Written by Bob Schreck
Art by Nate Van Dyke
Covers by Tom Yeates and Frank Miller
IDW Publishing has become famous for putting out quality licensed comics for quite a while now, and this week marks the debut of their newest comic, based on the uber-popular Jurassic Park novels and films. At first glance, Jurassic Park seems perfect for an ongoing series, since it has an established cast of characters and an exciting overall storyline, but it wasn’t until reading this first issue when I realized just how limited this property is for continuing stories. The overall theme of this series is not much different from the books and movies, but the way the characters are presented could make the storyline interesting in the long run.
The first issue of the oddly-named Jurassic Park: Redemption takes place several years after the first Jurassic Park story. Whether the comic is a continuation of the books or the movies is unclear, though it is implied within the comic that Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler have been to the island more than once, which led me to believe that it is based on the films. The storyline focuses on Tim and Alexis Hammond, the now-grown grandchildren of the Park’s original owner and heirs to his fortune. Lex is the head of an organic food company called LexxCrop (a truly horrible comic-themed pun), while Tim is a successful businessman and philanthropist. Both continue to have ties to the island on which Hammond created the Park and where the dinosaurs still reside, though they seem to have different motives regarding its future. Lex holds press conferences urging the world’s nations to leave the island alone, while Tim is working behind the scenes with a mysterious corporation to try to exploit the island for profit. After nearly thirty pages of talking heads and exposition, we’re finally treated to some dino carnage after a vicious carnivore gets loose.
Bob Schreck’s script shows an obvious reverence for the source material but takes his time getting to the meat of the story. Hopefully future issues won’t be as talky and slow-moving as this one was until the final pages. Nate Van Dyke draws some decent-looking dinosaurs, but his human characters aren’t very distinctive or expressive. The biggest drawback to this comic is that the main thrust of the story isn’t much different than that of the books or movies. The island where the dinosaurs live is still under threat of exploitation, and there are still characters wanting to protect the island and prevent the dinosaurs from reaching the mainland. Solicitations of this book led me to believe that this will be an ongoing series, and if that is the case, hopefully Schreck and company will come up with more original plots. This first issue gets 3 out of 5 Bloody Heads of Lettuce.