Marvel Monsters: Devil Dinosaur #1 (2005)

Okay, so everyone knows that Jack Kirby was the King of Comics. The guy created or co-created almost every important character published by Marvel Comics, and that even includes the ever-amazing Spider-Man. But that was in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. By his late ’70s return to the House of Idea, the King had fallen off his throne a bit. One of the comics he created is the immortal Devil Dinosaur, a rather campy romp through pre-history, where a giant red dinosaur is pals with a caveboy named Moon Boy. Moon Boy. Not quite the same as Capatin America or Doctor Doom, is it?
Still, those comics have their goofy charm, and that’s probably part of why Devil Dinosaur is such a well-loved old series. Now, as part of their wacky October of Monster comics, Devil is back. And this time he’s fighting a cool, old-school Hulk at the behest of a couple of extraterrestrial meddlers.
It’s a fun little comic book, with a fun story by Tom Snegosi, and co-writing and art by the wonderful Eric Powell of Goon fame. This is wacky stuff, with lots of fun images of the dumb, old Hulk and a cute twist ending. Powell’s art is great, as expected, and I just love the way he draws the Hulk. I can’t tell you this comic is worth it’s $4 cover price, but it’s definitely worth the $2 I paid for it.
Almost better than the lead story is the reprint backup, a great monster yarn called "I Was A Slave of the Living Hulk", by the classic Lee/Kirby team. This is actually a surprisingly decent story about an extraterrestrial criminal, the mostrous orange Xemnu (I always love those old monster names) who somehow enslaves the Earth under his dominion. Don’t mess with Xemnu, he’s the living Hulk. The Lee story is wonderfully light, and the Jack Kirby art is as classic as can be.
So the question is, which is better, the new story or the old story? Classic Kirby or cool new Powell? Sincere goofiness or post-modern irony? I gotta say, no matter how fun the lead story is – and it’s a damn fine story – the King will always be the King to me.

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