Turok issue five has a dinosaur, that Turok rides, and that dinosaur is wearing an eye patch. I can already tell you I’m giving this issue a perfect score, because if that’s not the kind of shit you want to see in a comic book, then I don’t give a good goddamn what you think you want to see in a comic book, because you’re wrong. When last we left our intrepid hero, he had saved Manhattan from the “crab people” (crusaders/white folks/dicks), and still wanted nothing to do with his old tribe, who turned on him in the past and would do so again. This issue picks up two months later; Turok is still beaten up and sore, mentally and physically, and he’s in Southern Illinois, where he is set upon by a woman riding a flying dinosaur. He’s heading west to find where his parents came from, and she warns him not to go that way while they form a tenuous bond (this is where he gets Eyepatchasaurus).
Pak and Colak have been killing it every month with this comic, and guest penciller Takeshi Miyazawa both fits the style and also knocks it out of the park. It makes a social commentary on unfairly forgotten or glossed over parts of our history, it features glorious landscapes and fascinating creatures, and it has great character interactions. The really impressive part is that Pak and company consistently make it look easy as hell, month after month, and there’s no way it can be. The amount of research in Pak’s writing and Colak and Miyazawa’s art are both staggering, and that should at least get a shout out, along with the mastery of their craft.
This issue does a lot in terms of opening up the world of Turok. The first four issues were non-stop action-packed thrill rides, obviously, but they all took place on Manhattan, which even in the 1200s, probably was not the biggest place to hang out. By the beginning of this issue, we’re already squarely in the American heartland, and we’re discovering new dinosaurs with Turok. They’ve already conquered the land and the sea, now they’re conquering the air. It’s a strange new world for everyone involved, readers included.
One other thing I liked about this issue was the fact that it showed that Turok is not the anti-social animal that his tribe made him out to be. He meets the pterodactyl-riding woman, and while they are wary of each other, there’s no animosity. He helped her out, she helped him out, now they both have pet dinosaurs and everything is awesome. I don’t know if she’ll stick around as a love interest/rescuer for Turok (he is in some fairly deep dinosaur shit by the end of the issue), but it’s a good moment for him to prove himself a man ready to grow up and be a part of something. Unfortunately, that something might be this tribe of mastodon-riding douchebags who apparently rule the south of Illinois. I guess we’ll have to tune in next month and see.
I’m not saying anything new here, you guys. I also wasn’t super kidding when I said at the beginning of this review that I was going to give the issue a perfect score. It’s everything a comic should be; fun, slightly educational, it tells a coherent story from month to month, and it looks gorgeous. Also, it has a fucking dinosaur with an eye patch. This issue is as good a jumping on point as any, and it’s still early days, so you can get the back issues. You won’t regret it, unless you hate dinosaurs with eye patches, in which case how do you live with yourself.
Writer: Greg Pak Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa (edit: an earlier version of this post listed Mirko Colak as the artist) Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/18/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital