Devil Dinosaur #7

Devil Dinosaur #7, October 1978

“Demon-Tree!”

The UFO’s tree-like prime computer is throwing a fit because it sees Devil Dinosaur as a threat. It has decided that its primary objective is to protect Stone-Hand, White-Hair and Eev. It blasts Devil with a laser beam, knocking our big red pal to the ground.

Devil falls

Stone-Hand wants it to go further and kill Devil, but the computer refuses. “I kill only if the situation warrants it!” The trio of proto-humans remain in awe of the computer, and are cowed when it creates a force field to contain them and itself.

Trapped

Meanwhile, elsewhere, Moon Boy is wandering dazed and alone through the forest. He’s menaced by some dinosaurs, but is staggered when he sees Devil away across a clearing. He’d believed him dead. Devil hurls away Moon Boy’s attacker, and joyfully allows the lad onto his back once more.

Overjoyed

A veritable Eden

Back in the force bubble, the prime computer has created a veritable oasis of plenty. Trees and fruit in abundance, and a stream bubbling serenely. Eev and White-Hair are most content with this turn of events, but Stone-Hand is unhappy at being held captive: “I shall only be content when these strange walls are gone…!” In a fit of pique he thumps the computer, but is put to sleep with tranquilising gas.

Stone-Hand and the Tree

When he awakes, he and Eev discover that old White-Hair has died. Blaming the computer for this Stone-Hand goes to club it, but has the weapon blasted out of his hand by the machine. His blood boiling in anger, Stone-Hand lunges forward again and again. Severely damaged, the computer goes into overload.

Stone-Hand

Devil and Moon Boy arrive outside the force bubble. Devil hurls himself at the barrier, and with a mighty “TZRAK!” sound effect, manages to smash through. It’s all too much for the prime computer, which promptly explodes.

The Tree dies

Greatful to Devil, Stone-Hand and Eev wander away to start a colony of their own.

A final caption tells us that the tale we’ve just read will be told and re-told many times across the ages, each time with slight differences and changes, so that the original version will be lost…

0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Well, with a character called “Eev” and an all-powerful computer in the shape of a tree, it can only mean one thing. Yep, Jack’s gone Biblical.

It’s actually rather wonderful that in this re-imagining of the story of the Garden of Eden, Kirby reverses the roles of the protagonists and has Eev be the one who is eager to placate their God, while her male counterpart wants to destroy all they have. It’s neat, and speaks volumes about the kind of man Kirby was.

It’s interesting to note that by this time, Jack must have known that he was soon to leave Marvel — and comics — for good. It would be reasonable to assume that in that position Kirby might have been tempted to just knock out the last few stories with little inspiration or care, just as he had in the dying days of his DC contract. He didn’t do that: he clearly maintained his interest right to the finish.

The cover is inked by Steve Leialoha. This was a period when many of Jack’s covers were being inked by a stellar array of talent — probably because everyone knew they’d never get another chance.

Devil Dinosaur TM & © 2007 Marvel Characters, Inc