Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Number 1214: Russ Heath's “Devil Dinosaur”

Last Friday in Pappy's #1211 I showed a story the late Joe Kubert drew when he was in his teens, and today a Russ Heath story, drawn in 1967. I link Heath and Kubert in my mind, if only because they shared space for so long in DC's war comics. But also because I love Heath for the same reasons I love Kubert: mastery of the comic art form, and one hell of a great storyteller.

Star Spangled War Stories finds Heath doing another dinosaur tale for editor/writer Bob Kanigher. For several years at DC it wasn't enough for American GI's in World War II to fight tenacious enemies like the Germans and Japanese...they also had to fight dinosaurs. At the time I thought it was just hokum, but nowadays I see it in a different light. In the words of Bob Dylan, “I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.” At my current age I'm just right mentally for the stuff I was too mature for at twenty.

The Tyrannosaurus on the cover and splash page is a big red dino, like the big red Devil Dinosaur that ten years later Jack Kirby drew for Marvel. The resemblance ends there, though. While at one point I might have scoffed at a red dinosaur, now I'm not so sure. Some recent news I read said that T. Rex might have had feathers, which could mean he may have had various bright colors to attract a female. Just imagine T. Rex showing off for Tee Hee Rex!

From Star Spangled War Stories #132 (1967):


Chuck Wells said...

You've had a heck of a good run of posts lately, Pappy. This dino-story sits right at the top of the heap, and I hear ya on how these wonky old silver age adventures really put the stinkeye on most of what passes for comics int he shops currently. This is great, fun stuff and I can't seem to get enough of it.

Pappy said...

Thanks, one of my long time fellow bloggers your opinion means a lot to me. Everybody needs to check out your blog, The Comic Book Catacombs for some fun Golden Age jungle comics, not to mention your Gal Friday feature, something I look forward to every week.