Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #127: The Trap of Flames

Monday, April 12, 2021 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #127: The Trap of Flames

Turok: Son of Stone #66

Turok and Andar are hot commodities, and not just because there’s a lava flow nearby.

Turok and Andar, having camped outside a promising box canyon, awaken to find themselves in the crossfire of two warring tribes! They daren’t show themselves for fear of becoming targets, and their weapons are just out of reach… until a honker arrives and scares off the two tribes, giving them an opportunity to grab their stuff and take it down before it sinks its teeth into them.

The two tribes descend upon it, fighting each other over their new prize — their rivalry stems from the grounds they’re on, its lush foliage attracting honkers from all over, thus making it an ideal hunting ground. The earth trembles, alerting the pair to a stampede that they narrowly evade, but that’s not the source of the trembling–

— that dirty great volcanic eruption is! Between the beasts, the lava, the tribe, and the sheer cliff face surrounding them, all exits are blocked! Everyone rushes to higher ground, honkers and humans alike, though the beasts are warded off once Turok slays the pack leader with a poison arrow, the stench of death prompting the others to about-face.

They’ve might gotten the monsters off their back, but the lava’s not stopping anytime soon! The two tribes have enacted a truce long enough for them to reach higher ground — before they started beating the snot out of each other again, feuding over their small patch of high land and refusing to co-exist for just one second. Turok begs for their help in diverting the lava flow, and though one tribe thinks they’re on the level, the other thinks they’re a couple of clowns, and ignite more fisticuffs. It takes Turok threatening to leave them to die for them to change their tune and beg him for his help.

With some grumbling, they dig their trench and make themselves a safe haven from the lava, as it flows into a lower canyon out of harm’s way. Of course, now that it’s safe, the honkers want to move back in again! They quickly scrounge up all the available wood and light a fire, warding them off yet again.
They catch some much-needed shut eye, but T & A are abducted in their sleep — they’re so full of bright ideas, the painted men want them to be their leader! They offer some tasty bribes, but our heroes are not to be swayed. If that’s the case, they believe there’s only one reason the pair would say no — because the other tribe gave them a better deal. They tie them up and let them think it over, but they soon free themselves when another eruption sends some helpful scalding stones in their direction.

While the tribe sleep, they skin the honker they arrowed and make moccasins from its hide, allowing them to hoof it across the still-smouldering hill, their assailants unable to pursue. They make it back to safer plains just as their dino-hide boots begin to give way, and it’s not long before the volcanic crumbles as suddenly as it sprouted. While they’re plenty thankful to have made it out in one piece, Andar can’t help but ponder the fate of the two tribes.

What’s Young Earth up to these days? In this issue it’s dishing the dirt on The Vanished Ones, a hand-picked sampling of neato animals that have long since gone extinct, their remains dated to around the coming of man.
Rex Maxon’s art is as charming as ever, if perhaps taking too much inspiration from the animals it compares them to, rather than what our accepted interpretation of them is. The mesoynx is presented as a common-or-garden wolf, despite the extremely different shape of their skulls, while the northarctus is a funky little fursuiter rather than a rat-lemur. When good animal artists are already hard to come by, you don’t complicate things by giving them made-up bullshit with next to no reference material.

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