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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
"No Man's Land"
Return to Jurassic Park #1 (Topps Comics)
Written by Steve Englehart
Pencils by Joe Staton
Inks by Rich Rankin
Cover by Michael Golden

Hammond finds himself blocked off from his own island by the U.S. Army, so he clandestinely sends in his “team” to investigate.

Story Summary

A ship at sea off the coast of Costa Rica finds a U.S. Army soldier floating, barely alive, in the water. They pull him aboard and he keeps babbling about a "green flame" before dying.

At InGen headquarters in Palo Alto, CA, Hammond receives a report about the discovery. Suspicious, he calls General West on Isla Nublar, telling him he wants to pay a visit to his island to see how the captures are going. West stalls him, saying the roads are clogged with machinery from the work they are doing to secure the dinosaurs. After hanging up, Hammond is convinced West is lying and tells his assistant Edgar to assemble their own team to infiltrate the island.

Grant, Ellie, and Muldoon are called in and convinced to return to Jurassic Park, with Edgar accompanying them. They arrive secretly via underwater jet skis and, once on the island, quickly encounter a number of loose dinosaurs. They begin to suspect that the Army has deliberately left the dinos loose as guard dogs against intruders who may wish to spy on whatever the Army is really doing on the island.

They decide to hike to high ground to see the lay of the land. It is night by the time they arrive at the top. Suddenly they see a huge column of green, sparkling light shoot up from the middle of the island. It must the mysterious green flame! But what is it?



Didja Notice? 

This issue's title, "No Man's Land" is not to be confused with the title of Return to Jurassic Park #4, "No-Man's Land".

The pterosaurs on the cover may be Dimorphodons.

The map of Costa Rica on page 2 looks like it's from a real map or globe with real place names (aside from the presence of Isla Nublar; but where is Isla Sorna?), but it's been colored incorrectly. What appears to be the Caribbean Sea in the top right corner is actually part of the Parque Internacional La Amistad.

On page 3, Hammond tells Edgar that General West is a "double-dipped lair". Uh, I think he means "liar".

Page 5 depicts Grant, Ellie, Malcolm, and Muldoon enjoying the sun and water at a tropical resort. Presumably they are still in Caracas, Venezuela where they've been resting and recovering from their recent adventures as shown at the end of "Trapped".

On page 9, Grant, Ellie, Muldoon, and Edgar secretly arrive on Isla Nublar on underwater jet skis very similar to the one used by George Lawala in "Aftershocks". They even used the same underwater cave entrance he did.

On page 10, panel 2, the dialog balloon appears to have been mistakenly given to Edgar when it should have gone to either Grant or Ellie. He says, "The Army probably thought we were kidnapped off the beach. They didn't find the cave so they don't guard it." But Edgar was not kidnapped from the island; only Grant and Ellie were (in "Aftershocks").

On page 11, Ellie refers to the dinosaur threatening the group as a Stegosaurus. But the dino depicted has a double row of plates along its back, so it can't be a Stegosaurus, which had only one row. The stegosaurid pictured is another species, probably a Kentrosaurus or Tuojiangosaurus.

On page 22, Grant compares what the Army has done with Isla Nublar to Area 51 in Nevada. This proves to be prophetic, which I comment on further in the study of the similarly titled "No-Man's Land" from Return to Jurassic Park #4. Area 51 is a top secret U.S. military base in the Nevada desert, suspected by some of housing the remains and technology of crashed extraterrestrial ships.

The story continuously refers to a Tyrannosaurus roaming the island's jungle rather than the Tyrannosaurus, implying that there is more than one on Isla Nublar ("No Wimp's Land" in Return to Jurassic Park #3 also has Muldoon talking like there is more than one T. rex on the island). But in the movie Jurassic Park, Hammond implies they have just one (at least on Isla Nublar; it's later revealed in The Lost World that there are more on Isla Sorna).

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