(w) Ron Marz (a) Roberto Castro
Turok is a title with a long, rich publication history that has had trouble finding steady footing in recent years. Perhaps best known for a run at Valiant and the video games published in the mid-to-late 1990s, Turok has bounced around publishers over the years, and has been at Dynamite since 2013 along with fellow Gold Key Comics characters Solar and Magnus. After two series, Dynamite is giving the character another fresh start with writer Ron Marz and artist Roberto Castro taking the reigns. Sure, it’s yet another reboot in an age where people are relatively sick of reboots, but this is one that works, with the reader fully hooked by the issue’s end.
Marz and Castro make the wise decision to keep Turok himself hidden for most of the issue. He is a mostly unseen or obscured force of nature, not too dissimilar from the shark from Jaws. Rather, the focus is on his brother, who has been captured by what appears to be soldiers or law enforcement in the days of America’s westward espansion. Stalking them from the shadows, Turok begins taking them out one by one.
Marz’s script keeps the issue moving at a breakneck pace. Although plot and character development are sacrificed, readers are immediately hooked into the initial setting and the events as they unfold. By keeping Turok hidden, a mystique builds around him and his abilities. And just when the reader appears to figure things out… fucking dinosaurs appear! First-timers may be caught by surprise, and even those familiar with Turok might be caught off guard. This speaks to what Marz has arguably done best throughout his career – take a long-running comic property and rework it in a manner which is well-written, modern, and honors the legacy of what came before.
Roberto Castro is an artist whose work may be unfamiliar to many outside of Dynamite’s readership, but his art style is a perfect match for Marz’s story. Raw and gritty, Castro paints the world of Turok as a mean, unforgiving place. Even though the characters find themselves in a completely different place by the issue’s end, readers can expect similar visuals going forward. Castro’s character renderings match the scenery in which they reside. However, there are a couple moments when character expressions become straight-up cartoonish, completely subverting the tone of the story.
Turok #1 is a welcoming first issue, inviting readers old and new on an exciting and fresh journey with one of the industry’s oldest creations. The one thing this issue truly lacked was a sense of character development, but if Marz’s track record is anything to go by, expect a good amount in the issues to come. Fast-paced and wholly engrossing, Turok #1 is the dinosaur action book I’ve been waiting for.
- Fast Pacing
- Heavy Action
- Light plot