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Review
Jurassic Park: The Devils in the Desert #1
 
Reviewed by Patrick Hayes aka PatBorg
 
The covers: Three locals make a valiant, though hopeless, stand against a non-specific dinosaur and its jaws by John Byrne.  Isn't this what you want on a JP cover?  Action.  Fear.  And, most importantly, what the hell is coming at them?  The curiosity factor compels you to open the book!  Sharp coloring on Cover A by interior colorist Ronda Pattison helps: the browns are rightfully overshadowed by the orange gunblasts, while the clothes' colors don't draw your focus away from the horror.  I also like the logo for the series: the fancy cursive western articles and preposition combined with the windtorn nouns.  So pretty!  Now if you'd like to see John Byrne ou naturel, pick up the Cover R(etailer) I(ncentive) for the same cover minus Pattison's contributions, though the JP logo and the series title are colorized.  I like the cover better with the colors.  Overall grades: Cover A A and RI A-.
 
The story: Byrne begins his tale in an unnamed area of the American Southwest.  Young Tyler Franklin rides into Sheriff Will Tobias's office because of cattle mutilations on his father's ranch.  The pair are accompanied to the site with Deputy Daniel Jackson and they find not a mutilation but something closer to "run-off from a slaughterhouse!"  A trip to the Franklins' house finds mother Sara Franklin waiting for her husband's return.  That's up to Page 4 and that's as specific as I'm going to get.  What follows is some tracking, a past history revealed, the cover scene, some federales and scientists, and then a wowzer of an ending and a tease.  As a reader, you know what's going on, but the joy comes in waiting for the characters to find out.  There's quite a bit off action off camera, but this increases the tension, provides opportunities for character development, and contribute to a nice conclusion, which leaves you wondering what else is out there?  Overall grade: A+
 
The art: John Byrne, again.  And, if you are unaware, he's good.  Unlike other comics, Byrne is sticking fairly rigidly to four horizontal panels per page, giving each panel a movie's letterbox feel to each image.  Only switchboarder Liz rates some differentiation.  This format never gets stagnant because Byrne makes the camera of this comic move about constantly.  Page 3 is my favorite: an establishment of the scope of the carnage, a focus on the characters, a hint of death, and then a close-up reaction too off panel gore.  I was also impressed that the art hints at gore, more than showing it.  JP should be PG-13, and this book, so far, is PG.  But, then again, we're only one issue in.  What's not to love?  Overall grade: A+
 
The colors: For a book set in a desert this is a colorful comic.  Ronda Pattison does some wonderful skies, in day, at night, and at dawn.  I expect browns and yellows in this setting, so much so that I expect the book to be an earthy blur.  The skies, the clothes, and the cars all provide enough of a contrast to keep this from happening.  There's nothing gaudy about the colors, they're real.  I can think of no better compliment.  Overall grade: A+
 
The letters: A phone ringing and dialogue are what Shawn Lee brings to the table.  Not much?  Not so fast!  As opposed to just dialogue, certain words in characters' speech are enlarged, bolded, almost italicized, to provide emphasis.  This aids the reader in "hearing" each person's speech.  I'm all for this!  Overall grade: A+
 
The final line: Jurassic Park has moved to the desert and John Byrne has opened the gates.  The ride has just begun!  Overall grade: A+
 

Jurassic Park Episode Studies