Focusing on the two kids from “Jurassic Park” – Alexa and Tim Murphy – and set thirteen years after the first “Jurassic Park” movie, this comic opens with a flashback to two years prior to the rest of this book. Presumably, that segment is eleven years after the film, unless that opening is the thirteen years, which would make the rest of the story fifteen years after the movie, but honestly, that jump up and back sets the bar for the pacing and scattered nature of this book.
There are a few stories at play here: Alexa is trying to get the United Nations to continue their sanctions that have the islands where the dinosaurs were raised and kept off limits; a “professor” Backer (not to be confused with Robert Bakker, although the intent is clear) is developing a new collection of dinosaurs that need to be relocated; Tim has a Senator working sly deals for him; and a random motorcyclist gets stopped in Texas. Yes, the last one didn’t seem to make sense to me either.
The art hits the ground tumbling. It’s filled with frozen figures and detail inconsistencies. Within the first two pages, we’re treated to disappearing conference room chairs and odd point of view selections. The bald guy – whose name we never learn in the opening sequence – seems ready to smite Tim Murphy with a notebook that is suddenly on fire in the next panel. I think the bald guy might have super powers to be able to do that. I don’t know. Van Dyke has the basic chops for comic book work, but this is a book that would do much better with more than just the basic chops. Characters, introduced here for the first time, need to be recognizable the next time they appear on page in this issue. Some characters are drawn so very similarly that it’s hard to discern if they actually are the same or different, such as the guy who zaps the triceratops and Tim Murphy.
“Jurassic Park” was a hit because of the dinosaurs, not the characters. The dinosaurs here are few and far between. They’re not presented as real threats, and they aren’t extremely well drawn. The raptors shown in this issue look more like humanoid saurians from “Star Trek” or some such than velociraptors. Sure, no one knows what a velociraptor truly looked like, but the movie presented a masterful template that should have at least been adhered to.
This book is a major disappointment to me. I loved the first movie, and had high hopes for this series, especially once I saw the covers for this issue. After this bumpy start, I’m not sure there’s any chance this book can recover.