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Comic Book / Flesh

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Flesh was one of the early stories written for 2000 AD by Pat Mills, and was pretty shamelessly ripped off from Mills' earlier work for Action, Hookjaw — although not to the extent of a follow-up story called Shako.

Flesh was a pretty simple story; greedy ranchers from the far future use a time machine to travel back to the Cretaceous period, where they farm dinosaurs for their meat. Eventually, the dinosaurs overpower the time-travelers and kill them all, predominantly a malevolent female tyrannosaur named Old One Eye.


Tropes Include:

  • An Arm and a Leg: Claw Carver loses a hand to a dinosaur bite. He replaces it with a dinosaur's claw.
  • Casual Time Travel: Played with. Time travel is heavily regulated; Certain periods of history, such at the 20th century, are off limits to time travellers. This doesn't stop rogue Trans-Time employees from running illegal safaris back to the Cretaceous era for extra profit.
  • Downer Ending: Book 2 doesn't end well for anybody. Peters ends up drowning trying to return Atlantis Station to the 23rd century, Claw Carver gets eaten by Big Hungry, the rest of the crew end up eaten by Nothosaurs or drowning when the station goes down. JM Grose survives, but is stranded on a tiny lifeboat 200 million years from home. Peters' attempt to bring the station back doesn't even count as a Heroic Sacrifice, as all he succeeds in doing is dumping Atlantis station into the ocean in some random time period drowning any potential survivors, where it becomes the legend of Atlantis and diverting Big Hungry to Loch Ness.
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  • Dumb Dinos: The dinosaurs are portrayed as instinct-driven and unintelligent, but are incredibly violent in the case of the predators and still dangerous.
  • Eye Scream: Old One Eye wants to kill the farmers in part because one of them, Anti-Hero protagonist Earl Reagen, gouged out one of her eyes, hence the moniker.
  • Food Pills: People in the 23rd century live on these. Trans-Time's operations subvert this trope by hunting dinosaurs to bring people actual meat and fish to eat.
  • Genre Shift: While there is a Western motif in the original strip and the modern stories, Book 2 was set on a giant sea platform where Trans-Time runs its fisheries operations, giving the strip a Moby-Dick feel.
  • Gorn: Definitely lived up to the Action! standard for graphic violence.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Inverted with the female rancher Stand Alone Sally, well-known for detesting men.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Zigzagged; humans are pretty monstrous (The editor's note even states as much), yeah, but Old One Eye herself is described in terms of being an evil-hearted old bitch.
  • Legacy Character: Old One Eye's would-be usurper son whom she killed and ate would be reincarnated via a cloning process, going on to terrorise the Cursed Earth in the Judge Dredd arc of the same name as Satanus. After that, he'd go on to be a pet to the son of Nemesis the Warlock.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Old One Eye, who is over 120 years old and still the main human-munching machine during the course of the series. Even when she was 80, she was still vicious and powerful enough to kill and devour one of her own sons who thought to challenge her for dominance.
  • New Old West: Straddles the line between this and Space Western, seeing as how the 'verse has an old west theme to dealing with dinosaurs.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: An important theme of the series, as it was in Hookjaw and would go on to be in Shako.
  • Sinister Minister: Preacher Sunday, a crazy preacher who constantly rants about how the Cretaceous is actually hell and, oh yes, is actually a serial killer who murders the girlfriend of one of the protagonists.


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