Kirby's Late Period Devil Dinosaur #4-7 (part 2)

Devil Dinosaur #6 page 3 detail

I didn't exactly plan on taking two weeks off from this blog, but events at work and home somehow gobbled up all my free time. So finally, here's part two of my thoughts on Devil Dinosaur #4-7.

"Object from the Sky"/"Journey to the Center of the Ants!"/"Eev!"/"Demon-Tree!"

Written and drawn by Jack Kirby
Inked and lettered by Mike Royer
Colored by Petra Goldberg and George Roussos

There are two stories running through Devil Dinosaur #4-7. The first is the alien invasion storyline I discussed last time. The other half is a painfully awful retelling of the Fall of Man.

The structure of the story is pretty simple. In issue #6, Stone-Hand and White-Hair rescue a wild woman named Eev from the giant anthill. At the end of that issue, the three of them encounter the remnants of the alien supercomputer - the "Demon-Tree." In issue #7, they form an alliance with the Demon-Tree to drive away Devil, but the Tree proves to be a bit clingy and imprisons the three of them in a garden paradise under an impenetrable dome.

It's a strange situation. Stone-Hand and White-Hair are upset and immediately begin looking for escape. Eev, on the other hand, rightly points out that the Tree hasn't harmed them and is providing for all their needs. Unfortunately, this is when the Biblical correspondences begin to fall apart - since the Demon-Tree is God and Satan rolled into one, the chief dynamic of the story is ruined and Eev's role becomes especially confused.

Eventually, Stone-Hand and Eev wake up to find that White-Hair has passed away. Stone-Hand becomes convinced that the Tree has reneged on its promise to make them safe, though Eev points out that White-Hair was a feeble old man who's time had passed and he was bound to die anyway. But Stone-Hand won't listen, and attacks the Tree, causing it to explode. Then Devil and Moon-Boy wander by, break the "impenetrable" dome, and free Stone-Hand and Eev who go off to become the mythical ancestors of all mankind.

Reading the dialogue, it seems that kirby realized his Biblical allegory was falling apart and tried to make it a story about false security. Unfortunately, it doesn't pan out - none of the characters has a clear motivation for their actions, things just happen. If there's any saving grace to the storyline, it's the character of Eev...

Devil Dinosaur #6, page 16, panel 5Devil Dinosaur #6, p. 16

You've got to give Eev this - she's got spirit. And I like a girl with spirit. Even if she is a crazy ape-girl with a weird prehistoric beehive and green fur. Plus, she's pretty sexy for a Kirby girl, which both excites and disturbs me to no end. She's a spirited, independent woman with more common sense than any of the male Small-Folk.

Unfortunately, in the final part of the story, Eev is effectibly a completely different character. She's completely unable to counter Stone-Hand and his indiotic actions, and on the final page she goes off with him because the plot demands it and not because they have any particular chemistry. Which is especially strange, because it's quite clear in that panel above that Stone-Hand is trying to rape her. Her character is quite effectively ruined just so Kirby can meet the needs of the plot, which is unfortunate.

Tomorrow: The last of Kirby for quite some time.

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John Byrne and Jack Kirby are not a match made in heaven.

October 15, 2004