Well, I finally finished my issues three and four reviews. Enjoy.
As always, there are MAJOR SPOILERS
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Jurassic Park: Redemption ISSUE #3 Review
Issue two of Jurassic Park: Redemption left us on a massive cliff hanger. It seemed as though everything was going to start coming together, and major characters were being killed off already (Wu being first and foremost.) The carnotaurus was still on the rampage, and we found out that Dodgson (the red haired man who has been tazing the “trykes”) is in fact were the one who let out the creatures who killed Wu, as well as the one who had let the Carnotaurus out in the first issue. While Lex, Tim, and the shady wheel chair man are all about to converge on Glen Rose, Texas at the same time local sheriff Delgado is trying to piece all the pieces of the puzzle together himself and figure out just what is going on here in this small town. While the carnotaur continues to wreak havoc on the town and the nearby farms, a mosasaur also has escaped and enters the grounds of a nearby Nuclear Power Plant river system.
And that brings us to chapter three of JPR, released September 2010, the third comic in the five part Redemption storyline that IDW is publishing.
Issue three starts off automatically with Lex driving around in Glen Rose. She is here due to the fact that she has found out that crops that her company Lexxcrops owns are being vandalized in some way shape or form.
Meanwhile Tim has also arrived near Glen Rose. Both of the Murphy children have no clue that each other is in the area. Tim has come down to view the progress of the new Jurassic Park that he has helped build, as well as investigate the weird happenings of the area (cattle mutilations, etc.) As we have also read in previous issues, Tim has been trying to buy his grandfather’s (John Hammond’s) cane. You know, the famous one from the original Jurassic Park (and was actually seen in The Lost World as well) with the amber top. Tim is informed by his assistant over the phone that a Mr. L. Would is actually the one who had outbid Tim in the actuation for the cane.
Tim then gets a message that reads ‘I’m here.’ And this message is from none other than the shady cripple from England who has teamed up with Tim to recreate Jurassic Park. Or so it seems. As we saw in issue one, Tim was very avid about the fact that he did not want any carnivores to be made. The shady man on the other had has gone behind Tim’s back and has had the team create carnivores. And now they are killing people.
Then jump to Dodgson and Backer yelling back and forth to one another about Wu’s death. Dodgson swears he doesn’t know how the animals (which we find out from Backer are Gracilisuchus) had gotten out of their cage. After Backer leaves Lewis mumbles that he was glad there wasn’t much left to clean up- the Gracilisuchus devoured most of Wu.
Then it goes to Delgado and Jaamise in the Dinosaur Valley Park where they examine the two destroyed dinosaur robots that are on display. In issue two the carno has dismembered them, although the team doesn’t know this. Delgado explains that he has to leave to meet up with Miss Murphy, and leaves Jaamise to go talk to the wife from the first issue whose husband had been killed [by the carnotaur.]
Elsewhere in the park a group of kids go exploring around the park for caves, in hopes of finding dinosaur fossils. They find more than fossils; they find the carnotaurus. The carnivore roars, and the boys flee in terror.
Then Delgado and Lex, along with one of Lex’s workers (Jed,) are out looking around the vandalized crops. They find boot prints as well as trampled plants and larger prints of some kind. After the group splits up Lex stumbles upon something. The two men race over, and Delgado recites a well-loved Jurassic Park quote. “Now that is one big pile of shite.” Indeed, Lex has stumbled upon a large pile of feces, and the Jurassic Park survivor start putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
The next day, back at the compound where they had been making the new Jurassic Park dinosaurs, Backer finally meets the shady wheelchair man face to face (although the audience still doesn’t see the shady man’s face.) The shady man talks of moving onward with the project and Backer will have none of it- not yet. They are still trying to get ahold of the carnotaur as well as compensate for the loss of Wu. Suddenly Dodgson is called in, and it’s revealed that Dodgson has been working for the shady man for some time now. Lewis tazes Backer and preparations for Tim’s visit begin.
Cut to the nuclear plant, where a worker is strolling the grounds checking out holes that have been torn in fences. After he calls one of the latest holes in a flock of ducks on the pond fly away, and he is left alone. Then the mosasaur from issue two leaps up, and we see it for one quick splash panel hissing/attacking as the man yells.
Move on to the next day again, and a limo pulls up to the Dinosaur Valley Park where Jaamise is working. After asking if the limo is lost, the driver says that his passenger has an appointment with a Mr. Would, the passenger being Tim. Jaamise says she doesn’t know a Mr. Would, but then someone else pulls up and escorts the limo onward into the park.
The limo pulls up, and Tim walks inside. Finally Tim comes face to face with the shady man, yet the readers still do not (have to savor that suspense that’s building folks.) Tim is shown to the various herbivorous dinosaurs inside the compound (namely the Plateosaurus’ and Protoceratops,) but then asks about the strange goings on. Then a truck pulls up, and it seems as if they are going to move some of the dinosaurs, the plateosaurs. Then the shady man starts talking about how the teams have had to resort to feeding the animals on vegetation from local farm fields because Tim’s people have been late on payments, thusly revealing the fact that the dinosaurs have been munching on Lexxcrop fields.
Lex, the local police (including Delgado,) and Jaamise organize a stakeout. They want to find whatever/whoever is responsible for the mutilations. Meanwhile Dodgson is out with his group are on a feeding session with the plateosaurs in a field somewhere, much like he has been doing the past two issues with what he calls the “trykes” (or the triceratops.) A speeding car, driven by two of the stakeout men, comes around a curve that is close to the field. The car, and the honks that the driver give off alarm the herbivores and they stampede in the other direction.
Delgado and Lex search for whatever is vandalizing her fields, as well as what has been killing the cattle. The two are knocked over by a rhino that was, or so we are led to believe, a part of the herd of the zoo from issue two that the Carnotaurus attacks. After they get knocked down it starts to storm.
Cut to the driver of the cattle truck from issue one who is out with a buddy in Glen Rose’s bar getting drunk. Elsewhere the plateosaurs are storming closer to town.
Then it cuts to Tim, demanding to know what else the shady man has kept from him. He specifically had said before that they were to keep the dinosaurs away from his sister’s fields, but those orders had not been followed. So there must be more. The man assures Tim that everything is okay, but then takes off his hat, and a zoom in reveals the amber top to the John Hammond Cane. The shady man starts to insist that Tim stays, and Tim continues to say all of a sudden that he must get back to his hotel. Suddenly the bald man who follows the shady man around pulls out a gun on Tim.
Meanwhile the Carnotaurus is storming the country side in the storm. A hitchhiker is trying to get a ride and cars keep passing him. Suddenly the whole herd of plateosaurs charges past him, and soon after so does the carnotaur.
Then it cut back and forth between stories. The two drunken men are contemplating going home as it storms. Tim is advised by the armed bald man who protects the crippled shady man to get into a room in the complex, which they will probably lock him in. Cut back to town where the plateosaurs and carnotaur continue charging toward. The drunken men start for their cars just as the dinosaurs’ storm through. The carnotaurus crushes the truck driver’s friend’s car. A cop who was a part of the stakeout team views the whole thing. He radios it in to Delgado and everyone else, stating that “…dinosaurs are tearing up our town!” Lex, Jed, Jaamise and everyone else on the line all get the message, and then cut back to town where the carnotaurus has lifted up one of the plateos and kills it.
One final cut back to the shady man, who is no longer shady. For the first time we see his face, and he reveals his true identity. It is indeed Peter Ludlow, long thought to be dead but returned.
Well, that’s a summary of issue three of Jurassic Park: Redemption. On to the review part.
Issue three is a major turning part in the Redemption story line. The plot is has thickened, and foes have been identified although their motives are yet unknown. Between issues one and two the JPR story has been hit or miss with fans of the Jurassic Park series. Most of us have hoped that with issue three some of those hit/miss worries that were present would be taken care of, only to find that they still continue.
My issue two review praised the second comic. It was easily better than the first issue in my eyes. The story had developed, and the art had even gotten a little better it seemed. Issue three of Redemption seemed to take a step backwards, which was rather disappointing.
We know enough of the story to be able to tell the main points of the overall plot of JPR by now. For me it’s not the story so far that’s the issue, although it seems to be for some people. It’s the way it’s presented. Some people have criticized the Redemption story for being unoriginal or just plain stupid and unrealistic. Well I have seen many fans write up fan fictions for the Jurassic Park series that were very much like the JPR series, yet these stories were praised. I cannot help but wonder why. Bob Schreck basically claimed that’s what JPR was (his own fan fiction to continue the series.) And some elements are indeed nice to see, while others are starting to seem unneeded, and I cannot help but think it’s not the story but the overall way it is written in combination with the art.
Let’s start with the way it is written. They story is there, and it’s evident. But it’s almost as it they were forcing dialogue, unnatural dialogue, into the character’s mouths. The bit where Tim demands that Ludlow tell him what else he (Ludlow/the shady) has been hiding from him had me puzzled a little. Tim’s sudden rage at that moment was an odd outburst. Despite the fact that he had given orders not to feed the animals on Lexxcrop farmland it was indeed his (Tim’s) fault/his people’s fault that proper funding’s for food had not been administered and there for the keepers had to resort to feeding the animals on local land. Furthermore his outburst, I feel, needed more build up. So far it had been only the one thing that Ludlow had gone behind his back with (the one thing being the feeding of the animals,) and like I stated that was actually Tim’s fault as to why they needed to do so. So why is he already making wild accusations that something else is going on? True, he could still be thinking of a possible connection to the mutilations going on in Glen Rose, but he doesn’t really mention that past the point that Ludlow states that the stories are basically mute, and that they have nothing to do with it. Overall I don’t see why letting the dinos nom on local fields is warrant enough to say that this “stinks to high hell,” and accuse that there is more going on. I mean, the readers KNOW that there is more going on that Tim doesn’t know about, but had they put in another page or two of Tim finding some random documents on a carnivore species (say… oh, I don’t know, raptors?) it would give him a little more basis on having an outburst. And this happens a few times I feel in the story. It’s as if some of these people just make lucky guesses, just to get the story going faster. I feel that if the story had been slowed down a bit it would make dialogue like this go away pretty much. This type of dialogue is very… cliché I feel. It’s like watching a 50’s sci-fi movie where the hero is like “AH-HA! I know something’s up, now tell me!” Then the bad guys pulls out a gun “No! I will tell you my evil scheme in due time- but not yet! MWAHAHA! Now silence or I keel you!”
Other points are where there are supposed to be parts of dialogue that are, I would assume, supposed to be character development. But sometimes it’s just annoying. One part in particular is on page 10, when Tim’s limo pulls up then is led away and Jaamise calls Tim a butthead. Wait… what? The driver, nor Tim had in anyway acted like a butthead when they pulled up. They were looking for Mr. Would at the time, and then someone came and led them to him. They didn’t cause problems, nor did they harass her in anyway or start a fight. And they didn’t speed away. So why is she calling them buttheads? It’s just annoying and you kind of want to slap her for it, cause she did the same exact thing in issue one as well for no real reason. She calls the driver of a semi-truck a “nosey shit-kicker.” Why is she so annoying in this way, and someone needs to just hit her already.
Another flaw in some of the writing, for me anyways, are smaller little things that I noticed that are personal issues I have. Note that these are not like the issues above; these are just personal “hu?” moments I have. First and foremost being the fact that Tim has a meeting with Mr. Would, and he was not able to put two and two together. Early on in the issue he was told that someone by the name of L.Would had outbid him on his grandfather’s amber cane. And then he has a meeting. But when the driver of the limo pulls up to the Dinosaur Valley Park he states that Tim has a meeting with a Mr. Would. Wait, when did Tim and/or his driver find out the name of the shady man? And once more, you’d think that Tim would be able to make some kind of connection. A Mr. Would who is helping him out to recreate Jurassic Park… the man who outbid in on his grandfather’s , John Hammond’s ( the man who created the original Jurassic Park), was a Mr. L. Would. I don’t know; the connection that they are the same seems obvious to me. Another small thing is the random interjections of dinosaurs. Like the pteranodons from issue one that we have never seen/heard of again in issue two or three, or the mosasaur that has only gets fleeting mentions, and the freaking Gracilisuchus. I actually cannot express the fact of how upset I am that it was a group of Gracilisuchus (which we never really see outside the hands at the end of issue two) that were what killed Wu. First off, the hands at the end of issue two look nothing like the hands of a gracili. Gracili’s are small, crocodile like creatures. Secondly, why in the flying fig was it not a pack of velociraptors! It was a perfect opportunity to not only reference the original Michal Crichton novel, but introduce raptors into the story. The end of issue two was full of raptor references, what with the cage banging and only Wu’s arm left (similar to John Arnold’s arm in Jurassic Park.) But no, the cage belonged to a bunch of gracili’s that we never really see, and not velociraptors. Sigh.
Let’s move on to the final thing, which has been reviewed in the last two reviews as well. The art of JPR. First we’ll start with the covers. One done by Paul Pope of a Dimetrodon atop a vehicle at what seems to be an auto sales lot. The second cover was drawn by Tom Yeates, which features a Carnotaurus smashing through a building after a herd of plateosaurs. The dimetrodon cover is awesome, and is the one I own. The Yeates cover for issue three is actually the only Yeates cover that he has done for the Redemption series that I haven’t liked thus far. The position of the carnotaurus is weird to me. But other than that it is fantastically drawn and full of detail, typical of the rest of Yeates work that he has done for the covers of the JPR comics.
Now for the inside art. Once again, issue two had seemed to be moving forward in everything- and it seemed that even the art was looking better. But now it took a step back as well. Nate Van Dyke still does people fairly well in my opinion. Once again, I like his sort of gritty texture he provides. And the armadillo he draws on pages one and two is quite good. It’s just his dinosaurs that I’m still not pleased with. His plateosaurs are okay, and the Protoceratops that we see on page 11 is good as well and they are as good as the dinosaurs get in this issue. But even they seem to be lacking some detail that the previous issues had. Page 2 of Jurassic Park: Redemption issue one had a beautifully done Protoceratops. Look at that one, and then look at the one on page 11 of issue three. Although the form of the proto is still basically there, the detail it had in the picture in issue one is not. And the carnotaurus looks the same as it has, except on page 17 (which had potential to be a very epic shot, and still is kind of neat (…somewhat)) the carnotaurus’ head looks pretty blocky. The only new animal seen is the mosasaur, which ended up not looking at all what one would expect from the quick glimpse we get of it in issue two. In issue two we see a top view of the reptile as it swims toward the power plant, and it actually looks like what one would expect a mosasaur to look at from what we see. Cut to page 9 in issue three and the creature that we see has basically the same head as the carnotaurus except without the horns, and now has webbed feet. It’s nice, but not as nice as one would have hopped judging from the cover for issue five that had been released as well as the way that the mosasaur seemed to look in issue two.
Overall, issue three still leaves us with a sort of hit/miss feeling. We are not really any close to finding out what exactly is going on, or any motivations although it seems like a whole lot is actually going on in the book. The art remains at a constant blandness inside the comics, while the art outside on the covers entices us.
Jurassic Park: Redemption ISSUE # 4 review
Issue three of Jurassic Park: Redemption finally solved the mystery of who the shady crippled man who is helping Tim out in bringing a new Jurassic Park to life actually is, as well as explains a few other connections and events while leaving other areas of the story a bit cryptic. The shady man is Peter Ludlow we find out, who has been believed dead since the end of The Lost World. He was believed to be killed on the S.S Venture by the Tyrannosaurs inside. The characters of the story (Tim, Lex, Ludlow, and a few others) have all convened to Glen Rose, Texas where a carnotaur that has been bred by Henry Wu (who has been killed by a pack of Gracilisuchus’ that Lewis Dodgson, who is working for Ludlow, had set free) is on the loose and killing not only cattle but some people as well. Lex has come down to check out some vandalism on her companies fields, only to find that it is actually dinosaurs that have been making meals of her fields. Tim has come down to meet with the shady man, who he then finds out to be Ludlow at the end of the comic, about the mutilations and finds out that there is a little more than he expected… they have been going behind his back. At the end of the comic we are at last introduced to Ludlow, and we also are left with the image of the Carnotaurus chasing a herd of released Plateosaurs down the main street in Glen Rose.
Issue for picks up the next morning, with the capture of the remaining plateosaurs but not the carnotaurus unfortunately. Delgado, the sheriff of the town instructs for all unauthorized civilians to leave the area, and informs that “experts” are on their way to observe the situation (meaning that experts about dinosaurs have been called in) and that along with them state troopers, and the guard have been called in to help the town deal with the catastrophe. Jaamise accuses Lex of having something to deal with it, and Lex says she had nothing to do with it and that in fact she has been trying to keep something like this from ever happening again, which we had seen in issue/chapter one. Delgado quickly stops the argument stating that Jaamise is actually a prime suspect, since she works at the Dinosaur Valley Park where all the dinosaurs seem to be coming from.
As we turn the page we see the “experts” that Delgado had referenced driving up in a jeep with a semi-truck and choppers in later panels. Lex calls out to them, and we know that the two experts that have been called in are Dr. Alan Grant, and Dr. Ellie Sattler. The two are quickly informed that a carnivore (the carnotaur, although unspecified, is still loose.)
Jump back to Tim who is trying to deal with the fact that his Uncle Pete is still alive. He asks how, and Peter Ludlow is more than happy to tell the story. Apparently the military had actually left him for dead in the hull of the ship- thinking that the tyrannosaurs had indeed killed him. They were not going to even check. But after the adult rex had been tranquilized but Dr. Harding Ludlow had escaped somehow to an area where the juvi rex, or the “hell-spawn” as he puts it, could not reach him. InGen workers under his employ ventured into hull to find him, and subsequently rescue him, proving that you get what you pay for. Peter remained in hiding during this time; letting the government/everyone think he was dead. He apparently had numerous surgeries afterwards, but the doctors could piece all of humpty dumpty together again.
Meanwhile, a woman in Glen Rose is ready to leave her house with her daughter. As she backs out the car the carnotaurus attacks it, biting into the trunk and lifting up the back end- and we see that the carno is not completely nocturnal as what was originally though (for this is happening during the day.)
At the sheriff’s station Ellie, Alan, and the new Sergeant Schmidt are informed of what’s exactly going on. Lex begins to connect the dots, and figures that Tim somehow has to play a part of this whole thing in some way- much to her, Alan, and Ellie’s dismay. We also see that Lex had gained some land here thanks to Tim. A call comes in about the carnotaurus attack on the car, and everyone moves out.
Cut back to Tim, who is still completely baffled as to what is going on behind him. Ludlow humors him, telling him more of the story. Apparently Hammond had more than one backup plan (the original being Site B.) We are informed that Wu had actually smuggled embryos off Isla Nublar (or so we are led to believe it’s Nublar) before the original Jurassic Park incident. Talk about your perfect timing, because we all know what happened later on that night. After many years Wu had apparently kept ahold of the embryos and documents and Ludlow had contacted him in hopes of starting the project back up, and Wu was happy to oblige.
Move on to the country fair where everyone is apparently packing up due to orders by the sheriff. And at the town hall the carnotaur attacks.
Jump back to the Ludlow story, Tim finally asks the big question we are all wondering- why destroy it? Well apparently Ludlow is actually not a blood relative to John Hammond, but had in fact married into the family only to earn a seat at the table; only for personal gain. After the whole San Diego debacle, and after the government had left Ludlow for dead something inside him had snapped. He now wanted revenge on the whole United States as well as to destroy the Hammond legacy once and for all!
Meanwhile the hunt is still on for the carnotaurus in Glen Rose.
Go back to Tim and Ludlow, Tim is forced into a room while Dodgson is ordered to open the entire site one paddocks, letting all of the herbivore dinosaurs go. We catch a short glimpse of Backer waking up in one of the herbivore paddocks. Then Dodgson is ordered to open all the site two paddocks… the carnivores!
All of the herbivores stampede through the Dinosaur Valley Gate, where Jaamise had just pulled up. She is finally realizing what has been going on in her park. Lex and Ellie pull over on the side of the road a half mile away just as the herbivores charge toward them. The two pull out a map and decide to walk the rest of the way.
Back with Tim and Ludlow, Ludlow cherishes the fact that he is finally destroying the Hammond legacy once and for all. Tim seizes the opportunity when the bald body guard that Ludlow has turns around to look at his PA. Tim lunges forward, and snaps the amber cane tip off, which had been used to move the wheelchair Ludlow sits in around. He takes the amber rock and whips it at the bald man’s head, knocking him out. Ludlow’s wheelchair has lost control as well, and Ludlow is spinning around the room wildly as Tim escapes.
Meanwhile back at the country fair, a worker is looking for a fellow employee only to find something inside the main tent that is very unhappy.
Back in Glen Rose Delgado is looking for Jaamise while the truck driver from issue one is feeding a plateosaur.
But to Lex and Ellie coming to the entrance of the Dinosaur Valley Park where a man is telling them they are going the wrong way, and Jaamise seems to be waiting for them. What appears to be an Allosaurus is also chasing away a herd of sauropods. When Jaamise runs up to Ellie and Lex, Lex punches Jaamise in the face, knocking her out cold.
At the country fair the carnotaurus is rampaging through the area after remaining people.
At the dino valley park Tim pulls up to find Ellie and Lex with an unconscious Jaamise. He tells the two to get in the jeep that he had taken, and as they turn around a Triceratops smashes the vehicle to bits.
A helicopter in the sky has located the carnotaur, and Grant and the sergeant are driving around looking for it and circle around. Grant briefly mentions the fact that they are wanting to, if possible, capture these animals and return them to one of the Jurassic Park islands, as well as figuring out who is responsible for all of this.
Another chopper calls in a new batch of dinosaurs that Grant and Schmidt run into. It’s the herd that’s being chased by the allosaur.
Cut to a bunch of shots/images. You see a pair of raptors that have two people trapped in a jungle gym. A ceratosaur is ripping something apart. And then a lone velociraptor I believe is chasing a bunch of corralled horses.
Meanwhile Lex, Tim, Ellie, and the awakening and angry Jaamise are left at the entrance of Dinosaur Valley. A lone herbivore (plateosaur?) charges up, only to be knocked out with the * of a gun Lex has. A cop pulls up, taking the group away.
Cut to shot of a carnivore, the lone raptor I believe, roaring with an eyeball flying from its mouth as horses gallop away in fright.
In Glen Rose all people are ordered to go indoors.
At the Dinosaur Valley Park, Lewis Dodgson races towards the cop car that leaves him in the dust. He momentarily wonders how he is going to get out of there, just before a triceratops (Stumpy?) come from behind and impales his shoulder.
Move back to Backer in the compound finally awake, and wondering what has happened. He finds Ludlow in the room alone, and rolls the Gracilisuchus cage towards the door. He quickly tells Ludlow to say high to Wu for him, and then unlocks the cage door…
Back in Glen Rose Grant and Schmidt have entered the town. The allosaur knocks over the vehicle, killing Schmidt. Grant stumbles out of the car just as pair of carnivores (allosaurs?) chases a herd of horses down the main street. An allosaur turns on Grant chasing him. Alan Grant stumbles over a trash bin, and the Allosaurus rears to attack.
Next you see a lasso come into the frame, and Backer gives out a “Yee-Haaaa” as he lasso’s the Allosaurus Gwangi style in the last picture of the issue.
Okay, first off… I have to reiterate that I applaud IDW, Bob Schreck, and Nate Van Dyke for caring enough about the Jurassic Park franchise that they wanted to create Jurassic Park: Redemption. I thank them whole heartedly for wanting to do something for/with a series that hasn’t really been messed with in any form of media for years. Thank you very, very much for caring and I as major Jurassic Park a fan adore you for it which is why I will continue to support your work.
And now on to the rough stuff; this is a review after all….
This issue only seems to validate what I said in my review of issue three. The story line itself, for the most part, is not the problem- but it’s the way it’s being conveyed to the pages the readers see. Problems with the art as well as the dialogue and finer points of the story have started to mesh it all together into a mess in issue four. There were actually parts where I had to stop and re-read a few times each time I read the issue to make sure I was reading it right, and there are images here that are almost impossible for the reader to tell what dinosaur they are seeing.
We will start right off with the story once again. The story still following the major theme of the series thus far. Ludlow has helped Tim recreate the dinosaur of Jurassic Park, but whereas Tim was wanting make the name of Hammond good and right once again Ludlow is out to destroy it… along with the United States government? Government I can kind of see. They did leave the guy high and dry in the hull of the boat, but Hammond had nothing to do with it. By the Lost World, Ludlow had complete control of InGen; he had taken control of InGen from John Hammond. He had everything. And it was his InGen employees who had found him and saved him. So why is he wanting to destroy the Hammond name? He basically did that already, along with the Ludlow name I’d assume, with the whole San Diego fiasco. His hate for the Hammond family is unjustified to me. Hammond is dead, and had nothing to do with what had happened to him. If anything he should want to kill Ian Malcolm and Sara Harding.
And I originally wasn’t very fond of the idea of Ludlow not being Hammond’s biological nephew. Although it seems somewhat plausible now, I still don’t really like it. I wish that a little more of how Peter had come to work for Hammond and for InGen had been told then, how perhaps Hammond had taking a liking to the man offering Ludlow a job only to ultimately be stabbed in the back by Ludlow- which seems to be exactly what happened, but the reader has to really think about it to fill in those gaps. Personally I think a panel or page to explain it is not too much to ask.
Next is Dodgson. Why the heck is he working for Ludlow? What happened with BioSyn? You know, the whole story would make more sense if it went like this. Tim started creating dinosaurs again with this shady man, who he later finds to be his uncle. Tim is shocked to find his uncle still alive, but Ludlow is only out to finish what he started and reap the benefits of it all. Lewis Dodgson on the other hand is the main bad guy. BioSyn has since gone under as well, with a failure to produce anything substantial in years. Blaming the failure on InGen Dodgson gets a job (perhaps under a new alias or something) for this new InGen that’s run by Peter and Tim. To sabotage the whole thing he sets all the dinosaurs free, and the Jurassic Park chaos hits the town of Glen Rose, Texas. Personally that was a little more of what I was expecting. The whole idea of Dodgson actually working for someone other than himself is odd to me, because that’s not the vibe we get in the film and it’s defiantly not the vibe we get from Lewis Dodgson in the novels by Michael Crichton. But now he’s working for Ludlow, who wants to ruin the Hammond name for really no reason which is something Dodgson would have gladly done to InGen, a rival of the BioSyn Company, years ago.
Then there is Alan and Ellie. They are just random. Sure they fit, but they are unneeded. With exactly like what Dodgson is- it’s just a famous character that people would like to see that’s been thrown in. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t really needed it seems, let’s throw them in. I will say that Alan and Ellie are a little more justified to be in the story that Dodgson’s character, but why both of them? In Jurassic Park 3 it seemed like Ellie wasn’t even into paleontology really anymore other than writing books and probably some lab work. And Grant had escaped Sorna at the end of JP3 by the skin of his teeth. So why are the two of them going to Glen Rose now to deal with this, specifically Ellie? I can maybe see Grant going, but Ellie has a family and such. Why would she go? I would have expected Grant and Billy or maybe even Grant and Sara Harding to be the experts to show up. I mean, it’s nice to see Grant and Ellie in the scene again, but that’s all it is- nice. It serves no real purpose other than to showing two of the most famous Jurassic Park character’s again. I will say I did chuckle when Grant was having troubles with his seatbelt. Little nods like that to the films, which the JPR books are full off, are fun.
Next is the general way that events take place as well as the dialogue. Once again, as I stated in my issue three reviews, it’s as if they are trying to make a 50’s sci-fi type comic. The action as well as the dialogue the characters have plays out as such, kind of corny and cliché. It’s nice if that’s what the creators want to do (create a 50’s dinosaur sci-fi throw back.) By all means go for it, but not with the Jurassic Park title please. JP, to me, needs to be a little more thought provoking and handled with a little more care. Throwing in moments that are like “MWAHA, that is my master plan,” followed by a “you’re insane” line (which does indeed happen in issue four folks) is just odd to read. I find it hard to believe that anyone in the Jurassic Park world, let alone in real life, would really react to situations like this. And Tim’s escape was almost laughable.
Next were the dinosaurs. And I’m not sure if it’s the art or the way it was written. But near the end of the comic, there is just way to much way to fast. There are too many dinosaurs just popping into the picture with no explanation or build up at all. And once again the pterosaurs were missing in this issue, which I have gotten used to, but the mosasaur was also missing as well. And the velociraptors, ugh, I’m still upset about them. The first issue of the series built up the raptors perfectly. I was so happy to see the raptors be treated as these terrible and horrifying beasts again (the time being when Tim makes sure that no raptors were being created in his new park.) It brought that feeling of dread that the first Jurassic Park film as well as The Lost World had about the raptors back that I loved and wanted so badly. Yet, when they finally appear in the series- it’s not scary at all. I turned he page to see two of them just circling two people that are in a jungle gym. No scary build up like in the films, no other mention. Nothing.
And as always, there is the art. Two different covers were created. One was done by Tom Yeates, as always, and it was of a pair of carnivorous dinosaurs (which were originally thought to be Acrocanthosaurus by fans, but is in all actuality probably the Allosaurus seen at the end of the comic) attacking a car and a woman on the second floor of a house as well. The second cover is drawn by Bernie Wrightson, and is of the Acro/Allo entering an alleyway and a woman lying on the ground in fear off to the right of the page. Both covers are very nicely done, although I slightly prefer the Yeates cover over the Wrightson. I like the action that’s going on in the Yeates cover more so.
Then, as always, there is the inside art. Once again, it seems just as repetitive as before. The plateosaurs look the same as they always have, as to the triceratops. My biggest issue once again is the carnivores. Page three and nine gives us yet another glance at Tyrannosaurs, are third view actually (issue one has two different views/colored Tyrannosaur images that appear in newspapers and on a computer in the lab.) Both of the tyrannosaurs in the image on page three look like the carnotaur except without the horns.
The carnotaurus is huge, but we have already established that. It’s probably as big as the rex in JP3, perhaps a tad smaller- but not much. Bigger than any known specimens of Carnotaurus that we have today. The arms are also way too long, rivaling the length of an allos or a spinosaurus. You can see them on page seven of the comic when it attacks the town hall at the bottom of the page. WAY too big to be carnotaur hands. Perhaps it was something else, maybe even a spino? Perhaps, but no other animals had been released at that point in the story, at least no carnivores that we know of. Plus in past issues the carno’s arms were way too large as well.
All the carnivores actually look pretty much the same, which leads into one of the biggest problems of issue four- the fact that near the end you can never really tell what’s going on. It seems like all the carnivores blend together, and that images/panels are actually missing. It’s annoying to read. There also seems to be a whole bunch of unidentified sauropods as well. The plateosaurs had been released in issue three. So what are the other sauropod like dinosaurs that were released by Dodgson? And why do we only see them and trikes as far as herbivores go in this issue? What happened to the Protoceratops, and the others that were vaguely seen in issue one? And what happened to the dimetrodon we saw in issue two? Then going back to the fact that the carnivores blend together, it seems like the only way to tell these animals apart is by distinctive markings or ridges/horns, which seem to come and go as the frame pleases in the case of the allosaurs. It makes it very confusing. The reader doesn’t know if these animals are supposed to be tyrannosaurs, because they look like the rex we saw before. Bu then they also look like overly large raptors as well- except without the hook claw. But the raptors that trapped the jungle gym guys don’t have distinguished sickle claws either that the ready can see, nor does the one that chasing the horses. So are they raptors or some other small carnivore? And if so, what are they? And what is the thing that’s roaring on the bottom of pages eighteen and nineteen? Is that a raptor as well, or is it that Ceratosaurus that’s only seen once at the top of the page in the middle eating something? It was the only one on the two pages that was eating something, so maybe that’s it- but if so, what happened to the horn? It must be a velociraptor, but when did it kill a horse? Jump to page twenty-one and the two allosaurs are chasing horses now. Wait, there are two allosaurs? Or are those raptors? That one raptor was chasing a horse, and the allosaur before was chasing the sauropods. But it’s too big to be a raptor, it knocked over a car. But the carno is far too big as well. Well the next/final page you see one of them lassoed like Gwangi, so it must be an allosaur. But you, the reader, are still unsure. It doesn’t look like any allosaur you’ve seen. In fact it looks like the tyrannosaur, and the mosasaur head, and the raptor head from pervious pages, as well as a carnotaurus head with no horns. It all looks the same. Heck, it even looks like the head of the dimetrodon in issue two.
You might be thinking “where is he getting allosaur from.” Two places actually. Once is the blatant Gwangi reference at the end of the issue. Two, is on page fifteen. Box four. It does indeed look like an Allosaurus, at least to me anyway. Actually, that allo has to be one of the best carnivores so far in the entire series. Had more of them been drawn a little more like this, a little more… distinct, I don’t think we’d have as many problems.
But while we are on that image, look to Lex and Ellie as well in the same image. Um.. why are they walking? Once again, I’m not sure if that was the way it was written or if that was the way the art just came out. But there are large, stampeding herbivores as well as an Allosaurus running pretty close to you. Wouldn’t you be running as well, probably towards shelter of some kind? Nope. Let’s take time to sucker punch the purple haired lady (although she did indeed deserve it.)
Issue four is a jumble. It feels as if they are just trying to force the story and art out at this point, with no real attention or care really. I feel that if more time was taken to avoid some of these problems, we’d have a better issue as well as an overall better series.
So far the series has been a mess of emotions, more bad than good for most people. But we still have one more issue to go in the Redemption story. We will see how this series concludes. But I can already see some of the animals escaping, because in January series two of IDW’s Jurassic Park titles is being released. Devil’s in the Desert picks up where Redemption leaves off, and it looks like a few of the dinosaurs from the new Jurassic Park slipped away and are wreaking havoc on nearby towns and farms. Very much like the end of the first novel, where some of the animals (unknown species) seemed to have survived the destruction of the island, and are now wandering around in the jungles and fields of Costa Rica. Except this sounds like it has a bit of a Tremors vibe. Hopefully the new four issue series will be pretty good. High hopes.