Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #047: The Flesh Eaters

Monday, July 6, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #047: The Flesh Eaters

Turok: Son of Stone #27

The Very Hungry Carnosaur & Friends Play & Explore.

The issue opens not with a one-page exposé on the animals of Africa or some educational malarkey… but a preview of the stories inside! This appears to be the closest thing a comic book could have to a blurb, if you ignore how the painted covers and their dramatic taglines are already meant to entice you into buying the thing already. And would retailers appreciate potential buyers leafing through the comics before buying?
I can’t even theorise it’s page-filler, because this issue already has four side-features. A curious little practise, one that makes it easy to tell at a glance what stories the issue contains, which is a bummer when it lasted all of three issues.

Our heroes are followed by a seedy gang of cave men — not out of malice, but out of curiosity. One of their people, Degg, had found a clifftop passage that led him to a land of curious creatures, and people he found there dressed an awful lot like Turok and Andar. A way out of the Lost Valley! Where’s Degg now? Might he be the man who can lead them home?

Well, that’s the rub — the tribe thought only a crazy person could think up things like shoes, and sent him to the island of the mad. Surrounded by raging rapids and ferocious sea life, there’s no way anyone could make it on or off without a raft, and even then, our heroes need to distract a ravenous tylosaurus with the carcass of a comparatively harmless honker as bait.

They get a cold reception from Degg on the island, but once he realises someone believes his tales, he’s elated to help him and show them what he saw… if only he could find it again.

While his next landmark does indeed exist, he soon gets them lost again trying to find where he went to afterward. Andar worries the old coot really is crazy — all he’s done is give them wrong directions and talk about things that aren’t there. Back on the river he was raving about honkers that were nowhere to be seen…

… and when there is a honker, he doesn’t react quick enough! Degg is struck by its tail before the two down it with poison, but he’s moved by these strangers’ devotion to his life and his beliefs. He gives them directions to the clifftop passage, but he’s in no condition to join them; his tribe have come to take him home.

His directions check out! The various rocks and trees he used to mark his way are where he said they are, as is the part they hoped wasn’t true: a cliff with no way up but to climb it. They throw everything they’ve got at it, but the rock face is just too sheer to climb; even the creatures that live in the crevices think better of climbing any higher.

The pair return to the local tribe’s camp, and learn that Degg had succumbed to his injuries when they were gone, but he died a happy man — reunited with his tribe, and having finally met someone who believed him! He bestowed his medicine bag to Turok and Andar, and inside is a trinket that could only have come from the lands back home…!

Their next discovery is a far less optimistic one — a cluster of honker skeletons, even a mighty tyrannosaurus among them, all stripped to the bone! The two are forced to hoof it when a pair of flesh-and-bone honkers fancy them a morning snack… but after hiding in a cave until they leave, they find their assailants have met the same fate: skeletonised!

They soon find the culprits: a pack of six titanic tyrannosaurs, bigger than any they’ve seen before! They descend upon a fleeing brachiosaur and strip its flesh in a matter of minutes. Andar’s ready to bail on this adventure. Wake him up when the story’s titled The Absolutely Harmless And Non-Lethal Bunny Rabbits.

It gets worse: there’s eggs! The locals prevent them from breaking them — they regard the beasts as guardians, repelling all outsiders while they hide behind their little rock fort. That’s fine for a crowd who make isolationism their top priority, but the beasts are also decimating the wildlife, scouring the land of all viable food sources.

Well, not counting the fools hiding behind their rock fort. Turok snipes one of the beasts before it breaks through their fort, giving the others something to munch on and the tribe a change of heart — no security system is worth the risk of getting devoured. Smash the eggs and spear the hatchlings!

While Andar and the tribe tend to that, Turok creates a smokescreen and snipes the big ones with his poison arrows, dwindling their numbers until they begin feasting on each other. The threat of the flesh-eating giants is finally quelled, and hopefully the next time they go hunting there’ll be food on the table.

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