The Jurassic League #1
It's the Justice League, except they're dinosaurs. And isn't that all anybody needs from a comic...?
Superheroes and dinosaurs: I’m not sure why nobody really ever thought of it before, but damn, it’s an idea whose time has come. From ridiculously-fun-over-the-top-but-with-heart comic-maker Daniel Warren Johnson (Murder Falcon, Wonder Woman: Dead Earth, Beta Ray Bill) and Juan Gedeon (Venom, Pennyworth) comes the sublime world of Jurassic League, which comes not to be an erudite, staid meditation on the state of whatever, or an analogy for climate change, or anything like that. No. This comic exists because it’s cool to see dinosaurs dressed up like our favorite heroes, and whomp on each other.
My infectious enthusiasm for this comic stands in complete contrast to another comic that came out this week that is primarily about super-whomping, Jurassic League knows EXACTLY what it’s about, and leans into it hard, having fun with every panel and every page. Despite not having a deep story by any stretch of the imagination, Jurassic League plays to its strengths with a self-confidence that most creators can only aspire to. Johnson is extremely choosy with his projects; when this miniseries was announced, I was initially a tad skeptical since he wouldn’t be both writing and drawing. I shouldn’t have – Juan Gedeon is the perfect tag-team partner for him. They both have a rich detail to their explosive, kinetically cartoony energy, and can draw the living hell out of anything they set their mind to with the kind of raw brute force that absolutely leaps off the page. Mike Spicer, who normally colors Warren’s solo work, is in play here and does an absolute gangbusters job. Check out this double-splash debuting, ahem, Bat-Walker:
It’s not just the concept here that screams “labor of love,” though. It’s the little details. It’s Ferran Delgado’s luminous, scratchy lettering. Or the fact that its world is full of low-hanging fruit like “Growltham City” and “Blackmantasaurus” and my personal favorite, “MetrAAAGHpolis.” Names like that let the reader know exactly where this project stands, and it’s all the better for it. Or the careful bits of world-building deliberately placed throughout that create a deft sense of the world itself, without necessarily being an exposition dump. (And if you’re looking for historical accuracy, forget it – yes, dinosaurs and early mankind exist side-by-side here. Deal with it.) In a world full of self-important comics where it’s the end of the multiverse every other week, sometimes it’s fun to have comics that are just FUN. Congratulations to everybody involved – you absolutely nailed it.
Jurassic League #1 is the comics equivalent to a song of the summer: fun, frothy, and ridiculously awesome and catchy. Tired of self-important end-of-everything comics? Get on over here and check this out instead!
Jurassic League #1: HERE THERE BE DINOS!
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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