Blastosaurus is ambitious. It’s got time travel, lasers, robots, children, police stations, jail cells, electric prison transports, blood, guts, gore, guns, projection fields, mutagens, old timey bars, prehistoric bugs, humanoid creatures, dinosaurs, and a jump rope. Not to mention the 8 (give or take) concurrent story lines that are all some how interrelated. It’s a lot to handle for 25 pages and unfortunately it feels like it. It’s not bad to be ambitious with a story, but the chief issue with Blastosaurus’ scope is how little room it leaves for other essential elements.

From the beginning we’re not really sure who the protagonist is; technically or as a character. The comic is named Blastosaurus, but the “osaurus” we assume to be him doesn’t get even close to the most page time nor does he appear to have the main conflict in his arch. This isn’t inherently a problem, after all the main character in The Wizard of Oz isn’t the Wizard, but if it’s not him (and it doesn’t feel like it is) than the story never makes clear who is.

There are other obvious contenders, but with such a stuffed issue we’re never able to slow down and find out – leaving this complex story without an emotional or logical anchor. We’re passed from character to character learning about their individual stories and gathering hints about how their different arcs are connected, but without a main story to relate everything back to these reveals become more of a chore to follow rather than an intriguing mystery to unravel. There is no doubt that this problem is more symptomatic of the specific way writers Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones decided to handle the large amount of exposition rather than a fundamental issue with book, but this issue ends with a sort of cliffhanger that assumes their scope and interwoven story problems will continue through at least the next issue.

There are four different story lines on these pages alone.

Following suit the art is even more drastically effected by scope. With so much to do in one issue artist Richard Fairgray crams each page with multiple panels to limited success. Each page of Blastosaurus is average of about nine panels (the recommended limit for the medium) and the effect is claustrophobic. With that many panels per page it’s hard for any one image to get breathing room and the already complex story is muddled. Important details are stuffed into tiny panels and without the benefit of size nothing ever feels more or less important than anything else leaving the reader confused and bored. Not to mention the claustrophobia that sets in detracts from the sweeping nature of the story. Instead of an action adventure story it feels like it was drawn as a quiet interpersonal drama.

This one has 18 panels

However, negatives aside, Blastosaurus shows a lot of potential. They story is extremely well thought out and imaginative as hell. This series has the potential to become a sweeping time travel epic that features already distinct, if familiar, characters and enough attempts at humor to indicate the authors want their story about a time traveling dinosaur man to be a fun time. This first issue may have it’s share stumbles, but whose first steps weren’t? Especially given the independent nature of the comic Blastosaurus is worth a second look as the creative teams finds their footing.

Blastosaurus can be purchased at Comixology.

About The Author

Having recently discovered the adulthood phenomenon of disposable income, figured that, after getting a 401k, treating himself to comics was the perfect way to embrace being a grown-up. He lives in Washington, DC.

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