Leo “Doc” Jeffries and his girlfriend Denise run a failing dinosaur exhibit on land rented from a grumpy landlord. Just when it seems that their landlord Angus might find a way to kick them out, despite the dinosaur remains on the land, Doc discovers something unexpected— four live dinosaur eggs!

When the eggs hatch and imprint on Doc, they grow rapidly into a hybrid of man and dinosaur, or Manosaur. Within a day, Tri, Rex, Ptor, and Pterry have become teenage dinos, eager to establish their place in the world. They have their chance soon enough, as the evil villain Armageddon, having been imprisoned in ice by aliens in millennia past, has been reawakened and plans to wreak havoc upon Earth by turning Angus into the malicious Man-Comet. The Manosaurs will need to use their combined powers of human intelligence and dinosaur strength to save humanity.

Walk Like a Manosaur is definitely full of humor. Doc’s plan to teach the teenage Manosaurs about their ancestors at the museum backfires when they interpret dinosaur fossils as “desecrated corpses” and vow revenge. Television movies fail to instruct the young Manosaurs in appropriate behavior as they consider the monsters in every movie to be the heroes. Nevertheless, they remain loyal to Doc and rise to the occasion in defending Earth from the Man-Comet, which makes for several exciting scenes. The turn-about of dinosaurs defeating a comet in contrast to the theory of a comet having caused their extinction is a clever plot element. While these plot nuances are strong points, the multi-faceted conflict may be a bit complex for the target audience. In addition, the dialogue of the characters lacks consistency, wavering between teenage slang, “What the what?” and formal speech, “Nor I.” At other times, exposition could be provided more subtly as characters introduce themselves and their personality traits directly through dialogue.

The full-color illustrations utilize mainly simple panel structures and are fairly accessible to young readers. The characters are represented consistently, including the Manosaurs, even though they grow rapidly at first. Readers must be alert in order to recognize the difference between content presented in dream sequences and that which is happening in real-time. There are no clear visual distinctions to designate dream sequences, only textual information.

Young readers who are interested in dinosaurs and off-beat superhero stories will likely enjoy Walk Like a Manosaur. There are certainly parallels to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as scientific connections. This volume does a lot to set up a hero-villain dichotomy that lays the groundwork for further issues. While the plot is somewhat complex in a comic for younger kids, it is satisfactory as an origin story and builds excitement for volumes to come.

Manosaurs, vol. 1: Walk Like a Manosaur
by Stefan Petrucha
Art by Yellowhale
ISBN: 9781629918143
Papercutz, 2017
Publisher Age Rating: 6-11

  • Kelly

    | She/Her Library Information Specialist, South Park Elementary School

    Reviewer

    Kelly Jahng has studied English, history, and French, and taught middle school for sixteen years.She earned a masters in education along the way before changing hats and earning her MLIS at San Jose State University.She now works as the Library Information Specialist at South Park Elementary School in Deerfield, IL.She loves to collaborate with teachers in the school learning commons and to help students create in the makerspace.In her spare time, she loves to travel, enjoy theatre, read and review youth and YA literature, and write the occasional post for various blogs.

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