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Jurassic Park: Dangerous Games #4

Reviewed by Patrick Hayes aka PatBorg

The covers: A pair for issue number four. The Regular Cover has art by Jeff Zornow who seems to be channeling Bret Blevins. Dr. Frances White is riding a triceratops and leading a stampede with a herd of the beasts through an electrified gate; above their heads are a flock (?) of pteranodons. Zornow has captured the energy of the moment but every aspect of the art rings of amateurism, or a pending deadline. And signing one's name and adding "MUST BE DESTROYED!" is just asking for shots with work of such a poor quality. Cover R(etailer) I(ncentive) is A without the colors. This version just illustrates for me how much slack the colorist had to pick up. Overall grades: A D+ and RI D.

The story: Author Erik Bear (with Story Consultant Greg Bear) makes up for the lack of thunder lizards in the previous issue. Undercover agent Espinoza is still trying to get off the island alive and gets some needed help from back-to-nature Dr. White, whose raptors left a survivor from the previous issue's carnage to interrogate. Meanwhile, island owner/drug kingpin Cazares realizes his thugs probably haven't killed the agent. The first pages's internal monologue is so over the top and unnecessary that it destroys any chance for the reader to feel any sense of dread. In fact, there's more dialogue on this page than any other in the book. It should have been edited considerably, allowing the reveal of the raptors on the first page, since new readers would be interested in seeing some of the infamous island creatures, rather than enduring a man waxing philosophic as he strolls through the jungle. The interrogation comes off a little too quick, and a chance to show White truly reverting to animalism is squandered. I couldn't believe any part of Page 10 or 11, though cool, it's just not possible in the Jurassic Park world. Much better is Espinoza's skullduggery on Pages 12 -18. I'm also having problems believing that the raptors wouldn't immediately eat the bad guys if White wasn't around; so, this, too, strains credulity for me. Thankfully, the last page is a good cliffhanger and I do admit to wanting to see how this scene will play out. Overall grade: C-

The art: I'm enjoying the cartoonish thugs' faces, but the human leads and the dinosaurs continue to under whelm me. The layout is also poor (focusing on White's cleavage unnecessarily and Page 17: Do the four panels at the top have to be that large? Isn't Hector the most important object on the page?). Jorge Jimenez, you're breaking my heart. Please stop. Overall grade: D+

The colors: The coloring continues to look faded, and only pops on Page 3 when White's hair is on the green jungles. Studio C-10, please stop. Overall grade: D+

The final line: Wasted and ruined opportunities abound. I can't wait for this all to be over, so I can consider this a bad dream. Overall grade: D+

Jurassic Park Episode Studies