Growing up with comics in the 1960s there was DC, Marvel, and the others.
The Others consisted of several companies such as Dell, Western, Gold Key, Carlton, and Harvey. While Marvel and DC dominated the market with superhero offerings, along with war and horror comics, The Others published things like Casper the Friendly Ghost, Little Lulu, Richie Rich, characters from Disney, movie and television adaptations, such as Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, Lost in Space, among others, and a few second-rate superheroes.
Now I’ve written before about how superheroes, particularly Captain America, were my obsession growing up, but there was one comic not about a costumed hero, nor was it a war comic. It was a somewhat offbeat comic that was published for 28 years, from 1954 to 1982, until it finally faltered.
That comic was Turok, Son of Stone. A story about a pair of pre-Columbian Navajo warriors that somehow end up in a sort of land of the lost, complete with dinosaurs, giant mammals, and the occasional monster spider.
The stories were generally intelligently written and action-packed, and to a kid who loved dinosaurs, pure excitement. The artwork was pretty good, too, worthy of even DC or Marvel and the covers were probably some of the most interesting of the era. I mean, two Navajos, armed with nothing more than stone knives, bows and arrows, facing dinosaurs, how could it get any better than that?
I was out of comics for many years, from the late 1970s until just a few years ago, so I didn’t realize there was a revival of sorts in the 1990s put out by Valiant and Acclaim comics.
Today, however, I was at the comic book store after a hiatus of nearly two years (unemployment makes certain things expendable). It was Free Comic Book Day and I thought I’d go see what the offerings were. I picked up a few free ones and then browsed the new ones.
Color me surprised when I was Turok, Son of Stone staring at me. Well, I had to pick it up. I found issue #1, that was published back in October 2010, and brought it home. Now I wished I’d picked up a few more issues. That first one made me want more. The publisher is Dark Horse, which I’m really beginning to like as a publisher. They have the rights to most of Robert E. Howard’s characters and do a pretty decent job of it. So it comes as no surprise that Turok, too, is a professional effort.
Turok is written by Jim Shooter and drawn by Edwardo Francisco. They both did, I think, a good job of it, rebooting Turok’s origin story. The first issue also has a special reprint of Turok’s original appearance back in 1954.
I’m looking forward to more of it.