Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #075: The Phantom Honker

Monday, October 12, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #075: The Phantom Honker

Turok: Son of Stone #41

Turok, Andar too, where are you?
We got some work to do now!
Turok, Andar too, where are you?
We need some help from you now…!

(if that’s not the most contrived parody you’ve seen on this site then clearly you haven’t read enough of it)

While wandering the midnight woods, Turok and Andar stumble upon a panicky caveman who warns them of some supernatural shenanigans! These parts are prowled by the phantom honker, a ghostly beast that the local crackpot Darl claims would raze their camp to the ground… if it weren’t so sated by the ham hocks and other tasty sacrifices.

This sounds like a hearty heaping of suspicious, so our heroes lodge up with the locals to see how things go down. They try denying the ghost food for one night, lining up a perfect shot from their poison arrows when it arrives… but it does nothing! Just because it’s already dead doesn’t mean it approves of this attempt on its un-life, and it rampages through the camp until it gaffles their food supply, just as Darl foretold.

T & A follow its trail, leading to a strange empty cave, but come back empty-handed — except for a ghostly glow! The cave must’ve been lined with bioluminescent residue, which explains the reptile’s ethereal look… but the fact remains it’s totally unkillable. They tail the beast the following day, and once again Turok is unable to draw blood! The honker slinks into a narrow valley and vanishes, its trail ending suddenly. What gives?

Enough’s enough — Darl claims these two nosey parkers are what’s aggravating the beast in the first place, and they ought to dispose of them before any more harm befalls the camp. Balls to that; the two manage to coax the chief into coming with them as they make one last attempt at felling the beast…

… and find Darl inside the lizard’s skin! Yep, the loudmouth had his sights set on becoming chief, and the only way to do that was to skin a honker and hoodwink the tribe into giving him free meals. And he would’ve gotten away with it too if weren’t for those meddling Kiowa.

During the night, Andar is kidnapped by a tribe of raiders seeking some hot tips on how to murder their cave-dwelling enemies on the other side of the river. Since the options are either getting speared or being a tour guide, he takes the third option: be a negligent tour guide. He leads the river raiders into the widest opening imaginable, allowing the cave tribe to clobber them…

… but his hopes of escape are dashed. Fearing he’s outlived his usefulness, he decides to show them his ability to create fire — actually creating smoke signals to alert Turok, who’s been looking for him this whole time. Having seen the battle between the two tribes, he helps the cave dwellers take the initiative by building them boats, allowing the two factions to batter their brains out once more…

… and in the chaos, nearly brains Andar himself! The two are thrilled to be reunited, and quickly make their escape from the ruckus they just created, nicking the newly-built boats. The two vow never to have a repeat of this again, but what are the chances of that?

Not the most outstanding issue. Giolitti’s dinosaur art is always a treat, but The River Raiders feels like stories we’ve already seen on fast-forward, and the first story is literally Scooby-Doo with even lower stakes, somehow.

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