Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Return to the Age of Reptiles this summer

Jurassic Park isn't the only dinosaur-themed media property getting its fourth installment this summer. Dark Horse Comics announced Monday it will release the next chapter of Ricardo Delgado's excellent Age of Reptiles series on June 3.

Age of Reptiles is a comic book series told from the point of view of dinosaurs living in different periods in the Mesozoic. It isn't a realistic take on the subject as dinosaur behavior is anthropomorphized to the extreme, but the stories are fun and the art is beautiful. Delgado kicked off Age of Reptiles in 1993 - the same year as the first Jurassic Park film - with Tribal Warfare. That effort was followed three years later by The Hunt. After a long hiatus, the series returned in 2009 with The Journey (which I have yet to review here, a situation I plan to soon rectify).

The fourth installment is titled Ancient Egyptians, but don't expect pyramids and mummies. Rather, the story is set in Cretaceous Africa and features a Spinosaurus as the protagonist. The preview art indicates Delgado will incorporate recent discoveries suggesting the dinosaur spent much of its time in the water and walked on all four limbs. I, for one, am intrigued: I recently visited the National Geographic museum to see the Spinosaurus exhibit and attended a lecture by the two paleontologists responsible for the new interpretation of the animal. I love it when writers and artists incorporate the latest discoveries from paleontology into their work. (Hear that Jurassic World! Yeah, I'm talking to you and your naked raptors!)

I'm sure it's no coincidence Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians will debut a week ahead of the theatrical release of Jurassic World. Anyway, for a preview of the comic and an essay by Delgado on his inspiration for its story, check out this article over at Comic Book Resources. And if you want to catch up on the series, the first three installments have been collected in a single volume available as both a digital download and paperback book. (The cover picture above is from the collection.)

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