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Cryptozoo Crew: Call of the Thunderbird! by Allan Gross
Review by Paul Haggerty
Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 1561634662
Date: July, 2006 List Price $12.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

As the story opens, Tork is having dreams about the Thunderbird, and awakens with bleeding slashes as a statement that perhaps the dreams are more than just dreams, and memories long forgotten begin to reemerge. After escaping from his abductors, young Tork was told that he was not free and clear, but that in twenty years he would have to return to face the Thunderbird again. Tork's time as come, but this time he won't have to face the bird alone. And if the Thunderbird thought Tork was a beakful, it's going to choke on Tara.

The comic is well drawn, though the characters are nowhere near lifelike. Instead, characters and backgrounds are idealized, with lines and shapes exaggerated slightly. This is in no way distracting and it's still easy to be sucked into the tale.

Tork's previous adventure is gradually revealed in a series of flashbacks so that the full impact can be preserved, and when you get to the end, it's a bit of a let down. But that's because the adventure isn't over yet. Now the adult Tork must return and face the final confrontation that was denied to him before. And while that confrontation is also not quite what you might have guessed, it does certainly pay off the wait, and shows that, even in the mystical world of the Thunderbird, things do not stand still.

Tara, while seemingly along for the ride or relegated to the role of damsel in distress, has an important part to play and is not a character to calmly wait her turn. There are things happening in the outside world which are connected to other people and other events in non-obvious ways and the culmination of Tork's adventure have ramifications that, while localized, still change the lives of many normal people. And of course, the adventures aren't over yet.

A fun read. I hope to see #3 in the near future.

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