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Avenging Feathered Dinosaurs

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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

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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. 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.

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  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

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