Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #074: Rampage on New River

Friday, October 9, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #074: Rampage on New River

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #22

Things do not go as smoothly as the cover suggests.

Our heroes are in over their heads. The Dillard brothers Preacher and Wongo, bounty hunters who’ve partnered up with Turok in his hunt for the convicts Chichak and Ripsaw — have bungled their stealthy entry and only gotten themselves cornered by a couple dozen triceratops. There’s no way out of this… so why not try diplomacy?

While Wongo makes a mess of that plan by calling Ripsaw a heartless, murderous methhead, Turok reaches out to Chichak, appealing to the loyalty of his old tribe. Chichak has no love for them, not after their re-education. With Ripsaw’s crew, he’s got everything he could ever want — weapons, food, and a faithful, trustworthy brother-in-arms.

Andy and Regan are still hiding in the woods… or they were, until a couple of knuckle-draggers with dinosaurs and semi-automatics get the drop on them. Andy swipes the gun and opens fire, scoring a glancing shot — not much better than his last attempt, but it serves a useful purpose.
The two goons do a lot of “huh huh huh”-ing. A shoutout to Beavis & Butthead, parodied two issues ago? A callback to Regan’s screed about the degeneracy of television and modern culture, and commentary on the path Andy could fall down? Who’s to say. It’s just funny, is all.

Andy’s shots act as signal for Turok and company to let ‘er rip. They rush through the crowd and blast whoever’s standing between them and their escape, hoping to reunite with Regan…

… well, that went pear-shaped faster than expected. Reunited with a captive Regan, Turok and the Dillards eat crow and accept that they’re back to square one. Round two of diplomacy, anyone?

Andy made good his escape, but is in no better a situation — he’s not cut out for this wilderness crap. What’s worse, Longhunter has caught up with him! He demands to know where Turok is, and who knew inviting this shithead anywhere might ever have been fortuitous?

Captive, Regan seeks some kind of hope for their predicament. Turok’s hopes aren’t high; Ripsaw hasn’t a compassionate bone in his body, and Chichak… remains to be seen. Regan laments an opportunity to make things right for Chichak and to learn from him, but her academic attitude to these men out of time is a sore point for Turok.
Regan definitely means well; there aren’t many folks Turok can call friends in this crazy modern world, and she’s responsible for securing him a safe home and the right to his freedom… and also landing him in a spot of hot water now and again. She respects him as a person, yet even the noble intentions of preserving his history and customs comes with the baggage of potentially objectifying him, maybe even fixating on her position as the white saviour to his lost way of life. It’s definitely not her intention, but discussing it when they’re both riled up is only driving a wedge between them.

Their convict captors enter, and Chichak revels in the chance to belittle Turok some more. Despite his treating Regan as Turok’s property, she appears to hold hope in him ensuring their freedom. Turok might have put the kibosh on it, but she had been welcomed into the spider people tribe with open arms the last time they met; there might still be trust in there.

Well, Turok wallops him before it can be discussed further — and again by Ripsaw! See, now that he knows how to rustle up the triceratops into his drug running, he’s got no need for Chichak anymore.

Oh, and if the Dillard brothers need more reason to hate Ripsaw, he kicks their dog, too. SOMEONE KICK THIS MAN’S ASS ALREADY

Just killing the two natives wouldn’t be any fun — not when he can make sport of it! The two are rousted atop their own triceratops and forced to do battle… to the death!

Things are heating up! A pretty talky issue with not much proper action, but the conflicts between characters’ interests and goals makes for good reading, with distrust among both the goodies and baddies. Andy hasn’t seen a lot of use lately, so him getting to bemoan not doing much is at least refreshing; he won’t ever quite cement his position as Turok’s understudy, sadly, but he’ll make a good saving throw now and then. It’s a pity he looks such a dope; Rags Morales seems the only one who can do the poor kid justice.

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