Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #2 Review: A Speedy Follow-Up
Things are really starting to heat up in Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
. In the first issue, we were met with Turok, Andar, and the turbulent relationship that these men had with one another. Only, that issue concluded with the crushing of the status quo; quite suddenly, dinosaur wrangling crusaders from England storm the shores to conquer the native peoples of Manhattan, circa 1210 AD. It’s now up to Turok and Andar to save their people.
Based solely on the pacing of the first issue, I assumed that the second issue would move at a similar speed. I was wrong. While obviously not a historically accurate comic book, the fact that this takes place almost 300 years before the actual colonization of the Americas begins is indication enough that these conquerors might fail. I’m now realizing that Turok and Andar might not be totally powerless—well, the action-packed issue #2 helped me reach that conclusion as well.
Issue #2 was expository in all the right ways. The arrival of a new enemy changed many things. At the same time, the great change in circumstance showed us some things that don’t change so easily. Turok’s family, his mother and father, have been dead for a long time. When he sees the crimes committed by the Europeans, he doesn’t react like Andar does. Andar must sit by and watch his family get beaten, tortured, and killed while Turok is a bit more detached from the atrocities. It’s only their emotions that differ, as Turok is in no way content with just sitting by idly.
Initially, I was interested in the concept of a foreign invasion. Colonizers that use captive dinosaurs as weapons seemed like a pretty cool concept. I’ll give it more time before I reach any major conclusions about this seeing as we’re only onto issue #2, but as a strong part of the Gold Key revival, how far will the creative team stray from the original Turok mythology? Clearly, they are setting out to make it their own, and I wouldn’t expect any less. However, I’d like to raise this question: are we ever going to see Turok and Andar navigating a world belonging to dinosaurs? Or will we only get dinosaurs navigating the world of men?
While I enjoyed the first issue, Greg Pak has certainly made improvements with issue #2. The new alliance between Turok and Andar is developing in very interesting ways. Andar seems committed to Turok, while Turok himself appears less interested in a friendship with the man who’s been threatening to kill him since they were ten years old. We also get an opportunity to learn more about the villagers. Kita, Andar’s sister, is smart and fearless, and avoids torture by appealing to a colonizer’s daughter. Additionally, I definitely appreciate Pak’s approach to this chaos in maintaining the language barrier between the crusaders and the natives.
I had a lot of issues with Mirko Colak’s artwork in the first issue. While he’s obviously a very talented illustrator, there were times when I wasn’t so sure what was going on. Additionally, there wasn’t much diversity in his panel arrangement; he seemed—and still seems—quite content with four or five horizontal one inch-high strips on every page, one on top of the other, that read like scrolling film credits. Still in issue #2, there seemed to be a greater harmony between artist and writer. There weren’t any confusing moments.
Like I said, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #2 is paced very quickly, and that is certainly not a bad thing. At this juncture, the story remains riveting. Will the colonists continue to be the primary antagonists, or will their dino-pets become too difficult to control? I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a dinosaur mutiny, but this book has already proven to be unpredictable. I’m just hoping that the title of the book delivers on its promise, which is that Turok will become what he’s destined to be: a “dinosaur hunter.”