The 10 Most Badass Dinosaurs in Comics

By Jesse Thompson in Comics, Daily Lists
Friday, April 15, 2011 at 8:04 am
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On the comic book chain of command, stories that heavily involve dinosaurs rank somewhere below those with superheroes and robots, but above westerns and crime books. So, we guess they're sergeants (of slaughter!). Long used as a go-to storytelling device, dinos even have their own Marvel- and DC-specific locales where heroes are shuttled off to somewhat regularly (the Savage Land and Dinosaur Island, respectively).

But with Robert Kirkman having just launched his latest four-color wet dream, Image's all-ages Super Dinosaur, we thought the time was right to take a look at the prehistoric hostiles who have made the biggest impact on the comics page... including those who are primed for a comeback after only a single appearance or two. Read on, but make sure Ulysses Bloodstone is on your speed dial, first.

10) The Warbeast
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We kick things off with a single-appearance monstrosity, but one which sprang from the mind of Alan Moore (and penciler Steve Bissette). Seen only in Image's 1963 #2, the Warbeast (or "Cargo X" as he's known for most of the story) broke free of his containment unit and battled colorful Spidey/Daredevil hodgepodge the Fury with colorful dialogue to spare. The highly evolved T-Rex-ish brute makes the cut simply because he's the last surviving dinosaur, and that's by design: He killed all of the other ones! It's definitely worth your time and a quarter or two to dig this issue out of a bargain bin, as it's unlikely a 1963 trade will ever see print (though Bissette claims to own the rights to the Fury these days).

9) Dinosaurs for Hire
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Though their stories weren't all that memorable, and they've been absent from the medium for 17 years, DFH were pretty much the originators when it came to dinosaurs wielding heavy artillery (and wearing cool leather jackets...and eye patches), and the visual goes a long way. Creator Tom Mason (not to be confused with the Tom Mason who acted as Bela Lugosi's stand-in for Plan 9 From Outer Space) used his scaly mercenaries to spoof everything from Spielberg to Turok to Dark Horse's "Comics' Greatest World." But after a couple of brief series, the last of which had them joining the same Malibu Comics universe as the Protectors and Ex-Mutants, Dinosaurs for Hire got lost in the legal shuffle when Marvel bought Malibu outright in 1993. They haven't been seen or heard from since (Mason went on to write for several forgettable animated series), but at least they got a Genesis game outta the deal.

8) Sauron
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With apologies to Stegron the Dinosaur Man, we went with Marvel's other man-turns-into-dino douchebag, the X-Men villain dubbed a "pteranodon energy vampire" who has a penchant for wearing Daisy Dukes --and as we learn in his first appearance, 1969's X-Men #59, he appears to be a Tolkien fan, to boot. In his human form as hypnotherapist Karl Lykos, he's constantly trying to keep the beast at bay, and spends most of his time hanging out in the Savage Land, no doubt ogling Shanna when Ka-Zar's off taking a dump. But when the need to be a dick presents itself, Sauron's associated with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (even though he isn't a mutant), and more recently, horribly disfigured the double-agent Black Widow with his fire breath (not sure where that power came from) in the pages of New Avengers. Keep in mind, though, this was after she shot him through the head. He survived. So did she.

7) Borialosaurus
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Okay, so he doesn't exactly bear a striking resemblance to anything from Jurassic Park (or even the MST3K favorite King Dinosaur, for that matter), but his last name ends in "saurus," and he's freaking scary, so we'll take him. The oldest member of the Sinestro Corps (one who aged far better than the Anti-Monitor, at that), Borialosaurus is one of the last surviving members of an alien race of carnivorous sea animals who were slain after killing several dozen Guardians of the Universe. He didn't get a ton of screen time during the Sinestro Corps War storyline, but he does have the dubious honor of being the Yellow Lantern on Qward who held down Kyle Rayner while Sinestro forcibly removed the Ion entity. And nobody likes fishstick fingers clutching them.

6) Gon
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Like Sam Elliott, Gon is something of a goodhearted badass and really, really enjoys having meat for dinner. But the star of Masashi Tanaka's acclaimed, wordless manga is a carnivore of many contradictions. One minute he's showing his dominance over a full-grown lion by stomping on its skull, or picking up an elephant off the ground; the next he's hanging out in a nest with baby birds and adorably waiting to be fed, or frolicking about with bunnies. Though he isn't the sole dino on this list to appear in a videogame, we're 100% certain he's the only one armed with toxic farts (see Tekken 3). Although Sam Elliott can probably claim to have done that, too.

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