(Dynamite Entertainment, 2014)
Writer – Greg Pak
Art – Mirko Colak and Cory Smith
Colorist – Lauren Affe
Letterer – Marshal Dillon
The Gold Key character Turok has been brought back to life thanks to Greg Pak and Mirko Colak, and he now he has to tangle with the toughest group of military mercenaries that ever stalked the 11th century, The Knights Templar.
To recap, last issue introduced us to Turok, an outcast among the people, set apart by his parents’ lineage and the inherent otherness of him. He is much more at home by himself, wandering the woods than he is with the rest of his tribe.
The Templars have come. The issue ended with the arrival of a group of knights that appear to be Templars, searching for gold in this new land. Of course their tactics are those of a military society, so they are violent and ruthless.
This issue opens with the interrogations of the Chief, and we’re really made to see the futility with which these things were carried out. How can he answer if you and he don’t speak the same language?
Did I mention the Templars have trained dinosaurs? In this world, not only do dinosaurs coexist with people, but the Knights have tamed and trained them, riding the like horses into battle, as if armor and swords and advanced tactical experience were not enough of a challenge to overcome for an indigenous people.
Greg Pak continues his great run of stories, the building up of a nearly forgotten character, and the making of said character interesting. (Although, in Turok’s defense, dinosaurs make most things interesting to my 8-year-old’s brain.) Turok is written as a confident, independent, and utterly fearless man. Always an interesting choice for a character because up to this point we haven’t seen a moment when he hesitates, or regrets any choice he’s made. He’s sort of the indigenous John McClane, and (with my opaque, smoke-filled comic book crystal ball) I can see that in the future there will be several Templars dropped from high cliffs while Turok stands, nearly bloodied to death, yelling “Yippee Ki-Yay Mother….”…. you know the drill. In short, it’s an adventure book, and if Greg Pak knows how to write anything, it’s adventure.
Mirko Colak draws the characters realistically, and because of his fine renderings it make the appearance of equally finely rendered dinosaurs more believable in the context of the story. They’ve chosen a design for the creatures that, although being mostly how you remember dinosaurs from being a kid, have a few particularly avian features, including feathers almost like a mane on their heads and necks. It makes for a different look, a little more interesting and I’m sure fun to draw. They are also colored more like birds, with the plumage being bright.
I’ll be interested to see where this may go. There are rumors about the possibility that the Knights Templar may have discovered North America long before the Spaniards, (check out Oak Island if you’re interested) though no conclusive proof has come out. Although to mix genres here, in the other Dynamite title Noir, there was a reference to Templar treasure…oooh inter-company crossover! I love it. Keep your eyes peeled on Turok. Greg Pak provides dinosaurs, day and Knight. (Ugh. Sorry.)
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.