Comic Book / Age of Reptiles
Age of Reptiles
is a comic series 'written' (you'll see why later) and illustrated by Ricardo Delgado, and published by Dark Horse Comics
. It follows the lives of dinosaurs in prehistoric times.
The series consists of four miniseries:
- Tribal Warfare, in which a pack of Deinonychus feud with a group of Tyrannosaurus.
- The Hunt, following an Allosaurus as it is hunted by a small pack of Ceratosaurus.
- The Journey, following a huge herd of dinosaurs as they migrate to warmer lands.
- Ancient Egyptians, following a Spinosaurus setting up shop in a swamp oasis.
The strangest aspect of Age of Reptiles
is that it uses no sounds.
The dinosaurs do not talk, nor are there written sound effects or narration. It stands on the art alone. The Discovery Channel documentary series Dinosaur Revolution
was initially intended as a loose adaptation of the series with Ricardo Delgado serving as one of the creative leaders of the animated vignettes.
Provides examples of:
- Age of Titles: The title of the series.
- Anachronism Stew: Tribal Warfare has some species meeting that would have been separated by several million years.
- The other two stories generally avert this (except for a few examples that only people really into dinosaurs would be able to spot), depicting animal life that would have lived together in the roughly the same time and place.
- Artistic License – Paleontology: No matter how cool it looks, raptors could not eviscerate other dinosaurs with jump kicks.
- Some of the dinosaurs' behavioral traits and designs (such as the Ceratosaurus' chameleon camouflaging skills) probably aren't close to reality.
- Anyone Can Die
- Big Damn Villains: Just as the baby Alamosaurus is about to be eaten by a mosasaur, the female Tyrannosaurus attacks it. Downplayed, though, because the rex's offspring are also in the line of fire when the mosasaur attacks.
- Challenging the Chief: Happens among the Deinonychus pack in Tribal Warfare and the pack leader kills the challenger.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The small mammal in Tribal Warfare. He's introduced being chased by the baby Tyrannosaurus but appears in the last frame of the story eating the last surviving Tyrannosaurus egg.
- Cool vs. Awesome: Everything is dinosaurs; when anything fights anything it will be awesome.
- Cycle of Revenge: The feud between the group of Raptors and Tyrannosaurids in Tribal Warfare starts with a Kill Steal by a Tyrannosaurus, then the Raptors steal their eggs in revenge, then the Tyrannosauruses kill a bunch of raptors in revenge, rinse and repeat. It ends with all but one Tyrannosaurus dying, who is then confronted by a Chekhov's Gunman.
- Giant Wall of Watery Doom: At one point a tsunami strikes.
- Herbivores Are Friendly: Averted in Ancient Egyptians with the Paralititan herd, who like to stomp carnivores they encounter without provocation.
- Gorn: The dinosaurs tend to die very messily, and the predators spill tons of blood. In "Ancient Egyptians", a group of herbivores get in on the act when they messily stomp a predator to death.
- It Can Think: Implied with some of the dinosaurs. In Tribal Warfare, after the Deinonochys pack steals the Tyrannosaurus eggs and leap a gap that the pursuing T-rex can't, there are two panels where they seemed to look back and laugh at the T-rex.
- Mama Bear: All dinosaur mothers, such as the Allosaurus' mother in The Hunt and the Tyrannosaurus mothers in Tribal Warfare and The Journey.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Tribal Warfare contains many species that would never have met each other in real life, owing to barriers of geography or time.
- Monster is a Mommy: The Tyrannosaurus in The Journey.
- Monstrous Cannibalism: The Deinonychus pack after several are killed by a Tyrannosaurus.
- No Name Given: Subverted, as the major characters in the first two miniseries are named in the prefaces.
- Oh, Crap!: Various dinosaurs display this when they realized they're about to be attacked or, in one memorable case, swept away in a tsunami wave.
- Pink Means Feminine: The female Spinosaurus in Ancient Egyptians, which is unusual because usually its males of an animal species that are more colourful.
- Ptero Soarer: All of them are bipedal, lack sufficient pycnofibres and many of them suffer from the typical Misplaced Wildlife, Mix-and-Match Critters and Anachronism Stew, even worse than the dinosaurs in the stories.
- While you could argue that they were simply being territorial, the flock of Dsungaripterus that attacked that unfortunate ornithocheirid were being somewhat unrealistically violent toward it.
- It's Personal: Every miniseries but The Journey involves at least one grudge:
- Tribal Warfare: The Deinonochys pack has a grudge against the T-rex family for stealing a kill. The grudge also extends the other way when the Deinonochys pack steals all the Tyrannosaurus eggs and kills the baby T-rex.
- The Hunt: The Allosaurus (named Santo in the prologue) has a grudge against the Ceratosaurus pack for killing his mother. When the Allosaurus kills the Ceratosaurus pack leader, it's revealed the Ceratosaurus had a mate and offspring, who just witnessed the Allosaurus kill their mate/father.
- Ancient Egyptian: The female Spinosaurus struggles to forgive the male when he kills her babies from a previous Spinosaurus. While they already have a hatred of predators, the alpha male Paralititan has a grudge against the male Spinosaurus for injuring his foot and the Carcharodontosaurus for killing one of his babies.
- Reality Ensues: In Ancient Egyptians, when the male Spinosaurus encounters the previous chicks of the female, he immediately goes into Kill 'em All mode on them, as this is what a male trying to bring a female to season in real life would do.
- Rule of Cool: This is a comic book series depicting only dinosaurs after all.
- Shown Their Work: The Tylosaurus seen in The Journey has a forked tongue, which real life mosasaurs most likely had due to being varanid lizards.
- Silence Is Golden
- Stock Dinosaurs: Variously averted and played straight. The dinosaurs are never identified in-story, though.
- Too Dumb to Live: One of the Carcharodontosaurus pack that attacked the Paratitan herd and made off with some of their babies, later tried to sneak past the herd by walking right next to them with a baby Paratitan's corpse in its mouth. The herd proceeds to surround the Carcharodontosaurus and gruesomely stomp on it until its head and body have ''footprints'' in them... though it doesn't die until awhile after they stop stomping it.
- You Killed My Father: The main Allosaurus in The Hunt attacks the Ceratosaurus pack because they killed his mother. At the very end, when he kills the last Ceratosaurus by feeding it to a pod of plesiosaurs, it turns out that the Ceratosaurus was a father.....and that his mate and children just watched the Allosaurus kill him.