Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #063: Dreams of Escape

Monday, August 31, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #063: Dreams of Escape

Turok: Son of Stone #35

Who’s up for a recap?

Turok finds his companion Andar passed out in the woods, running a frightful fever. In his delirium, he believes they’re still on the lookout for water in the plains above, and replays the events that led them into Lost Valley in his head.

How’s this for a sudden return of continuity? What follows is a beat-for-beat recreation of the very first Son of Stone story, The World Below, in the span of only five pages! The pair enter a cave in search of water, have a run-in with a bear and a crap-load of piranhas, before warding off a dimetrodon by having a brontosaurus whack it like a home run. What could’ve been a valid opportunity to just reprint old material is instead a lush redraw by Alberto Giolitti, with really lovely inking and framing.

Andar’s fever worsens, prompting Turok to fetch him water, but by the time he returns, the boy is gone. Andar suddenly reappears in the morning, and feeling a lot more energised; he’s just after a spot of sleep-walking, and boy, did he go places: to their land back home, for a start!

His wanderings took him to a den of blind cave dwellers, who, after saving them from a plesiosaur, were kind enough to show him a back exit to their lead, leading to a “world of strange things!” The dwellers’ diet consisted of eyeless cave fish, and Andar’s trek pitted him against bears, bats, and winding paths… all things they had encountered in the fateful cave that brought them here!

And past the light at the end of the tunnel: home! And with it, the wolves and the deer and all the animals that were so less frightening than the fifty-foot fang-faces they meet nowadays. He couldn’t dare leave without Turok, but made sure he could identify the cave upon their return.

Try as they might, however, they can find no such indicator of the fateful tunnel, or even the cave dwellers that led him to it. As marvellous as it must have been, it all appears to have been a figment of Andar’s imagination.
Yet another tease at a possible exit for our heroes, though it comes across as more wistful than anything. It’s perhaps the one time I’m willing to accept “it was all a dream” as a conclusion, rather than an outright slap in the face like snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Even the brief look at their home turf feels nostalgic, romanticising it as only a dream would. Alas!

During the night, a stranger swipes our heroes’ cache of weapons and socks Andar for good measure, and they’ve every intention of getting them back; if more tribes learn the ways of the bow, they could face a lot more hostilities in the Lost Valley!

The trail leads into a sandy desert, one where it seems infeasible for any life to exist, but it finds a way to spring big scaly honkers on them. A swarm of pteranodons force them to take shelter in a nearby cave…

… where they find the lair of their weapon thief! He doesn’t just run some rinky-dink operation; he and his tribe have a security system! Well, a stegosaurus on a rope. It lets out a honk and the pair are quickly captured.

See, the tribe have been exiled to the desert by their rivals, and they sought new weapons to stage a siege against them… but they haven’t a ballsy how to actually use them. Can you touch us how? We’ll kill you later as thanks. Cheers.

Giving the bow to one of two people in the room who knows how to use it probably isn’t a smart idea, and Turok proves them right by freeing the stegosaurus from its bonds, allowing it to go ham on its captors.  Sadly, it doesn’t enjoy its freedom for long, as it soon turns on Andar and is forced to be put down. So… what comes next? A daring chase for freedom? A balls-to-the-wall brawl for survival?

Nah. Turok and Andar get their stuff and leave, safe in the knowledge that these dopes haven’t invented shoes yet. Enjoy your scorched soles, suckers!

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