Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #117: Prisoners!

Monday, March 8, 2021 at 8:00 am Comments (1)

Turok: Son of Stone #61

I can’t believe Turok is freaking dead.

Turok and Andar find themselves pursued by an uppity stegosaurus on a rocky crevasse, with seemingly no escape in sight. What led them here? What’s got the stego in such a stink? It doesn’t matter, because after wasting their final poison arrow, Andar’s convinced this is where they meet their doom. This is no time for fatalism — so long as their heart beats, they can fight through any struggle!

And indeed, the problem resolves itself — the stego blunders straight off a cliff. Turok preaches that so long as you keeps a level head, assess the situation fully — and more importantly, watch your step — one will always get out of a sticky situation unharmed.

Preach what you speak, dude.
… that can’t be it, can it? Turok just flippin’ falls off a cliff and dies? That’s how he goes out? Come on. He’s got to have made it out someh–


Andar is despondent. Try as he might to have saved him, he couldn’t help his dear friend and mentor… and now he’s gone. Where would he be without Turok’s teachings? Not trapped in the Lost Valley, for a start. But Andar fights his urge to wallow in grief and self-pity; he begins the descent down the mountain to where his comrade plummeted, to give him the burial he deserves.

Along the way he’s spotted by an opportunistic hypsilophodon. Without any weapons, Andar’s all set to just turn around and go home. Why bother, right? But that would only dishonour Turok and his teachings. So long as he can stay one step ahead, he can outwit it eventually — and indeed, after taking to the trees a branch gives way beneath the honker and it breaks its skull on impact. Eat shit, evolutionarily-designed tree-dwelling hunter.

Up next, a lake-dwelling croc! It’s another no-hope scenario, with all paths taking him either through treacherous quicksand or in the path of the ferocious hunter. While their track record hasn’t always been the best, Andar recalls that not every threat needs to be approached with lethal force: crushing some berries to colour the water red is enough to spur the croc to hang out elsewhere. Red scales are so last season, y’all.
But after arriving at the foot of the mountain, the youth finds another threat in his way — a t-rex! He’d be postponing it long enough: now seems a good time to panic.

Turok to the rescue! Not a ghost, not a mirage, but the real deal — and he’s armed with deadly boulders! The t-rex is toast, and the two are happy to be reunited once more; they would never have gotten this far were it not for all their time learning from one another. And wouldn’t you know it, for all the height he fell, all Turok got from it was a twisted ankle. What are the chances?

To be fair, he’s got a lot of practise falling off things.

Today’s educational text feature focuses on the proto-Inuit landmark, the Ipiutak Site. Described as almost like a sunken city complete with stone foundations and huts lined like city streets, it’s since been the source of many ancient relics of art and culture.
Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be the same depth of readily-available research on Ipiutak as there is on last week’s spotlight, the Rongorongo tablets. There’s photos of some of the relics, including a gnarly skull with big ol’ eyeballs, and a couple of the original excavation circa 1948, but when they describe such sights, you wanna see ’em, y’know? It’s very possible there’s not even much to see, and this Dell comic book from 1968 had the chutzpah to just extrapolate willy-nilly, which it’s absolutely never done before. In which case, pah.

Alongside the Gold Key Comics Club pages is another new feature — Dinosauria! A long-running veteran in Turok tales, the styracosaurus finally gets the credit deserves with a run-down of its kickass features. Formatting aside, it’s no different from the olde single-page dinosaur features that’ve appeared on-and-off through the early years of Son of Stone’s run.
The only difference is that this would appear across multiple Gold Key comics, not just tethered to Turok. That means if you want to read up about the pteranodon or protoceratops, you’d have to pick up other fine comics like Beep Beep The Road Runner or The Jetsons, because this is its only appearance in the pages of Turok. Which is understandable.. Our cup runneth over with dinosaurs…!

En route to procure more poison berries, our heroes find themselves unwillingly embroiled in more tribe warfare. The rough and tumble vine men want them to burn out their nemeses, the hill men… who happen to be living above the same knoll that the poison berries grow on!

Continuity raises its ugly, unwanted head as the story suggests this is the one and only berry patch our heroes have been using across years of stories. After so many early tales ended with them discovering a brand new quadrant of Lost Valley they were previously unaware of, you could be led to believe they simply keep wandering into new domains, no closer to home, but never far away from a convenient stock of poison.
When Turok himself describes the knoll as “Lost Valley’s only supply of poison for our arrows!”, then that just means they keep backtracking here every time, huh. To be fair, they’re the huntsman, not I. Better to stick close to what is assured safety and an invaluable tool, rather than blunder into the wilderness simply hoping to find what you need. The primal equivalent of not knowing when the next gas station is gonna be.

In any case, this puts them in a conundrum; saying “no” to the locals never ends well, and fobbing them off with magical excuses only gets them tied and bound to wait until the time is right. They manage to slink off in the night, but the vine men tail them and figure if beating them up once wasn’t enough to convince them to stay, beating them up twice will do the trick.

I just wanna say I love that shot of Turok cold-cocking the punk while we see another guy’s legs enter from off-screen. It’s absolutely not the intention or even the intended motion, but it looks like Turok’s taking a leaf from Asterix and socking that guy into the stratosphere. PAF! If the sucker was wearing moccasins that’s all that’d be left of him.
A t-rex enters the ring, but even that’s not enough to stop them for long, as the vine men have every honker’s most dreaded nemesis: dirty great boulders!

I’d like to pretend this is the same t-rex Turok pummelled in the last story, if just to imagine it’s thinking, “oh no. Not again.”

The vine men aren’t taking no for an answer and demand they start their fire, even as the hill men launch an assault of — surprise! — more bloody boulders rolling down on them. The pair start cooking up a blaze, but use wet leaves to cook up thick smoke that blinds their tormentors long enough for them to vamoose. Taking cover until the hill men bundle up for the night, they finally have their window of opportunity to stock up on berries, keeping them well armed for the foreseeable future… until the next storyline demands it.

Filed under Dinosaur Hunter Diaries Tagged , ,

One Response to “Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #117: Prisoners!”

« »