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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Jurassic Park #0 (Topps Comics)
Written by Walter Simonson
Pencils by Gil Kane
Inks by Mike DeCarlo
Cover by Gil Kane

Millionaire industrialist John Hammond plays his ace to convince his backers that his over-budget, behind schedule, secret new theme park is worth funding.

Story Summary

A few years before the events of the Jurassic Park movie, John Hammond and lawyer Donald Gennaro stand on a hill on Isla Nublar, overlooking a fleet of bulldozers which are clearing land for the building of the coming theme park. Although the investors have been let in on Hammond's secret, Gennaro is still in the dark and bemoans the fact that Hammond's secret project is already behind schedule and starting to go over budget.

In an attempt to allay Gennaro's fears, Hammond drives him in a Jeep back to the temporary building acting as construction headquarters. There, he shows the jittery lawyer a film spool of clips from old dinosaur and monster movies with the best special effects of their time. But the dull Gennaro is not impressed and is confused by Hammond's decision to waste his time with it.

Then Hammond drives him to another location, a laboratory that has been built on the island, filled with the latest and most expensive scientific equipment. Gennaro is introduced to Dr. Henry Wu, who announces that the first hatchling is about to emerge. They walk to an incubator filled with large eggs and one of them does indeed hatch, a small lizard-like creature emerging. Gennaro is grossed out by the little thing. Hammond tells him it will grow huge, for it is a Tyrannosaurus rex. But Gennaro remains unimpressed and wonders if Hammond is just taking his investors to the cleaners. "Personally, I wouldn't walk out of a men's room to see something like this!"

"Someday, this little fellow may surprise you!" Hammond answers. 



Didja Know?

The story opens on Isla Nublar, the island 120 miles west of Costa Rica that will become, in a few years, the site of Jurassic Park. "Isla Nublar" is Spanish is for "Cloud Island". This is, of course, a fictional island not existing in the real world.

On page 1, John Hammond refers to the work his crew is doing on Isla Nublar to prepare the dinosaurs' living area as "terraforming". Presumably, he means making what is to become Jurassic Park's wilderness areas habitable and safe for dinosaurs, but the term really is meant only to apply to the hypothetical process of artificially modifying an extraterrestrial planet to be Earth-like.

Didja Notice? 

The cover of this comic appears to be a scene from one of the movie clips Hammond shows Gennaro.

On page 2, artist Gil Kane draws the open mouth of a tractor arm to look representative of a slavering carnivorous dinosaur.

Hammond shows Gennaro a spool of film clips from old dinosaur and monster movies. On page 3, the first clip is said to be from The World Unknown from the mid-50s. There is no such film but it may have been inspired by the 1957 film, The Land Unknown. However, unlike the description in the comic stating that The World Unknown has brilliant stop-motion animation, The Land Unknown contains no stop-motion, the special effects being cheesy, low-budget puppets, men in suits, and monitor lizards with extra claws, horns, and scales glued to them in an attempt to make them look like their gigantic ancestors.

The film spool continues on page 4 with scenes from The Leviathan Strikes (possibly meant to represent Behemoth, the Sea Monster or Gorgo), The King of Monster Island (King Kong) and Siegfried and the Golden Fleece (representing the film Jason and the Argonauts, substituting the character of Siegfried from the Germanic opera Siegfried by Richard Wagner).

The dinosaur born on page 7 is a tyrannosaur, evidenced by the two-clawed hands and later identified on page 8. Quite possibly this depiction is intended to be the birth of the T. rex later seen in the movie Jurassic Park.

When Gennaro sees the hatchling dinosaur, he isn't impressed and wonders if Hammond is just taking his investors to the cleaners. Ironically, he says, "Personally, I wouldn't walk out of a men's room to see something like this!" A few years later, in the Jurassic Park movie, Gennaro is killed by a T. rex (probably this same one, grown up) while sitting on a toilet, hiding in a JP men's room.

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