Terrible Lizard #1
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Drew Moss
Colored by Ryan Hill
Lettered by Crank!
Review by Joey Braccino
I mean, who wouldn’t want to read a story in which a scientist, under immense pressure from the United States government, brings a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex to the present-day through a time warp? Sounds like a blast, especially when you weave in some family drama, as the protagonist, Jessica (the aforementioned scientist’s daughter) struggles with her workaholic dad and missing mom. Oh and the T-Rex becomes Jess’ bff by the end, which makes for an entertaining team-up.
But alas, premise aside, Terrible Lizard #1, the latest ongoing from ONI Press, is a surprisingly dull read from start to finish, particularly given the caliber of talent associated with it. Up-and-comer Cullen Bunn (Magneto, The Sixth Gun, Fearless Defenders, Deadpool) paces the first issue well, but the dialogue and narration feels forced and clichéd throughout. Drew Moss and Ryan Hill, two more rising artists in the industry, deliver a dynamic, expressive, explosive aesthetic, particularly in the last third when the T-Rex does show up through the time warp. Even the lettering is clean and precise (kudos Crank!)!
And yet, with all of that technical expertise in play, Terrible Lizard #1 just doesn’t seem to get off the ground with any momentum or engagement. I do suppose some could argue that Terrible Lizard is meant to be an All-Ages book, what with its YA-friendly protagonist and fun “Girl & Dinosaur” team-up, but the verbosity of the script and the initial (effective) imagery of destruction in the first few pages seems a bit intense. I suppose there’s a larger commentary here on how to construct good comics that can fill that missing market of tweeners, but regardless, I don’t think Terrible Lizard fits the bill…
Regrettably, Skip. Terrible Lizard #1 isn’t terrible, per se, but it is an uneven, bland, by-the-motions attempt at mega-monster comics. The creative team is promising, however, so perhaps Terrible Lizard is just suffering from first-issue blues and it’ll pick up in future chapters, but I’d leave this one on the stands…