REVIEW: Gold Key Alliance #2

Let’s not judge a book by its title. Let me explain for those of you who don’t remember 30 years ago too well, or, like me, born too late and are brushing off this title just because of the name. Gold Key Comics ran from 1962-1984, and since then some of their titles have been used by various other publishers. That’s not important though. What is important is that Dynamite Comics is bringing some of those heavy hitters in the Gold Key Alliance mini series with some names you definitely know. This series is bringing back Turok, the Native American dinosaur hunter, the strong Mighty Sampson, Magnus the robot fighter, and the super powered Doctor Solar. If that’s not enough to get your attention, you might want to reevaluate your life.

The first issue set up these characters stories, who at this point are all apparently unrelated stories. Of note, they have somewhat altered some of these characters origins, but it seems as to just put them all in the same world and playing field, which is forgivable. Turok is still a dinosaur hunter, but he is essentially a park ranger of Jurassic Park in the tribal valley full of dinosaurs. Oh, and he has his own reality show. Sampson is no longer in a post apocalyptic future of N’yark, but the series starts with him a little crazy and sees today’s New York as post apocalyptic, fighting everything he sees as evil. Magnus is not in the year 4000, but is a DSS agent providing security for a government official, but don’t worry, he is still the robot fighter in a major way. Finally, Doctor Solar seems to have similar powers still, the only difference so far is Solar is a woman, with no name given as of yet other than Doctor Solar. She and her father are trying to help those in need in a third world African country plagued by dirty military and government.

I was pleasantly surprised that the first issues stories weren’t just introductions, but the foundation for the whole series. Now it seems the Turoks dinosaur poachers, the Dr. Terra who wants Sampson dead, Magnus’ would be robotic assassins, and the corrupt soldiers attacking Solar are all connected somehow. The title would seem to indicate these four will be teaming up at some point, which will be fun since all the characters are so massively different in skill set and the worlds they come from. The story is building up, hopefully with a huge payoff. For now, I am just enjoying seeing some old school characters in a contemporary story, while still feeling not too far removed from their element and history.

30 year comic veteran Phil Hester is doing a great job crafting this plot and gets creative in how the puzzle pieces of these characters are fitting together. I have to give credit to artist Brent Peeples who is adapting these classic characters while maintaining their old looks.

I recommend this to any one who loved any or all of these characters in the past. For me, Turok was a childhood favorite of mine, so it’s a joy watching him again with the others, some I am familiar with, others not so much. Also if you’ve never heard of any of these characters I recommend it even more.

Writer: Phil Hester
Art: Brent Peeples
Publisher: Dynamite Comics

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