First Impressions: Jurassic Park: Redemption
TITLE: Jurassic Park: Redemption #1 (of 4)
AUTHOR: Bob Schreck
PENCILLER: Nate Van Dyke, Cover by Tom Yeates, alternate cover (shown right) by Frank Miller.
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
RELEASED: June 23
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
Hey! IDW Publishing is reviving the Jurassic Park franchise! That’s…not surprising, really. This is the same company that publishes titles for Ghostbusters, G.I. Joe, Angel, and has worked on other franchises that tend to go without mainstream attention for years at a time. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not surprising.
Redemption opens 13 years after the events of the original Jurassic Park film, and focuses on Lex and Tim Murphy, grandchildren of John Hammond, the man who founded Jurassic Park. Fans may remember them as the two children who were lost with Alan Grant (Sam Neil’s character) in the film. Both are now heirs to Hammond’s fortune, and Lex has used her money to found Lexxcrops (tee hee), the world’s lead supplier of organic vegetation. We see her speak to the U.N. about the importance of guarding Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna, the islands on which the films were set. Meanwhile, Tim is secretly funding a team that is preparing to set up a new park in Texas. But as one might expect, things don’t go according to plan, and we get some bloodshed.
What I find interesting about this book is the title: Redemption. Who’s being redeemed here? It may be the dinosaurs and the Jurassic Park concept, as in the story, public interest in re-opening the park is very high, thus prompting Lex’s speech in front of the U.N. But that seems unlikely considering we’re obviously going to see plenty of humans being devoured by dinosaurs. Although for the record, Tim thinks that only docile herbivores are being created, as opposed to vicious carnivores.
Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern’s character) are both mentioned more than once, but not seen. The book is very much in the spirit of the movie, but I’m not quite convinced we’ve got a good miniseries on our hands. This issue set the tone and put the rising action in motion, and it caught my interest. But issue 2 may make or break the whole story. Much like a lot of revisited movie franches (Toy Story, Rocky, Indiana Jones) I’m looking for good storytelling with a touch of nostalgia here. We’ve got a solid start. But a start is all it is.
By the way, want to see what Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello, the actors who played Lex and Tim, look like today? Click on the thumbnails below.
What do you do when your local comic shop has sold out of Green Arrow #1? Improvise!
TITLE: Superman #700
AUTHORS: James Robinson, Dan Jurgens, J. Michael Straczynski
PENCILLERS: Bernard Chang, Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Eddy Barrows
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASED: June 23
I can sense they had good intentions with this book, they really did. But it just got messed up. And you know who messed it up?
It was you Dan Jurgens. It was all you.
Jurgens (who by the way, wrote The Death of Superman, one of the most famous Man of Steel stories ever) uses a time-honored method of telling bad Superman stories (at least in my opinion); He brings another, less powerful hero in, who takes the spotlight off the Man of Steel. In this case, he tells a flashback story where Robin (Dick Grayson) goes out on his own, and Superman has to save him. Then on top of that, he gets him home in time and does his geometry homework. I think it’s meant to be a look at what it would be like for a kid to have Superman as a buddy, and I understand the appeal of that. But bringing Robin into a story is it usually means you have to bring in Batman, or at least parts of Batman’s world. And when you put them next to each other, Batman’s world tends to upstage Superman’s. It’s darker, and filled with more colorful characters. Thus, I feel like this story drew attention away from Superman, as opposed to honoring him. This story would have worked fine in The Brave and the Bold, but not here. Not when it’s supposed to be one of Superman’s big issues. There were no DC heroes who made guest appearances in Batman #700. So why do that to Superman?
Jurgens’ story is the second in a trio. James Robinson and Bernard Chang open the book with a story about what it’s like for Superman and Lois Lane to reunite after such a long time apart in the New Krypton storyline. The story is good, but we see a little bit of that bad dialogue Robinson displayed in Justice League: Cry For Justice. He plays Lois as too much of a love-struck damsel for my taste. Granted, she is Superman’s wife. But I didn’t think it was entirely true to the character.
Luckily, J. Michael Straczynski and Eddy Barrows turn up the quality at the end, with their prelude to their upcoming story, “Grounded.” In the coming months, Straczynski and Barrows will take command of the Superman monthly book to tell a story in which the Man of Steel tries to re-establish his connection with humanity in the aftermath of War of the Supermen by taking a long walk across the planet. Remember when Forrest Gump ran across the country? That’s basically what Superman is doing here. It’s a really intriguing premise, and it has the potential to be one of the best Superman stories in several years. Eddy Barrows should also get a big bump in status once this story is over.
DC apparently thought it would be a nice little stunt to have Superman and Batman both mark their 700th issues in the same month. But Batman #700 ended up being far superior to the Superman counterpart. And that’s a shame, because it gives Superman’s detractors yet another reason to unfairly bash him. In the case of this Dan Jurgens story, it was simply wrong place, wrong time.
Front page art from gftyweb.com.