Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #107: The Monster Master!

Monday, February 1, 2021 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #107: The Monster Master!

Turok: Son of Stone #56

One brave soul has tamed the dinosaurs, and hasn’t even the courtesy to make them do cool things. Teach him a lesson, Turok!

First of all, I wanna say nobody told me about the Inca’s adorable golden llama statues before. Someone’s been holding out on me.

Second of all, Turok and Andar have found themselves clobbered and held captives by the locals after slaying a triceratops that was this close to flattening them. They’re a mite puzzled why a honker’s life is held in such high regard, but it’s more than just an animal — it’s property!

Property of the monster master! An allosaurus-riding narcissist who’s this close to being Lost Valley’s fashion representative (hairpins, feathers and red mocassins?! get off the honker and onto a catwalk, babe). He’s most upset at having one of his precious pets butchered like this, and demands they make amends. The pair are forcibly recruited into his gang of honker-rustlers, and if they don’t bring back a baby honker for him to train, they’ll be demoted to mince meat!

Of course, the rustlers aren’t dumb enough to let them go off on their own, and Turok asks why they let themselves be bullied by such a fashionable fascist. Haven’t you seen the dinosaurs!? They’re big and got more fangs than they can count! And using his whistle, the monster master can make them do his bidding, no matter how cruel or abstract. This puts the kibosh on any would-be usurpers pretty sharpish. All animals know the concept of playtime, but to make a dino play with its prey like toy dolls? That’s a special kind of messed up, man.

Our heroes put a plan into motion, and that entails skinning a stegosaurus so they can wear it like a pantomime horse costume. The honkers instantly smell a rat — or more accurately, blood, dried flesh, and the stench of human deceivers — but the monster master calls them off until he can investigate for himself… at the perfect distance for Turok and Andar to strike! Wrestling on the back of an allosaurus isn’t exactly something you can practise with ease, so it’s no easy ride…

… but on the bright side, after they’re all tossed off its back the allosaurus is the one to crush the whistle, ending the monster master’s reign with a whimper. Tell that to the man himself, though, who chases after his beasts crying and pleading for their servitude… and is repaid the only way a honker knows how. To be fair, Andar was willing to save the dude, but he’d never manage it — they’d used their last poison arrow slaying that stegosaurus earlier…!

You can probably guess what happens in “Cave-In”: while looking to bag themselves some lunch, Andar tries to rout out a squirrelly lizard and winds up trapped in an underground domain, where a rain-induced landslide renders the exit unreachable.

There’s shockingly little to say about the story, actually! Andar goes looking for an exit and keeps running into a never-ending foray of territorial lizards. Turok goes looking for him and also fights a shitload of lizards, too. In the end they reunite after the smoke from Andar’s fire signals his whereabouts, and they soon restock on poison berries, leaving them fighting fit for whatever they next face.

Sadly, despite the incredible name and great cover art, the monster master doesn’t quite live up to his name, does he? He doesn’t use his honkers to enact a reign of terror upon rival tribes, or even have grand goals for his collection of pets — he just uses the clout to have other people do work for him, and the dinosaurs just seem to sit around until he gives them orders. As far as Turok villains go, he kind of sucks. If Andar had gotten the whistle, that could’ve made for an interesting story, of his love for pets conflicting with the unscrupulous power involved in commanding them. Oh well!

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