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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
"Heirs to the Thunder" Part 2
Return to Jurassic Park #6 (Topps Comics)
Written by Tom & Mary Bierbaum
Pencils by Armando Gil
Inks by Fred Carillo and Steve Montano
Cover by Michael Golden

Derek and Abby find themselves in jeopardy from the insane Dr. Gustavus.

Story Summary

As this issue opens, the boat is preparing to leave Isla Nublar in the midst of the storm. Some of the employees are worried they haven't seen Abby and Derrick all day.

In Dr. Gustavus' hideout, the good doctor is about to shoot Abby and Derrick and leave their bodies for the carnivores when the ledge of the outcrop on which the hut sits begins to give way under the pelting rain. The hut shakes and Gustavus' shot goes wild. Our two heroes are able to make a dash for it and run to their Jeep. Gustavus begins chasing them in his Jeep until they slide off the muddy road and crash.

Again he is about to shoot them when a Dilophosaurus suddenly bites his arm and shoulder from behind. Abby and Derrick dash again and use Gustavus' Jeep to return to the hut to radio for help. When they arrive they find the shaking has freed the mutant baby dinos and they have made a mess of the equipment in the hut. Derrick finds the radio dead, but then a chewed-up Gustavus suddenly appears in the door, informing them the radio just needs to be reconnected to work. He still has his rifle and holds the two at bay while he radios for a rescue copter, saying he is the only survivor in the area.

One of the baby dinos is playing with a loaded gun and it goes off, the bullet striking Gustavus. He is still alive but Abby and Derrick must abandon him as the Quonset hut begins to slide off the cliff. They jump out and grab a tree root sticking out of the cliff face, hanging as the hut and its passengers plunge to the ocean below.

The rescue copter shows up and pulls the two to safety.



Didja Know?

This issue takes place the same time as the storm in the movie Jurassic Park.

Didja Notice? 

The cover of this issue features a baby mutant dinosaur atop a pile of guns and equipment. The most prominent gun below the dinosaur has an inscription identifying the maker as Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Mass. The Smith & Wesson gun company has its headquarters in Springfield.

The dinosaurs on page 1, panel 2 appear to be some kind of hadrosaurids (duck-billed dinosaurs), but I'm not aware of a species with quite the same strange ornamentation on top of the head as depicted.

On page 3 the same Jurassic Triassic book by Evans, and computer server with "Lilie" scrawled on the front as was seen in "Heirs to the Thunder" Part 1, appear in Dr. Gustavus' hideout. So they must be meaningful to the artist if no one else!

On page 7, Abby sarcastically says to Derrick, "Nice driving, 'Mario'!" She is likely referring to racecar legend Mario Andretti, though he was long retired by then, having last professionally raced in 1982. Another possibility is the video game character Super Mario who has appeared in a number of video games published by Nintendo, in this case the Mario Kart series of games about go-kart racing.

The Dilophosaurus that appears on page 8 is depicted as much larger than the ones seen in the Jurassic Park film. However, the size depicted here is about right for an adult Dilophosaurus breedorum. Possibly the dilophosaurs seen in the film were juveniles.

The dinosaur that chases the Jeep on page 10, identified by Derrick as an Elaphrosaurus, was a real dinosaur.

On page 12, one of the little dinos knocks down the Evans book.

The gun that goes off in the dinosaur's clutches on page 15 is identified by its inscription as an IJ-70 .380 ACP, made in Russia. The IJ-70 is a real gun, from the Russian firearms manufacturer Baikal as a modified Makarov pistol (being the Soviet military's standard sidearm from 1951-1991).

The scene of Gustavus' Quonset hut sliding off the muddy cliffside in the rain down into the ocean below is very similar to the scene in the JP film The Lost World in which Eddie Carr's high-tech "motor home" meets its end in nearly the same manner. This issue was released in 1995, while the film was in 1997. Was Spielberg inspired by this scene in the comic?

Conveniently, the mutant baby dinosaurs all fall into the ocean with the hut, wiping out Gustavus' experiment. However, the very last panel of the story shows the base of the oceanfront cliff and some baby dino sound effects...YEEK EEK RAWR.

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