Dynamite gives another attempt at bringing back Turok, Solar, and Magnus in Gold Key Alliance #1

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It's sad that there have been so many failed attempts to bring the Gold Key characters back. Gold Key was a comic company that started way back in 1962. In addition to licensed books like STAR TREK, they would also put out several new characters in a wide variety of genres, like Magnus Robot Fighter and Turok Dinosaur Hunter. Valiant brought back some of these bigger characters in 1991, to some success. But in later years, Accliam, Dark Horse, and even Dynamite all tried to make another go with these characters only to have them fail badly.

When I think of Gold Key, I can't help but think of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, another old-school property that has made many failed attempts at relaunches over the years.

 


GOLD KEY ALLIANCE #1

Written by: Phil Hester
Art by: Brent Peeples
Colored by: Morgan Hickman
Lettered by: Simon Bowland

Published by:Dynamite
Cover Price: $3.99

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

This issue starts with a brief summary telling us that Magnus Robot Fighter, Solar, Turok Dinosaur Hunter, and Samson have all been drawn together by a force that threatens to tear not only our world apart, but every possible world in the multiverse. As far as I can tell, the versions of Magnus, Turok, and Solar in this issue have no connection to Dynamite's 2014 relaunch of these characters.

To start with, this seemed like a real strange way to go about a crossover. Dynamite basically completely reimagined all the Gold Key characters here. This felt far more like a pilot for a new Gold Key relaunch that anything meant to stand alone. The biggest problem here was that the entire issue felt rushed, so it was hard to really figure out what any of these characters were all about. The only character that got any real development here was Turok, who is now a reality TV star and protects a dinosaur sanctuary from poachers. Magnus and Solar are only introduced in passing and without a lot of context. Samson seems to be at the heart of this story, but the comic ends before we can really make any sense about what's happening to him.

Honestly, there wasn't anything glaringly wrong with this comic. It's written well enough, and the story seems like something that could carry a crossover. But, there just wasn't enough background or context to allow the reader to build any connection to the characters. There isn't a lot here that a new reader can grab on to as exciting and fresh. If there are any established fans (doubtful considering how often these characters have flopped), they might be turned off that this is another relaunch with no connection to the many relaunchs of these characters that have come before.

I did think the art was good here, especially in the beginning where Samson seems to be slipping into various alternate realities. I've said this many times, pretty much all Dynamite books in the last few years have incredible art. This issue was no exception to that rule.

Dynamite typically does a good job bringing it's licensed characters together, so I still have a lot of faith in this series. The first issue felt like setup. Hopefully, they will get a chance to help establish these characters a little better. Like I said before, this wasn't a bad comic, I am just not sure there was enough here to really grab an audience.


Title: GOLD KEY ALLIANCE #1
Written By: Phil Hester
Art By: Brent Peeples
Company: Dynamite
Price: $3.99
Pros:
  • This new Turok seems interesting.  Much better than Dynamite's last attempt.
  • Comic feels like it could have a crossover-worthy story here once it gets rolling.
  • Solid art
Cons:
  • ANOTHER Gold Key relaunch?  Doesn't seem like anyone is learning from the many flops.
  • Not enough context to make any connection with these new versions of the characters.
Is it worth your $3.99? Probably not.  It wasn't a bad comic, but there are so many better comics out there that it's hard for me to tell people to spend their money on a mediocre comic in good conscience.
Grade: 
3.0 / 5.0