Doc Dino is an interesting character. Not just because he is a dinosaur surgeon who keeps killing his patients, but because he is a great example of the unpredictable nature of Kickstarter. Having managed funding at the second attempt, can Merrick’s Tom Ward and Wart’s Chris Welsh fulfil the faith their fans have bestowed in them? And having avoided extinction, does Doc Dino have what it takes to evolve and survive?
Publisher: Tom Ward/Chris Welsh
Writer: Tom Ward, Chris Welsh
Artist: Mac Radwanski (penciler), Dee Cunniffe (Colorist), Micah Myers (Letterer)
Our rating: [star rating=”4″]
Doc Dino tells the story of Tyrannosaurus Rexley M.D. a fully certified doctor who is able to boast the title, ‘the world’s best surgeon….well, at least on paper’. However, Rexley’s life of gorgeous girls, fast cars and stick on moustaches comes tumbling down around him when, after multiple deaths on the operating table, he is suspended because his operating talents are not shifting from theoretical to practical. This isn’t the end of his woes though, as former best friend turned nemesis Numoney returns to deliver him heart-breaking news, while chief Dr Hoved is up to no good, busy acquiring an invention which may just make Rexley an endangered species (professionally speaking).
The first issue of Doc Dino is a really entertaining and enjoyable comic – albeit with a few adult moments! It starts out with plenty of laugh out loud jokes early on, such as the protagonist’s amorous introduction and his subsequent medical undertakings, with Ward and Welsh giving us a great intro to a genuinely funny and original character. Although he may come across as a clichèd successful, arrogant surgeon, the creators of Merrick and Wart have managed to add a bit of depth into what could just be a one-note joke, as Rexley tries to overcompensate for his perceived shortcomings and in the case of his arms, his actual shortcomings! Although the story isn’t filled out much in this debut issue, there is definitely enough to tempt readers back for the second part of this two issue mini-series, both in terms of the character of Doc Dino, but also with the hints of a nefarious scheme by Rexley’s boss.
The art team of Mac Radwanski and Dee Cunniffe put in some good, solid work, with a colorful, upbeat style that gives the book a great vibe which is very in keeping with the humorous tone. There are some truly stand out pages like the bedroom scene which is just hilarious, while the surgery panels are equal parts funny and creepy. Also the flashback scenes which delve into Rexley and Numoney’s backstory deserve special mention, with the style being changed to look a bit 80’s, like they have been been recorded on a video camera.
Doc Dino #1 is an fun introduction to a unique but ingenious concept of a character. While the the abrupt finish feels like it ends before things get going, there is enough movement in the plot to bring readers back, intrigued as to how this story is going to evolve. The doctor is in and he’s definitely worth a visit.