Rexodus Review – Going Where No Dino Has Gone Before

So we’ve had Jurassic Park, now Jurassic World. How ’bout Jurassic Universe next? Those military assets InGen wanted to create wouldn’t stand a chance against the reptiles in Dark Horse’s Rexodus.

What’s it about?

Dinosaurs… in space… with guns. Enough said. No? Fine. Millions of years ago the dinosaurs were indeed going extinct, just not for the reasons we have been led to believe. Earth was being attacked by a dark sentient substance known as the Black Blood.The survivors jettisoned off into the far reaches of space, but one hibernation pod was left behind. Jump to present day and thanks to the floundering of a greedy oil company and a typical lackadaisical American teenager, the last of the Earth-born giant lizards and its mortal enemy are re-awakened.

The adolescent Amber and dinosaur Kelvin Sauridon are saved just in the nick of time from the Black Blood, though spend the rest of the issue jumping from various frying pans and fires as they face trigger-happy Dinos, mutant vegetation, space-travel turbulence, and just about every other complication you would expect from a sci-fi action flick.

Is this supposed to be a parody?

The conceit of gun-wielding, fast-talking, space dinosaurs seems rather ridiculous and it easily could have turned into a parody of shows like Firefly or any of the plethora of SyFy channel programs that are currently taking a similar route. But what makes Rexodus work so well is how seriously it takes itself. Even as a trade paperback rather than a single issue, the comic doesn’t get to show us the true growth of the dino’s culture, history, and religion over the millennia since they left Earth. However, even scratching the surface it is obvious there is plenty more material to delve into. While these aspects do not play a major role in the plot, the work put into developing elements of the world that may not pertain to the story at hand allow Rexodus the benefit of the doubt whenever the material strays too close to resembling other forms of pop culture. Not that these comparisons would do the comic any harm. I think any writer and artist would be happy to have their work compared to the likes of Firefly and Dark Crystal.

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How’s the artwork?

John Sommariva’s drawings remind me of the 90s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was a bit confusing at first. You see, James Farr of Teenage Mutant Koopa Troopas fame, isn’t the artist but the writer for Rexodus. I would have expected Farr to contribute to the comic’s visual aesthetic, but his tonal sensibility comes through in the dialogue. It would be so easy to fill the pages with ridiculous puns, but Farr keeps the cheese to a minimum. Are there jokes about T-rexes and their puny little arms? Yes, but they aren’t toss-away one liners or groan worthy gags, rather moments tied into the actual narrative and characters.

Who would you recommend it for?

Obviously dinosaurs are a hot property in general right now, so if you are one of the millions of people that went to see Chris Pratt wrangle up some raptors, then yes, Rexodus is for you.

I’d especially recommend the comic for those attending Comic-Con International in San Diego. Why? Because Dark Horse Comics will be featuring a signing with the team behind Rexodus Thursday. You can find more information below.

http://www.darkhorse.com/Blog/2088/sdcc-2015-dark-horse-announces-san-diego-comic-con

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