About the SA Blog Network



The art of science and the science of art.
Symbiartic HomeAboutContact

Avenging Feathered Dinosaurs

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Email   PrintPrint

Cover art to Avengers #12. Art by Dustin Weaver, colours by Justin Ponsor. Avengers © Marvel Comics.

Comic books, contrary to popular belief do not ignore science to come up with the fantastic abilities characters have. They extrapolate, exaggerate and play make-believe with science, but this stems from scientific literacy.

This cover by Dustin Weaver to the recent issue of Avengers #12 is a great example. As Laelaps blogger Brian Switek has pointed out, let Jurassic Park 4 go ahead and try to ignore feathered dinosaurs: pop culture is going to keep up with dino science whether that movie franchise does or not.

On his blog, Weaver said,

“So my first thought was, “I’m not drawing a T-Rex or a Triceratops.” The T-Rex is so played out at this point, I don’t care how loud it appears to be roaring, I’m yawning. So the first thing I did was turn to my good buddy, Ben Bates, and asked him “what’s your favorite Dinosaur?” He said a Protoceratops. To which I started to laugh. This is exactly why I’m friends with Bates. He has a natural aversion to the obvious path. I said, “There WILL be a Protoceratops on this Avengers cover.” That got me thinking of Dinotopia. My Protoceratops is basically Bix from Dinotopia. And as I was flipping through a Dinotopia book for some inspiration I saw a Therizinosaurus and I thought, “I want to draw that.” Throw in a Stegosaurus for good measure and the obligatory Pterodactyls and you’ve got my  Avengers #12 cover.”

Weaver’s own curiosity and desire to do something different with dinosaurs drove the creative process on the cover. Speaking for myself, I think Weaver has drawn one of my favourite comic covers of all time. I mean, the Avengers + feathered dinosaurs + an homage to James Gurney?? It doesn’t get much better than that.

Here’s the original black and white image:

Avengers #12, art by Dustin Weaver. © Marvel Comics

- -

Dustin Weaver Blog & Gallery

Dustin Weaver Tumblr

Justin Ponsor on DeviantArt

Avengers at

Glendon Mellow About the Author: Glendon Mellow is a fine artist, illustrator and tattoo designer working in oil and digital media based in Toronto, Canada. He tweets @FlyingTrilobite and is on Instagram. You can see Glendon's work-in-progress at The Flying Trilobite blog and portfolio at Follow on Twitter @symbiartic.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Rights & Permissions

Comments 2 Comments

Add Comment
  1. 1. bwana 8:40 pm 06/30/2013

    Not to mention the “buoyant” female in the foreground…

    Link to this
  2. 2. Glendon Mellow 8:09 am 07/1/2013

    Yes, Captain Universe (the woman in the forground) can fly.

    What’s your point, Bwana?

    Link to this

Add a Comment
You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.

More from Scientific American

Email this Article