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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
"Jurassic Jam"
Return to Jurassic Park #9 (Topps Comics)
Plot by Keith Giffen and Dwight Jon Zimmerman
Written by Renee Witterstaetter
Art by Keith Akin, June Brigman, Pat Broderick, Jeff Butler, John Byrne, Paul Chadwick, Mike DeCarlo, Mike Docherty, Kelley Freas, Kerry Gammill, Michael Golden, Paul Gulacy, Cully Hamner, Adam Hughes, Rafael Kayanan, Ron Lim, Aaron Lopresti, Kevin Maguire, Rick Magyar, Gary Martin, Steve Montano, Mitch O'Connell, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jason Pearson, George Perez, Roy Richardson, Walter Simonson, Bob Smith, Brian Stelfreeze, Mike Zeck
Cover by John Bolton

As the park comes closer to completion, security and safety failures foreshadow bigger problems in the future.

Story Summary

As the park is gradually being completed, a park engineer named Murillo is complaining to the park's animal wrangler, Robert Muldoon, about the man's paranoia regarding the dinosaurs. Murillo seems convinced the technology keeping the animals in line is failsafe. Muldoon continues to have his doubts.

Suddenly the Command Center reads that the power has gone out on the T. rex, Triceratops, and Stegosaur paddocks. Not knowing what could have caused it, the panicky technicians call for head programmer Dennis Nedry...who is nowhere to be found. He has decided to sneak an afternoon off and go down to the beach.

Meanwhile, the rex breaks out of her paddock and goes after the stegosaurs. Muldoon and Murillo are racing along the island to help when a rampaging herd of stegosaurs knocks their Jeep over. Murillo is killed in the crash. Muldoon flags down another passing Jeep.

As all this is happening, a helicopter suddenly flies to the landing pad of the island. John Hammond is paying a surprise visit.

Muldoon manages to use a tranquilizer rifle on the stampeding stegosaurs, knocking them out. But the rex is nearby and comes stomping out of the jungle, crushing Muldoon's second Jeep and killing one of the men while Muldoon leaps clear. The rex busies herself with consuming one of the tranqed stegos.

In the Command Center, Nedry has made it back and reports that the power outage to the pens was the result of rats chewing on the cables. Hammond is disgusted with the news and with Nedry who doesn't seem to care about the loss of life that occurred, and who only asks, "Do I get a bonus for figuring it out?"

Later, Muldoon has corralled all of the loose dinos, including the rex, who now looks at him angrily from his enclosure.

Hammond discusses the incident with Muldoon who tells Hammond it could have been worse. "We could have had those little babies on the loose," he says, gesturing toward the raptor pen. 



Didja Know?

This issue of Return to Jurassic Park is what is referred to in the comic book industry as a "jam issue", an issue in which each page of the comic is drawn by a different artist. Thus, the story's title "Jurassic Jam" has a double meaning: the jam the park gets into in the story and the jam of artists drawing the issue.

Due to artistic license of the artists drawing this story, the characters' clothing and affects occasionally change from page to page. I will point out these discrepancies as they occur.

Didja Notice? 

On page 1 we see the framework of the Jurassic Park gateway still under construction, placing this story before "Sneakers" which shows the gate completed.

Also on page 1, artist Pat Broderick signed his artwork on the back of a sign appearing in the bottom left corner of the page.

Page 2, with art by Kelly Freas, seems to be fairly whimsical, with dinosaur activity taking place in the background. In the foreground of panel 1, some kind of small, unusual lizard is seen sitting along a rim on a planter in the park. In the background of panel 2, a JP employee is leading what may be a Gallimimus on a rein. In the background of panel 3, there appears to be a pink dinosaur reacting against a man trying to herd it and in the foreground a somewhat silly-looking lizard is sitting nose-to-nose with a mouse or rat.

On page 2, Murillo's glasses are black and round-rimmed; on subsequent pages they appear to be gold-colored and square-rimmed. Also, both Murillo and Muldoon are wearing different outfits on page 2 than elsewhere.

On page 3, Murillo mentions the Jason and Leatherface movies. This is a reference to the Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre horror film franchises, respectively.

On page 4 a man in Central Command appears to be wearing a Batman IV t-shirt with the word "The" visible beneath the bat logo. The fourth Batman movie of the time was called Batman and Robin (the issue is dated 1996, Batman and Robin came out in 1997). On page 6, the "IV" has disappeared from the bat logo of his shirt.

On page 6, artist Paul Gulacy signed his artwork with the initials PG, appearing similar to the PG (Parental Guidance) rating logo of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Artist Paul Chadwick signed his artwork in the bottom right corner of panel 4, page 10.

There might be the hidden signature of artist John Byrne in the bottom right corner of panel 2 on page 13. Byrne returns to JP comics as both artist and writer of Devils in the Desert.

On page 17, one of the men in the Jeep, referring to the escaped T. rex, asks Muldoon, "Where should we start looking for his royal highness anyway?" He should have said "her royal highness" since all the dinosaurs in the park have been genetically engineered to be female.

Artist Jeff Butler signed his artwork on the bottom of panel 1, page 19.

On page 19, John Hammond is holding the same cane with a knob of amber on the top as seen in the movie Jurassic Park.

By the end of the story all of the loose dinos have been herded back into their pens. On the last page there is a foreshadowing of the events of the Jurassic Park film when Muldoon tells Hammond it could have been worse. "We could have had those little babies on the loose," he says, gesturing toward the raptor pen. 

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