Though lacking in dino-action, HALF PAST DANGER 2 #1 is rife with emotional tension and beautiful realistic artwork.
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HALF PAST DANGER 2 #1 picks up where the original story left off. If you’re unfamiliar with the six-issue origin, this comic is kind enough to give a refresher in the front pages. The concept of the series feels a lot like someone went on a drunken bender and thought that a cross over of CAPTAIN AMERICA and JURASSIC PARK would be a great idea. This certainly isn’t a complaint, though Staff Sergeant Tommy “Irish” Flynn is nowhere near as charming as Jeff Goldblum.

The important thing to know, is that in the previous comic, in 1943, Flynn discovers the capture of living dinosaurs by Nazis. Of course, no one believes him until Elizabeth Huntington-Moss of MI6 and an American with super-genetics, John Noble, recruit him for a joint forces operation. Along for the ride is a skilled Japanese ninja, Ishikawa Minamoto. The four of them return to the island of dinosaurs, and discover the Nazis’ plan to devise a deadly pathogen and immunization from the beasts.

If that’s not dramatic enough, Moss reveals herself to be a double agent, not too long after an intimate encounter with Noble. Flynn makes the hard choice to destroy all traces of dinosaurs in order to keep the Nazis from weaponizing them. Meanwhile, Ishikawa secretly takes a small pet from the island — a velociraptor. Which leaves us where HALF PAST DANGER 2 #1 opens — the Austrian Alps in the winter of 1943.

READ: For more dino fun, check out MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #22!

A Slow Introduction

HALF PAST DANGER 2 #1 really takes its time establishing the new world order after the close of the first series. This isn’t all that surprising, or even uncalled for, as all comics need exposition. However, in a comic that promises dinosaurs, there was a severe lack of them in this issue. Sure, action is present from the opening pages, with Flynn and Noble taking on Nazis, but where are the  T-Rex chases?

Image from HALF PAST DANGER 2 #1, courtesy of IDW.

Still, this issue lays out some important information. Before the start of this comic, Ishikawa left Noble, Flynn, and their joint forces behind. After failing to deliver a tangible target, Flynn and Noble are told to abandon their mission and return to normal duty. Most alarmingly, it appears that the German forces have found a way to breed and hatch new dinosaurs.

Girl Trouble

While there is a lack of dinosaur drama (which I will complain about until I die), there’s plenty of emotional drama. With half of their team missing, Flynn and Noble are pretty glum. Naturally, they turn to the prospect of female interaction for raising morale. What they don’t count on, however, is running into some of the wrong women. Flynn sees paleontologist Greta across the room, who is frosty towards him since the whole making-dinosaurs-extinct thing. He asks if she’s gotten any of his messages, but she makes her disinterest clear. Earlier, as Flynn and Noble exchanged blows with Nazis, we saw the duplicitous Elizabeth Huntington-Moss keeping an eye on them from afar. Apparently “afar” wasn’t good enough, and Moss crashes the party, too. Noble is less than happy with this development, but at the end of the issue Moss drops one hell of a bomb.

READ: If you love to see Nazis get punched, check out this tribute to Jack Kirby!

Amazing Artwork

For HALF PAST DANGER 2 #1, writer Stephen Mooney does the illustrations, while Triona Farrell does the coloring. I’m always a big fan of realism in comic book art, and this comic does a beautiful job at that. The realism makes the danger seem more real and immediate, and the heroics seem more impressive. I love the mastery of expressions on Mooney’s part, that perfectly capture the characterization of these imperfect people. As for Farrell’s coloring, she always has a bright and interesting palette. However, my favorite instance was Flynn’s interaction with Greta. Their conversation starts with warm colors that fade away to a hint of something colder as she leaves him.

Image from HALF PAST DANGER 2 #1, courtesy of IDW.

Final Thoughts on HALF PAST DANGER 2 #1

I think it’s a promising start to an emotionally fraught and exciting story, even if there aren’t any dinosaurs yet. I’m certainly eager to see how the shift in group dynamics plays out, and how Ishikawa will make his return. Though the threat of a deadly pathogen is looming, the emotional drama is what has me eager for more.

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