Thursday, February 14, 2019

Turok #1

Turok #1
Published January 9, 2019
Writer - Ron Marz
Artist - Roberto Castro
Colours - Salvatore Aiala
Letters - A Different World Studios' Troy Peteri
A - Bart Sears
B - Butch Guice & Dan Brown (Pictured above)
C - Jeffrey Veregge
D - Roberto Castro & Salvatore Aiala

If you have not read the comic yet be warned that there are spoilers below.

The story starts in Colorado in 1873.  I believe this is the first time that the Turok story takes place during the western era.  A group of soldiers wearing Union blue have taken a young Native American man prisoner and he is tied and forced to walk behind them while the soldiers are on horseback.

The young man falls and the lead soldier tell him to get up. The young man threatens that his brother will come, which doesn't rattle the soldier as he believes the young man's brother is long gone.

But he's not because the next page the soldiers get ambushed! Turok is taking out the soldiers with relative ease, showing how great Turok is. One of the soldiers refers to him as 'the Devil himself.'

Turok refers his younger brother as Andar and cuts him free and they make their escape on the lead soldier's horse.

We learn that this leader is Captain Connors and he is either going to take Turok and Andar to the reservation in Oklahoma or put them in the ground. The remaining soldiers mount up and give chase.

We then deviate to a mysterious man in black. Is he tracking Turok? Is he a bounty hunter? Is he tracking Connors? This page has no speech and adds a level of mystery to the stranger in black.

As the soldiers are going after Turok and Andar, they are attacked by a dinosaur! Now this would be a surprise if you didn't know anything about Turok, but most people know that Turok is not only the Son of Stone, he is also a Dinosaur Hunter!

The first Turok series back in the 50's

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter by Dynamite the
same folks releasing this new series
The dinosaur (Velociraptor?) rips apart some soldiers before Captain Connors shoots it in the mouth and kills it.

Turok and Andar's way is blocked by a blue shimmering portal and the soldiers are about to catch up. With no choice, Turok and Andar go through the portal. The soldiers stop, but it looks like Connors is going to go through with a comment about how he said he would 'Follow them to the Gates of Hell'.

The final double splash page is of Turok and Andar overlooking a Hollow Earth/Savage Land/Pellucidar/Skartaris type Lost Lands with lush vegetation, volcanoes and DINOSAURS!

First up, I loved this issue. It's two of my favourite things! Western and Lost Land style pulp action! I'm a huge fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs' work and Ka-Zar, Warlord, Monster Valley.  Also love the Hollow Earth Expedition RPG by Exile Game Studios.

Ron does a good job with setting up Turok and Captain Connors on opposite sides and both being very competent (and bad-ass).  I am curious if the two will become allies in this new land in order to survive it.  I also want to know more about the mysterious stranger. How is he going to fit into all this? The art was nice too and really added to the comic.  

I am on board with this series and look forward to issue 2.

Saturday, February 9, 2019


Gunhawks #1
Released on February 6, 2019
Writers - David & Maria Lapham
Artist - Luca Pizzari
Colours - Neeraj Menon & Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters - VC's Travis Lanham
Cover Art - Gerardo Zaffino

If you have not read the comic yet be warned that there are spoilers below.

The beginning of the comic starts with a blurb about how the law doesn't mean much and how dangerous it is in the wild west. There are those that wrestled human order from the chaos. Then on the first page it states that the story takes place in Arizona in 1914.  When I think of the wild west, I don't think 6 years before the roaring 20's.

The story starts with Dean Donnelly facing off against three banditos.  A gunfight erupts obviously and two banditos are killed while the third one gets away. One of the dead banditos shown is a woman.

Dean rides back into the town of Clearwater and we learn through the mayor that Dean fought in the Mexican Revolution.  Dean goes looking for his bride to be and learns his deputy, Jacob has already taken her to the ranch that the couple plan to live in once they are married.  Dean then makes his way to the ranch to find Colleen is just fine.

Dean then tells Colleen about the Soldaderas, women who fought for Pancho Villa during the Revolution.  Deans calls them demons so they must be bad-ass.

It seems Dean was part of a group of 12 when he was sent to a village that they believed Villa was holding up. Villa or any soldiers were there and things got bad.  Dean states, "It got out of hand. Then it got ugly."  Looks like the Soldaderas have been hunting down and killing anyone in their way of capturing the 12 of which Dean is the last one.

Dean and Colleen go back to town with the plan of sending Colleen back East while Dean deals with the Soldaderas.  However it's too late and the town is attacked.  The Soldaderas have come for Dean.  Big battle before an ending I did not expect. 

So onto what I thought. I didn't like that it took place in 1914 but it did fit in with the rest of the story. The visuals are clearly western and I think in 1914 there would have been some more modern trappings.

The story did fit together well and the ending was not at all what I expected.

I really enjoyed the art and colours in this book.  I had to look up what else Luca Pizzari has done and it turns out he worked on a mini series I really enjoyed last year, Marvel's The Black Knight: The Fall of Dane Whitman.

David and Maria Lapham are of course from Stray Bullets.

I only got the standard cover by Gerardo Zaffino, and I think its a great cover. Wouldn't mind getting a print of it actually.

When I first started reading I was a pit put off because of the date, but by the time I got to the last page, I was really immersed in the story and enjoying the book.

I think the blurb at the beginning should have mentioned that it was the dwindling days of the wild west era and it might have gone down smoother with me.

If you are looking for existing Marvel western characters, you will not find them in this book.  I believe this is Dean Donnelly's first appearance.  Not even an appearance by the original Gunhawks, Reno Jones and Kid Cassidy.

If you like western comics I would recommend it.

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Lone Ranger Collection

This year I have decided to watch/re-watch the Lone Ranger collection. My wife and kids gave this to me for Father's Day a few years back and I still have not watched most of it.

As I make my way through the collection I will write a review of the episode as well as my thoughts on it.

So return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear...