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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
"Death Lizards"
Jurassic Park Annual #1 (Topps Comics)
Written by Neil Barrett Jr.
Pencils by Claude St. Aubin
Inks by Andrew Pepoy
Cover by Michael Golden

A pack of Dilophosaurs makes themselves known in Costa Rica.

Story Summary

Some time after the events of "No-Man's Land" (and the subsequent IDW mini-series Dangerous Games), all the dinosaurs are gone from Isla Nublar and a storm strikes the island. A tree carrying a cache of dinosaur eggs is washed out to sea.

4 years later, a series of attacks blamed on the legendary hupia strikes Costa Rica. Both the police and the Eagles motorcycle gang investigate and come face-to-face with a pride of Dilophosaurs. After some human losses, the Eagles finally trick the carnivores into running off the edge of a cliff, where they plummet to their doom.

The humans mourn their dead, hoping the nightmare is past. But, in the jungle, at least one Dilophosaur survives with a new cache of eggs.


Didja Notice? 

The story opens an unknown amount of time after the events of Jurassic Park. The narrative on page 2 tells us that Isla Nublar used to host a dinosaur theme park that never quite got off the ground due to some bad luck. It also states: The dinosaurs are gone now. And even if they weren't, they would present no problem. They were all genetically altered so they couldn't possibly reproduce...right? Yet, that does not explain eggs, lodged in a tree, and set adrift to who knows where... This seems to ignore both the original source material of the Jurassic Park movie/novel and Topps' own material presented as taking place shortly after the movie. Possibly, the narrative is meant to be seen as assuming the perspective of the official word from InGen and/or the U.S. government that the dinosaurs were incapable of breeding.

Page 2's narrative above also brings up a second question, namely, what happened to the dinosaurs? The dinosaurs were still alive at the end of the film and Topps' many comic book issues (not to mention IDW's mini-series Dangerous Games) establish the dinosaurs flourishing on Isla Nublar for at least some months afterward. The dinosaurs couldn't have been gone long at this point since there are still viable, unhatched eggs. Perhaps an as-yet-untold story will surface to explain the dinosaurs disappearance.

Page 1 suggests that, even though there are no longer any dinosaurs on the island, there are still some people, as we see a couple of men running for shelter from the storm. They may be U.S. or UN forces stationed there to be sure the dinosaurs are completely gone and that no person lands on the island to cause further mischief.

The story starts off mentioning the first and second hurricanes of the season, Avila and Bianca. There were no such-named storms in the 1990s-2000s, so these are fictional hurricanes. The naming scheme used here is proper though, in that after 1979 hurricanes were named in an alphabetical manner starting anew each year with "A" and using a male name for one followed by a female name for the next, etc.

Page 4 and on through the end of the story take place 4 years after Hurricane Bianca. This places "Death Lizards" sometime after The Lost World, since the dialog between Hammond and Malcolm in the film seems to indicate that it has been four years since the initial incident at Jurassic Park in the film Jurassic Park.

On page 5, Paco says, "Diablo de infierno--!", Spanish for "devil of Hell" or "Hell's devil".

On page 6, the Costa Rican police captain mentions the hupia, described as "night ghosts". This is a real term and belief in the native Taino cultures of the Caribbean. Most likely writer Barrett borrowed this from Michael Crichton's novel of Jurassic Park in which some of the Procompsognathus dinosaurs on Isla Nublar have managed to escape to the mainland and are mistaken by the Latin American natives as hupia.

Also on page 6, Sergeant Sabastian mentions the cities of Santa Cruz and Puntarenas in Costa Rica. These are real cities. In the Jurassic Park novel, Puntarenas is mentioned as one of the cities suffering from attacks on children by the hupia.

On page 7, Aguilar says, "Dios!" This is Spanish for "God!"

On page 8, Aguilar says "amigo" and "Cubano". "Amigo" is "friend" and "Cubano" is "Cuban" in Spanish.

On page 9, we learn the nicknames of several of Aguilar's friends: Cubano, El Raton, Tigre, Toro. These are Spanish for Cuban, Mouse, Tiger, and Bull, respectively.

On page 10 Cantana calls Jorge "estupido". This is Spanish for "stupid".

On page 13, one of Aguilar's friends calls a policeman "simplon". This is Spanish for "simpleton".

On page 14, Toro says "aqui", "monstruos" and "Calle Garcia". These are Spanish for "here", "monster" and "Garcia Street".

On page 16, a man says "vaya", Spanish for "you go".

On page 17, Aguilar says, "Que pasa?" This is Spanish for "What's happening?"

Also on page 17, Toro says "nada", Spanish for "nothing".

On page 18, the Spanish terms "pura gasa", "companeros" and "mi corozon" are used. They mean "baloney" (literally "pure gauze"), "companions" and "my heart", respectively.

On page 19, the Spanish phrases "muy repugnante", "el loco" and "Aguilas" are used. They mean "very repugnant", "crazy" and "Eagles", respectively. This seems to indicate that Aguilar's motorcycle gang is called the Eagles, possibly based on the similarity to his own last name; this would also tend to imply that he is the founder of the gang.

On page 21, panel 1, one of the Dilophosaurs is missing the crests on his head. 

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