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Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the year 1993 for another look at Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park in the form of licensed comic books published by Topps Comics.
In my previous retro review, the comic book still had the creative issues of heavy exposition and being very word-heavy to read as the creators focused on adapting the movie’s story closely (from the iconic brachiosaurus scene up to the encounter with the triceratops). Compared to issue #1, the comic book’s narrative improved temporarily as it closely adapted the lunch-and-talk scene between John Hammond, Donald Gennaro, Ellie Sattler, Alan Grant and Ian Malcolm whose dialogue was easily the most engaging in both film and in literary format.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at Jurassic Park #3, published in 1993 by Topps Comics with a story written by Walter Simonson and drawn by Gil Kane with ink work done by the late George Perez. This comic book was the third of a 4-issue mini-series based on the Spielberg-directed movie.
The story begins with the group of Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, Ian Malcolm, Donald Gennaro and the two kids Lex and Tim who are shocked to see a living triceratops. The large dinosaur, however, falls down on its side causing Ellie Sattler to go near and examine it. Gerry Harding, a Jurassic Park employee, suddenly appears and explains that the triceratops was tranquilized by Robert Muldoon and has been sick. After examining the dinosaur further, Ellie wants to have its droppings examined.
Back in the control room of Jurassic Park, Ray Arnold explains to John Hammond that the center of an approaching story has not changed course and states that he likes to cut the current tour and resume the next day. He emphasized to Hammond that the storm is risky to those on tour.
Just across the room, Dennis Nedry (who secretly cut a deal with a business rival of inGen’s and has been frustrated working for John Hammond) carefully communicates with the captain of the ship that will depart once all the workers have boarded. Knowing he is running out of time to steal the dinosaur embryos and send it to Biosyn, he starts his move with Jurassic Park’s main system…
When it comes to entertainment value related to spectacle, I can say clearly that this issue really marked the beginning of fun in this 4-issue mini-series. This is because this comic book includes the appearance of the Tyrannosaurus Rex (T.Rex) which arrived just when Alan Grant, Ian Malcolm, Lex, Tim and Donald Gennaro are helpless sitting inside vehicles that stopped by the said dinosaur’s paddock with the fences no longer electrified.
Of course, the minutes-long T. Rex scene in the movie remains memorable as it had a well-blended mix of suspense, action and some horror directed by Steven Spielberg. This comic book’s creators did their best to replicate the experience in illustrated literature format. While it’s not surprising that the essence of the T.Rex paddock scenes in movie were not perfectly captured, this comic book’s adaptation still managed to be entertaining to read showing suspense, horror and some thrills plus Gil Kane managed to even make the infamous dinosaur look frightening. Very clearly, Kane went all-out in presenting the T.Rex as the main dinosaur not only in this comic book but for the whole mini-series.
While the T.Rex paddock scene is the highlight of this comic book, the scene with the triceratops proved to be another exposition-heavy presentation laced with pretentious science and technical explanations dealing with plants, animal health and the like. Meanwhile, the scenes about John Hammond, Robert Muldoon and Ray Arnold struggling with the failures of the park systems while Nedry betrays them secretly were pretty intense to read.
So far, I find Jurassic Park #3 (1993) to be the most entertaining issue so far thanks to the way the comic book creators adapted the Tyrannosaurus Rex paddock scene from the movie. While the narrative still had lots of exposition and creative explanations that started since issue #1, the consequential events of Dennis Nedry’s acts intensified the reading experience and the T.Rex scenes really ramped up the fun factor.
Overall, Jurassic Park #3 (1993) is recommended.
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