Devil Dinosaur #3

Devil Dinosaur #3, June 1978

“Giant”

The story opens as Devil and Moon Boy are woken by a mighty disturbance in the forest. They search for the cause, but can see little in the dark. Against the glow of a nearby volcano, Moon Boy thinks he sees a mysterious silhouette.

Devil runs

The next morning, Moon Boy rises early and goes off alone in search of what he saw the previous evening.

A prehistoric vista

On the other side of the valley, Moon Boy comes across a hairy giant fighting a “bone-back” dinosaur (that’s a stegosaurus to you and me). The giant distinguishes himself by wearing the skull of a triceratops on his head. He swings the dinosaur around by its tail and smashes it against some rocks. He then demands the valley give him what he wants.

The giant

As the giant goes on a rampage, Moon Boy flees — but is grabbed by a huge hand that reaches from the undergrowth!

Moon Boy captured!

Elsewhere, Devil is searching for his missing buddy. He finds the trail of destruction left by the giant, and follows. He soon catches up with the bone-helmeted baddie, whereupon he is attacked by the enraged giant. Devil defends himself by booting the giant into the air like a football!! (You don’t get things like that in Spider-Man)

Like a football!

However, the giant soon recovers and fights back with a big stick. Devil runs off.

Meanwhile, Moon Boy is being treated as a plaything by Ruka, a young version of the giant. A noose is around his neck and he’s swung around like a yoyo. Poor Moon Boy, eh?! Regaining his senses, he cries out in an impersonation of a stricken lizard.

Moon Boy: giant's plaything

At the sound, a flight of pteranodon swoop down in search of food. Distracted, Ruka releases Moon Boy, and our hero makes good his escape. He sees Devil on the other side of a nearby bog. Devil steps aside as the giant runs at him, and the giant splashes into the bog. He’s seemingly doomed — but Moon Boy calls for Devil to rescue him: he’s realised that the giant is actually Ruka’s father, and that all the fuss he’s caused was merely the result of a dad’s anxiety over a lost child!

Trapped in a bog

Acting quickly, Devil snaps a tree and uses the trunk to pull the giant out of the bog. The giant is grateful and takes his boy under his arm, promising that he will mete out punishment later. Devil and the giant declare a truce, and the latter leaves the valley for good.

Rukka and his dad

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Another issue of wall to wall action, as a giant stalks the valley in search of his missing son. For the first time we see Moon Boy strike out on his own. We also see that Devil is not altogether happy about following Moon Boy’s orders, but he capitulates anyway.

As was usually the case back then, the letters pages for the first three issues are filled with editorials. Kirby wrote all three of these attempting to justify his decision to have proto-humans existing alongside dinosaurs. He was absolutely aware that in reality millions of years separated the species, but was happy to use artistic licence for the purposes of entertainment. It’s worth noting that the editorial address was actually Kirby’s own. He’d been unhappy at what he saw as an overly negative tone of bullpen-produced letters pages in his previous series (Eternals, Captain America) and so wanted to produce his own.

The three issues of Devil Dinosaur so far had at least attempted to present vaguely realistic take on pre-history. With the fourth issue, things were about to take a distinctly odd turn…