Current Comics: Turok #1

The Dinosaur Hunter returns!

Turok #1

Writer: Chuck Wendig

Art: Alvaro Sarraseca

Letters: Taylor Esposito

 

Summary

The fascist Saurian soldiers of the Varanid Empire-part dinosaur, part man, all bad news-have seized control of the Lost Valley, and only the mysterious man known as Turok is willing to stand against them! But the all-new Turok only cares about one thing: he’s on a quest to track down a missing girl – and she might hold clues as to how the Lost Valley has changed so much!

Now Turok must infiltrate a prison camp run by the Varanid Empire in order to get more information about her whereabouts — and beware, any Varanid soldier who gets in his way – because there’s a reason they call him the Dinosaur Hunter!

Also: Doc Spektor, Part 2! The story of the all-new master (and we use the term lightly) sorcerer continues… as Doc banishes a demon from an Upper-East Side apartment AND commits fraud – all in a day’s work!

 

Content (May/May Not Contain Spoilers)

Turok is back!  The dinosaur hunter is here to fight the hordes of the Varanid Empire once again, and after a daring battle at an outpost, he’s headed for his next target- a prison called Terminal Market.  The concept of this issue is simple: bring Turok back into comics and set up a good launch issue.

Right away we can tell that something fishy is going on.  Turok is on a prison cart headed for the Imperial Market, where we meet the issue’s other main players a girl named Nettle Midthunder and a pigblood (hybrid child of human and Saurian decent) named Marak. Turok has soon formed an escape plan with the pair. After introducing us to the prison proper, the creative team gives us a look at our villains of the issue: Administrator Silm and Overseer Nagyakka.  The two appear to be in charge of the prison, though only get the barest of character development. We do, however, learn the importance of Imperial Market from the overseer – it isn’t just a prison.

As the escape plan goes into motion, Turok begins a one man assault on the complex, freeing prisoners as he goes. Unfortunately, Turok is only one man, and soon the plan starts failing. The book reintroduces the concept of teamwork when Nettle and Marak show back up.  It’s a nice moment cut short when the overseer also returns, this time with a big friend in tow. The concept presented here works, but does need some fine tuning.  Turok is the only person here with any sense of purpose or real development, and some of that is hinging on having seen other Turok books (curse you continuity!).  Nettle and Marak get a good introduction, but almost nothing in the way of character development. We learn they’re thieves, but very little else, and Nettle really seems not to want to be there.  Similarly, we get a small glimpse at the personalities of Silm and Nagyakka, but we really don’t learn anything except that the overseer likes things running on schedule. It’s true that these may just be a couple of Varanids that won’t be important, but they do have names, so the book really needed to flesh them out more.  There’s also a short Doctor Spektor side story where he banishes the king of Hell from taking a soul, but it really doesn’t add too much.

 

Conclusion (Definitely Contains Spoilers)

This issue is a decent start to this new Turok series.  The action is done pretty well, dialogue fits the characters who speak, and the Varanid Empire is shown off well.  The writing is decent and readers will be able to follow, but it’s not exactly special or anything.  The art is just okay, with parts being done pretty well and others clashing too much, like the dark red boxes used for Turok’s dialogue.  It makes his lines almost impossible to read.  There’s little development for anyone but Turok, which is something I hope changes as we move forward, but other than that, the issue wasn’t bad.  The tone here was one of mystery and thrills.

There’s a lot of fighting to be had, and Turok still needs to find the girl he’s pursuing, though he makes small mention of it inside the book proper.  The team at Dynamite needs to step it up with the following issues, otherwise we may find ourselves lacking incentives to follow the book.  It’s a decent first step that paves the way, but also shows there’s some work to be done. We’ll have to see what awaits Turok (and the readers) next issue.

Pick it up if you’re interested and don’t mind some of the problems it features, there may yet be a great series ahead.

Grade: C+

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Msrp: $3.99

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