Reviewed by Patrick Hayes aka PatBorg
The covers: IDW provides four different covers to
collectors. Cover A is drawn by Tom Yeates with colors by
Jamie Grant. It's got the issue's featured dino giving a
preview of closing action. This is what you want to see
dinosaurs doing: running amok in environments where they don't
belong. It's good. Cover B is by Frank Miller with
coloring by Dave Stewart. It's a thematic cover compared
to A since there's no T-rex on the loose inside. The
bright coloring also makes it much more dramatic than the A.
Cover R(etailer)I(ncentive)-A and B are the same as the regular
A and B, just without any writing on them; they are "pure" art.
If like the regs, you'll like the RIs. My only beef is an
editorial choice: why is the logo so off center? It takes
away from the regs.
Overall grades: A an A-, B an
A+, RI-A an A-, and RI-B an A+.
The story: Bob Schreck is setting up a lot of pieces before
getting to some dino action. "This takes place 13 years
after the events in the first Jurassic
Park motion picture..." proclaims the inside cover,
yet the first three words that greets the reader on Page 1 are
"Two years ago". This could have been covered by
Lex's dialogue on Page 4. Anyhoo, "Two years ago" Tim
(from the first film) is in D.C. making unspecified plans with
an unknown man. The pair are doing something in 24 months
involving dinosaurs. Mr. "Unknown" is in it for the
profit, while Tim's not, though what his motivations are remain
unknown in this issue. Flash to two years later (so this
is 2006?) and his sister Lex is addressing the U.N. to continue
multi-national funding to keep the dino islands secure. I
enjoyed Lex's closer to the assembly. I try not to spoil
anything past Page 5, so I'm going to be a little vague.
Beginning on Page 6 the story begins to go into "bad men"
territory. You know these men at this location are going
to be the cause of the series' troubles. Pages 8 and 9,
did we really need this sequence? I know it furthers Lex's
character, but a whole page and a half? Page 10 introduces
an authority figure who's going to be a player in this
adventure, as is the guard atop Page 11. Page 13
re-introduces some things that ended the third movie, but then
they're never seen again. This could have been the focus
for the entire series. Pages 14 and 15 introduce some
other dinos and someone who's going to go down
really hard later
on. Page 16 introduces another who, due to the nature of
his job, probably will go down just as hard. Pages 18
through 22 have the break out readers will have been waiting
for. Coyotes and cows begin the carnage. The first
human casualty is left unresolved until Issue 2. Schreck's
setting up the story that supports the chaos that will
inevitable occur, so I can give the slow beginning some leeway.
However, this build up was really rote. It seemed like I
was watching the newest entry in a horror series: This guy will
die hard; that guy will put up a fight; etc. Is this
franchise already a cliche, or is this all it can offer due to
its nature? You know people have to be put in harm's way
eventually, but these
The art: I'm not familar with Nate Van Dyke's work but I'm liking
what I'm seeing. He's got a very thin line that reminds me
of Bill Sienkiewicz on his
Moon Knight days. His Lex is sexy, his Tim is
suitably aged, yet youthful. In fact, all of his
characters are so distinctive you don't need their names to
identify them, which is the mark of a good artist who's not
reliant on a colorful costume or uniform. But does
Professor Backer have to look like Dr. Robert Burke from the
second film? I got confused and thought the story had
shifted in time. Van Dyke's backgrounds go from detailed
to empty, relying on the colorist to fill in the space.
This doesn't bother me because it works. The big question
is how are his dinosaurs? His herbivores are better than
his carnivores only because me see more of them more clearly.
A promising start.
Overall grade: A-
The colors: Jamie Grant does a superb job on this comic.
I loved his decision to go with an orange skyline rather than a
blue on the first two pages. I also liked his blood red
choice for the bottom three panels of Page 18. His
coloring provides depth to characters' faces, especially
Lex. If it wasn't for Grant she'd have no bridge for her
nose. My favorite job was on the last panel on Page 10; made it
all the more intense and real. And I love the multicolored
sound effects! I'm always a fan of that.
Overall grade: A+
The letters: One of the joys of comic book reading is the
sound effects. Chris Mowry not only provides dialogue but
the most effects I've read in an IDW comic. There's a
voice over a computer modem, fire, dino expressions, phones,
lettuce (don't ask), trucks, jets, tasers, and Pages 19 through
This is a series that demands these sounds!
Overall grade: A+
The final line: It's a beginning. Maybe I had my hopes too
high, but I wanted more from the story, but it's only the
beginning. Things are getting set up, and I will
definitely be back for the next issue.
Overall grade: A-