Eternity Comics; $1.95

You don’t have to go all that far back in the history of the comic book business to get to the time when you didn’t know what was going to be on the cover of a particular issue until you saw it on the spinner racks of your local pharmacy, newsstand or supermarket. Back then, comic covers pretty much stuck to the mission described each week in our preamble.

But when comics fans began seeing ahead of time what was coming next, those covers took on the extra responsibility of getting retailers (in theory driven by fan requests) to order the comics in the first place.

Bryon Carson’s cover for Tom Mason’s Dinosaurs For Hire #1 did this job and did it well. I don’t mean this was some huge intellectual exercise. It was, after all, three beautiful drawn and nattily attired dinosaurs with guns. Actually, two dinosaurs with guns and one with a bazooka. So there wasn’t any decision really involved. It’s not as if I was going to miss ordering it after I saw it.

A short while later I read the description of the story, and I had my retailer order me another copy. This pretty much went on every week until the issue actually came out.

And when the issue finally arrived, it lived up to the hype my mind had created. Mason was clearly willing to make fun of just about anyone and everyone (the rest of the series clearly supports this assertion). Humor, action, and a lot of mystery about the origins of these particular dinosaurs. A funny read from the first page to the last, and like all good comics, it leaves the reader wanting more.

For me, one of the true joys of this comic is that rereading it years later, I see immediately what I loved about it. It’s still got it, too.

– J.C. Vaughn