Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #052: Killing Time

Friday, July 24, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #052: Killing Time

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #13

Arrr! Pirates take over Turok’s pagecount!

Dr. Regan Howell has been taken Turok to the Port Cynthia hall of anthropology for a scientific study, and it’s confirmed he clearly is a man from before their time — his vitals clearly line up with his old-school diet and life in the wild, and there’s no trace carcinogens in his body like most folks in the modern day.

While it’s good to have this cleared up, Regan is insistent this remain under wraps. Apparently some of Turok’s notoriety has gotten out, as a journalist snoops on them through the window, though Turok smashes his camera and sends him packing. The journalist hits the bricks, only to fall down an open manhole…

… and land at the feet of a sordid crew of beasts and undesirables. Who on earth are these guys?

This is Esau Vestment, or better known by his self-given title, Captain Red. A former slave from 1752, who soon rebranded himself as a ruthless, self-serving scourge of the seas, out to murder and plunder as was the style at the time.

While burying his latest stash of treasure in a cave in the Americas, he found himself whisked through a portal to lands unknown — the Lost Land! Although saved from a tyrannosaurus rex by the robotic natives, they hadn’t necessarily saved his skin.

This was during the time of Mothergod’s reign over the Lost Lands — the events of Unity, if you recall! — and she hardly had use for slaves. After all, she already had Turok, who was a perfectly good scout and attack dog (until he wasn’t).

Instead, Red found himself a test subject for the rainbow rower’s bio-mechanics lab, with his body subjected to experiments of flesh and steel. For five months he served as their lab rat, replacing his missing eye with a digital optical, and his left arm with one of serrated gold-chrome. Good trade? Probably not.

Of course, the heroes of the Valiant universe eventually brought their fight to the rainbow tower, sowing chaos throughout Mothergod’s forces. In the confusion, Red made good his escape… but made sure to grant freedom to the poor souls who also suffered his same fate.

He instead found the rejected specimens — bionisaurs, boasting more than just metallic brain implants, but many left mutated or stunted by their variety of alleged enhancements. Two of the bionisaurs, Proto and Misfire (a triceratops and unspecified theropod respectively) knew a saviour when they saw one, and Red saw the making of a new crew. With the help of the service robot OU-8-2, the fearsome foursome finally escaped the wretched tower.

On the way out, Red witnessed Turok laying waste to the forces he was once allied with. “Just my kind of scum,” Red muses, “not that I felt inclined to help him any.” However, Red and his crew were not to enjoy their freedom — before they’d even cleared the base, Unity had occurred, seemingly destroying the Lost Land, and Red, along with all the other denizens, were whisked away by Solar’s power, to land wherever it was believed they originated in time and space.

Thus, Captain Red and his men have found themselves in the sewers of Port Cynthia. With OU-8-2’s data banks, they’ve worked out they are, indeed, back on Earth… but not in Red’s own time. They’ve spent a few weeks lying low and learning whatever they can, but despite the hullabaloo, Red’s agenda remains unchanged: to reclaim his lost treasure!

Tim Truman takes the reins, and gives us this quirky change of pace. Seeing Mothergod’s reign explored some more and how it effects the unluckier refugees of time is an interesting little throwback, a chance to show that Turok wasn’t just a one-off, she snapped up whoever she could get her hands on!

Captain Red’s a funny one; the fact the bulk of the story is told through his recounting makes this issue stand out, and apparently the only reason he came to be was because Rags Morales really wanted to draw a pirate (according to trivia in Comics Scene #41). He’s an odd duck in the context of Turok, but Rags clearly relishes it, delivering an exquisitely detailed sequence of his time before the Lost Land, and having a blast drawing Red’s disjointed, flowy get-up.

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