The Dreaded Dinosaur Man [The Story Begins] [Review]

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When I was tasked with reviewing The Dreaded Dinosaur Man, I was unsure what to expect, given that it’s a “webcomic” available for free on WEBTOON I imagined slogging through a “pastel-colored snoozer”. But, I was wrong. Creator/Artist Erik Hodson delivers a more than an enjoyable comic that I can’t believe is free!

In the first entry, which is what this review seeks to cover, we’re introduced to the world on Tanelorn, I got major Star Wars vibes here mainly due to the scrolling format of WEBTOON, but I believe that was somewhat intentionally done by the creator. Tanelorn one of the seven sacred worlds in this universe seems barren and perhaps the type of world where only the strongest or most wicked strive and survive.

The Dreaded Dinosaur Man himself, standing on top of a cliff.
The Dreaded Dinosaur Man himself, proclaiming his righteous intent. (Erik Hodson) [The Dreaded Dinosaur Man: The Story Begins]
It’s here where we meet our hero The Dreaded Dinosaur Man, and his six-limbed feline sidekick Spaz, who’s just BEGGING to be made into a plushy. In fact, every character you’ll see in this first issue has a “toyetic” appeal, Dinosaur man himself is a shredded hardbody rocking a blue loincloth and gold chest plate with a huge red dinosaur head and — you don’t question it.

Our heroes peer out over the large canyon and spy what are clearly two villains [they’re just drawn that way] hauling a blue-haired and incapacitated woman. Dinosaur Man springs into action to rescue her, (who knows there could be a reward for her ya’ know?).

 

The Dreaded Dinosaur Man springs into action, jumping from high atop a mountain.
The Dreaded Dinosaur Man springs into action, jumping from high atop a mountain. (Erik Hodson) [The Dreaded Dinosaur Man: The Story Begins]

 

Hodson’s artwork does a LOT of the heavy lifting in this first entry, introducing you to an alien world, and setting the tone. The WEBTOON scroll format can be limiting and for a less capable artist a doorway to failure, but Hodson uses it to his advantage. When Dinosaur Man descends from a cliff you can follow and “feel” the gravity of his fall, it’s an impressive feat and one you rarely see in comics.

The dialogue is quick, snappy, and to the point,  you get a sense of each character’s personality within just a few lines and no two characters sound alike. I’m unfamiliar with any previous comic work from Hodson but using Dinosaur Man as a measuring stick I’d say he’s poised to gain a lot of attention with this tale.

It’s unique, fun, and having had the benefit of reading past this initial entry; quite expansive. There’s a world of offbeat characters, adventures, and danger waiting in the wings for Dinosaur Man and Spaz.

I enjoyed Hodson’s humor, I didn’t expect to genuinely smile at banter from villains but it’s witty and sometimes pays homage to what I assume Erik Hodson is a fan of himself.

In fact, one could be forgiven for assuming that Dinosaur Man is something that the creator has worked on for a few decades as Saturday morning cartoons from the 80s nostalgia drips from every panel. Check out the vehicles and almost instantly you can imagine yourself as a kid sitting in front of the television with a bowl of overly sweetened cereal watching Dinosaur Man’s vehicle race across your TV screen, perhaps while the action figures sit in a pile waiting to recreate that day’s adventure once the show is over.

The mysterious blue haired woman held captive.
A mysterious blue-haired woman held captive. (Erik Hodson) [The Dreaded Dinosaur Man: The Story Begins]

My ONLY actual complaint was that a few of the pure white word balloons are bland and in my opinion could have used the tiniest of a stroke around them, just to bring them out of the richly colored artwork, this may just be a personal preference and of course, other readers may not feel that way.

The other issue is of my own triviality and is so selfish, that it barely is worth bringing up, BUT I’m paid by the word so; I would like to see the adventures of The Dreaded Dinosaur Man in a traditional comic book. I’ve nothing bad to say about the WEBTOON platform but here’s hoping that Hodson will consider a physical release of the I.P as I would love to have this in my physical comic book collection.

The first entry entitled appropriately enough ‘The Story begins’ ends on a cliff hanger that left this reviewer wanting more and fortunately there are more entries to consume right away on the WEBTOON platform and for free! You can get into the series as well, free by heading over to WEBTOON on your computer (CLICK HERE), or using the webtoon app on your phone or tablet and searching for The Dreaded Dinosaur Man.

Inks, Lettering, Illustrator, Colors and Writer: Erik Hodson

NOTEProduction value for Dreaded Dinosaur Man: The Story Begins was not considered in our rating as our review is based on a digital-only comic on WEBTOON.

Let us know us know what you think about the tales of the Dreaded Dinosaur Man in the comments below.

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