Turok, Son of Stone, Volume 1
written by Gaylord DuBois
illustrated by Ray Bailey, Rex Maxon, Bob Correa, Jack Abel and Vince Alascia
Taking the adventure themes of Tarzan (several Tarzan artists' work is here in this collection), Turok transports two Native Americans to a land where prehistoric monsters roam free. This is the kind of comic that ran rampant in the Golden Age of the industry, entertaining millions of readers (mostly boys) with its far-fetched yet imminently readable escapades. That Dark Horse has brought it back in a handsome hardcover edition is not only a treat for longtime comics readers but also a boon for anyone interested in seeing what these books were about.
To be sure, Turok won't exactly win any points for being progressively PC, but it's surprisingly more enlightened than you might suspect at first glance. Turok had a long history, first debuting in the mid-'50s under Western Publishing and later moving on to Gold Key and Valiant. This volume takes the Western Publishing version, which features two young men living in the American Southwest before Columbus ever reached America's shores. (Later editions moved Turok into the 18th century.) Turok and his brother, Andar, become trapped in a subcavernous world where dinosaurs (they call them "honkers") are alive and well and must fight for their very survival. They're also being hunted by the savage people they find in this odd land, so there's never any rest for Turok and Andar.
The stories in Turok often contradict each other (most notably in the ages of Turok and Andar, who vary wildly from youthful to adult), but Turok is escapist adventure of an oldtime variety.-- John Hogan