Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #088: Quetzalcoatl

Friday, November 27, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #088: Quetzalcoatl

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #28

Kids, don’t do drugs. Dinosaurs, especially don’t do drugs.

Having finally returned to Earth, Regan Howell calls for Turok to come visit her, and he hopes he knows why: to propose their love for one another. And the only way he knows how is to present her with half a dozen horses.

She’s… charmed, but that’s not it. Turok is still wanted for aiding and abetting a wanted criminal’s escape (the joke’s on them, Chichak’s in a whole other dimension!), but the fuzz are willing to overlook it if he assists them on another dino-hunt.

Next stop: Bolivia! An old Harvard classmate of Regan’s, Dr. Pilar Aguilla, explains they need his help with a tyrannosaurus rex that’s been… no joke, snorting cocaine and going loco. The Drug Enforcement Administration have entrusted Turok with capturing the beast, which hopefully will spearhead a drug-busting dinosaur division, as absurd as that sounds. Turok’s got no say in the matter, so long as he gets a big gun to play with.

Turok and Pilar are paired up with two burly DEA agents as they approach the Yungas, and they’ve just missed another bad trip. The village is totalled with over a dozen casualties, but the survivors took to the trees; they believe the beast was the Toltec god Quetzalcoatl delivering retribution for their savagery upon the forest. The gang lay bait and spend the night waiting for its return.
Look at this: Turok finally put a shirt on! He’s not just walking around in feathers and jeans all day! It… does not do him justice. It’s commendable for being an outfit that’s not so stereotypically ‘native’, but going tits-out is the practically Turok way. That and it makes him look like Steven Seagal, which was only in vogue between the years of 1992 and 1996.

In that time, Turok and Pilar get to know each other; the hunter’s still kicking himself for believing Regan could want a man like him, but Pilar would take him in a heartbeat. He’s flattered, and would be happy to take her as his love if he did not see Regan as his potential life partner. Pilar tries to take it in stride. “Why is it all the good ones are taken or have weird moral convictions?”

The next day, the DEA goons try to mack on Pilar, but it doesn’t go well– she and Turok don’t just box some sense into them–

— but they serve as the first snacks for the coke-fuelled tyrannosaur. Everybody scarpers, and Turok and Pilar duck into the trees — the beast can only hunt on sight, its other senses now crack-addled into uselessness.

Still, what it sees, it kills. While Pilar takes shelter, Turok lays into it with his last explosive arrow and barely makes a dent. With this much coke in its system, it’s probably the toughest and most terrifying apex predator Turok’s encountered yet.

… and much like Pablo Eskobear, its moment of glory ends in a fatal burnout.

Watch out, Turok! There’s another t-rex on the prowl! And it’s straight edge! Turok lures it away while Pilar dashes for the helicopter; it’s since been totalled in the chaos, and any plans for a quick getaway or using its rotors are out of the question.

So she fires a missile at it instead.

The DEA aren’t too chuffed about this mess; they asked for the dinosaur to be captured, not extra crispy. The operation was a bust, but if it weren’t for Turok, they would have had countless more casualties to mention in their report.

After the rip-roaring Campaigner tale, Mike Baron presents a back-to-basics mission-of-the-week tale. It doesn’t invigorate quite the same way, but it’s nice to see a return to the simple things — a bit of dinosaur hunting, and a chance for Turok to come clean with his feelings for Regan. It’s perhaps not the best time, Turok being on the wrong side of the law and all, but at least the two are on speaking terms after their big to-do the last time they spoke.
Artist Neil Hansen makes a one-time appearance on the series, presenting a great photo-realistic vibe full of lush black inks and dynamic panels. Turok and Pilar have great clean-cut hero and heroine looks about them this ish, like something from an old-timey movie poster, ala The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. This was Neil’s one and only contribution to Valiant Comics, though likely the result of his frequent collaborations with Mike Baron, having worked together on fare like The Badger and The Punisher.

Filed under Dinosaur Hunter Diaries Tagged , ,

Comments are closed.

« »