Saturday, June 16, 2007

Age of Reptiles: The Hunt by Ricardo Delgado (1996)

Blurb

His mother slaughtered by a pack of Ceratosaurs, a terrified Allosaur must make his way across the sweltering deserts of Jurassic North America -- or face the same fate himself. The Hunt is on in this new chapter of Ricardo Delgado's Age of Reptiles! Told entirely in pictures, the Age of Reptiles series is regarded as one of the finest uses of the comics medium and is appropriate for all ages. Through his innovative approach, storyteller Ricardo Delgado has earned such renowned fans as Burne Hogarth, Ray Harryhausen, Mike Mignola, John Landis, Mark Schultz, and Steve Bissette -- and once you've read Age of Reptiles: The Hunt, you'll count yourself among them!

* Blurb from publisher’s web site.

My thoughts

Age of Reptiles: The Hunt is a sequel to Age of Reptiles: Tribal Warfare, although it doesn’t matter which order you read them in, because they share only the title. The first series was set in the Cretaceous. The Hunt is set in the Jurassic and follows the adventures of an allosaurus out for revenge.

The story opens with the protagonist watching his mother get killed by a pack of ceratosaurs. Years later, he is being pursued across the desert by the same pack when he stumbles across a lush valley filled with plant-eating dinosaurs. (Can anyone say “smorgasbord”?) Things happen, and by the end of the series the allosaurus is taking his revenge on the members of the pack, one by one.

Again, there are no speech balloons or any type of narration, with the story told entirely through pictures. The personalities of the dinosaurs, however, are highly anthromorphized, and the cast of characters isn’t particularly nice: It only takes a slight insult to get gangs of different species fighting to the death. (The allosaurs and ceratosaurs are not the only ones who don’t like each other.)

The comic lacks the coherence of the first series, often wandering away from its main story to follow not-very-interesting side stories, and sometimes things happen that make no sense at all. Spoiler alert, highlight with cursor to read: At one point, for example, a giant tidal wave wipes out the valley. Where did this tidal wave come from? Wasn’t the valley supposed to be in the middle of the desert?!

While the story is lacking, I can’t fault the artwork, which is top notch. The colors are vibrant, and the dinosaurs are detailed and well drawn. Since this is a comic meant to be looked at rather than read, it’s still worth the cover price.

Trivia

  • The ceratosaurs in the comic can change their skin color to make themselves practically invisible. A similar idea was explored in Michael Crichton’s The Lost World, a sequel to Jurassic Park, although in that case it was a pack of carnotaurs that could change color. The dinosaurs were left out of the movie.

Reviews

1 comment:

Timothy Robert McKenzie said...

I Love that Comic, as well as Age of Reptiles: Tribal Warfare! When I grow up, That, as well as Age of Reptiles: Tribal Warfare would make great animated features from Me, my Company, The Tim Box Company (that I just made up for now), Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Miramax Films, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Tim Box Animation Studios (which I also made up for now) that will utilize 2D Traditional Hand Drawn Animation, 3D Computer Generated Imagery and Disney's Deep Canvas technique that Disney develop for Tarzan, Treasure Planet and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. They will have more narration, very little but some dialogue thrown in for good measure, and will be animated in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Age of Reptiles: Tribal Warfare and Age of Reptiles: The Hunt would make very great 2D/3D animated features from me, Disney, Touchstone, Miramax and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Very Great Animated Features indeed.