Comic Book Review: Turok #1
Turok #1 brings us to the next of our all-new stories of these heroes. The last one was Magnus which I found myself impressed by for the solid introduction to the character be it new reader friendly or old-reader friendly. Turok sets itself apart because it had a slow build-up to this debut issue. I will admit I never found the time to read those stories, though my hope is that with this first issue they recognize that people will be jumping straight into this without prior knowledge of what got Turok here.
Luckily this apparently was the right creative team for the job. From just the first page I felt like I could get into this without having known what happened before. I mean I knew that this Turok is looking for a missing girl, and I know the problem around these parts are the fascist Saurian soldiers of the Varanid Empire. The good thing is that this was all I needed to know in order to move forward. Turok needing to infiltrate a prison camp run by the Varanid Empire in order to get more information about her whereabouts is good that they establish as the main objective. Just understanding this made it easy to grasp why we find Turok where he is at the start, and what his objective is from that point on. In fact they were smart and subtle about bringing us up to speed about the events which got Turok to where he needed to be to find this girl.
These two youths who have a run-in with Turok seemed like the perfect way to introduce him. In this kind of story you expect that well-known people are heard of through rumor and tale. He may be reluctant towards them or he maybe accepting to give assistance, but you know that just the way he responds to them helps you get to know him better. As that first panel set on Turok and it was hard to imagine he was this guy who people both feared and praised. However, when things escalated as you thought they would, he quickly turned into a different person altogether. As Turok there comes this expectation that you are a skilled warrior. Physically capable, able to think on your feet, and see a plan through to the end. To that extent Turok did not disappoint with the help of these youth. He’s a man on a mission despite his goal not in line with those around him. At some point they will need to get into why Turok seems so negligent about the safety of those he could be helping.
The Varanid Empire is just as advertised, all bad news. Going into this first issue I simply assumed they were the top of the food chain, but what we actually got was much more sinister. In a world like this it did make sense to show us just how dangerous this race was for better or for worse. Knowing how their society works is crucial to having some idea as to why the world around them is the way it is. You could chalk it up to this being the Lost Valley right now, but there maybe more to it that the issue to come hopefully expand upon.
This art team of Alvaro Sarraseca and Triona Farrell were fitting to this world. The Lost Valley is a prehistoric jungle and they nail the look of one which does exist in more than one period of time. That first page was highlight visualized through the different elements and objects from varying points in time as well as the use of desert colors to emphasize that these are barbaric lands. It even made more sense when you are seeing all these different people who are not like Turok. He looks like he belongs there from his hair style to the marking on his face, but others do not when they wear more modern clothing or casual. So many things come off as time displaced and that engages you more than if they just made everyone look the same. Which also includes the technology of the Lost Valley which clearly looks out-of-place yet blends in due to who controls it. I like Sarraseca’s art style for Turok. His pencils are fine, defined, and he has a good grasp of human anatomy. These characters whether human, pigblood or Varanid have a hint of realism to them which makes you care for the way they interact with this world. Turok in particular they put a lot of effort into developing through art. His body language, the way he looks at other people, and the way he fights the Varanid say a lot about him that matches the things going through his head.
Turok #1 had a solid start for what so far has come of his mission to infiltrate the prison. We don’t get to known him intimately, but as a man of action you do enjoy that his actions do the talking for him. There are still plenty of questions to ask about this world, the Lost Valley, though we got more than enough answers to look forward to the next issue.