Terrible Lizard #1: There Isn’t Anything Terrible About This New Comic From Oni Press
Terrible Lizard #1, written by Cullen Bunn and art by Drew Moss, tells the heartwarming story of a young girl and her pet, a Tyrannosaurus rex accidentally brought to her time through a temporal displacement experiment.
Buy a copy of Terrible Lizard #1 (of 5) for your own collection today! A wonderful addition for comic reader of any age.
Terrible Lizard tells the tale of a strange friendship. Jess is a fourteen-year-old girl in the near future who lives in a city where very few families have children, so she doesn’t have any friends. One day she is at her father’s lab when they decide to do an experiment that deals with temporal displacement, and they accidentally bring a Tyrannosaurus rex through the portal. Jess is the first thing that the dinosaur sees after he is displaced and he imprints himself on her like a baby duckling. The animal is not quite what the military was expecting when they funded this experiment, but Jess and her father manage to convince them not to kill the T. rex since he has proven not to be violent unless Jess is threatened. Jess and her family decide to keep the dinosaur as a pet and Jess name’s him “Wrex.” But, Wrex might not be the only thing that made it through the portal.
This is a pretty standard plot: an animal and a human form an unlikely friendship. Usually when this story is told, the animal is something that could logically be kept as a pet and not something that is extinct, but Terrible Lizard seems to be going for a fanciful telling. That’s fine because, like I said, this is a pretty standard plot line and they need to do something to make it stand out. I received an advanced copy of Terrible Lizard from a mutual friend (thanks!) because it was compared to Lumberjanes from BOOM! Studios, of which I am a huge fan. I did not pick this one up of my own accord and I’m not 100% sure I would have. Now that I have read it; I’m pretty glad I did.
Let’s start with the strongest thing Terrible Lizard has going for it, the art. I haven’t read any other title drawn by Drew Moss before, but he has a very nice style. It almost reminded me of early Faith Erin Hicks webcomics, which is a good thing. The colors by Ryan Hill are very vibrant, and everything has enough detail to be pretty, but also simplistic enough that it doesn’t get that “busy look” that comic books can sometimes get. The art was the first thing I noticed when I first flipped through the book and the cover is catching enough to at least grab a passersby’s attention. (There is a giant dinosaur with a little girl riding on the back!)
The other thing that Terrible Lizard has going for it is that it’s truly an “all ages” comic book much like Lumberjanes. There aren’t enough comics that I can recommend to parents AND children, but I can safely say that this is something that everyone can enjoy. I also feel like this comic would be perfect for both boys and girls. It’s pretty easy to find comics for boys, but to find a comic that I could hand to a girl around seven years old is pretty special.
The only thing I wasn’t entirely impressed with was the writing. Cullen Bunn does a pretty good job, but I can’t say I was blown away by it. That doesn’t mean a series won’t find it’s place pretty easily, though. I always say you should give a comic three issues to before you decide whether you like it or not because that’s about how long it takes for everything to come together. However, there is a solid foundation here and while I wasn’t blown away by Bunn’s writing, it’s still much better than other comics geared toward kids.
Terrible Lizard might not have the greatest writing or the most original core concept, but Bunn has a good foundation to build on–and great back up by Moss and Hill. If you’re looking for something lighthearted, Terrible Lizard is worth a look.