Tor: A Prehistoric Odyssey

tor a prehistoric odyssey cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 9/10

Kubert's art and a goodbye to his character

The story intentionally doesn't have much of a path

Comic Info

Comic Name:   Tor (Limited Series)

Publisher:   DC Comics

Writer:   Joe Kubert

Artist:   Joe Kubert

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:   2009

tor #2 cover joe kubert art

Tor #2

Reprints Tor (Limited Series) #1-6 (July 2008-December 2008).  Tor is different than his people and finds himself rejected as a result.  Alone and wandering the land, Tor finds himself with a new family of outcasts that he must protect.  However, the land is dangerous and death lurks at every turn…Tor must fight for survival in a savage world!

Written and illustrated by Joe Kubert, Tor:  A Prehistoric Odyssey collects Kubert’s miniseries collection from 2008.  The series represented a return to the character Kubert and Norman Mauerer created in 1953.

Tor was going to be Kubert’s big plan.  He and Carmine Infantino tried to get a Tor comic strip in the late fifties and early sixties, but it was never picked up.  Despite that Tor became highly associated with him due to multiple comics through multiple publishers (finally landing at DC and even Marvel).  Tor:  A Prehistoric Odyssey is Kubert’s goodbye to the character.

The story is as you expect.  Caveman (aka nonverbal characters) are often tough to write and their dangers are all very similar.  Tor was a nice combination of the concepts of Tarzan with something like Turok, Son of Stone.  This poses a problem in regards to a story.  It is not what some readers might expect or want in comparison to modern serialized comic books.

tor #5 cover joe kubert art

Tor #5

The plot advances event to event and is mostly episodic.  It never really turns into one solid story (nor did I expect it to).  Tor wanders, battles monsters, meets a woman, heads home…it isn’t like Tor learns to speak or develops civilization.  It feels true to the roots of the character, but some readers might struggle with it.

What really sells Tor is Kubert’s art for the series.  Kubert was a solid artist but Tor feels more personal.  It always feels like Kubert’s art was in a battle between minimalistic and high end…leading to oddly realistic looking illustrations.  He really gets the anguish of the character and gives him emotion despite kind of being an emotionless character.

Tor:  A Prehistoric Odyssey isn’t the type of comic that everyone will fall in love with.  Despite this, the comic should be looked through and enjoyed for the art if nothing else.  It is a kind of love song for a character that was with Kubert for over fifty years.  Kubert died in 2012, but it is nice to read this collection and revisit his writing and style.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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