Art and Story by Ricardo Delgado, Published by Dark Horse Comics
You remember loving dinosaurs as a kid? Watching valley of Gwanji feeling proud you knew it was an Allosaurus not a Tyrannosaurus Rex? Wishing there was more than that one book in the library?
Well here’s Age of Reptiles Ancient Egyptians to take all your childhood fondness for dinosaurs and murder it violently right in front of you with a horrifically realistic depiction of the terrible lizards making babies and then eating them!
This comic is as brilliant as it is horrible. Maintaining it’s silent movie air from the comics first run in 1993, letting the art fill your ears with the noise of cretaceous bayous and baby brachiosaurs’ being chewed to death. Ricardo Delgado’s background in film means the comic actually deserves the designation ‘cinematic’ a term so over used I still feel dirty typing it. But here it is applicable as the big scaly buggers feel huge and yet the setting they’re in is yet huger still. He does this by keeping the camera at the same level with whichever dinosaur is relevant in panel.
It does have a serious problem though, the colour is badly mishandled, almost but not quite to the detriment of the comic. The beautiful thin and detailed line work can’t support the flat weight of the colour scheme and while this benefits the dinosaurs about to commit a stealthy bit of infanticide it becomes a chore later on when two Spinosaurs are getting it on and you feel weird trying to figure out exactly what’s going on.
I would also say spoilers but I’ll be honest, it’s a silent comic about dinosaurs, there are a few clear actions and reactions but trying to assign human motivation is pointless. There are parts that will make you go ‘awww’ and parts that will make you go ‘AAAH’ and it depends on your position on the psychiatric scale as to what those reactions are to.
Worth it if you get past the colours, and enjoy watching babies being eaten.