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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cool Ass Comics: Devil Dinosaur Edition!

This entry showcases the covers from my collection of the nine issue run of cult comic fave, DEVIL DINOSAUR, a brief series that ran its course throughout 1978.

DEVIL DINOSAUR was the creation of the prolific artist, Jack Kirby. While the series wasn't popular at all, it has since accrued a healthy following over the years. Seeing it as a kid, it jumped off the comic racks and into my hands, especially being a huge dinosaur enthusiast as a tyke.

The origin of the two main characters, Devil and his humanoid companion, Moon Boy, is revealed in the first issue. While the book no doubt is aimed to the small fry set, Kirby's simplistic stories meld science fiction with prehistory. It isn't unusual to see aliens from another world populating the panels along with our prehistoric journeymen (and monsters).

All the classic staples of caveman/barbarian movies are utilized here, sometimes sharing space with the futuristic hardware of invading alien races. There's giant spiders and ants among the dinosaurs, a neolithic giant and also a haggard witch with the power to propel Devil and Moon Boy into Earth's future circa 1978 in the last issue.

The storyline is very basic in that Moon Boy rescues Devil (then a green saurian creature) from a clan of "killer folk" who attempt to burn the beast. Moon Boy saves him and nurses him back to health, only to now find the mighty monsters hide has turned bright red, somehow giving the dinosaur an increased strength capacity.

From there, it's one kiddie matinee level adventure after another as Devil and his trusted companion confront the evils found throughout "Dinosaur World". The character also turned up in a couple issues of Marvel's Godzilla comic series, which was going on at the time. Devil Dinosaur also cropped up in various other comic books over the years in guest appearances.

Incidentally, if you were ever a fan of Hanna Barbera cartoons such as THUNDARR, or THE HERCULOIDS, than Kirby's DEVIL DINOSAUR will be right up your comic book/caveman alley. It has the feel of an animated series (apparently, it was planned for one) and also has appeal to those with a fondness of the original LAND OF THE LOST TV series.


Fazeo said...

I've never read this comic book before but my interest is definitely piqued now after reading your post. Thanks.

Speaking of Thundarr the Barbarian I picked up the Warner Brothers Archive DVD set of the complete series a few months back but I've yet to watch it. After reading about Devil Dinosaur I am in the mood for some Thundarr.

I wished the Herculoids would get a DVD release as well.

venoms5 said...

Yeah I love me some THUNDARR, Fazeo! I recorded them all off of Boomerang and heard they were coming to DVD but didn't realize it was going to be part of the On Demand service. Oh, well, at least they're out now.

I agree about the HERCULOIDS. This comic definitely puts off that vibe. I only recently discovered there was a Marvel collection of the whole series in one volume.

I Like Horror Movies said...

I dont know how or why I came across it, but I somehow came into the possession of Devil Dinosaur #1 and may still have it. Who can beat a big red pissed off T-Rex?

Dr. Sarcofiguy aka "John Dimes" said...

My favorites of Kirby's was Machine Man, Captain Victory. And ESPECIALLY Kamandi!

venoms5 said...

I vaguely remember Machine Man, Doc, but not the other two.

venoms5 said...

@ Carl: It's a fun little book, Carl. The only thing I can think of that can beat a big, red, pissed off T Rex is a big green/grey fire breathing lizard.:)

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