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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Jurassic Park: Raptors Hijack #4 (Topps Comics)
Written by Steve Englehart
Pencils by Neil Vokes
Inks by Rich Rankin
Cover by Michael Golden

Biosyn pens in the raptors.

Story Summary

As the issue opens, the raptor eggs hatch and Celia and Alf are the proud parents of six baby Sleestak, uh, raptors. But Alf soon notices that he and his new family have been penned in by Biosyn's walls, flown in by helicopters and secured by a construction crew.

Meanwhile, Muldoon and Grant have survived their jump into the river, but now find themselves stranded on a small island of dirt in the middle of it.

Simultaneously, Malcolm has recovered from his fever and he and Ellie share an impulsive kiss but then Ellie says Alan is still the man for her; Malcolm respects her devotion and agrees to leave her alone. The two of them set out to find Muldoon and Grant, who have now been gone from the village for 3 days. They eventually stumble upon the raptor enclosure built by Biosyn. They are discovered by Dr. Fischer and his men. But, just then, Alf and Celia emerge from the ground, having dug a tunnel under the imprisoning walls. They immediately attack the Biosyn personnel who tried to confine them, killing them all, even killing Dr. Belvedere.

The dinosaurs then turn to Malcolm and Ellie, but seem to remember still the help given to Celia by Ellie and, leaving the two humans alone, disappear into the jungle with their six hatchlings.

Soon an InGen copter flies over and Malcolm and Ellie are rescued. Instead of pursuing the raptors, Ellie demands they find Grant and Muldoon first.

Two days later, Grant, Ellie, Malcolm, and Muldoon are all together in Caracas, Venezuela celebrating their survival. Muldoon is bitter that the raptors made their getaway; they'll never be found now in 10,000 square miles of jungle.



Didja Notice? 

The cover is rather misleading seeing as how it proclaims in bold letters "You'll believe a raptor can die!" but none of them even come close to dying in this issue.

As this issue opens, the raptor eggs, laid at the end of the previous issue, are already hatching! I simply can't believe that a raptor baby's gestation period is so incredibly short. It's really just an example of Hollywood-movie-style scripting, where everything happens in incredibly short time spans in order to fit it into the story.

On page 4, Dr. Fischer says, "Versteh?" This is German for "Understand?"

In the previous issue, "Fever", Dr. Fischer made a big deal about the walls being built out of sight from the raptor nest so as not to provoke them. But here on page 5, one of the walls of the enclosure appears to be just a short distance away.

Page 7 reveals that Alf was the raptor who picked the lock on their cage after seeing Grant attempt it on his and Ellie's in "Dark Cargo".

Page 9 mentions that Muldoon and Grant had jumped into the Rio Negro river. This is a real river and a tributary of the Amazon River.

When Malcolm awakens from his fever on page 10, he and Ellie share an impulsive kiss, but then Ellie says Alan is still the man for her. Later, Malcolm apologizes for all his come-ons to her and says he respects the true love she shows for Grant. "It was the kiss that did it. Showed you were an adult who knew her own mind, which proves you're not 'Mrs. Malcolm' material."

On page 14, the Indian man tells the InGen man that Muldoon and Grant left the village 3 days ago.

On page 20, the two adult raptors appear to be overturning the two Biosyn Jeeps with the force of their ramming bodies. It doesn't seem to me that their relatively modest size and strength would be enough to do that.

As the story ends, Grant, Ellie, Malcolm, and Muldoon are in Caracas, Venezuela two days later. Caracas (officially known as Santiago de Leon de Caracas) is the capital of Venezuela.

The last line of dialog in the story is Malcolm saying, "And God bless us, every one!" This is borrowed from the last line (and earlier line of dialog by Tiny Tim) of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

The last page of the story ends with "The End! (for now...)", implying that Englehart may have intended to pick up the raptor thread later on. However, after the nine issues of Return to Jurassic Park that were published after Jurassic Park: Raptors Hijack, Topps Comics folded, leaving a few loose ends in their interpretation of the Jurassic Park saga.

The 10-issue saga of the raptors ends here, with Alf and Celia and their six babies still living and roaming free in the Amazon rainforest. Muldoon laments that they'll never be tracked in 10,000 square miles of jungle. They or their descendents may still be there today...

Notes from Raptor Renderings

In the Raptor Renderings column of Return to Jurassic Park #2, the editors reveal that there were plans to catch up with the two loose raptors Celia and Alf in future issues. But Topps' JP comics series ended with issue #9 of Return to Jurassic Park without getting around to this story.

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