Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Turok is hunting dinosaurs again

Well, this comes as a surprise. I just found out that Dynamite comics is resurrecting Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, with the first issue of the comic hitting stores today. Here's the description from the publisher's website:

"THE GOLD KEY UNIVERSE BEGINS HERE! Classic Characters by some of Comics Hottest Creators! - Magnus, Solar, Turok and Dr. Spektor! Dynamite is proud to present an all-new adventure ongoing from superstar GREG PAK (Batman/Superman, World War Hulk) and incredible artist MIRKO COLAK (Red Skull: Incarnate, Conan)! Shunned from his tribe, a young Native American named Turok fights to survive, making a lonely life for himself in the unforgiving forest. But his hard-won cunning and survival skills face the ultimate test when man-eating THUNDER LIZARDS attack his people! Why are dinosaurs here? How have they survived? And will Turok use his abilities to save a society that's taken everything away from him?"

The comic looks like yet another spin on the character, who has had more incarnations than I can count. Most people know Turok from the classic Nintendo 64 video game, but the character got his start in 1954 as a comic book series concerning the adventures Native American who finds himself stranded in a lost world with a young sidekick, Andar. You can check out a gallery of covers from the original comic here.

Several comic book publishers have attempted to revive Turok over the years, and each time the character grew darker while his adventures grew bloodier. The lost world setting also became stranger, with later writers incorporating aliens, cyborgs, superheroes, and alternate universes. A 2008 reboot of the video game series threw out everything in the original comic, turning Turok into a space marine on a planet where dinosaurs have been resurrected thanks to terraforming. A direct-to-DVD animated movie released that same year, Turok: Son of Stone, was more faithful to the source material, the exception being that it was extremely gory. (The movie is surprisingly decent and worth tracking down.) Most recently, Dark Horse Comics resurrected Turok as a four-issue miniseries in 2010.

I plan to pick up a copy of the new series later today. It will be a while before I review it: I prefer to give comics a few issues for their stories to develop. Reviewing a first issue of a comic is like reviewing a book after reading only the first chapter. I encourage you to give Turok a try, if only to let publishers know we would like more comics with prehistoric animals.

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