By Koppy McFad
May 14, 2008 - 03:37
The story opens with an American airman, flying to warn Pearl Harbour of the imminent Japanese attack in December, 1941, only to find himself crashlanding in an island where old DC heroes like Tomahawk, Firehair and Enemy Ace are struggling to survive against dinosaurs and mysterious "raiders."
There is no shortage of action in this issue with the airman, Carson thrown from one life-threatening situation. What is lacking is a strong story that would make us care about the plight of the pilot or any of the other characters on the island. Sure, they are a colourful bunch but if the reader isn't a longtime DC comics fan, he will have little reason to care about this guy in buckskins or the guy in an aviator's jacket. Carson, the protagonist of the story, also doesn't really do much. He largely just fires his pistol ineffectually at various monsters.
The art is also very uneven. Some scenes have a look of power and grace worthy of Joe Kubert but other scenes just look rushed and sloppy. Many of the characters don't stand out, making it hard to tell who is a star of the story and who is a background character. There is also one huge panel showing thatch houses made by the soldiers but all we see is what looks like bundles of sticks standing in the foreground. Who built this village? The three little pigs? The art team doesn't seem to be trying too hard.
This miniseries has to find something to make it stand out. Right now, it looks like a bunch of rehashed ideas and characters all thrown together. Dinosaur Island already played a key role in the NEW FRONTIER miniseries recently. DC Comics also already had a bunch of old warriors-- including Enemy Ace-- lost on Dinosaur Island in the GUNS OF THE DRAGON miniseries released about a decade ago. Even the opening sequence, with a Pteranadon attacking an American fighter, comes right out of a DINO CRISIS video game several years back. This miniseries is already in dire danger of being overlooked amid all the big "event" stories coming out. It received very little publicity and even the Neal Adams cover hasn't gotten it much attention. Despite the great potential of the whole story-concept, it sometimes seems like DC Comics came up with this miniseries just to meet a quota.
Oh, and would it hurt if someone actually did some historical research before doing a series on historical characters? Like the fact that there was on "US Air Force" in 1941?
This issue gets two stars out of five. And that is pretty generous already.