Monday, October 21, 2019

Dark: Werewolves vs Dinosaurs! #1

Halloween 2019 Post-A-Day 23
Dark: Werewolves vs Dinosaurs! #1

With a title like that, this has to be the comic equivalent of “Sharknado”


Story and Art – Chris Scalf and Eric Dobson
August 2016

American Mythology sprang onto the scene in 2014 as a publisher aiming to bring something a little different to the comic scene. First off, they focused on creating fun stories from film and television properties. To that end, the publishing house got licenses for the Stargate: Atlantis universe, Underdog, the Pink Panther, Casper, Laurel and Hardy, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and the Three Stooges. They also put out a few Zorro books, which I’m unsure if they require a license or not.

Alongside those properties, American Mythology also threw in a few creator concepts, usually VERY limited in series length, just to test the waters. Dark: Werewolves vs Dinosaurs was one of those and what more crazy a concept could you expect from a company that, as I type this, is making Zorro face off against Cthulhu. Yeah, I’m in no hurry, but I’m certain that book will be coming my way via Crapbox soon.

Anyway, to hand we have Werewolves, that old Crapbox horror standby, fighting dinosaurs, in a comic by Messrs. Scalf and Dobson, who need to be told that if you do both art and story in an issue you don’t change the order of your names and add a line saying “Scripted by”. We get it: You two made this happen. Not real sure what in Sam Hill this is yet, but I’ll let my Crapbox readers decide that.

We begin somewhere out west…west of what exactly? No clue. Some black ops/men in black types are ushering a group of very normal folks off of a sinister-looking train. There’s some heavy ordinance showing which peaks the interest of blonde guy here. Discount Samuel Jackson notices his taking notice…

Cade, our blonde central protagonist is seeking nothing more than a day laborers job. He is intently interested it what is going on as the normies are placed on a weird gray school bus…all but the three we notice sneaking away behind the train.

Their absence is noticed by the men in black squad who don’t take kindly to anyone wandering too close to their operation. A “base” is mentioned, and Sammy J calls for a wagon to take care of the strays.

Cut to that evening, as Cade has worked an honest day’s labor and is headed back to his car when he suddenly hears something he has to investigate.

Boo-Yah! It’s triple werewolf time. These must be the three “strays” from the train and they don’t act like sweet puppies. Been nice knowing yah, Cade. Appears you are going to end up dog food.

And THAT’S when the pterosaurs step in.

No, I have no idea what’s going on. My only hope lies in the fact that Cade doesn’t either. At least this isn’t a normal Tuesday on whatever Earth this story is taking place on. 

Cade says that cliché thing you always say when you find yourself in the middle of a prehistoric vs supernatural cage match, finds himself about to get his face bit off only to have his were-buddy get himself all Jurassic Parked right in front of him. WTF book? I mean we paid for this but I kinda thought there would be an explanation mixed in with the fisticuffs.

As the throwdown continues, who am I kidding? That is some kick-ass dino-wolven battling going on. I’m turning off my brain and just enjoying the spectacle.

Like this bit where a werewolf tries to hitch a train ride…only to find a raptor tearing tickets…

…or when the police show up and arrest Cade for causing all the destruction. I mean, he is one flipping guy, officers.

Unfortunately, these good old boys are as horrible at police work as they are at knowing when they are in deadly danger.

What they aren’t bad at is being dead. Which they are as soon as these secret agent guys walk in. All I can say is the men in black in this universe are way more killy than in the movies I’ve seen. Neuralize that, local law enforcement!

Or maybe these boys are just incompetent, which is the vibe I’m sensing. However they aren’t about to let Cade live after what he’s witnessed.

Until the town drunk steps in and zaps them unconscious with a…Is that some kind of weird flamethrower? Appears he’s mixed up in all these goings-on and he’s here to break Cade out.  

And provide a little bit of background exposition explaining that the “shadow suits” work for an unknown agency that has opened a door to let in monsters and dinosaurs. You know, that old trope.

Not only that, but he has a crazy amount of info to share. These are the agency’s “cowboys” who have been brought in with a “assets” to recover other missing “assets”. Pity he can’t tell more, but appears there are lots of “assets” in play and Cade may be one of their targets.

Which leads to the pair somehow (not shown) finding their way into the back of the “wagon” where they get some more background from the two cowboys driving the thing. Appears the werewolves have some kind of treaty with the higher-ups and if they don’t do as they are told…well, seems they can get jailed someplace worse than Earth.

Sadly, Cade and his new crazy buddy picked the worse place to hide, since they are 1.) taken back to the base unexpectedly, and 2.) hiding right on top of a werewolf carcass. Whew! Yah’ll couldn’t smell that before now?

After the cowboys tuck themselves in, Cade wants to make a break for it. His looney friend has other ideas, and convinces Cade not to run.

Which looks like it was a very poor choice as the shadow suits are right there waiting for them. We do get that Smith is our new buddy’s name and appears he’s been here before. As a worker, it seems.

And we get to see the “door” Smith mentioned earlier. Its actual name is The Stream.

Which looks like at least one of those doorways opens a dimensional portal to Hell. 

Cade’s got a soft heart and when it appears they are going to do the same to a helpless lady, the lead, one-eyed cowpoke allows him to try to “save her.”

Which is when we find out she’s a bloodthirsty werewolf and the cowpoke sends her packing.

Smith and Cade appear to be next in line for unexpected travel plans, until Smith uses his wits and that oddly lined hat to electrocute one of the guards…

…who then blows up part of the machinery keeping The Stream in check…

…which causes some things to come through the portal instead of the other way around. Namely this large T-Rex…

…that thinks werewolves make good snacks. Cue up some neat battle panels.

All of which creates enough confusion so that Smith can open a portal for him and Cade out of there (and note the revelation that Smith designed The Stream in the first place). Cade is left with little chance but to follow.

Cowpoke meanwhile enacts the purge protocol which appears to suck everything out into space except our favorite shadow suits and cowboys.

But that tone he has at the end doesn’t bode well for thoughts of him allowing our pair to escape for long.

However, where they’ve escaped too appears to have “Yeti” another problem…

Hard as it is for me to admit, this has equal parts silly and straight in just the right measure. It isn’t going to win any awards nor will it be a deep story you come back to time and time again, but it is as fun as a B-Movie. Sadly it wraps up next issue (guess American Mythology didn’t have a lot of faith in the longevity of their non-licensed stuff to give it a full run. Still, nice art and fun waste of time. Could be worse.

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