The revival of a 1988 series inspired by a TOPPS trading card game, that is what IDW has done with Dinosaurs Attack! This science fiction series from the late 80’s has been reissued for the 25th anniversary of the series and currently expects to be five distinct issues. It’s important to keep in mind that these issues were written in 1988 and take place some time in the future they imagined over two decades ago.
Dinosaurs Attack! is a series that begins with the explanation and introduction of a brand new technology invented by an incredible scientist by the name of Professor Elias Thorne. He has invented the Timescan. Timescan allows us to look back in time and view history in the form of a live video. The goal of Timescan is to recount history exactly as it happened, everything from the Civil War to the Dark Ages all the way back to the time of the dinosaurs. Gary Gerani and his creative team provide us with a future, no specific date or year, that includes the NASA shuttles and an advanced space station named Prometheus, orbiting Earth. The story follows Professor Thorne and his ex-wife, both competing, brilliant scientific minds. Something goes wrong and the Timescan is fired on Earth ahead of schedule but in the process, things take a terrible turn and dinosaurs begin to roam the planet.
The story for Dinosaurs Attack! #1 follows Thorne and his ex-wife on Prometheus. We learn about their relationship, their beliefs and their goals as well as the expectations of those around them. Something I really enjoyed was the look at what the people in the late 1980’s thought the future would be like. While they thought we would have advanced space stations and NASA shuttles with passenger seating like an airliner, we would still have phone booth style phones and every day cars. Some of scenes get a little crazy, like a live marching band on the space station but I think the goal was to keep a lighthearted story, at least at the beginning. Later, we learn of some dark times Professor Thorne is having and how he is truly reaching out for help, reaching out to his ex-wife of all people.
Overall, the dialogue was easy to follow though there are a lot of characters and I’m sure I don’t remember most of their names. I do enjoy how much of the story is told essentially as a news report, since one of the primary characters is a news anchor. This gives the story a solid narrator without requiring a complicated or lame explanation for having one. The illustrations are fine, nothing special by today’s standards but you must remember that this was done in 1988. Being drawn and colored in the 1980’s means no CGI or computer coloring help. It was much more complicated but at the same token, the overall look and feel of this series is more simplistic. Everyone is wearing normal, every day clothing and the space ships are simple NASA shuttles, nothing requiring a lot of artistic complexity.
As a first issue, Dinosaurs Attack! #1 does a good job bringing me into this universe and I already care a little bit about the main two characters. I’m hooked and curious what will happen next not only to those on the Prometheus but also those down on Earth where dinosaurs are roaming free.
Sounds ridiculous and cheesy… in a good way!
If you liked Mars Attacks! then this is for you.
…I don't think the cards were a game though. They were just trading cards like other great sets Mars Attacks and Garbage Pail Kids.
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