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Review


Jurassic Park: Dangerous Games #1

Reviewed by Patrick Hayes aka PatBorg


The covers: Four covers stampeding your way! Cover A features art by Geof Darrow and colors by Jamie Grant. Four artists can do no wrong in drawing dinosaurs: William Stout, Walt Simonson, Art Adams, and Geof Darrow. A dust colored triceratops is coming the reader’s way while a tiny winged reptile rides atop. Perfection. Cover B is by Jeff Zornow, illustrating how the book’s protagonist would fare against some feathered raptors. It’s very pretty and scary. Cover RI A is the B cover without the colors. I actually prefer this one to the B. Cover RI B is also Cover B, with colors, but this is the “Signature Edition” signed comic, by whom and retailing for how much I don’t know. My store didn’t have any. I’d be nice if IDW listed who the signers were on the checklist on the inside cover. Overall grades: Cover A A+; Cover B A, Cover RI A A+; Cover RI B A.

The story: Written by Erik Bear, with story consultant Greg Bear, this issue flashes between the present and the past (three months, then three days earlier), focusing on protagonist “Mister Espinoza”. In the present he’s being thrown out of a helicopter onto Isla Nublar. In the past Espinoza is revealed to be an agent tracking a drug lord named Cazares, who just happened to purchase Isla Nublar. I have a major problem with this plot point: the most infamous island in the world is allowed into a drug lord’s hands? I can’t buy this. A super power would step in and claim it if this were to happen. Obviously this is done to get all the “known” people off the island and get others into the mayhem with the dinos, but this is too far fetched, even for a comic featuring genetically grown dinosaurs. In the past, Page 4, Espinoza’s cover is blown, which leads to his present situation. The story then morphs into a Jurassic Park version of the “The World’s Most Dangerous Game,” and then becomes just a cliché run through the jungle. I want better, and I hope it’s arriving with the last page’s speaker. Overall grade: C-

The art: I admit it: this artwork really is not my taste. I’m not a fan of manga art and this is Jurassic Park Japanese style. I don’t care for the characters’ looks (be honest, does Espinoza even look remotely Hispanic?), I don’t care for the backgrounds (Page 8 is a sloppy mess), and the dinosaurs are coloring book quality (Pages 14, 15, 17, and 20). Speed lines appear used to cover the artist’s inadequacies. And why is there a T-Rex skeleton handing up in the middle panel of Page 9? I doubt that it would be rehung after the first film. This is a gaff of the Ed Wood school of continuity. Now if you like the Japanese look, you might think better of Jorge Jimenez’s work. I thought it was just horrid. Overall grade: D

The colors: Studio C-10 is credited for this issue. Every page looks as though it’s been left in the sun too long and the color has faded out. It’s as if they were only able to have grey, army green, black, pale white, off blue, off orange, and off red available in their palate. Case in point, Page 15 should be a WOW! Reveal shot but it’s a dud. Studio C-10 doesn’t wake up until the last page, but it’s too little, too late. Overall grade: D-

The letters: This is the only highlight of the book: clear dialogue and dynamic sound effects. High five to Shawn Lee. Overall grade: A

The final line: An absolute waste of paper. A third string story with art and colors that are a flatline in presentation. If this is the future of Jurassic Park comics, they’re soon to be extinct. Overall grade: D
 

Jurassic Park Episode Studies