Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #104: The White Goddess Part 1

Friday, January 22, 2021 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #104: The White Goddess Part 1

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #34

In this issue, Andar fucks!

After last week’s craziness, why not go back to simpler times — to when Turok and Andar first found themselves in the Lost Land? The letters pages of past issues had fans arguing over whether Turok belongs in the modern day or in primeval lands, and Valiant answered it deftly: why not both? So let’s just have a whole issue set in the old days without even the pretence of a flashback.

The pair’s hunting session is interrupted not just by a blood-soaked babe hauling ass past them, but a bloodthirsty honker on her tail. With no poison arrows on hand, they throw their hunting prize into its maw and clamber up the trees, taking the woman with them to safety.

The woman, Ularu, explains her tribe were massacred by savages… but there’s little Turok and Andar can do about that. What they are interested in is her buffalo necklace — those creatures aren’t native to the Lost Valley! Apparently they wander in from a valley come to her tribe’s camp… and if that’s the case, the pair wonder if that might be their ticket out of this treacherous domain.

Hoping for a way out herself, Ularu takes them to the swamp where they wait until morning before crossing, when they can see what’s about to eat them. While Turok fetches supper, Ularu takes the opportunity to wash the blood off her…

… and Andar makes it to third base.

(just in case you thought the art wasn’t subtle enough)

They’re attacked by the savages Ularu warned them around — the “beastmen” — and though they manage to send them packing with only their fists, they find Ularu is missing. She’s their only hope for leading them out of this wretched land, and they can’t stand by and condone unruly behaviour like this. They follow the tracks and begin following their assailants.

Writer Mike Grell makes his Turok debut in this back-to-basics story, with Mozart Cuoto on art once again, whose lush action and panelling really brings to life an otherwise ho-hum story. Cuoto’s art is the biz, and it clearly shines in all aspects ’90s comics bank on — buff heroes, bloody action, and babes in states of undress. The literary asshole in me wants to grumble, “if there isn’t text on a page, am I really reading?”… but sometimes all you want is some barbarian action, and this ish delivers on that front.

While having an opportunity to re-explore Turok and Andar’s days in the Lost Land under a modern lens would be interesting, Grell’s depiction just feels lacklustre. We already had 130 issues of “will they ever find a way out?”, and we know the answer by now, so giving us yet another tale in that niche isn’t exactly riveting. If it were a chance to learn more about our heroes and their relationship, I’d be on board, but all we witness is Andar’s first time.

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