"The Devils in the Desert" Part 1
Jurassic Park: The Devils in the Desert #1 (IDW)
Story and Art by John Byrne
Cattle and people begin turning up mutilated
near a small desert town.
Read the story summary of this issue at Jurassic Park Legacy
Read a review of this
issue by Patrick Hayes on PopApostle
The covers of all four issues of the series
feature a layover on the art of a carnivorous dinosaur's teeth,
as if we are seeing the POV looking out from inside the creature's
mouth, each time at its next victim. The same layover is used
over the art on each issue, though flipped from left to right on
issues 2 and 3.
On page 1, young Tyler Franklin reports some cattle mutilations
to the local sheriff.
Cattle mutilations are the often unexplained killing and
mutilation of livestock (usually cattle, but some sheep and
horse mutilations are also known to have occurred). Despite the
strange circumstances and lack of evidence in the immediate
surroundings, skeptics often attribute mutilations to natural decomposition or predators, while others believe the high
strangeness points to UFOs, government experiments, or cults.
On page 2, Tyler comments on how his luddite father won't
let his family have a cell phone, convinced they cause brain
cancer. Although many
technophobes have been guessing cell phones are harmful
since they were invented, it was only in May of 2011 that the
World Health Organization announced the results of their study
(which was after this issue of JP was published) that cell phone
usage was "possibly carcinogenic to humans."
On page 6, Deputy Jackson remarks that wolves or cougars
would've run parallel to the cattle herd in their chase, not
mixing up inside it as it seems here. This is true of how most
large modern predators behave when chasing a herd of large prey;
this helps to prevent the predator from getting trampled in the
stampede. This suggests the carnosaurs are behaving differently
for whatever reason (as it turns out at the end of the issue,
because the carnivores are airborne
Arriving in town on page 11, Agent Kowalski sarcastically says,
"Well, welcome to Mayberry. Where do we go first? Floyd's barber
shop, or see if we can score some of Aunt Bea's apple pie?" This
is a reference to the Andy Griffith Show, a sitcom
about a small town sheriff that aired on CBS from 1960-1968. In the
series, Mayberry is the name of the town, Floyd is the sheriff's
barber friend, and Aunt Bea is his aunt, who lives with the
widower sheriff and his young son, Opie.
One of the FBI agents is named Noah Harding. There does not
appear to be any relation to Dr. Gerry Harding, the Jurassic
Park veterinarian in Jurassic Park,
or his daughter Dr. Sarah Harding, a researcher on Isla Sorna in
The Lost World.
Also on page 11, FBI Agents Harding and Kowalski introduce
themselves to the sheriff, explaining they're sorry to have to
intrude on the case but since Eddie Franklin's body was found
across the state line, it becomes a federal case. This exchange
is more for the reader's benefit than the sheriff's, since all
U.S. law enforcement officials are already well-aware of this
aspect of the FBI.
The two FBI agents appear to drive a modified, black-painted
On page 13, panel 1, we see what may be a soaptree
yucca in the desert foreground. If so, it would tend to indicate
a setting in Arizona, New Mexico, or west Texas. A cactus on page
16, panel 1, looks similar to a cholla, possibly reinforcing the
The aircraft tail numbers used on the helicopter and airplane
seen in this issue do not appear to follow the standardized
registration nomenclature for aircraft in the U.S. and probably
are not meant to indicate foreign registration either. Most
likely, author Byrne made them up for the story.
On page 19, one of the male hikers calls another a "big girl's
blouse". This is a British idiom for someone failing to show
masculine characteristics. We're told in the following issue
that the group of hikers is from England and it's shown here by other
phrases they use, like "bloody" ("these hills are too bloody
steep") and "pong" (a British term for odor).
At the end of the story, we are introduced to the
Pteranodons. The ones here are depicted with small, sharp
teeth, but real Pteranodons did not have any. Dr.
Alvarez comments, in the following issue, on this difference
between the real and genetically modified ones they discover in
this story. It seems likely that John Byrne read
Flyers, in which the genetically
modified Pteranodons are described as having teeth, and
incorporated the element into his story.
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