In “Turok: Dinosaur Hunter” #4, writer Greg Pak and artist Mirko Colak bring the dinosaurs back to the holier-than-thou Crusaders who originally unleashed the beasts on the shores of Manhattan. The resulting chaos is filled with death and major gaps in communication that is only going to further the shared animosity.
Pak writes the clash between Crusaders and Native Americans from both sides of the argument, with each side trying to defeat the other and branding the other as “monsters” in the same vein as the dinosaurs who know no allegiance. In the course of battle, everyone — including Turok, the leader of the Crusaders and the leader’s daughter — toss around the word, “Monster,” and each at a different intended target. The battle itself is much more treacherous than it rightfully should be, but that is at least in part due to the wide-open spaces where the conflict occurs.
Colak’s style is more adept at scenes set in the woods, with intense shadows and busy backgrounds than on the plains of the battlefield, where much of “Turok: Dinosaur Hunter” #4 takes place. The open spaces simply feel unfinished, especially since Colak’s characters are so strongly defined by shadows as opposed to true detail. Complicating matters, Colak makes some small jumps in storytelling and framing, such as when Turok strikes the Crusaders’ leader in the face. The shot is depicted after the action and from over Turok’s shoulder, making it hard to discern if the inflicted wound was from Turok’s fist, the sword or some other implement altogether. Lauren Affe’s colors are more rangy towards watercolors, which again would work better in the bramble of the woods than on a potentially sun-bleached plain. Colak does a great job locking in and consistently portraying the personalities present in this comic book.
This issue closes out the first arc solidly, but doesn’t conclude the story of the Crusaders, the dinosaurs or Turok. There is still plenty of story to be told as the Crusaders, Native Americans and dinosaurs continue to figure out how to survive in this strange world that has brought them all together. By the end of “Turok: Dinosaur Hunter” #4, the subtitle has a completely different meaning than what is usually associated with Turok and this series is at a point where Turok’s continuing journey is set to change. Pak and Colak have set up a unique lot in life for Turok, now I’m looking forward to see how they continue to grow the character and his surroundings.