Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #067: Scavenger of the Storm

Monday, September 14, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #067: Scavenger of the Storm

Turok: Son of Stone #37

Unintentionally, Turok nearly seals Andar’s fate!

Being trapped in the Lost Valley has made Andar throw caution to the wind; he’s out hunting at night, without care for what beast he may stumble upon, and devoting himself to exploring every possible exit, no matter how dangerous. He’s determined to find a way out of Lost Valley or die trying, and a reluctant Turok follows after, ready to pick him up when he falters.

The misty lake takes them to a craggy cliff, and they begin their ascent, hoping even for a glimpse of a potential escape. they’re assaulted by pteranodons and other winged beasts… and one takes off with Andar in tow! Turok can’t dare shoot it down without it dropping his friend to the abyss below, so he climbs up further in hopes of spying his destination… and finds the boy right in front of him. The cliff’s top is home to dozens of pteranodon nests! He saves him from being some little nestlings’ breakfast…

… but their quest was for naught. Now that the mist is cleared, they realise they’re only on an island, with no hope of scaling the nearby mountains. So much for that.

But there hasn’t been enough danger to cap off the story, so Turok sets a pteranodon ablaze that crashes into the nests, setting the whole colony on fire. Andar apologises, his reckless quest having landed them in hot water, but Turok respects his chutzpah; it’s that kind of determination and tomfoolery that he hopes will lead them out of the valley someday.

Turok awakes floating on a raft, trying to remember how he got there — and more importantly, where Andar is! He and Andar had witnessed something curious — every animal in the vicinity putting aside their differences to run like the wind! And at first glance, it might seem like it was the tribe of bald dudes are responsible for the frenzy…

… but it was actually the incredible storm that was a-brewing. The tribe had hoped to sacrifice them to the cave of wind in hopes of quelling it, but the violent gust is what saved their bacon, tearing down trees to scare off their attackers — but also knocking Andar unconscious. The last thing Turok remembers is securing Andar to a tree before being plunged into the river, unable to fight the gale.

Turok turns to the hairless tribe in hopes of getting directions, but they’re still a trifle miffed that their sacrifices escaped, forcing them to endure this awful gale. Turok’s not leaving without answers, and smokes them out until they send a guide to make him go away.

The hairless tribe had been depicted as bald, loincloth-wearing warriors up until this point… when suddenly there’s a mother with her children among the crowd. Of all the trivia to point out, this becomes a strangely recurring trend in future stories: whenever Turok has to smoke out his enemies, there’ll suddenly be women and children among them, as if to add a tang of guilt to the endeavour. They’re not all savages and brutes — humble families are part of these communities too!
It’ll be a long time before we even see a woman with more than two lines of dialogue, and until then, these brief glimpses are about the only hint there even are still women in the Lost Valley. After they retconned all the mammals away, you can’t be too sure what else has disappeared off-screen!

The woman guides Turok to the cave of wind, where he finally finds Andar — who’s successfully freed himself from his bonds, but now facing down a toothy tyrannosaurus! One poison arrow is all it takes, and the pair are reunited, all the more willing to bail on this place entirely.

For all the ominous mentions of it, we never see more than the entrance to the cave of wind… and rightfully so, because it’s implied to be little more than a wind tunnel from who knows where. If they could brave the wind, would it have led them out? Who’s to say. Turok himself says “forget the tunnel!”
Neat-looking dinos aside, Scavenger of the Storm is notable for its in medias res opening, a storytelling method that’d see an unexpected boom of usage in a dozen issues time.

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