Neotheric: The Return of the King Irreverent Clash of Genres

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Neotheric Cover

Sixty-five million years ago, dinosaurs disappeared from the face of the Earth.

Yesterday, four of them came back -- crash landing into the Mayberry-esque town of Riverside Junction in the same ship that took them away millennia ago.

But NEOTHERIC: THE RETURN OF THE KING is no mere JURASSIC PARK. These dinosaurs are the descendents of the originals, and they've had eons to evolve into sentience, even if their attitudes and appetites have remained bestial. Writer Michael T. Gonzalez lampoons multiple sci-fi and fantasy tropes in this graphic novel volume collecting the first four issues of NEOTHERIC. The aliens responsible for moving the dinosaurs from planet to planet, terraforming each into a life-sustaining environment, want to get their runaways back -- or kill them, whichever is easer. Meanwhile, the U.S. military machine, spearheaded by a bizarre group of men who all dress like the Matt Smith version of Doctor Who, have amassed on the small town to take down these giant talking lizards with brute force.

The dinosaurs have been given shelter by a young boy named Cowboy, whose survivalist father built a hidden compound/armory beneath the barn. (Ironically, the survivalist father did not survive, having been eaten by one of the dinos upon arrival.) Unfortunately, the dinos lost something valuable in the crash, and it's fallen into the hands of Marine-turned-mailman Gary Melman. Cowboy's plan to retrieve the lost item before the dinosaurs declare war is interrupted by the arrival of a gigantic snake-god who lives to eat dinosaur flesh, sent to Earth by the pair of bumbling aliens who lost the dinosaurs in the first place.

And if you are already considering how chaotic this motley cast of characters is, wait until you see who the aliens are working for!

NEOTHERIC: THE RETURN OF THE KING reads like Mad Magazine with the gloves off. Gonzalez leaves no sacred cow ungored in this irreverent action-comedy of a graphic novel. The change of artwork is a little jarring at first, but forgivable. The first forty pages are drawn by Dave Mims, who's Howard Chaykin style stands in stark contrast to the rest of the book's illustrations by Andrey Portilla, whose work leans more toward a Humberto Ramos form.

Critical Blast interviews Michael T. Gonzalez about NEOTHERIC in the video below, which features a guest-appearance from comics veteran Mike Baron (NEXUS, THE FLASH, FLORIDA MAN).

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0