Story: Ricardo Delgado
Art: Ricardo Delgado
What They Say:
Ricardo Delgado delivers a stunning, elaborate prehistoric parable that evokes classic spaghetti westerns and noble samurai tales of yore! Traveling through a dense swamp teeming with primordial danger, a solitary Spinosaurus aegyptiacus is the unpredictable and deadly antihero of Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Visual storytelling as the sole means is not new, as we’ve talked about before, but it’s something that can be a bit hard to connect with depending on who all is involved. The first two installments of Age of Reptiles for this miniseries has been engaging to read as we see our lead Spinosaurus make his way through the world and various environments, but trying to put yourself in his mind and understand what he’s doing really isn’t. It’s always said to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, but this guy doesn’t wear shoes and trying to understand the mind of a dinosaur may seem like it goes for certain things, but you can’t truly be sure. The result is that we do get a really appealing and highly detailed book, but the more the character’s journey goes on, the less I’m able to connect with it.
With the third issue, there’s a lot going on and the beautiful artwork is what really sells it, as does the overall concept of selling the story. We get to peruse many different areas of life and existence throughout the entire book with what they do to survive, both in terms of hunting and finding places to stop moving for a bit and just exist. Moving between the day and the night for some of it, it expands the view of the world and its creepy and scary nature in so many ways, but also provides some good awe and respect as well. Watching the familiar Spinosaurus is what gives us a deeper connection to things as it moves through these lands, hunting and sleeping, and seeing the scale of some of the others (big and small) set against him shows the variety of life and what the creatures had to contend with on a nearly constant basis.
This installment also features a lot of violence in the form of food gathering as there are a few creatures taken down along the way, making for some bloody and terrifying moments. Sometimes the stomping of one creature can in turn feed a whole host of others for some time, a random but welcome event in their eyes. The path of our Spinosaurus throughout a lot of this provides insights into the herd mentality of others, the protective nature of it and just how much scarier everything is at nigh – notably when a lightning strike hits and one dinosaurs is fried pretty hard by it. It’s hard to fathom how these creatures would process it, but with everything focused towards survival, it’s just another obstacle in the end. And obstacles here can lead to a whole lot of death.
Age of Reptiles has what feels like its most violent installment yet with what goes on here and that certainly ratchets up the terrifying nature of it all. The way the book spends more of its time at night here definitely helps to set the tone and that kind of murky look to the world with how it does it just shows how much harder it is to discern what dangers there are out there for these creatures. It’s a stark and brutal look at life in the age of reptiles and one that’s exciting and challenging to read in many ways. I’m definitely enjoying the book but I continue to struggle with it as well as I try to wrap my own sensibilities around the actions of these creatures and their quest to survive another day.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 5th, 2015