Look, I’m just going to cut to the chase, because I’m sure you’re just dying to know how things turned out after the thrilling conclusion to Redemption #4: Dr. Backer walks away from his attempt to lasso a dinosaur unscathed. In fact, thanks to the timely intervention of a couple of military-types with very fancy guns, his efforts are quite successful.
I must admit, despite having deemed the events of the previous issue ‘f**king ridiculous,’ I couldn’t help but find this a little underwhelming. Having accepted the ridiculousness of it all, I was expecting — and, I must admit, looking forward to — something more… over the top.
This disappointment, however, was short-lived. A mere two pages after Backer’s moment of triumph, Redemption returns to form in spectacular fashion as Lex puts a pair of dinosaurs in simultaneous headlocks.
Because of course she does.
From that point on, Issue #5 doesn’t let up. More dinos are lassoed, Tim attempts to explain himself, and the sheriff has an unfortunate encounter with the business end of Redemption’s very own attempt to join both Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World in trying to outdo the T. rex: a Giganotosaurus.
Interestingly, this isn’t the only comparison to be made to those films — but we’ll get to that later, because while all this is going on, Mr. Ludlow is in a bit of trouble.
His wheelchair incapacitated by the previous issue’s removal of its control knob, he’s unable to do anything other than scream as a group of Unidentifiedosauruses enter the room and start chewing on his face.
It’s a gruesome death, and might have been impressively unsettling if the effect weren’t ruined by the laughable appearance of the unidentified dinosaurs, the leader of which looks distinctly like someone in a none-too-convincing suit as it makes its entrance.
This inability to recognise what species the various animals belong to has been a recurring theme throughout Redemption — largely, I’m sad to say, because of its woefully inconsistent art. In some panels, the animals look quite good — in others, decidedly not. Issue #4’s flashback to the events of The Lost World is a prime example of this, with there apparently being no effort whatsoever made to make the tyrannosaurs resemble their film counterparts.
Early on, I was willing to forgive some of these inconsistencies, appreciating the fact that some of their less-detailed depictions recall archaic depictions of the animals, but I can’t pretend that they didn’t start to grate on me as I spent more time with the comics. Coupled with the uniform, grey-green colouration, their presentation seems, frankly, lazy — unbecoming of a franchise as well-established as Jurassic.
Then again, Jurassic has always been subject to a lack of attention both baffling and frustrating — and given that Redemption was released in 2010, when the future of the series still seemed uncertain, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Needless to say, I’ll be very interested to see how things are handled in the upcoming Jurassic World comics…
Back in Glen Rose, the Gignotosaurus is distracted by the alarm of the nearby nuclear facility — finally coming into play after its brief appearance in Issue #2. Mistaking the alarm for a mating call, it stomps off to find the source, which, ultimately, leads to its demise — a demise which comes in the form of a group of Velociraptors and a hungry Mosasaurus.*
It’s this conclusion that brings us back to Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World, being a hybrid — *coughs* — of a discarded ending for the former (in which the Spinosaurus was taken down by the Raptors), and the actual ending of the latter.
Between this and Dr. Wu having vacated Nublar with a complete set of DNA in tow, I have to wonder if Redemption, though definitely not canon, nonetheless made its mark on Jurassic World…
Nuclear crisis averted, Redemption closes somewhat abruptly with Lex and Tim paying a visit to John Hammond’s final resting place — where Tim, having had it returned to him by Dr. Backer, lays the ball of amber.
I couldn’t help but hear the echo of a piano, playing a certain theme, in my memory.
Truthfully, with everything said and done, I don’t quite know what to make of Redemption.
I knew, going in, that it was going to be a little ‘out there’, and while it certainly had a decent moment or two in amongst the madness, I found it to be at its best when — whether intentionally or not — referencing the events of stories other than its own, towards which I feel decidedly ambivalent. For me, it just didn’t manage to sell itself as a plausible follow-up to the events of the films. Its characters — though I did enjoy Lex being something of a badass — didn’t seem like natural evolutions of their former selves. And then, of course, there’s the distinctly uninspired presentation.
It had been my intention to take a similar, issue-by-issue approach when covering the remainder of IDW’s JP exploits; now, however, I’m not so sure. I think it might, perhaps, be better to read the various issues of the two remaining stories — The Devils in the Desert and Dangerous Games — and summarise my thoughts on them in a single post for each.
Whatever the case, I’ll have to get around to them sooner rather than later — those Jurassic World comics are definitely coming along at some point this year, and I’d like to have IDW’s current repertoire behind me by the time they show up.