Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #113: The Web of Danger

Monday, February 22, 2021 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #113: The Web of Danger

Turok: Son of Stone #59

Turok and Andar battle a spider that is categorically not a spider.

This story cuts right to the chase because it knows you saw the cover, it doesn’t want to waste your time. So Turok and Andar fall off this cliff, right? Not to their messy, splattery deaths, but onto a giant sticky web. Not the most inexplicable hazard they’ve found in Lost Valley, but it’s definitely up there. What could possibly have made it?????

A spider, you idiot, a giant ass-fuck spider is what made it. Spiders make webs so of course a giant spider’s going to make a giant web. It’s, like, cause and effect or something.

I hardly need to draw attention to it, but boy, is that one hell of an artistic interpretation. Six legs, a ridged tail, a turtle-like body with a dimetrodon’s sail fin, and an inexplicably styracosaurus-like head. Points for creativity, because there’s maybe only one feature here that vaguely screams “spider”, in the voice of someone who thinks spiders have pincers and walk sideways. Could you imagine if crabs made webs? Bloody hell. The beach would never be the same again. There’d either be a lot less seagulls or outright turf warfare between the two.
If you guessed I wrote this entry while incredibly sleep-deprived, you’d be right.

Whatever the case, the spider’s gunning for its newly-caught prey, and although they’re able to fire an arrow with a bit of teamwork, it bounces right off its armoured hide. Plan B: get a honker to do their dirty work! Clonking a passing allosaurus with a puny projectile, the territorial titan decides to take umbrage with this animal that’s clearly been drawn without reference material.

Of course, the crawly bastard has the advantage and bodies it with its poison bite, turning its sights on his two captives again. Apparently honker meat isn’t as good as human meat? I figured as much, personally — not to sound like an advocate for cannibalism or anything. But buddy, they’re already in your web, surely you can wait. It’s not like they’re going anywhere. You’ve just killed an entire KFC bargain bucket. Why ignore it for a couple of drumsticks?

Quickly running out of options, our heroes turn their eyes to the cliff they fell from and resort to Plan C, a perpetual favourite: dropping a dirty great pile of rocks on it. One arrow’s enough to trigger a small rockslide, enough to sever the web and crush the so-called spider in one flurry. As backwards as it might be, they’re thankful for the spider’s attempt on their life — its web was responsible for them surviving the fall, after all!

While setting up camp near a river, Andar sees an unexpected reminder of home: a fish! Not a ferocious piranha, not a shark, not a croc, not any of the other inexplicable beasties they’ve encountered in the Lost Valley — a regular old fish! What’s it doing in this neck of the woods?

Getting gobbled, that’s what. It vanishes down a luminescent plesiosaur’s gullet before Turok can see it, leading him to believe Andar was merely seeing things. It’s only after a strangely-prolonged series of events involving the plesiosaur attacking them a day later, getting slain by Andar’s poison arrows, then having the flesh stripped from its bones by a pack of roving pteranodons, that they finally see the fish — still intact! — inside its skeletal remains. It only took twenty panels, but they’re finally on the same page now: how’d a fish like this find its way into Lost Valley?

The two take a dive in hopes of finding a submerged tunnel that’ll lead them home… but instead they find themselves in a glowing cave, surely the same cave the plesiosaur got its unnatural sheen from. There’s only one way in that’s big enough for any beast, fish or plesiosaur… the only other opening is a small current from a crack in the wall. Seeing the plesiosaur’s eggs nearby, they come to the conclusion the fish laid eggs outside the Valley, which got carried in by the current. It’s no exit, but it’s an answer to their mystery. Those fish will never see their mamas, though.

Speaking of mamas, plesiosaur eggs means there’s a plesiosaur mother guarding them! The beast is centuries ahead of its time in the field of game design, knocking down stones that they then use to bonk it unconscious with, before slinking out unnoticed. Perhaps not the most glamorous investigation they’ve been involved in, but they got the job done, didn’t they? As far from home as they might appear, these rare sights are enough to give them the resolve to keep looking. They’ll get out one of these days…!

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