Monday, July 14, 2014

Extinction Event Mini-Series Review

Extinction Event
DC Comics - Wildstorm
Comic Book Mini-Series
32/ea. = 160 pages (2003)
$2.50/ea. = $12.50

Published: Extinction Event #1-5 (of 5)

Contributors: Robert Weinberg, Brett Booth, Sal Regla, John Layman, and Wildstorm FX

Synopsis: The contents of a secret tomb in Texas threatens to rock the world when proof of sentient dinosaurs is revealed!  An unknown breed of technologically savvy dinosaurs is found in suspended animation amid the ruins of their incredible civilization.  They apparently safeguarded themselves from the extinction level event of a falling meteor which wiped out all the other dinosaurs on the planet millions of years ago.  Now a group of soldiers, scientists, and cowboys explore the silent halls of the dinosaurs ancient sanctuary.

The secret cave is located on the Double Bar Ranch owned by tom-boy heartbreaker Samantha Gonzalez.  General Steele calls in two specialists for the operation including retired ace pilot Colonel Benson and computer specialist Lieutenant Cornelius.  Alicia Vaughan is a reporter posing undercover to figure out the secret of the dig site and reveal it to the world.  Chief paleontologist Dr. Melissa Cyre is the dinosaur expert, but her knowledge could be lacking when the dinosaurs are actually alive!

It becomes apparent the dinosaurs had an incredibly advanced civilization after examination of their machinery shows it to still be functional.  Discovery of the creche triggers the process to awaken them and the dinosaurs are not impressed with the pathetic mammalian civilization which has supplanted their dominance over the planet!

When the dinosaurs awaken it becomes frighteningly clear the humans are not prepared for their arrival.  Equipped with powerful technology and psychic abilities the dinosaurs begin their destructive assault.  Only our intrepid group of specialists stand in the way of total dinosaur domination!  Humans have enjoyed mastery over nature and the planet for millennia, but what happens when they become the next endangered species?

Pros: Reminded me of Jurassic Park crossed with Aliens, some decent and mildly inspired art by Brett Booth (he draws good dinosaurs), unique sci-fi story premise

Cons: Short mini-series at only five issues, ending begs for a sequel which will never happen, Booth seemingly excels at rendering humans with tiny bodies and overly extended appendages, overall weak plot

Mike Tells It Straight: I came across this set of books in a bargain bin and decided to try them out.  The mini-series had a few interesting moments which mainly dealt with the discovery of the suspended dinosaurs, but was overall a mediocre book.  Don't expect this to be collected anytime soon.  While the premise seems mildly interesting and Weinberg does his best Jurassic Park interpretation the story ends up being far-fetched B-movie fodder.

Booth's art was a big draw for me since I was a child of the 90's during the formation of Image Comics.  The character Backlash and Booth's early work on Stormwatch were particularly memorable to me.  I'll always hold Backlash/Spider-Man in high regard, but it becomes obvious the artistic evolution of Image proteges doesn't include fundamental art principles when you get right down to it.  Despite the flash and style, Booth's anatomy is wonky (disproportionately long torsos and limbs) and backgrounds are spotty.  He's still a great artist with a lot of potential, but the art is awkward here.

I would let this one fade into obscurity.  It will never be collected and that's a sign.  I won't discount the obvious hard work involved in producing the series - the creators did a good job, however it's not a truly memorable story and won't be coming to a cinema near you.

TO BUY and Recommendations: