Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #022: Concrete Jungle

Friday, April 10, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #022: Concrete Jungle

X-O Manowar #15

Let the bromance begin.

Turok may have X-O Manowar on his side to help in curbing the bionisaur problem, but Colombia isn’t the only place they’ve invaded… even New York has had a lizard infestation, who’ve knocked out power grids to lure unsuspecting technicians to their doom!

Here’s where I go on a meaningless tirade about caption boxes, of all things. See, the stories of Turok: Dinosaur #1 to #3, as well as X-O Manowar #14, showed a timeline of each adventure, going so far as to mark the time of day. Turok enters Earth on June 10th 1987, X-O Manowar meets him on October 6th, and the rest of Turok’s solo adventures so far are ballparked as “late 1987”.

X-O Manowar #14 (Mar 1993)
Suddenly, the very last page of the previous issue is dated October 7th, 1992, and the events of this issue take place days after. What the?! Have Aric and Turok been on a dinosaur-hunting binge for five straight years!? While I wouldn’t put it past them, the series never attempts to fill in the gap of those five lost years; Turok and Aric are in much the same position they were the last time we saw them. If this is a deliberate time skip, all it serves is to show the disparity of when refugees from Unity were deposited back into Earth’s timeline, suggesting there’s more creatures waiting in the wings for their time to be ‘returned’.

Of course, it could just be bunk. I choose to presume the editors quietly brought the series up to present day with no loss of time. Dinosaur Hunter #4 also dates the story in the first months of 1993, and Valiant comics otherwise stuck to an all-purpose “present day” timeframe, so I think it’s safe to assume this is the case. Better to write for the now than worry about unexpected anachronisms.

Besides, it’d be bad form if Turok lived here all this time and still didn’t know how to read. While in an airport after travelling from Medellín, Turok spies a newspaper reporting the New York power outage, and recognises those claw marks from a mile away — that’s bionisaur handiwork! The two catch a helicopter to New York to do a little investigate journalism of their own.
Also, yes, they’re both wearing suits. Not pictured: an army of stewardesses trying to score with them. No joke.

Using some gadgets he’d brought home from Colombia, Turok follows the underground trail, and deduces that the creatures left with two bodies… and one hostage! Aric summons his X-O suit, and they venture deeper into the underground.

They barely need each others’ support; Aric’s Good Skin has all the sensors and early detection systems to warn him of threats, while Turok relies solely on his own honed senses. Together, they approach what appears to be a den…

… worse than that, a nest! In addition to the eggs waiting to hatch, the bionisaur leader has the technician running ‘maintenance’ on their brain implants — to be precise, applying aluminium tape to them. This is apparently all it takes to mask their built-in tracking signal. Once they’re off the radar, their assault on humanity will go oh-so-smoothly!

Don’t count on it. Aric busts an exit for the technician to escape, and the two lay waste to every reptile on site, the eggs included. Mission complete.

The week after, Turok packs his things and bids farewell to Aric. It’s time for him to find his own place in the world. They will not grow apart, however — they are blood brothers now, and no force on earth could end their friendship.

It might just be another issue of dinosaur blasting, but this marks the beginning of a brave new frontier for Turok — he’s back in his homeland again! At least, he’s in white man’s America now. No longer restricted to interacting with jungles and drug runners, we’ll see a bevy of new threats, new locales, and new predicaments face our native friend. X-O isn’t out of the picture either; Turok’s not one to leave a blood brother hangin’, and they’ll come to each others’ aid repeatedly throughout their respective series, be it for bombastic crises or just sharing some bro-time.

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