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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
Valley of the Dinosaurs: Secret of Nepa-Talu "Secret of Nepa-Talu"
Valley of the Dinosaurs #8 (Charlton)
Art and story: Fred Himes
June 1976

 

John and Lok receive some unexpected help in their effort to rescue Katie and Greg.

 

Story Summary

 

Continuing from "The Temple of Nepa-Talu", Katie and Greg enter the ruins of the ancient city. They are forced to find refuge in a temple when they are chased by an Allosaurus. But inside, they are captured by Nepa-Talu, ruler of a subterranean city populated by the ancestors of those who once ruled the city above. Meanwhile, John and Lok find the wreckage of the hot-air balloon and track the kids and pets to the temple, unaware that they are being followed by Kungar the exile.

 

John and Lok discover the underground city and are attacked by some of its denizens, but the weak subterraneans are easily overpowered. John gains the cooperation of an elder of the group and he leads them to prison cells where Katie and Greg are being held. But Nepa-Talu spies them and soon John and Lok are imprisoned as well.

 

Nepa-Talu decides the intruders must die and has them led to the surface, where he blows a horn to summon the guardian of the lost city (the Allosaurus). But the beast does not come. Instead, Kungar arrives and fights the mighty chief, finally forcing him to plummet to his doom from a cliff.

 

With their oppressive leader deposed, the denizens of the underground city return to the surface, though they are unfamiliar with how to survive there. Kungar vows he will stay with them a while and teach them how to hunt, fish, and defend themselves.

 

THE END

 

Notes from the Valley of the Dinosaurs Chronology

 

This story picks up from "The Temple of Nepa-Talu".

 

Didja Know?

 

"Secret of Nepa-Talu" is a 10-page story appearing in Valley of the Dinosaurs #8.

 

Didja Notice?

 

On page 12, the pterosaur appears to be a Rhamphorhynchus. A pair of Gallimimus or Coelophysis are also seen.

 

The theropod on page 13 is referred to as an Allosaurus, but they had only three-clawed forelimbs, whereas the beast seen here has four. The Allosaurus seems to guard the ruins, much like Big Alice does the Lost City in Land of the Lost!

 

Most of the hieroglyphs inside the temple seem to be of dinosaurs.

heiroglyphs

 

The mysterious figure who has been watching Katie and Greg since "The Temple of Nepa-Talu" is revealed to be Kungar, the exile who befriended Lok in "Return of the Exile". His pet pterosaur called Ugly One is also with him.

 

John is shown as able to speak with the subterraneans. How? Do they speak the same language as the cave dwellers? It's a cinch they don't actually speak English as written in this comic!

 

Unanswered Questions

 

What happened to Digger and Glump when Katie and Greg were imprisoned by Nepa-Talu? They are not seen with them in the holding cell, nor do they appear to be present when Nepa-Talu takes the Butlers and Lok to the surface to be devoured by the allosaur. They are finally seen again in the very last panel of the story as Kungar announces he will teach the subterraneans how to survive. I suppose the pair were kept in a separate area for animals and released after Nepa-Talu was killed.

 

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