Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #070: Nest of Snakes

Friday, September 25, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #070: Nest of Snakes

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #20

Turok goes man-hunting.

In West Virginia, a tour is being held on the luxurious facilities of the Mount Olivette Correctional Complex, a multi-million dollar project that claims to go above and beyond in humanising and rehabilitating the convicts it’s taken on…

… among them the spider people. No longer man-hunting primeval throwbacks, they’ve since been reformed into decent folk, or at least a half-decent choir. The same can’t be said for all of the clan leader, though.

Chichak and his new accomplice Ripsaw spring out and take the warden hostage, using him to buy them an exit via helicopter, arranged by Ripsaw’s squeeze, Carrie Cash. Chichak wishes his men to follow after… but they are happy in their new home. They like it here. “Stay then! These people have poisoned you. I lead warriors — not weaklings!”
The story of the spider people ended on a total downer last time; although painted in good light thanks to the boastful warden, the men are drawn as if in stupors, and it’s pretty pointedly referred to as a re-education ward… which ain’t much ethical to the plight of endangered cultures.

Still on the mend after his run-in with Captain Red, Andy’s been chillaxing and introducing Turok to the cultural touchstone of his generation: MTV. Regan’s not thrilled at his potential undoing of her hard work, but the kid jokes she just wants dibs on Turok as her ‘personal project’.

They catch a news report of the prison breakout — the warden is dead, dropped from the helicopter, and the whereabouts of Chichak and Ripsaw are unknown. The three book the nearest flight and see if they can track him down; maybe this time they can help him without the government messing things up.

The convicts have since escaped to the woods and are en route to Ripsaw’s dayjob, his weed warm. Cash isn’t keen about Chichak tagging along, but he soon proves his worth: a triceratops barges onto the path, and he effortlessly tames the beast and makes it his steed. Why, that might come in handy…

… because Ripsaw’s weed farm is being savaged by the beasts! Chichak is certain he can take advantage of the situation, if in return he can take advantage of Carrie. Ooer.

Turok and company arrive to meet the local sheriff, Jimbo Nichols; he’s had run-ins with Ripsaw in the past and knows about his weed farm, and assumes he can’t be too far from it. It happens to be near the gorge where Chichak and his spider people first appeared… which has undergone a bit of a refurb since last time.

They’re not the only ones on a manhunt; the action has attracted bounty hunters Wongo and Preacher Webster Dillard to the scene. They claim to be their escorts on the mission, but ditch them as soon as they’re in the reserve — despite their southern hospitality, they’ve got no qualms using Turok as free entry and trying to bag the baddies first.

Oh, and Longhunter is here too. He scores a shot on Regan and sends their car off a cliff, right into the path of a hungry tyrannosaur!

Turok getting called upon by sheriffs for seemingly small tasks seems to be the “adventure of the week” formula by now, but it makes for more varied exploits than his bionisaur-hunting days. It helps that Tim Truman does a fun job mixing up old foes with new threats; we’ve got a tangle of bounties being hunted down, and their respective bounty hunters aren’t afraid of stepping on another to get them!

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