Turok is a fictional American comic book character that first appeared in books published by Western Publishing through licensee Dell Comics. He first appeared in Four Color Comics #596 (October/November 1954), then graduated to his own title, Turok, Son of Stone, published by Gold Key Comics from 1956 to 1982. Afterwards, he appeared in titles published by Valiant Comics and Dark Horse Comics.
The original comic was illustrated by Rex Maxon. The writer-creator credit for the characters of Turok and Andar is disputed, with historians citing Matthew H. Murphy, Gaylord Du Bois and Paul S. Newman as the feature's earliest writers.
The Western Publishing version of Turok was a pre-Columbian Native American (identified as Mandan in the first issue, on page 21 and 32 of Dell Four Color #596) who, along with his brother Andar, became trapped in an isolated valley populated by dinosaurs, which they refer to in general as "hoppers", "monsters" and more often than not beginning in Dell issue number 9, page 35 as "honkers", as well as by their most obvious characteristics (Tyrannosaurs are called "Runners", Pterosaurs are called "Flyers", Velociraptors are "Screamers", Plesiosaurs are "Sea Demons", Triceratops are "Rammers", etc.). The Du Bois stories involve Turok and Andar seeking a way out. Du Bois was influenced by his visits to Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico and developed the "Lost Valley" from his visits to the area.
After two appearances in Four Color #596 and #656, the title ran 27 issues (#3-29) from publisher Dell Comics (1956–62); then issues #30-125 (1962–80) from Gold Key Comics; and finally issues #126-130 (1981–82) under Western's Whitman Comics imprint.
The first Turok one-shot (Four Color #596) was originally written by Du Bois as a "Young Hawk" story. "Young Hawk" was an earlier Native American comic book feature Du Bois created, which appeared in Dell's The Lone Ranger comic-book series.
Although the artists had long since established Turok as an adult, Du Bois's last scripts for the series (Turok #8) still introduced stories by describing Turok and Andar as "youths," more befitting Young Hawk than Turok (though Andar was depicted as a youth). The first story in that issue begins, "Turok and Andar, Indian youths, have found their way into a strange network of deep canyons in the Carlsbad area, where ancient forms of life still exist...They have found no way to get out." The second story begins, "Trapped in a deep canyon in the Carlsbad area of New Mexico, Turok and Andar, two Indian youths, have met ancient forms of life which have disappeared from all other parts of the world."
In Du Bois' last Turok story (issue #8, "Turok Seeks the Trail to Freedom", in which Turok encounters a herd of horses, which he calls "slim-legged creatures," having no word for them, as the horse had not yet been introduced to the Americas by the Spanish), Turok scales the cliffs, and escapes the Lost Valley. He is out, but he returns for Andar, who was wounded. Then an avalanche permanently seals the way out, and the series begins anew. Paul S. Newman began writing the Turok stories afterward.