Writers: Rod Espinosa & Lee Duhig
Artist: Rod Espinosa
Publisher: Antarctic Press
A few steps away from "First Contact" is a good enough place to end an issue, and that is exactly where the previous (first) issue of Dinowars: The Jurassic War of the Worlds ended. Anyone who has seen this issue’s cover or even has (just a passing) knowledge of the original War of the Worlds knows what’s coming next. Hells bells, even without those two guiding you, it’s fairly easy to predict what we are going to see in this installment of this four issue miniseries from Antarctic Press by writers Rod Espinosa & Lee Duhig. Rod also handles the artwork.
On one front the fighting begins, or rather, the Dinos change their stance from "arriving" to "obliterating the humans (settlements included)." Set up as the negotiator and the person in charge, Commander Hank Armstrong has to and does show some nifty presence of mind by falling back and changing his stance to save, protect and fight. The saving and protecting is for the unarmed civilians, and the fighting is against the attacked Dino-forces. Along with the Australian Third Cavalry pretty much under him, Armstrong battles his way through the enemy to get to safety. Once there he reports his findings to his seniors. With everyone thinking of ways to stop the attacking "alien" forces, it comes as a shock to them when…, well…, there is where the second plotline comes in to intersect and join with the first one.
As seen in the last issue, diner waitress Debra McDonald just had the shock of her rather mundane life when not one but two aliens crashed on her farm and came into her house. Losing consciousness, she awakens here to find that unlike the invaders attacking elsewhere, these two Dino-beings are rather friendly. Going by Anklo and Apoto, the two aliens reveal to Debra that, one, they are not looking to kill her, and two, there are two "species" of Dinos, and they are the peaceful ones (opposing the war mongers destroying everything) and three (and this one throws a real wrench in the works), these aliens are not quite that alien. These Dinos, as is revealed, are grown from Earth itself. Leaving just on the onset on the Ice Age, these beings are returning home to resettle in their home, Earth.
It is with this information that Debra, accompanied by Anklo and Apoto, heads to the mission command where Armstrong is. These two have a history together. Talk about movie style clichés. However, with their personal history taking a backseat to the issue at hand, the two former friends (beaus?) close this issue pretty much the way the previous one did, waiting for a second First Contact, this time with the peaceful species, the Protosaurs and not the warlike Megasaurs.
Consistent. More than anything else this is what struck me about the artwork here. Granted that there are certain panels where the characters appear too wooden for my comfort, but on the whole there is a certain even fluidity to Espinosa’s style that makes for an easy viewing. More than the fights or even the army & bureaucratic bigwigs or even the attacking Dino-bipeds, it is Debra and her semi-klutzy behavior that is my favorite, both art and story wise.
Conclusion: Starting with a classic story as its base, the creators of Dinowars: The Jurassic War of the Worlds have given it a dinosaur sized twist, one that although not scoring high on the originality meter is nevertheless a light interesting read. At the end of the day, that is what got me to go in for these first two issues, something I hope to continue for the remaining two.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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