True Origin of Jurassic Park Revealed in Marvel Comics

Monday, September 27, 2021

The surprising inspiration for Jurassic Park in Marvel's Comic Universe has been revealed in the newest issue of Symbiote Spider-Man: Crossroads.

Warning: contains spoilers for Symbiote Spider-Man: Crossroads #3!

The hit novel Jurassic Park spawned a best-selling franchise, but in the Marvel Universe, it had a surprising origin. In Symbiote Spider-Man: Crossroads #3, Marvel Comics reveals that Michael Crichton, the best-selling novelist, may have known Bruce Banner back in the 1980s. The story about the dangers of technological advancement was inspired by the adventures of the Hulk - at least within Marvel's comic universe.

Jurassic Park, written by Michael Crichton, was released in 1990. The rights to adapt the novel into a film were purchased before it was published, resulting in the classic film of the same name in 1993. Since then Jurassic Park has expanded into novel sequels, multiple film sequels, amusement park rides, video games, and comic books. Now, it seems the novel also exists in Marvel's universe - albeit thanks to an unusual inspiration.

The secret origin of Jurassic Park in Symbiote Spider-Man Crossroads #3 is disclosed by the creative team of Peter David, Jay Leisten, Frank D'Armata, and Joe Sabino. After facing off against Karnilla, Queen of the Norns, Spider-Man and Hulk are shunted outside of reality to the mystical Crossroads. From there, they end up in a prehistoric dimension, caught in a misunderstanding with Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur. As Guilt Hulk (a lesser-known Bruce Banner transformation created in Peter David's previous run of Incredible Hulk) fights Devil Dinosaur, Hulk says, "Fighting a T-Rex. There's a story in here somewhere. I should give Crichton a call when I get back."

This series takes place in the 1980s, when Spider-Man wore his symbiote suit, placing it at the perfect time for Crichton to be inspired to write his famous novel. The reference to Crichton doesn't imply that the book is already in existence within the universe, so this legitimately seems like it will be the conversation that spurs Jurassic Park's creation. Of course, Jurassic Park doesn't feature gamma mutates fighting against dinosaurs, but Hulk's alter ego Bruce Banner is a scientist. Michael Crichton may not have been a scientist himself, but he was curious about the intersections of science and technology. Many of Crichton's works fall under the heading of science fiction or thrillers with scientific elements, including TimelineNextSphere, and Prey. He was particularly interested in genetics, a topic which was prevalent in Jurassic Park.

Ironically, this adventure also bears some resemblance to elements of the film-adapted novel, Congo, which Michael Crichton also wrote. That novel featured killer gorillas (the Killer Folk are very ape-like) and the search for a lost expedition within the rainforests of the Congo (this is a jungle setting). It also includes diamonds and while the gem empowering Hulk isn't a diamond, it's valuable nonetheless. However, that novel was published in 1980 and would have pre-dated this Hulk adventure within the Marvel Comics' universe, making it more likely that the reference to Crichton is intended as a shout out to an author whose work inspired this story rather than vice versa. In real life, the credit for Jurassic Park goes solely to Michael Crichton, but in Marvel Comics, it turns out he had a little help from the Hulk.