Each of the participating writers/reviews of Comic Bastards will give the issue a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass along with a short reason for the score. Here’s a blurb about the issue from Dynamite Entertainment before we begin: Dynamite is proud to present an all-new, ongoing adventure series from superstar GREG PAK (Batman/Superman) and incredible artist MIRKO COLAK (Conan)! Shunned from his tribe, a young Native American named Turok fights to survive, making a lonely life for himself in the unforgiving forest. But his hard-won cunning and survival skills face the ultimate test when man-eating THUNDER LIZARDS attack his people! Why are dinosaurs here? How have they survived? And will Turok use his abilities to save a society that’s taken everything away from him?
I’m going to be very honest; I have never liked anything Turok. Not the old comics, the newer old comics, the video games, especially the video games. Nothing. I really don’t like the franchise and never really got the appeal of it. I guess there are two types of people in the world: those that want to hunt and kill dinosaurs and those that want to keep one as a pet. I fall in the latter of the two.
With that said, I pretty much expected to hate everything about this comic book. After all, I’ve disliked everything else having to do with Turok why would the latest reboot be any different? I think back to how much I struggled to read and care about the last reboot that released in 2010 and ugh… it didn’t excite me to read this issue.
Thankfully there was nothing disappointing about this issue. Greg Pak delivers a story that is interesting and honestly has me curious to see what’s ahead for this series. Another strong reason I’m giving this book a “buy” is Mirko Colak’s artwork. Colak’s style is dynamic and wonderful for this story. I’m not going to say I’m a changed man, but I’m definitely going to continue checking out this series which is something I never thought I would say.
Turok #1 is what I would call a perfect comic. It has interpersonal drama, a tragic backstory, just gorgeous art, a couple historical twists, and motherf*cking dinosaurs. Seriously, if the last one doesn’t at least get you to borrow it from a buddy, I think you might be incapable of having fun and you should see a specialist. I’m a fan of Greg Pak from way back in the “Planet Hulk” saga days, but I’m unfamiliar with Mirko Colak and I love where he’s going with this. My only complaint? The dinosaurs could be bigger. I feel like maybe the series will give me what I want in a few issues now that it’s hooked me, though.
So, I guess Turok has been around for a while but I have never read an issue before this and I’m not really sure how I feel about this series just quite yet. As a kid dinosaurs were the shit and I used to read all those kid discovery magazines; Mirok Colak’s illustration definitely brings me back to that, in a good way. I also remember that whole dinosaur trend in 2006 that Hottopic has since milked for all its worth, hopefully Turok doesn’t turn into a gateway to revive it. For now, I think I’m going to score Turok as “borrow,” I need to read more to accurately assess what I think about it because right now it’s just not making me feel anything. Is Turok a misunderstood hero? Are they going to introduce at least one female in the series? Does he betray his tribe? Maybe he becomes a ruthless killer with a taste for dino blood. I don’t know, maybe the next issue will reveal more about this Turok.
Anyone who was around in 1997 probably heard of or maybe even played the Turok Dinosaur Hunter video game that was one of the first "big" ones that ran on the Nintendo 64 gaming system. Turok was an early generation first person shooter that pitted our hero against some savage prehistoric beasts. Eventually, the game evolved and the story likewise began to grow into a mash up of all kinds of things. Turok is a Native American warrior living in kind of a Land of the Lost world where time stands still and all things from different times converge together in a primitive/modern hybrid of histories. Pretty cool concept, huh?
Dynamite Comics think so as they have released this tale (along with two others coming soon) featuring some of the best talent in the medium. For Turok, we have Greg Pak on the story and Mirko Colak on the art. And after reading Issue #1, I am into it for right now.
With Colak, words cannot describe how good the frames look. The artwork is absolute top shelf and it looks great blending pre-history with history and drawing everything with an intensity that is fitting of a man who hunts predatory dinosaurs. I am not quite as sold on Pak's story quite yet, but it is competent as it works to establish Turok "the man" before hitting Turok "the hunter". For this first issue, the story works well enough and we see our hero as a loner by choice, aided by some villagers' opinions. Still, I like where Pak is headed and those villagers may just need their young recluse to survive, not only from hungry dinos, but other elements as well. I'm on board and am interested to see where it goes from here.
I have enjoyed Greg Pak’s writing in Marvel. I enjoyed his War Machine run, his Hulk stuff was fun, and his Hercules was fun as well. When I read that he was going to write Turok, I was intrigued. I remember Turok on the N64 days and it was a fun game and giving that title to Pak seemed like a good fit. After reading issue one, I thought it was an okay first issue. The story moved along, but it felt like they missed a huge opportunity to give a good backstory for Turok in issue one. It felt rushed in his beginnings just to get to adult Turok, and when they get to Adult Turok, I wasn’t really a fan of how they portrayed him either. The whole lone wolf act is kind of confusing especially since we don’t know what really happened to him and his family after they were attacked to trigger those emotions. I did like the art in the issue. Good consistency within pages, I like to use of paler tones and darker tones to represent the jungle and Turok’s clan. Overall, Turok, was a bit of a letdown, a golden opportunity to build on a gaming classic was missed.
I wish more Native American comics hit the shelves each month. It is one culture that I don’t think gets taught enough. So I like how this story includes some Native American heroes. It seems like everything has to do with dinosaurs recently though. Some comic will take you back in time and then shove a dinosaur on the cover. What is the deal?
In saying that, this may be the first dino-flashback that didn’t annoy me to no end. No doubt it will probably hold some annoyance in the near future but Turok, again, is a great main character. We dive right into the action with him with his tragic story as a child. We waste no time seeing our first dinosaur too. The rest of the issue will probably revolve around where these dinosaurs came from and a survival of the fittest deal. I don’t know how long I will last on this series, but I could see myself right now occasionally getting an issue to see some giant ass lizard biting a man’s head off.
Honestly though, I would love a comic to give me a badass Native American realistic story. Their stories are amazing enough without the T-Rex.
I’ve never read any Turok comics or played any of the video games prior to this, so you can say that this type of story normally isn’t my type of thing. If it weren’t for this group review, I probably wouldn’t have even read Turok #1. That said I was definitely impressed by this issue. I like the mystery that surrounds Turok-the three brothers (Andar, Tomo, and Kobo) Turok is fighting against this issue kept calling him “witch boy,” so it’s obvious they think he’s some type of wizard or something. One of the brothers claims he’s not using magic, he’s just tricky. In the back of the book it boasts the “All-New Gold Key Universe” which seems weird enough so I’m curious to see if he really is using magic or not. After all, he is able to catch more fish than the three brothers combined can.
It seems that Turok’s parents betrayed the group somehow (murder is hinted at) and they were killed for it when Turok was a boy. Even though Turok’s not welcome to the rest of the group until he repays the debt, he seems to want to stay true to his family and we see his intentions throughout this first issue. The three brothers’ uncle wants Turok to repay the debt as he thinks that it’s best and vital to survive as a group. Turok has other plans though. I really enjoyed the dark tone and feeling of isolation that is conveyed through Turok’s character.
I really liked the art as well. The natural setting with the ocean and woods were especially beautiful and stood out to me. I was a bit confused at first and had to read this twice to fully understand who was who since some of the characters look very similar. There were also some action panels that I was a bit confused as to what was going on exactly which kind of killed the flow of reading, but for the most part I really enjoyed this issue and will definitely be following the series.
I really didn’t know what to expect when I first opened Turok #1. I’m embarrassed to admit that I never read any of the other comics. I did, however, play the games. I loved those. But I never picked up one Turok comic book. I think maybe that I flipped through one back in the nineties, but I was ten. Maybe. So I’m picking up this series completely unbiased. I have nothing to compare it to.
I’ve never been a fan of the idea of resurrecting old failed comic book characters. If they didn’t work back then, why would they work now with an even more critical and better educated customer base? Usually they don’t. But miracles do happen. I don’t have any Dynamite books currently in my pull, but I thought that jumping on at the beginning of the Gold Key Universe revamp might be the most logical thing to do. I read the creator lineup for their upcoming books, so obviously the potential exists. It’s just whether or not the characters have the power to obtain and keep momentum.
But concerning Turok, I really don’t know where I stand. I really like the art. That was top notch, but I think that there may be too many layers to the story to keep my attention. I’m not a simple person by any means, but the plot just doesn’t interest me. Native Americans, dinosaurs, Crusaders, magic? Jesus. That’s just a ton of stuff to deal with. I would really prefer to like this book, obviously, but I just don’t think that it’s for me right now. Please borrow it though. Don’t immediately pass on it.
As I said in my Pull List earlier this week, my only real experience with Turok is comprised of a two-fold modicum: (1.) the chromium-covered, first Valiant issue from the mid-90s that I won in a trade, and (2.) to a less extent, the pretty neat little N64 first person shooter. So going into this latest reboot, I’d only brushed elbows alongside the character’s now 60-year lineage, but with names like Pak and Colak attached, there was no way I was going to claim any sort of ignorance this time around.
“Dinosaurs versus Indians” is an easy concept to fall back on, but it’s also an easy one to let slip into campiness. Fortunately, Pak and Colak suffer neither in this treatment. In a way, this feels like a displaced Batman origin story, and in fact, not since the Dark Knight has a character’s background resonated with such acute emotion and gravitas, but also captivating charm.
Pak pulls out some fun tricks here, too, like the anachronistic parlance of Turok’s jibe-some tribesmen and the way he frames the language of their invaders as <foreign>: both refreshing twists of perception. The story itself rumbles with monstrous footfall, but also very human sadness and vengeance, making it for many reasons feel tense and foreboding.
Colak’s artwork, meanwhile, is nothing short of exceptional, not just in his alternately softly-rustling and harshly-shattered figure work, but also more subtly in what looks like a double-exposure to some of his lush backgrounds, making the book’s whole feel, quite thematically, adrift (but not necessarily lost) in time and space. With an ending that is horrifying and shockingly powerful, it’ll be all but impossible for me to not follow what is, in my opinion, the most promising thing Dynamite has put out in years.
Score: 5 Buys and 4 Borrows
Writer: Greg Pak Artist: Mirko Colak Colorist: Lauren Affe Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/5/14