Friday, May 16, 2014
Turok And The Lost Opportunity!
For a comic book fan of my vintage, the name "Turok" rings with the possibility of adventure and excitement.
One thing a comic book reader of the 60's could count on was finding a potent tale of primitive men pitted against prehistoric behemoths and themselves. Turok, Son of Stone was a must read.
Sadly the revivals haven't done much for him. Of all the Gold Key revivals (to date) Turok has been the least effective. Magnus and Solar have found their stories enriched by new renditions, but alas the core concept of Turok never seems to be sufficient for modern storytellers who always take Turok and Andar out of their Lost World and have them shuffle among modern men. Also, it's important that Turok be older, a mature man sure and capable.
And that final point is where the latest revision from Dynamite Comics by writer Greg Pak goes horribly wrong. I know he's not the first, but Pak turns Turok into a teenager finding his own path in a terrifically violent environment which gets unbelievably more so as this saga unfolds. The story of Crusaders in the New World wreaking terrible suffering on the Native Americans they find on the shores of historical Manhattan is not a bad story at all. Add in the weird detail that for reasons unexplained dinosaurs come with them, and you have a story which has all the elements of a whipping good yarn.
But it's not really a Turok story.
There's no hidden land, no real isolation from society, and way way too many other side characters who are exceedingly unlikeable, including sadly a bizarre version of Andar. In the spirit of Valiant's revival there is supposedly some attempt to make Turok part of the larger revived Gold Key universe, and that's part of the problem most like. I'm pretty set in my ways when it comes to this character, so after this initial arc, I'll let the book slide for a while. It's too bad really. Turok is a great character, and someone needs sometime to do some new Turok stories. These aren't them.