Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #068: The Price of Vengeance

Friday, September 18, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #068: The Price of Vengeance

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #19

Turok and Aric argue over whose adversaries they get to wipe out.

Turok and CIA agent Blair are trapped in the Spider Aliens’ earth-bound lair, awaiting execution for stumbling upon their plans of siccing the world’s governments against each other. They couldn’t have achieved it without their control over the bionisaurs, however… and somewhere in this lair is the computer they used for that very purpose. If they could access it, they could eliminate the bionisaur threat in an instant by issuing a self-destruct on every last one of them!

Poor Blair won’t live to see that, though. One of his captors got the munchies.

The base’s power cuts out, and that can only mean one thing: X-O Manowar is here! The Spider Aliens beat a hasty retreat, leaving their two-headed bionisaurs to fight on their behalf, but their flimsy fangs are no match for true alien tech.

The power outage had the positive side-effect of releasing Turok from his bonds. He catches up with his armour-clad ally, and politely asks him to ease on the rampant destruction. If they leave the place standing long enough to find a functioning computer, they can potentially eradicate the bionisaur threat in its entirety!

You never tell Aric to dial it down, though. If he’s going to get his revenge, he wants it as loud and explosive as he can make it, and he will not stop on behalf of his dearest friend. He flies off to demolish the bio-engineering lab and all that lies within it, Spider Alien and bionisaur experiment alike…

Turok, meanwhile, tracks down the CIA turncoat Higdon and pins him down, ready to enact his own vengeance… until Aric starts blasting the place apart. As nice a a bit of face-pummelling would be, sometimes you have to give it up for the greater good.
It first appeared in the Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Yearbook and makes a resurgence in this story arc, Turok begins evoking “Da’ta” when he wishes for luck in his survival. The word is also spelt “da’ta-i”, or rendered as “tá¾±-tα-‘e” (that’s a Greek alpha and an alpha with a diacritical macron! pullin’ out all the lingual stops!) in John P. Harrington’s Vocabulary of the Kiowa Language, and simply means “my father”. It sounds a bit less spiritual than “great spirit”, though the point still carries across: he’s calling upon his ancestor to watch his ass and make sure he doesn’t muck it up.

He stands before the machine and urges Aric not to fire; he may wish for the end of the Spider Alien race, but if he can postpone it for just one second, they can help each other achieve both of their goals. They can compromise just this once, right?

They can, actually, but Higdon puts the kibosh on it, setting the machine to self-destruct. Aric buries him under rubble for his underhandedness, leaving him to burn as the rest of the base explodes, reluctantly carrying a weak and furious Turok to safety. Just a friendly tiff. It’ll all be water under the bridge the next time they meet, surely.

In Washington DC, fears are finally quelled as the bionisaur attacks have stopped with no sign of repeat occurrences. The CIA are less than chuffed with Turok’s vague debriefing, having kept mum about the whole Spider Alien nonsense (I mean, would you believe any of it?), but permit him to return to the reservation. Higdon, whose selling-out on a planetary scale went totally unmentioned, is in the running for a posthumous honour from Bill Clinton.

Ultimately more of an X-O Manowar story than a Turok tale, with Aric finally getting revenge on the “hard skins” who’ve tormented him for millennia… and as understated as blowing up a giant underground fortress may be, this appears to be the very definite end to their empire. The Spider Aliens would pester Aric no more, paving the way for other ludicrous villains to fill the power void. A few scattered specimens would appear in his own series, mostly as throwbacks to his millennia-spanning rogues’ gallery, but their reign of terror as a collective threat ends here.
It’s not quite the Turok vs. Aric brawl teased both on the cover and in last issue’s “to be continued” box, but the conflict of interest is a fun way of pitting them against each other however lightly. It’s a fun foray into something grander than Turok’s usual wheelhouse, even if it is completely barmy, and this ish makes for a suitably explosive little conclusion.

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