Western's Whitman Comics published its last issues in the early 80's, several companies have published Turok stories. Dynamite Entertainment is the latest publisher to bring back the Dinosaur Hunter and to showcase a fresh take on a classic character.

Greg Pak and Mirko Colak gave a good first showing in issue no. 1. They introduced me to the titular hero without a lot of explanation via a flashback to the death of his parents. Questions still remain for me as to why Turok's parents, as sojourners, seemingly slaughtered many in the community that welcomed them. Pak is certain to explain this in issues to come. However, this event from Turok's past leaves him indebted to the clan that raised him. All the hero really wants to do is be left alone.

He's called names and bullied by his peers, namely Andar (another youth introduced in those early comics). They believe him to be a witch because of his parentage and his strange behavior. Andar and his people believe in community. It seems as though Turok believes in solitude. The push and pull of these social systems come to a head when Turok is punished for getting into a scrape with Andar, who happens to be the chieftain's nephew. This leads to more friction between the two youths somewhere away from the camp. An omen of death is levied by Turok. Then the unexpected happens. You guessed it. There's a reason why this comic is sub-titled "Dinosaur Hunter" and boy were the beasts given an entrance. I'll leave it at that. Meanwhile, strangers have arrived on the coasts.

The Not So Good

Don't get me wrong, but I was a little thrown by the reveal near the end of this issue. I'm sure it's going some where. However, WHERE is a big question for me. I'm no history buff, but crusaders invading the "new world," with what seems to be velociraptors in tow, is weird and outlandish (it may very well work). It's definitely original. I want to know the reason behind this and what direction this will take our characters. I was miffed by the inclusion of yet another reason for many to dismiss Christianity and the gospel. There's a brutal history of nations naming the name of Christ to justify their claims of manifest destiny and conquest of other peoples. I believe it's important to tackle that history and to hold religious institutions accountable for all kinds of atrocities against humanity. There's the potential for a book like this to raise dialogue as well as ire among its readership (both believers and non-believers) if the author's intent is misinterpreted. Additionally, I felt that some of the dialogue was a little anachronistic, or out of place for its time. It seemed like Andar and his friends were speaking to one another as if they were students at my high school. Don't ask me how people spoke to each other in the year A.D. 1210. It just sounded like the year 2014 to me.

The Bottom Line

As I said before, "Turok: Dinosaur Hunter no. 1" is a good start. It's drawn well and written in a way that has me waiting for issue no. 2. With Greg Pak's experience writing these kinds of stories, I have no trouble forgiving him for any minor stumbles. I recommend reading "Turok" and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

3.5 / 5
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Turok Dinosaur Hunter #1
Released February 5, 2014
Writer Greg Pak
Artist Bart Sears
Cover Artist Mirko Colak

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