Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Return of Devil Dinosaur!

Once, long ago, a very brilliant man created a dinosaur for Marvel Comics. He painted it red, bestowed on it the gift of variable anatomy, and sent it on wild adventures that even today still quiver with childish insanity. But the audience faded away, and this monster, this Devil Dinosaur, faded away with them.

Then lots of things happened. If you don't read Marvel Comics, they won't make sense. If you do read Marvel Comics, they still won't make sense. It's really best not to worry about them. You could seek out Fallen Angels or Heroes for Hire, but that would only distract you from reading what may be the best Marvel comic to ever have a dinosaur in it.

I am referring, of course, to  Stuart Immonen and Warren Ellis's Nextwave.

These are not the dinosaurs. They are bonus dinosaurs.

Imagine a radical guitar solo, somehow transcribed on paper through the medium of costumed pretty people hitting things, freed from the cruel shackles of continuity, character or sanity. Five minor Marvel characters, rejects and C-list superheroes, running through the dusty toy chests of Marvel intellectual property, seeking to stop the terrorist Beyond Corporation from product testing WMDs on the American populace. What evil mastermind could be behind this diabolical plot to destroy humanity? Who is responsible for the Samurai Gundam, the dragon with a pants fetish, and weaponized koalas? Who stands ready to be revealed as the greatest supervillain of all time?

Who indeed. 

I'm not sure what prompted Warren Ellis to chose Devil Dinosaur for the role of criminal mastermind, but I strongly suspect it was for the sole purpose of this image. There's something sublime in Immonen's juxtaposition of smoking jacket, ascot, pistol and fang. What better to symbolize the heights of patrician villainy? This incarnation of Devil Dinosaur is more then just old money. He is the oldest money. See the insouciance with which the pistol dangles from his tiny claws! See that plutocratic sneer arch over yellowing fangs! Devil Dinosaur is every inch the corrupt status quo, looming in aristocratic snobbery over the peons of the earth. A leftover from the Gilded Age...of Reptiles.

And as befits a patrician supervillain, he is also crazy racist.

In fact, this incarnation of Devil Dinosaur has something of a complex about monkeys. Perhaps it stems from the self loathing that comes from dressing in monkey-created smoking jackets, sipping monkey-created champagne, and waving around giant monkey-created pistols. "Stop making ideas!" he snarls at the superheroes. Ideas are antithetical to this denizen of the past. Like all aristocracy, Devil Dinosaur creates nothing. He merely lounges on the work of others, hating himself for doing so and proudly boasting of the paradise that will come when all of the underclasses are gone.

True freedom, posits Nextwave, can only be achieved by overthrowing the parasitic dinosaurian plutocracy and thwarting its evil designs on the common man. The only way to stop him, as with all corrupt aristocrats, is to kick his spherical mansion off of its floating war platform, let it bounce off the mountain below, and then explode.

Sic Semper Tyrannus, Devil Dinosaur.


  1. Nice. I've always loved the image of a malevolent, aristocratic theropod in a smoking jacket...

    1. I'm not entirely sure if there's a precedent for it or not. Would you happen to know of any?

    2. I don't know of a precedent for Devil Dinosaur, no. However, there is a precedent for my own love of them: http://chasmosaurs.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/blackgang-chine-part-2-old-triassic.html

  2. Oh yes. Nextwave was a real treat, and the appearance of Devil Dinosaur in the end was the big red cherry on top...

  3. It's a fact that no villainous monster or monstrous villain has ever existed whose appearance could not be improved by the addition of an apricot ascot.

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  5. Love it! This totally inspired me to make my own aristocratic dinosaur: http://www.lowar.com/stieven/components/com_rsmediagallery/assets/gallery/original/f1f85051276832d01eb935860603210f.jpg


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