Friday, 28 November 2014

Devil Dinosaur #3 - Marvel Comics

DEVIL DINOSAUR No. 3, June 1978
If ever there was a title which shows just how important an artist Jack “King” Kirby was during his third tenure at “Marvel Comics Group” (1975-1978) then it arguably has to be “Devil Dinosaur”. Published in the hope that it would tap into the popularity the writer/artist enjoyed with his “Kamandi” series at “DC Comics”, this book’s opening page alone declares just how much influence the American penciller had over his creations’ periodical. For atop the typical single-panel full-page illustration for which he was famous for, are the words “Edited, Written and Drawn by Jack Kirby”. In other words, with the exception of embellishments by Mike Rover and colours by P. Goldberg, this was essentially Kirby’s very own book – a position of power which was unheard of for an artist during the preceding Silver Age of Comics.

Sadly the quality of the storyline to “Giant” does demonstrate precisely why the series chronicling the adventures of Moon-Boy and his Tyrannosaurus Rex, Devil, only lasted nine months. Admittedly the title was targeted at a young audience, hence its inclusion of the ever-popular dinosaurs, but even so the sheer simplicity of this issue’s seventeen-page plot is disappointingly dreadful.

After a rather strong build-up, where the young Dawn-man finds himself following a trail of badly beaten great lizards through the length of the Valley of Flame, the tale abruptly comes to an end with the revelation that the dinosaur-crushing giant man, known only as Sire, has caused the carnage simply in order to help him find a missing child from his tribe. Once reunited, the triceratops skull-wearing warrior soberly stomps off, youth under one arm, and declares a truce with Devil Dinosaur.

As one might expect however, this story does contain some rather impressive drawings by one of the inaugural inductees of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. These include a wonderfully ‘busy’ two-pager depicting Sire causing a stampede of Pterosaurs and Dimetrodons, and a series of panels illustrating a one-sided battle between the giant man and a Stegosaurus. Best of all though has to be the fight through the jungle between Devil Dinosaur and Sire, as Kirby goes through most of his composition repertoire, even showing the great lizard kicking off his assailant with a heavy “Bam!”
Edited, Written and Drawn: Jack Kirby and Colored: P. Goldberg

No comments:

Post a Comment