Devils in the Desert Review(s) by an Uber JP Fan

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Devils in the Desert Review(s) by an Uber JP Fan

Postby DarkRex » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:42 pm

Here’s a story,
About a company,
That went by the name of IDW.
In two thou-sand ten they promised,
To revive the title of Jurassic Park.
But Redemption sucked, *doo doot doo*
Redemption sucked. *doo doot doo*
Yes, we all know that Re-demp-tion sucked.


In 1993 a film graced theatres everywhere with its presence. Jurassic Park. Jurassic Park was the most technologically advanced film ever made at the time, and for the first time people truly believed that humans and dinosaurs could co-exist. The film grossed nearly a billion dollars, and subsequently became the highest grossing film of all time (that is until Titanic took the lead in ’97. Two film sequels were spawned (The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park 3 (2001)) which combined made around another billion dollars for the Jurassic Park franchise.
But… something else survived; other sequels that the Jurassic Park community has come to know and, more often than not, hate. Jurassic Park comic series.
First came the Topps comics, which started off with the first films adaptation, which was actually different than the film itself, but still a great read for any fan. Then the following spin-off series, JP: Raptor, Raptors Attack, Raptors Hijack, and Return to Jurassic Park which some like, some tolerate, and others hate due to the cheesy and wild storylines that were not film canon. Topps discontinued their JP line with Return to Jurassic Park #9. After that Topps completely finished doing Jurassic Park with the Lost World: Jurassic Park film adaptation.

From then on Jurassic Park comics were never heard from again. That is until IDW got the rights to create new Jurassic Park comics in 2009/2010, and stated that AT LEAT two or three new JP stories were to be told starting with Jurassic Park: Redemption.
Many of the loyal JP fans were ecstatic, where as some were keeping their guards up… and good for those who did.
Redemption issue one was released late June of 2010, and was received with mixed reviews. A slow start and fairly mediocre artwork on both the humans and sadly Jurassic Park’s main attraction: the dinosaurs. The story at the beginning seemed like a fairly decent one. Issue two was better received, for the art had seemingly been tweaked for the better and the story seemed to finally be taking off. Then issue three when back to the mediocre-ness of the first issue.
It was all downhill after that.
The events that take place in issues four and five of the Redemption series were enough to make many JP fans deem it one of the worst (if not the worst) JP comic series ever made. The art was poor, to the point that you could no longer tell what dinosaurs were on the page you were looking at. The writing and dialogue was horrid with enough cliché lines to make your grandma’s head spin. The issues led up to a massive cluster fight at a nuclear plant, followed my more cheesy lines from the main characters, and ending with no explanation as to what exactly happened to the dinosaurs… AT ALL.

IDW’s Jurassic Park lines were not off to a good start, with Redemption being poorly received by fans and regular comic readers alike.
It wasn’t long before word got out about John Byrne, a comic book legend, working on a sequel/another Jurassic Park series for IDW that was going to be published in January of 2011. Needless to say, fans were hesitant. Redemption had proved to be a horrid experience, and even though Byrne is well known for not only his art but his fleshed out stories… many kept their expectations low. Besides, Redemption had artists like Tom Yeates, William Stout, and even Frank Millar and look how that series turned out.

Well, January 2011 came around a lot quicker than anyone expected and before we knew it Jurassic Park: Devils in the Desert issue one by John Byrne was released.
What fans/readers discovered inside the comic… was something unexpected.
It was a TRUE Jurassic Park comic.

Issue one of Devils in the Desert proved to be one of the best JP comics ever made, and hopefully the start of the best (and even canon) Jurassic Park comic series ever made as well.

The story, taking place sometime after Jurassic Park 3, starts with Tyler Franklin, a young farm boy, riding into town to the sheriff’s office to report that he and his father had found nearly fifteen cattle torn to shreds.
Sheriff Tobias, and Deputy Jackson follow the boy back out to the location of the attack/mutilation where Tyler’s dad is supposed to be waiting. To their surprise Tyler’s father is nowhere to be found, and his horse has been torn to shreds along with the cattle. Tobias grabs Tyler up before Tyler can run off in search of his father and takes him back to his mother, Sara Franklin.
The officers, after dropping off the boy, go back to the attack location and search the area. The find no remains of Eddie Franklin, but they do find an odd looking print in the ground and take a mold of it.

Later that night Tobias goes to visit Sara again, who is in town with her parents now and breaks the news that they couldn’t find Eddie (implying that he is most likely dead.) We find out in a conversation between Sara’s father and Sheriff Will Tobias that Sara and Will apparently have a history together and might have a possible future perhaps.

The next day several ranchers are seen keeping watch over their herds, especially after what had happened to Eddie’s cattle. Their herd spooks and they go to investigate only to find a “dinosaur,” which remains unseen. They start firing at the unseen beast.

Back to Will Tobias who gets a call from the station saying that Eddie Franklin’s body has been found, but over state lines which means that the FBI had to be called in. Enter Special Agents Harding, and Kowalski. They meet up with Tobias and Jackson in town and then head out to the location of the cattle mutilations.
At the site they examine the remains and it’s stated that Jackson believes there to be three or four attackers. It’s also stated that the casts of the prints have been sent to the State University for examination.
Liz, an older lady who works at the stations and informs the officers of situations, calls up and states that another incident has occurred; another person had been killed, who we are lead to believe is probably one of the ranchers from earlier.
Agent Harding states that they need to rent a helicopter, which they do. Kowalski goes up while Harding and the cops drive around the area in their Jeep.
While they examine the area Kowalski says that he sees something and order to pilot to go over a ridge. Visual is lost with the chopper and Harding, Tobias, and Jackson hear only shouts and a loud crash. The agent and the officers race over only to find burning wreckage of the helicopter and no survivors. Harding, upset, looks around in fury. He does find a track that looks like something dragged its body back into the water close by.

All the men pile back into the vehicle and get another call stating that people from the university have arrived and are waiting for them. The officers and agent go to the airfield and are greeted by an older man, Dr. Jorge Ramirez, and his young daughter, Dr. Monica Alvarez. Both of them are from the department of paleontology. Monica asks how the officers got their hand on a cast of an animal that’s been dead for sixty-five million years.

Elsewhere, back in the desert’s highlands, several hikers are on a trip. They are backpacking through the desert. They come to a resting spot and all we see is a shadow of some creature before one of the team members goes around a corner and sees the animals.
Three adult Pteranodons howl in fury at the invading humans.

The first issue of Devils in the Desert was, in one word, awesome. When I read it I constantly had to keep slowing down to keep a good reading pace because I was so anxious to get to the next page. It’s, so far, a very well-crafted story that is full of suspense and characters that you actually care about (where-as with Redemption you wouldn’t even care if Tim/Alexis Murphy died.)
There is nothing else really to say about the story other than it’s a good one. It’s completely canon to the films at this point, having not contradicted any timeline or mentioned any of the spin-off comics, or books. The three Pteranodons are of the Jurassic Park universe labeled “hippocratesi” species variation, which are the pteros with the teeth and not the kind seen at the end of The Lost World. This leads the reader to believe that these are the three Pterosaurs that flew away from the island of Isla Sorna at the end of Jurassic Park three.
The story is also full of suspense. As a reader you are simultaneously excited, nervous, and impatient to the moment that the creatures finally appear in the story. For the whole entire comic, until the last page that is, all you see are shadows, prints, and screams of dying people. It’s very much like the opening to the first film, where you don’t really see what is attacking Joffrey but you know it can’t be anything good. You don’t want to see it because of terror, but at the same time you feel cheated that you didn’t get a real look at the creature. Then by the time you finally see the pteros on the last page… it’s not so much the “It’s a dinosaur!” feeling you get when you see the Brachiosaur in JP, or the Stegosaurs in TLW… but more of the feeling you get when you see the Tyrannosaurus rex rear its head back and swallow that goat whole, or when you see that raptor behind the mural. It’s that sort of stupefied gasp/eyes wide/awed feel. You’re amazed but like “oh crap” at the same time. And that is wonderful storytelling… as well as artistry.

The art in Devils in the Desert is INFANATLY better than that of Redemption. The people actually look like people instead of 2-D shapes that are dirty, haggard, and have a constant emotionless face in every issue. These characters have emotion, look realistic (as far as typical comics go) and are just good representations of people in the way they are drawn.
The Pteranodons actually look like their movie counterparts; the Jurassic Park 3 pteros. Actually they strongly resemble the Papo Pteranodon, which is basically a figure representation of the JP3 pteros. But the point is THEY LOOK AWESOME. Better than those jumbled figures we got in Redemption. Now to be fair, the pteros in issue one of JP: Redemption was actually not that bad. They were one of the only things that looked okay in the series. But still, Byrne’s pterosaurs look way better.
The art fits the story, and helps convey that sense of mystery, suspense, and action that Byrne has.

All together the art and the story work together, and do an excellent job.
Devils in the Desert is by far one of the best Jurassic Park reads so far, in both comics and books alike (besides the novels by Michael Crichton, which nothing will ever beat.) Only time will tell if the rest of the series will keep this level of epicenes up, which hopefully it will.
Issue one of DITD is a must have for any Jurassic Park fan.
DarkRex
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Postby Bobby Curnow » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:24 pm

Thanks for the good review! Glad to hear it!
"I've lost all the hamburgers."
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Postby DarkRex » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:08 pm

ISSUE TWO REVIEW:

It’s January 2011 and a new comic series from IDW invades stores all over. That series is IDW’s new Jurassic Park: Devils in the Desert, written and drawn by John Byrne. The issue one of the new Jurassic Park series left readers excited and hopeful once again in the future of Jurassic Park comics, especially after coming out of the Redemption debacle. This new series seemed to offer hope of great art as well as a flushed out story line that could possibly be a long awaited canon story that Jurassic Park fans had only dreamed of up until now. Only time could tell if this series would remain on the right path.

In early February issue two of this series was unleashed, and readers couldn’t wait to tear open the second issue to find out what happened after issue one’s cliffhanger ending unveiling the Pteranodons of Jurassic Park 3 as the (seemingly) main antagonistic prehistoric creatures of the story.
Does issue two keep with this awesome trend that issue one started? Let’s find out.

Issue two starts with a semi-truck driving down a lone road in the middle of Texas. While on the radio the truck driver tries skid to a halt, and crashes as a lone person runs out into the middle of the road. The lone person is a woman, and she’s seemingly been torn to shreds as the driver describes.
Cut to a hospital, where the injured woman has been brought to. She’s quickly treated and connected to monitors, IV’s and the like. They say she has major lacerations, and lots of blood loss: the signs of an animal attack.

Meanwhile at the Franklin residence, Sara Franklin has found Tyler’s room empty and a note saying he’s gone off to look for his father (although the reader is only assuming this at that particular point.)
But to the desert where Sheriff Will Tobias is out with Agent Harding and the two new paleo-doctors Dr. Jorge Ramirez and his young daughter Dr. Monica Alvarez. Sheriff cannot understand how the doctors seem to believe that “dinosaurs” are alive and in the area and are what have been causing the mutilations and killings. Ramirez corrects Tobias, saying that they believe that it’s Pteranodons, which are not dinosaurs but instead flying reptiles. Tobias and Harding still don’t understand how animals that have been extinct for over sixty-five millions years could possibly still be living. That is until Monica brings up the San Diego incident with the Tyrannosaurus rex running through the streets and InGen/Jurassic Park being behind it all. Monica explains that InGen had since abandoned the islands, yet the creatures still live there untouched. She then reveals that winds currents that occur during the spring from the region of Costa Rica all the way to California could have been a way of travel for the family of pteros that are presumably in the area. Monica then states that if they are there they’d be nesting in the highlands somewhere, and that’s where they should look. At that moment another car pulls up.
It’s Deputy Jackson and he explains that Sara Franklin came into the station telling him that her son, Tyler, had run away. Jackson agrees to stay out and help FBI Agent Harding and the two doctors while Will runs back into town to deal with the new situation of Tyler looking for his father.
Meanwhile a Mr. Corey has given Tyler a ride to the stables, under the impression that Mrs. Franklin had told him to do so through Tyler. He was informed that Sara was going to pick up Tyler there if he was dropped off. Tyler enters the stable after the truck leaves and takes out his horse “Buttercup.” The boy rides out to the desert, to the scene of the mutilations where his father went missing in hopes to find a clue as to where his father had went to when all of a sudden Buttercup gets spooked.
Then three adult Pteranodons (“hippocratesi” species, the fan given name for the Jurassic Park 3 species of Pteranodons that have toothed beaks) swoop into the scene and then start going after Tyler Franklin and Buttercup. As the horse races along one of the pterosaurs dives down, knocking it over. Two of the pteranodons attack the fallen horse, and as Tyler tries to escape a third one latches onto his shoulders. Tyler squirms out of his jacket and out of the clutches of the pterosaur, but when he does he falls into a raven, and hits his head on a rock and goes unconscious.
Back at the station Sara Franklin is in near hysterics. Will Tobias and Liz, the receptionist, is trying to calm her down. Will asks Sara why she didn’t tell Tyler that his father was dead, but then says he sorry and that he just has a lot going on right now.
Back in the desert the team is driving up a hillside looking for the pterosaur rest. Just as they find a level location to park the car, for the terrain was getting far too rough so they have to now hike, Agent Noah Harding gets a call from a Tom Gilmore. Tom is answering to Harding’s alert to keep an eye out for animal attacks. Tom is at the hospital that the woman from the beginning of the comic was sent to and explains that her and her party was attacked by “dinosaurs.” Gilmore doesn’t believe it, but goes on to say that the woman said that they were attacked near Morton Ridge. Apparently the location is in the middle of all the attacks and mutilations. Harding tells Tom to keep a lid on it and thanks.
Meanwhile Will Tobias is driving out to look for Tyler. Liz sent Sara back to her folk’s house to help keep her calm while Sheriff Tobias looks for her son. Liz goes on to tell Tobias that the dumbest thing he ever did was let Sara go, and that the world has now given him a second chance with her. Tobias tells her to get off the line, having just spotted the three pteros in the distance. He calls up Harding and tells him they are headed towards Morton Ridge. At that moment the two cars nearly crash into one another, but don’t.
The party of five unloads from their vehicles and set out on foot after the flying creatures. Apparently they are circling around a single area, and they think that the beasts are circling around the Franklin boy, Tyler. Harding goes to back of his vehicle and unveils lots of weapons. Tobias and Harding each take a gun as Dr. Alvarez gets a camera ready. Will protests, but is quickly shot down by Monica who refuses not to go.
So the three load up, leaving Jackson and Dr. Ramirez behind and drive up the slope. As they drive Monica explains that she doesn’t know what they should expect because these are not real pterosaurs (not that they truly know much about pterosaur behavior anyway, if at all, because the animals are extinct. All they have are educated guesses.) She explains that these are mutations, clones that are mixed with frog DNA. These pteros have teeth, and that’s bound to affect their attack strategy.
At that moment a lone pterosaur attacks and Harding shoots through the thin wing membrane, wounding the creature. The other two pteranodons quickly swoop in for an attack as well, and as Harding tries to shoot they toppled the Jeep over the edge of the slope. At the bottom of the hill the three humans escape the wreck as the prehistoric beasts attack again. Will and Monica go for cover as Harding shoots down and kills one more of the Pteranodons.
As Will and Monica head up the hill they find Tyler Franklin in the gap the boy had fallen into. Another pterosaur attacks and Will shoots it down. Monica then goes down into the hole to help get Tyler out as Harding meets back up with them. Monica and the boy then climb back out through the whole and are greeted by Tobias and Harding.
Just then the wounded Pteranodon attacks Harding, biting down hard into his right leg. Harding shoots and kills the creature. They get the pterosaur off the agent, and then make a tunic out of Tobias’ coat. As Will takes care of Harding Monica investigates the slope from which the attacking pterosaur had come from, climbing up it. Once she gets to the top she exclaims “I don’t think the party is over yet!” Up at the top of the hill laid shattered, broken eggs. A Pteranodon nest and the infants were nowhere to be found.

Issue two continues the trend that one set, keeping this series action packed, story filled, and keeps the reader guessing. And on top of that the art still continues to be really good! So let’s break these down.

First off: the story. It continues to be a great one. It doesn’t prove to be overly in depth as far as adding a lot of plot twists and turns yet. It’s fairly simplistic in nature, but I like that fact. Most of the previous Jurassic Park comic series’ tried to be really complex in their storyline and that usually ended up being the downfall of the whole series. They weren’t coherent, didn’t follow canon, and just ended up being jumbled messes. Devils in the Desert, so far, lays the story out and sticks to it without adding much in. The plot it has is flushed out at all angles, and that allow the writer to explain certain things that have not really been talked about in the movies or comics before (besides being hinted at.) A good representation of this is when Monica starts talking about the genetic alterations that the Pteranodons had gone through. Several times she makes it a point to say that they, as paleontologists, don’t know anything about how they may react in comparison to evidence in the fossil record due to the fact that these are “genetically engineered theme park monsters.” That kind of element to the story had never really been talked about before. The explanation that pterosaurs are NOT dinosaurs is also an essential detail I feel is often overlooked, even in the Jurassic Park films. We actually get that in this story. Also you, as the reader, get to kind of examine how people of the world now view InGen and Jurassic Park. Most people are ignorant to the fact that one of the islands (Nublar) was destroyed, and that shows in the comic. They all know that there are two islands, and then would logically think that both have dinosaurs inhabiting them. InGen apparently never really released the facts saying that Nublar has essentially been dismantled and all/most of the creatures had been destroyed. At times the secondary love story does feel like a cheap story element, but I have a strong hunch that this plays something important in the future (good or bad.) Byrne has stated that he isn’t afraid to kill of main characters or anything.
My only question now is, why kill off all the adult pteranodons? Now we are going to have a bunch of infants/juveniles flying around which does propose a threat (see Jurassic Park 3 for details on infant ptero behavior) but in my opinion they wouldn’t be as big of a danger as the adults. There are still egg shells in the nests which that means the reader can assume that they only hatched maybe a month or two at the most (if even) beforehand. The juveniles in JP3 couldn’t even really fly yet. They are small fragile creatures. I’ll be interested to see how the story handles this. I could be wrong, and they can prove to be one deadly bunch of baby beasts, and I’m pretty sure that’s what will happen. But a part of me is really hoping that Byrne adds on a pack of Velociraptors (Nublar species) and inserts an explanation that ties them in to the crashing of San Diego (which the crash/incident has been talked about in this comic.) That would be really, REALLY awesome.

Moving on to the second point of interest: the art. Not too much to say, other than the fact that it rocks. It’s consistent, well drawn and inked, and the people look like people and pteros like pteros. Byrne has done a great job all around.

So far Byrne seems to have created one of the best, most coherent Jurassic Park comic series ever. Issue three comes out in early March, and we can’t wait to snatch that issue up off the racks to see what happens next. Hopefully the series continues on this pathway to awesomeness that pleases both regular comic readers and die-hard Jurassic Park fans alike.
DarkRex
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Postby DarkRex » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:25 am

Finally got around to doing my issue three review, and issue four review will be coming soon.
* * * *

At the beginning of the year IDW publishing released the first issue in a new Jurassic Park comic series, penned by John Byrne, titled Jurassic Park: Devils in the Desert. Many fans were skeptical about how this would turn out, since IDW’s previous Jurassic installment, Jurassic Park: Redemption, fell way short to even the barest expectations.
But fans were into a surprise when Byrne proved that not only could he seemingly create a pretty good story, he could draw as well (two of the biggest problems with Redemption.) Issue one was a success amongst readers, and issue two kept hopes us adding more plot turns and more action sequences.

And then issue three came out. What will happen next? Lets see.

Issue three picks up at InGen headquarters where a Dr. Pettigrew is telling InGen reps that his fellow coworker, Dr. Ramirez, was heading to Southern California to check out the pteranodon problem. The doctor wants some money from InGen, for having traded this information, and threatens to blackmail. InGen threatens to sue if the information gets out, and kicks the doctor out of the building, and then the reps start discussing what to do. Dr. Pettigrew, though, makes a cryptic phone call to someone named Louis.

Back at Southern Cali, agent Harding is in the hospital recovering from the ptero attack he suffered in the last issue. He and the two paleontologists are discussing how the pteros could have just disappeared when Sheriff Will Tobias marches in saying that InGen people have come to town, and are at the station.
Tobias and Dr. Monica Alvarez head back to the station, where they are met with a Mr. Cobb, who is head of the Biological Studies department of InGen, and a Dr. Kanada, who is chief of development at InGen. They explain that they accept no responsibility as of yet, and want to see if it was there animals that did this. They explain that it could possibly be a mutation, or something else. Sara Franklin rushes in during the middle, and talks to Will a little, and he explains why InGen was here.
Will, Monica, and the two InGen scientists head out to where they were keeping one of the dead pteros and Sara is left alone with Liz at the station. Liz asks if Sara is ever going to tell Tyler that he’s actually Will’s son.
The pterosaurs are kept at a meat packing plant. The four people all go inside and check out. The two InGen scientists agree that they are the pteranodons.
Meanwhile, Deputy Jackson calls in saying that he and his sons have spotted the other pteranodons, which are sub-adults.
The sheriff, and the three doctors head out and are met by a huge, modified InGen semi-truck that has smaller tracking/capturing vehicles inside. InGen employees pile out and start getting the gear and smaller vehicles ready. Mr. Cobb explains that they are going to try and take the animals alive. Three smaller capture vehicles are dispersed, along with a gyrocopter.
The InGen team catches up to the creatures and takes on down right away with a net gun. But then another small helicopter appears, and someone inside says “We’ll take it from here!”
Suddenly a group of hunters in a yellow Jeep race onto the scene and start “Hunting” the Pteranodons. One of the hunters shoots a beast through the wing. The Jeep is then hit in the side by one of the InGen vehicles, and goes off the trail. One of the hunters (“Reed”) falls out of the vehicle, and as he crawls for his gun the ptero with the wing that was shot attacks him, biting off the hunters head. As the other hunters look back, another hunter is attacked by a different pterosaur. The beast is then captured by a net, and the hunter (“Greer”) is still alive, although injured. Greer tries to shoot the beast, but the InGen workers come in stopping him. The InGen workers claim that the animals are their property and are to be left alone. Jackson and his sons come in, settling the matter.
One of the pteros is dead, and two ended up being captured, which based on shell and bone fragments from the nesting site it seems to be all that is left. The InGen workers pack up and head out. Monica, though, confronts Cobb about the matter. She says that there are more out there, and that they need to take care of the matter. Cobb refuses to listen, and leaves with the rest of the InGen party. Monica, Tobias, and Jackson still aren’t satisfied though, and plan on looking for remaining animals.

Lots and lots, and where to begin? Well, let’s start with the story.
The story continues to be very good. All there is to it. It doesn’t contradict itself, and it doesn’t add anything extreme to the Jurassic Park mythology. Byrne seems to be pretty on the ball with this, and it’s almost as if he’s playing it safe with the story to not upset the fans. Which is a good and bad thing, more good than bad though I believe. For years fans have wanted a film canon story, and Devils in the Desert could be that story. It doesn’t change anything; it’s a story that “just is” as I like to call it.
InGen IS back, which may be the most radical thing to happen yet in the story, as far as Jurassic Park canon. At the end of TLW many believed that InGen probably would just fade out and die, due to the San Diego incident and what not. The Hammond even says that InGen had been on the verge of filing for chapter eleven bankrupsy after the initial accident in the park. After The Lost World, it’s plausible that InGen SHOULD be ruined. But the fact is it’s never actually stated in the films, the fate of InGen that is. The viewers never actually know what happened. And chapter eleven bankrupsy is actually, ‘A chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. People in business or individuals can also seek relief in chapter 11.’ (www.uscorts.gov.) So it’s totally plausible that InGen could still be a functional company, especially if they start other projects.
The plot between Sara Franklin and Will Tobias is pretty cliché and predictable, but keeps the kind of “couple theme” that has been in each of the Jurassic Park films going.
But seriously, Byrne did his research with the project I feel, and just wanted to create a fun story for readers. It is a fun story, and where some fans might want a deep story like the first Jurassic Park (where as Devils is a little more like the action/creature film that The Lost World is) I’m pleased with this story thus far. If you try and do too much you end up with stories like the Topps comics, and Redemption. Byrne keeps it simple, yet real and effective at the same time. Bravo Byrne.

The art continues to be good. Not much else to say. Most of the blood/gore is implied, which is a nice nod to the first Jurassic Park film. The pteros look consistent which is really nice.

Overall, issue three is a great continuation of a pretty good Jurassic Park tale. It ends on a cliffhanger like the other issues, and makes you want issue four right away.
DarkRex
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Postby DarkRex » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:26 am

Finally got around to doing my issue three review, and issue four review will be coming soon.
* * * *

At the beginning of the year IDW publishing released the first issue in a new Jurassic Park comic series, penned by John Byrne, titled Jurassic Park: Devils in the Desert. Many fans were skeptical about how this would turn out, since IDW’s previous Jurassic installment, Jurassic Park: Redemption, fell way short to even the barest expectations.
But fans were into a surprise when Byrne proved that not only could he seemingly create a pretty good story, he could draw as well (two of the biggest problems with Redemption.) Issue one was a success amongst readers, and issue two kept hopes us adding more plot turns and more action sequences.

And then issue three came out. What will happen next? Lets see.

Issue three picks up at InGen headquarters where a Dr. Pettigrew is telling InGen reps that his fellow coworker, Dr. Ramirez, was heading to Southern California to check out the pteranodon problem. The doctor wants some money from InGen, for having traded this information, and threatens to blackmail. InGen threatens to sue if the information gets out, and kicks the doctor out of the building, and then the reps start discussing what to do. Dr. Pettigrew, though, makes a cryptic phone call to someone named Louis.

Back at Southern Cali, agent Harding is in the hospital recovering from the ptero attack he suffered in the last issue. He and the two paleontologists are discussing how the pteros could have just disappeared when Sheriff Will Tobias marches in saying that InGen people have come to town, and are at the station.
Tobias and Dr. Monica Alvarez head back to the station, where they are met with a Mr. Cobb, who is head of the Biological Studies department of InGen, and a Dr. Kanada, who is chief of development at InGen. They explain that they accept no responsibility as of yet, and want to see if it was there animals that did this. They explain that it could possibly be a mutation, or something else. Sara Franklin rushes in during the middle, and talks to Will a little, and he explains why InGen was here.
Will, Monica, and the two InGen scientists head out to where they were keeping one of the dead pteros and Sara is left alone with Liz at the station. Liz asks if Sara is ever going to tell Tyler that he’s actually Will’s son.
The pterosaurs are kept at a meat packing plant. The four people all go inside and check out. The two InGen scientists agree that they are the pteranodons.
Meanwhile, Deputy Jackson calls in saying that he and his sons have spotted the other pteranodons, which are sub-adults.
The sheriff, and the three doctors head out and are met by a huge, modified InGen semi-truck that has smaller tracking/capturing vehicles inside. InGen employees pile out and start getting the gear and smaller vehicles ready. Mr. Cobb explains that they are going to try and take the animals alive. Three smaller capture vehicles are dispersed, along with a gyrocopter.
The InGen team catches up to the creatures and takes on down right away with a net gun. But then another small helicopter appears, and someone inside says “We’ll take it from here!”
Suddenly a group of hunters in a yellow Jeep race onto the scene and start “Hunting” the Pteranodons. One of the hunters shoots a beast through the wing. The Jeep is then hit in the side by one of the InGen vehicles, and goes off the trail. One of the hunters (“Reed”) falls out of the vehicle, and as he crawls for his gun the ptero with the wing that was shot attacks him, biting off the hunters head. As the other hunters look back, another hunter is attacked by a different pterosaur. The beast is then captured by a net, and the hunter (“Greer”) is still alive, although injured. Greer tries to shoot the beast, but the InGen workers come in stopping him. The InGen workers claim that the animals are their property and are to be left alone. Jackson and his sons come in, settling the matter.
One of the pteros is dead, and two ended up being captured, which based on shell and bone fragments from the nesting site it seems to be all that is left. The InGen workers pack up and head out. Monica, though, confronts Cobb about the matter. She says that there are more out there, and that they need to take care of the matter. Cobb refuses to listen, and leaves with the rest of the InGen party. Monica, Tobias, and Jackson still aren’t satisfied though, and plan on looking for remaining animals.

Lots and lots, and where to begin? Well, let’s start with the story.
The story continues to be very good. All there is to it. It doesn’t contradict itself, and it doesn’t add anything extreme to the Jurassic Park mythology. Byrne seems to be pretty on the ball with this, and it’s almost as if he’s playing it safe with the story to not upset the fans. Which is a good and bad thing, more good than bad though I believe. For years fans have wanted a film canon story, and Devils in the Desert could be that story. It doesn’t change anything; it’s a story that “just is” as I like to call it.
InGen IS back, which may be the most radical thing to happen yet in the story, as far as Jurassic Park canon. At the end of TLW many believed that InGen probably would just fade out and die, due to the San Diego incident and what not. The Hammond even says that InGen had been on the verge of filing for chapter eleven bankrupsy after the initial accident in the park. After The Lost World, it’s plausible that InGen SHOULD be ruined. But the fact is it’s never actually stated in the films, the fate of InGen that is. The viewers never actually know what happened. And chapter eleven bankrupsy is actually, ‘A chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. People in business or individuals can also seek relief in chapter 11.’ (www.uscorts.gov.) So it’s totally plausible that InGen could still be a functional company, especially if they start other projects.
The plot between Sara Franklin and Will Tobias is pretty cliché and predictable, but keeps the kind of “couple theme” that has been in each of the Jurassic Park films going.
But seriously, Byrne did his research with the project I feel, and just wanted to create a fun story for readers. It is a fun story, and where some fans might want a deep story like the first Jurassic Park (where as Devils is a little more like the action/creature film that The Lost World is) I’m pleased with this story thus far. If you try and do too much you end up with stories like the Topps comics, and Redemption. Byrne keeps it simple, yet real and effective at the same time. Bravo Byrne.

The art continues to be good. Not much else to say. Most of the blood/gore is implied, which is a nice nod to the first Jurassic Park film. The pteros look consistent which is really nice.

Overall, issue three is a great continuation of a pretty good Jurassic Park tale. It ends on a cliffhanger like the other issues, and makes you want issue four right away.
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Postby DarkRex » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:26 am

Sorry for the extreme delay, but better late than never I suppose.

Devils in the Desert, the second Jurassic Park series released by IDW Publishing stormed onto the scene in January of 2011. A lot of questions surrounded John Byrne’s new series, and many fans were not too optimistic considering that Jurassic Park: Redemption wasn’t too hot of a series. What fans found out quickly though was that Byrne didn’t mess around and was actually creating a, dare I say it, good story. A story that had flushed out characters, good art, and a story arch that was filled with twists and turns. Issues one through three were received, for the most part, very well. The big question was how this series would wrap up in issue four. It seemed like many new doors had been opened up in issue three. So many that it seemed impossible for the story to be able to be wrapped up in one more issue.
So what happens next? Let’s just take a look.

The issue starts off with Sheriff Tobias and Dr. Alvarez in a plane, looking for the remaining migrating pteranodons. Before too long they find them. Monica [Alvarez] circles the plane around a couple of times while Will takes shots at the flying reptiles. As he shoots at them the three beasts scatter.
Will gets one good shot off, and hits one “dead center.” The ptero goes down, and the two humans start looking for the other two. They soon realize though that they are heading right towards a large city.
They spot one of the pterosaurs and fly towards it. Will can’t get a shot off so the head closer. Will finally manages to get a round in the creature and it starts going down.
Suddenly the third Pteranodon appears in front of the plane and tries to attack Monica through the window, but it gets caught in the left propeller before it can. One of the propeller blades breaks off and hits the tail of the plane right as they pass over the city zoo. The plane goes down right in the middle of the zoo. Will and Monica stumble out of the plane right as the second Pteranodon flies down. Will’s shot apparently did not kill the beast.
Bleeding from a massive laceration across his forehead, Will rushes the beast and aims his gun… only to find it empty. The massive pterosaur lunges forward and attacks Will Tobias, killing him.
The creature turns to see Monica and starts heading towards her. The paleontologist starts crawling away. As the pterosaur bites one of Monica’s boots, she kicks the beast in the head. The pterosaur lets go and Monica races towards a large enclosure. She climbs in, in hopes to draw an inhabitant out. As the pterosaur appears she jumps into a large pool in the enclose and as she resurfaces she is face to face with a pissed of polar bear.
The bear lunges forward after the doctor, and as she turns to run she is suddenly met once again by the angry Pteranodon. Monica jumps out of the way as the pterosaur snaps forward. The bear rushes in and the two animals start fighting one another as Monica starts to make her escape from the area.
The polar bear jumps into the water, bringing the pterosaur with it. The two animals fight under the water as pedestrians watch. Monica stops for a moment and looks at the pool. It starts turning red with blood, but she cannot see who the victor is.
Suddenly the Pteranodon lurches forward out of the water! But it’s dead and slumps forward out of the pool. The bear surfaces as well and drags the body of the pterosaur out and starts feasting on it.
A man by the name of Chris helps Monica out of the enclosure. Once she’s out she walks over to Sheriff Tobias’ body.
Nine days later, a large group of people are gathered at a cemetery for Will Tobias’ funeral. Deputy Jackson is appointed sheriff. Liz, from the sheriff’s station, walks with Sara Franklin and asks if Sara ever planned on telling Tyler that Will was his real father. Sara says no, that Tyler didn’t need to lose two fathers.
Agent Harding talks with Dr. Alvarez and her father Dr. Ramirez as they leave the funeral. Harding talks about having many reports to file, and expecting lawsuits to be made against InGen. Monica says that dealing with the beasts was as much dumb luck as scientific theory since they are, as Dr. Grant said it, “genetically engineered monsters.” But she does have to wonder, if the Pteranodons rose spring winds from South America, what’s going to happen next year…?

The final issue of Jurassic Park: Devils in the Desert is a bitter sweet one on several levels, one being the fact that it’s the final issue to this pretty good series. Jurassic Park comics have always been hit/miss with fans. Many times it has to deal with there being so many continuity issues as well as the comics having problems with sticking canon, or sometimes just being plain ludicrous. But DITD doesn’t have any of those problems, and Byrne actually seems to respect the title of Jurassic Park here in this series. It seems like he did his research on the films before he started writing so that he could incorporate proper information into the story. He doesn’t change things, and he doesn’t do anything too drastic with the story.
That being said, it does feel like more could be done. I do praise Byrne for not pushing the bounds. Better to be safe than sorry I think. Because he did that I will have no problem reading this series again, and again, unlike with Redemption which I never want my eyes to see again. But it didn’t really add anything to the Jurassic Park mythology, at least not yet anyway. It just seemed to be a story that could be told, like a follow up story. I still liked it though. It helps tie up some loose ends that probably wouldn’t be explained in the film universe.
My one only complaint was that there were no real quiet moments with the characters when there should be. I know that a reader, well… likes to read, but when a person is running away from a Pteranodon one doesn’t need a whole narrative. I found myself hoping while Monica was running away that she’d just shut up and run. But none the less, it didn’t affect the overall story to me in anyway.
Byrne keeps his promise in this final issue of not being afraid to kill off major characters to deliver a shock to the audience. This statement was said in an interview with Byrne before issue one was ever released. The death of Will Tobias in issue four was indeed a shocking one, and it was presented real well, with a whole two page image of the pteranodon lurching forward while Will tried to pull out another gun. It really captured that “GASP!” moment that the reader would/should have I think.


The art continued to be great. Not too much to say. Everything was still really consistent to the first three issues, which was amazing. Once again, the two pager of the attack on Will was a great spread. And I also think that issue for offers some of the best Pteranodon shots out of the whole series. One of my favorite ones is the polar bear and the Pteranodon fighting under water.

Overall issue four kept with expectations. It did seem to wrap this particular story up, with the pterosaurs that is, while leaving it open at the end for something else. A great final issue to the series.
And overall the series was something I’ve been waiting for, for a long time. A good Jurassic Park comic series/story. It actually blew my expectations away. My hopes died off with Redemption, and now Devil’s in the Desert has them raised again and I’m hoping that the next IDW Jurassic Park title, Dangerous Games, keeps my hopes growing for the future.
I would like to know though if Byrne is interested in continuing this series. It seems as though like he’s trying to latch onto the migration theme at the end of Michael Crichton’s first Jurassic novel. An interesting idea indeed, and one that is worth tracking. I wonder if he’d dare use Velociraptors next time, or another type of dinosaur. Maybe aquatic reptiles? And what’s the deal with this new InGen? How did it come about? And who did Dr. Pettigrew call after he was kicked out of the InGen building, and do they have a story to tell? One can only hope.
All in all, Devils in the Desert is a must for every fan of Jurassic Park. I give this comic series a solid 4 out of 5.
DarkRex
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:28 pm
Location: Illinois

Postby DarkRex » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:27 am

Sorry for the extreme delay, but better late than never I suppose.

Devils in the Desert, the second Jurassic Park series released by IDW Publishing stormed onto the scene in January of 2011. A lot of questions surrounded John Byrne’s new series, and many fans were not too optimistic considering that Jurassic Park: Redemption wasn’t too hot of a series. What fans found out quickly though was that Byrne didn’t mess around and was actually creating a, dare I say it, good story. A story that had flushed out characters, good art, and a story arch that was filled with twists and turns. Issues one through three were received, for the most part, very well. The big question was how this series would wrap up in issue four. It seemed like many new doors had been opened up in issue three. So many that it seemed impossible for the story to be able to be wrapped up in one more issue.
So what happens next? Let’s just take a look.

The issue starts off with Sheriff Tobias and Dr. Alvarez in a plane, looking for the remaining migrating pteranodons. Before too long they find them. Monica [Alvarez] circles the plane around a couple of times while Will takes shots at the flying reptiles. As he shoots at them the three beasts scatter.
Will gets one good shot off, and hits one “dead center.” The ptero goes down, and the two humans start looking for the other two. They soon realize though that they are heading right towards a large city.
They spot one of the pterosaurs and fly towards it. Will can’t get a shot off so the head closer. Will finally manages to get a round in the creature and it starts going down.
Suddenly the third Pteranodon appears in front of the plane and tries to attack Monica through the window, but it gets caught in the left propeller before it can. One of the propeller blades breaks off and hits the tail of the plane right as they pass over the city zoo. The plane goes down right in the middle of the zoo. Will and Monica stumble out of the plane right as the second Pteranodon flies down. Will’s shot apparently did not kill the beast.
Bleeding from a massive laceration across his forehead, Will rushes the beast and aims his gun… only to find it empty. The massive pterosaur lunges forward and attacks Will Tobias, killing him.
The creature turns to see Monica and starts heading towards her. The paleontologist starts crawling away. As the pterosaur bites one of Monica’s boots, she kicks the beast in the head. The pterosaur lets go and Monica races towards a large enclosure. She climbs in, in hopes to draw an inhabitant out. As the pterosaur appears she jumps into a large pool in the enclose and as she resurfaces she is face to face with a pissed of polar bear.
The bear lunges forward after the doctor, and as she turns to run she is suddenly met once again by the angry Pteranodon. Monica jumps out of the way as the pterosaur snaps forward. The bear rushes in and the two animals start fighting one another as Monica starts to make her escape from the area.
The polar bear jumps into the water, bringing the pterosaur with it. The two animals fight under the water as pedestrians watch. Monica stops for a moment and looks at the pool. It starts turning red with blood, but she cannot see who the victor is.
Suddenly the Pteranodon lurches forward out of the water! But it’s dead and slumps forward out of the pool. The bear surfaces as well and drags the body of the pterosaur out and starts feasting on it.
A man by the name of Chris helps Monica out of the enclosure. Once she’s out she walks over to Sheriff Tobias’ body.
Nine days later, a large group of people are gathered at a cemetery for Will Tobias’ funeral. Deputy Jackson is appointed sheriff. Liz, from the sheriff’s station, walks with Sara Franklin and asks if Sara ever planned on telling Tyler that Will was his real father. Sara says no, that Tyler didn’t need to lose two fathers.
Agent Harding talks with Dr. Alvarez and her father Dr. Ramirez as they leave the funeral. Harding talks about having many reports to file, and expecting lawsuits to be made against InGen. Monica says that dealing with the beasts was as much dumb luck as scientific theory since they are, as Dr. Grant said it, “genetically engineered monsters.” But she does have to wonder, if the Pteranodons rose spring winds from South America, what’s going to happen next year…?

The final issue of Jurassic Park: Devils in the Desert is a bitter sweet one on several levels, one being the fact that it’s the final issue to this pretty good series. Jurassic Park comics have always been hit/miss with fans. Many times it has to deal with there being so many continuity issues as well as the comics having problems with sticking canon, or sometimes just being plain ludicrous. But DITD doesn’t have any of those problems, and Byrne actually seems to respect the title of Jurassic Park here in this series. It seems like he did his research on the films before he started writing so that he could incorporate proper information into the story. He doesn’t change things, and he doesn’t do anything too drastic with the story.
That being said, it does feel like more could be done. I do praise Byrne for not pushing the bounds. Better to be safe than sorry I think. Because he did that I will have no problem reading this series again, and again, unlike with Redemption which I never want my eyes to see again. But it didn’t really add anything to the Jurassic Park mythology, at least not yet anyway. It just seemed to be a story that could be told, like a follow up story. I still liked it though. It helps tie up some loose ends that probably wouldn’t be explained in the film universe.
My one only complaint was that there were no real quiet moments with the characters when there should be. I know that a reader, well… likes to read, but when a person is running away from a Pteranodon one doesn’t need a whole narrative. I found myself hoping while Monica was running away that she’d just shut up and run. But none the less, it didn’t affect the overall story to me in anyway.
Byrne keeps his promise in this final issue of not being afraid to kill off major characters to deliver a shock to the audience. This statement was said in an interview with Byrne before issue one was ever released. The death of Will Tobias in issue four was indeed a shocking one, and it was presented real well, with a whole two page image of the pteranodon lurching forward while Will tried to pull out another gun. It really captured that “GASP!” moment that the reader would/should have I think.


The art continued to be great. Not too much to say. Everything was still really consistent to the first three issues, which was amazing. Once again, the two pager of the attack on Will was a great spread. And I also think that issue for offers some of the best Pteranodon shots out of the whole series. One of my favorite ones is the polar bear and the Pteranodon fighting under water.

Overall issue four kept with expectations. It did seem to wrap this particular story up, with the pterosaurs that is, while leaving it open at the end for something else. A great final issue to the series.
And overall the series was something I’ve been waiting for, for a long time. A good Jurassic Park comic series/story. It actually blew my expectations away. My hopes died off with Redemption, and now Devil’s in the Desert has them raised again and I’m hoping that the next IDW Jurassic Park title, Dangerous Games, keeps my hopes growing for the future.
I would like to know though if Byrne is interested in continuing this series. It seems as though like he’s trying to latch onto the migration theme at the end of Michael Crichton’s first Jurassic novel. An interesting idea indeed, and one that is worth tracking. I wonder if he’d dare use Velociraptors next time, or another type of dinosaur. Maybe aquatic reptiles? And what’s the deal with this new InGen? How did it come about? And who did Dr. Pettigrew call after he was kicked out of the InGen building, and do they have a story to tell? One can only hope.
All in all, Devils in the Desert is a must for every fan of Jurassic Park. I give this comic series a solid 4 out of 5.
DarkRex
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Posts: 34
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Jurassic Park technology...and John Byrne

Postby KingKongLovesSymphony » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:13 pm

John Byrne's always been one of my favorite artists, but I have not been able to follow his work for years. Glad to see from your reviews that he is doing JP work so well.

I have seen all three movies, but I have a question: are there any implications that, at the level of genetic manipulations needed to revive dinosaurs as viable inhabitants of our planet, someone else might have gone farther than just basic resurrections? The toothed Pteranodons mentioned hint at that, or were they supposed to be resurrections of a hitherto unknown species?

And forgive my ignorance, but have any prehistoric mammals ever been revived using Ingen's technology? Or elder birds? :shock:
Monsters! Sirens! Aliens! What's not to like?
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Re: Jurassic Park technology...and John Byrne

Postby DarkRex » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:19 pm

KingKongLovesSymphony wrote:And forgive my ignorance, but have any prehistoric mammals ever been revived using Ingen's technology? Or elder birds? :shock:


This has actually been the source of some debate in the JP fan community, because if you watch the "Petticoat Lane" scene in the first film, as the camera pans along the gift shop you can see a stuffed Sabre-toothed cat. Now this could possibly mean that InGen just intended to eventually start working on mammals or possibly that they already had them.

Logistically speaking it would be much easier to clone a more recently extinct animal than one that died hundreds of millions of years ago. So it IS possible the MAYBE InGen started cloning mammals as kind of a "lets see if we can do this first" kind of thing. But the question then is, where the hell have the mammals been? Are they on another island? A Site C (Ooooo maybe Site C for Cenozoic? :P) of sorts?
Not sure. I like prehistoric mammals, and I'd be interested in a story like that but my main focus has always been on dinosaurs more so.
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