Devil Dinosaur #8

Devil Dinosaur #8, November 1978

“Dino-Riders”

Moon-Boy is feeling a little homesick and wants to find his people, the Small-Folk, again. As he and Devil wander through a ravine, they are unaware that they are being watched by brutes that wear lizardskin clothing (ancestors of Jim Morrison, perhaps). The spies go to alert their leader.

Dino-Riders

Moon-Boy finds the Small-Folk cowering in a cave. They’re afraid of him — and his relationship with the big red dinosaur. As Moon-Boy tries to convince them that Devil is their protector, not their enemy, the cave comes under attack by the lizard-skin folk.

Moon-Boy

Outside, Devil has been partially bound by ropes.

Devil Bound

He fiercely fights his way free, but is soon brought down by a sustained assault by these ‘dino-riders’. With Devil bound, his eyes blinded with mud, Moon-Boy flees for safety. He makes his way back to Small-Folk an ralies them to his aid with a speech worthy of Henry V. “Will you let this happen without a fight!?” he implores.

Devil flattened

Devil drugged

Meanwhile, Devil has his face forced into a bucket of drugs but refuses to succumb to sleep. One of the dino-riders, Spirit-Killer, edges forward to perform a ritual dance intended to subdue the giant. Before he can hit his stride, the dino-riders are overwhelmed by the Small-Folk army led by Moon-Boy! Hooray!

Go, Small Folk!

One by one, the dino-riders fall prey to the machinations of the Small-Folk. Soon, only the leader, Gray-Tooth, remains — and he’s determined to kill Moon-Boy. He rides his Thunder-Horn (triceratops) right at the lad.

Devil free!

Hearing his cries, Devil bursts free of his bonds and launches himself at the Thunder-Horn. Swiftly bringing the beast down, he turns his attention to Gray-Tooth. With vengeance in his heart, Devil kills him… Off panel.

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Here, Kirby ditches the sci-fi hi-jinx of the last few issues and goes back to the pre-historical adventure that the series began with. This is quite a tough tale actually, with the indignities that Devil faces being rather harsh and unpleasant. It’s almost as if Kirby forgot that this was supposed to be a kiddies’ book. The murder — albeit probably justified in pure revenge terms — of Gray-Tooth at the end of the story is fairly startling. You were unlikely to find that sort of thing going on in any other Marvel book that month!

By now, Kirby was treading water, just waiting for the end of his contract. A new career in animation beckoned. One month to go…