Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #056: Out of Time

Friday, August 7, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #056: Out of Time

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #15

Turok walks the plank, by gar.

Andy, gravely wounded after his run-in with time-displaced pirate Captain Red, is finally loaded into an ambulance with Regan to get the help he needs, though she’s miffed at Turok for running off at a time like this.

Turok is deep in the sewers pursuing the pirate, and has gotten the jump on him. No ones hurts his protégé and gets away with it. Red’s cohort Proto blasts the surrounding wall, burying Turok beneath rubble and giving them an opportunity to vamoose.

You can’t stop Turok that easily.

Red’s journey takes him through Port Cynthia’s shopping mall, where they blast a hole in the floor of a record shop to gain access to the tunnel below. Turok’s not far behind and follows after, blowing up a gas line to prevent the police from following after. At last, the tunnel finally leads to an underground cave… where the ruins of an ancient galleon still lie beneath the rocky ceiling.

And further inside, the resting place of Captain Red’s last haul! He’s well and truly back in business!

Not if Turok has something to say about it. Guns are out of the question; if they fire, they’ll only bring the cave ceiling down on top of them. Red finally alludes to Turok’s former life as the Mothergod’s henchman, and the two finally realise they’re in the same predicament — two men from very different times, forced to survive under the witch’s savage reign, and now thrust into a strange and bewildering future. Perhaps they have more in common than he thought.

Oh well. No harm trying.

The two fight, Red’s sword to Turok’s tomahawk, but Turok proves himself to be the better fighter, hoisting the pirate over his head. OU-8-2 springs to life — there’s temporal energy readings within this cave! That shouldn’t be a surprise; it was the fateful cave where Red first entered the Lost Land, after all…

… and as a portal opens behind his crew, Turok throws them all into it, plunging them back into the wretched land they wished to escape. Red leaves him with parting words suggesting even the whims of time can’t spare Turok from another fateful encounter with him and his crew.

And so, this strange little squabble wraps up somewhat unceremoniously. A pirate, a robot and his two bionisaur henchmen rampaging through town should be a blast to read, but the story rushes through its setpieces so quickly it has no time to really savour it. It at least shows the Lost Land is not completely lost, if portals are still found in the unlikeliest places. Will Turok return there someday?

Captain Red is an unlikely nemesis for Turok, and one readers were still giving off about by the time the series introduced its letters page. His pontifical dialogue and bombastic attitude are a little hard to take seriously, especially when his story has so little to do with Turok himself. To be fair, pirates probably weren’t in vogue at the time; it’d take a couple years before cinema tried to bring them back with Cutthroat Island (and to a lesser extent, Muppet Treasure Island). Neither film made piracy into the media sensation they probably hoped, but there’s someone out there with undue fondness for them!

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