dinosaur, Ernie Chua, Gun for Dinosaur, L Sprague de Camp, parasaurolophus, Roy Thomas, time travel, tyrannosaurus, Val Mayerik, Worlds Unknown
In 1973, Marvel began an eight-issue series called Worlds Unknown. It presented adaptations of science fiction stories. Today we’ll look at our favorite: A Gun for Dinosaur by L. Sprague de Camp, first published in 1956 in the magazine Galaxy Science Fiction. The plot, adapted by Roy Thomas, revolves around using time travel to hunt for dinosaurs. We’ve enjoyed that concept in Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury and Flesh by Pat Mills.
A Gun for Dinosaur is a fun romp of Cretaceous carnage and the usual tough guys working out the pecking order with their fists and weapons. We don’t pretend to be literary critics, but one thing is for sure: That’s not how you draw a Parasaurolophus! They have a tube-shaped whatchamacallit on their head, not this fan-shaped thing dreamed up by artist Val Mayerik. Also, if you’re going to use the word “Ceratopsian”, then spell it correctly! Other than these minor dino quibbles, we give A Gun for Dinosaur two claws up.
If you like this adaptation, The Groovy Agent has a few more Worlds Unknown classics for you on his site: Killdozer, Arena, and Farewell to the Master (the original Day the Earth Stood Still).
Collector’s Guide: From Worlds Unknown #2; Marvel, 1973. L. Sprague de Camp wrote eight more stories about protagonist Reginald Rivers and his time safaris, collected in the book Rivers of Time.