I’ve been pondering the adage ‘never judge a book by its cover’ recently, but for comic book readers, that’s something we’ve pretty much always done, often when seeking out new titles. Before the rise of the internet and comic review websites, the often spectacular covers of comics were all we had to go on in order to make our purchasing decisions.
And that adage was firmly in mind when I picked up the first issue of DC’s new six issue miniseries, Jurassic League. I mean, just look at that glorious artwork, featuring iconic superheroes in dinosaur form. How could anyone possibly resist that?
Thankfully, the content is as good as the cover promises.
It begins with a familiar scene: an infant is sent into space, launched from a dying planet and heading straight for Earth. However, in this universe it’s a dinosaur-esque alien which reaches a prehistoric Earth – with primitive humans finding the egg and raising the hatchling as one of their own.
As we flash forward several years, we see how this world – with prehistoric puns on familiar location names, such as Growltham City and Metraaaghpolis – has evolved in a different way to our own, with dinosaurs having become bipedal and intelligent, with their own superheroes to boot.
It’s a really fun concept and much is made of the savage, animalistic setting – despite how daft the concept is and just how appealingly colourful everything is shown to be, it’s surprisingly heavy on blood and general violence. We’re whisked from one ‘city’ and its defenders (as well as each location’s villains) at quite a pace, with plenty of characters to get the Jurassic treatment. There’s some neat foreshadowing of characters and situations to come too; plus, a cliffhanger which looks like it’ll set up a major conflict for issue 2.
Juan Gedeon and Daniel Warren Johnson, credited as co-writers, have crafter a clever, amusing and surprisingly bloody opening chapter here, with Gedeon also playing a massive part in what makes Jurassic League work so well with his phenomenal art. Mike Spicer brings a wonderfully vibrant feel to the shenanigans with his brilliant colours and Ferran Delgado’s exaggerated, varied lettering really stands out too. It’s a superb, brilliantly crafted comic all round then – and it’s brought us a world that I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of.
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