With Jurassic World scoring the biggest opening in box office history this weekend, it would come as no surprise if other studios decided that they’d like a piece of that dino-action for themselves. As luck would have it, the comic book catalogs of Marvel and DC are well-placed to take advantage of the demand, offering dino-bounty ripe for the fast-tracking. Just imagine movies based on these classic concepts:
Devil Dinosaur (Marvel)
The product of Captain America and Avengers co-creator Jack Kirby, Devil Dinosaur is exactly what the name suggests: a comic about a gigantic, savage bright red T-Rex. There’s a lot more to it, of course; Kirby gave Devil a sidekick — a Cro-Magnon teen called Moon-Boy — and introduced him to alien invaders in addition to prehistoric disasters. (Technically, Devil and Moon-Boy lived on an alternate Earth called “Dinosaur World,” which allowed for the less-scientificially accurate plots to occur.) Later writers and artists brought him to the present day Marvel Universe on a number of occasions, setting him up for some Jurassic World-style hijinks.
The War That Time Forgot (DC)
Set on an island called, somewhat bluntly, “Dinosaur Island,” The War That Time Forgot was a World War II series that ran in DC’s Star-Spangled War Stories during the 1960s and tells stories about U.S. and Japanese soldiers who’d discovered a mysterious island in the South Pacific populated by dinosaurs of all types. Although relatively forgotten in recent years, Dinosaur Island appeared at the beginning of the critically-acclaimed DC: The New Frontier series and was retconned into part of the story of an alien presence attempting to destroy humanity. Most likely, that part can be ignored for the purposes of a movie.
Taking full advantage of the mystery of the unknown, Marvel’s “Savage Land” is a hidden area of the prehistoric that remains in existence in Antarctica, because … well, let’s not dwell too much on how it actually happened. Technically an area stuck in a pre-Ice Age state, the Savage Land doesn’t just offer the spectacle of dinosaurs for newcomers to gawk at; there are also tribes of humans living close to the land, protected by Ka-Zar, Marvel’s very own Tarzan analog. (Note: Because these concepts first appeared in X-Men comics, it’s possible that Fox has the movie rights to all of this. Then again, the same was true of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and we all know how that turned out.)
The Warlord (DC)
Where Marvel has the Savage Land, DC has Skartaris, literally a world within a world; it’s a magical land that theoretically exists underground at the North Pole, complete with dinosaurs. Unlike the Savage Land, it’s also a world with wizards and highly advanced technology; basically, imagine the ultimate sci-fi/fantasy playground, then add dinosaurs. The man keeping the peace is a former United States Air Force pilot called Travis Morgan who ended up there by accident and has become a loincloth-clad Warlord who defends those who can’t defend themselves.
It’s not only Marvel and DC that could easily bring dinosaurs into their cinematic universes, of course; Sony may merely be in the planning stages of its own Valiant universe with the recently announced Bloodshot and Harbinger projects, but the indie publisher’s Timewalker series allows for creatures from any era to be brought into today’s world, courtesy of Ivar, the chronotraveler of the series’ title. Dinosaurs gone wild is thrilling enough, but what if you could add in aliens from Chris Pratt‘s other summer hit, last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy? Imagine how big that movie could be.