Written by guest contributor Allen Wiggs
As a kid I loved anything with giant monsters, which naturally lead to mad scientists, frequently the cause of said monsters. Even today, as long as the stories are done well or horribly over the top and bad, I really enjoy monsters and the science of the mad. Terrible Lizard is an all ages comic of giant monsters and mad science, this makes kid me very happy.
Meet Jessica, a teenager stuck living near Cosmo Labs, where the science is mad and full of electricity. Jess is smart, willing to leap into trouble, and has the general characteristics of a 14 year old. She is sadly without friends because the other scientists, and military personal have no kids around her age. Her dad is Dr Jefferson Anders, he runs the department of chrono-sciences, which means he deals with time travel and other time related science. This makes her dad one of the coolest mad scientists around, and possibly a future Time Lord.
During his most recent experiment, Jess happens to be around, and everything goes a bit wonky...enter a giant dinosaur. The dinosaur takes a liking to Jessica, after some confusion with the military presence, everyone calms down, see the t-rex isn't trying to kill anyone as long as no one is threatening Jess, and peace reigns. Yes that was very spoilerific, but there is a teenager on the cover with a dinosaur, what else do you expect the first issue to be?
Now, predictability isn't bad, especially in the early bits of a story. As long as the characters are interesting and the predictable bits are well done. As a whole Terrible Lizard does so. Jess narrates the story and gains sympathy quickly. She leaps into action, but still acts like a teenager with maybe a better vocabulary and with then most teenagers, but that happens to most characters in fiction. Once the mad science kicks everything ramps up, each panel is dynamic and the whole thing moves at a quick speed. If anything the story felt short, yet it just felt fast. I was drawn into the story and the panels popped causing my eyes to leap from one panel to the next as quickly as possible.
Let's talk about the art. It is cartoonish in the best way and full of character expressions. The design of everyone is unique and interesting. The back grounds are rich vibrant, and make me want to see both more mad science experiments alongside giant monster battles. Monster battles are coming by the way, the first two pages promise more massive critters, the last page teases the next issue will feature a fight that hasn't been seen since Godzilla vs King Kong. Dinosaur vs large ape, what isn't to love?
Writer: Cullen Bunn Artist: Drew Moss Publisher: Oni Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/5/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital