Terrible Lizard, Excellent Comic – A Look At The First 3 Issues From Oni Press

terrible_lizard_cover_2This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a…Terrible Lizard?

When it comes to creating an all-age comic book, it's a guarantee winner if you somehow include a dinosaur. Look at Super Dinosaur and Dr. Dinosaur from the Atomic Robo series: instant hits with the readers and young folk. Continuing the tradition of fun comics starring dinosaurs comes Terrible Lizard by Cullen Bunn and Drew Moss from Oni Press. With the first three issues already out and the fourth set to debut February 18th, it's not too late to get hooked on one of the most entertaining dinosaur comics in recent memory.

Jess is your typical bored teenager who lives at the Cosmos Labs compound, where her father Dr. Anders is the head scientist of the time travel division. His work is funded by the U.S. government in hopes of possible military applications from the results, with Colonel Grayson and a small force of soldiers overseeing the tests.

Jess tends to get into trouble skateboarding all over the compound, and as luck would have it she's present the day Cosmos Labs accidentally summons a T-Rex when a temporal displacement test goes awry. Instantly bonding to the first thing it sees, the T-Rex and Jess become the most unlikely of companions. Think Gertrude and Old Lace from Runaways: similar mental connection, only with a gigantic T-Rex lovingly named "Wrex" from all the wrecking he does.

Over the next couple of issues, the two become inseparable. The only problem is, because Wrex is a temporal anomaly, he's a beacon for more mutated kaiju-like beings to invade Jess' world—much to Col. Grayson's dismay. Now it's up to Jess and Wrex to walk—err, stomp—that fine line of helping save the world by battling giant hybrid monsters while simultaneously being on their best behavior and not inciting Col. Grayson's itchy trigger finger.

terrible_lizard_pageMoss' illustrations are enticing and fun, providing beautiful action sequences that keep the reader's eyes constantly scanning every page. Wrex is humungous and fierce-looking, yet won't attack any people around Jess, proving once again that you should never judge a prehistoric carnivore by the color of its scales. My only criticism of how Wrex looks has to do with the cover of the very first issue; the look on Wrex's face is awkward and dopey, belonging on the front page of the /r/AnimalsBeingDerps subreddit rather than a comic book cover. But Moss makes up for it on the interiors, just killing it. It definitely helps having bright and vibrant colors provided throughout by Ryan Hill.

The mutated monsters that invade out world themselves are eerie, yet not too frightening. A King Kong being with a lobster claw proves to be quite the foe for Wrex & Jess, as well as two giant Roly-Polies from H.P. Lovecraft's worst nightmares. Supposedly these beasts are just the first of many to invade our plane of existence, no doubt keeping Wrex & Jess (and the U.S. Army) busy for these next few issues.

Terrible Lizard does a great job bringing out the reader's inner child with its creativity and vim & vigor. Who doesn't love a good monster fight with the world as we know it at stake? And where else will you see a girl grind the back of a T-Rex on a skateboard? Well, maybe in Street Angel, but aside from that, you won't! That's some Tony Hawk's Pro-Skater stuff right there.

With only two issues left, do yourself a favor and get hooked on the wonderful brainchild of Bunn and Moss. You won't be disappointed that you did.

Terrible Lizard (Oni Press)
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Drew Moss
Colored by Ryan Hill
$3.99, FC
Terrible Lizard #4 out February 18th

Cameron Hatheway is a reviewer and the host of Cammy's Comic Corner, an audio podcast. You can give him his own awesome dinosaur on Twitter @CamComicCorner.