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Author Topic: Did Elliot S! Maggin inspire Jurassic Park?  (Read 5351 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: August 17, 2006, 11:20:29 AM »

I am fervently and sincerely convinced that the guys that wrote Batman in the seventies have psychic powers.

For instance, in an issue of JLA #154 (1978) the Batmobile runs into a pole and an airbag is inflated; this being years and years before airbags came into common use. The first airbag patent was in the 1950s, however, still, this was pretty shocking to see in a back issue from the 1970s.

There also was a seventies Batman comic by Bob Rozakis that was about a bomb beneath Commissioner Gordon's car, which threatened to explode if the Comissioner drove below 50 miles per hour. HMMMM...

The Elliot S! Maggin.story in BATMAN FAMILY #3 (1976) is an example of this phenomenon.

It begins with tourists on a beach that were attacked by dinosaurs. When Batman and Robin go investigate the mysterious island the dinosaurs came from, they find that it is in reality run by a rangy, white bearded and eccentric outdoorsman millionaire, who is creating an amusement park for dinosaurs on his heretofore unseen mysterious island.

The freaky similarities to JURASSIC PARK suggest themselves.

Incidentally, this story also has Robin and Batgirl deducing each other's secret identities, which is a hell of a last-page bombshell to drop.

The question is, however, if Maggin knew the future, it doesn't explain why his and Bates's Imaginary Story, "Superman 2001," had futurism that with 20/20 hindsight is downright obtuse.
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2006, 12:52:38 PM »

Of course, did Maggin get the idea of an amusement park gone mad by watching Westworld?  Smiley
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2006, 03:16:54 PM »

Wel, it may be some Westworld influence as well, especially since the Speilberg movie aside, the novel was much more focused on the impossiblity of mechanical means for containing mathematical uncertainties, at least to me....
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Permanus
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2006, 07:48:16 AM »

Comics have a pretty good score in foretelling future developments; the early Buck Rogers strips had all sorts of things that became standard in space travel much later, like those parachute things that spacecraft deploy to slow down. Personally, I first heard about cloning when Jimmy Olsen's dentist sold some of his cells to Lex Luthor. (Though by that time, I understand that the concept of cloning was old hat in science fiction.)

The fact that the Batmobile had airbags in 1978 is staggering. Never mind Jurassic Park, the airbag thing just blows my mind. I suppose I'm just a road safety nut.

I didn't know that Robin and Batgirl had to deduce each other's identities; I just assumed Batman blabbed ("Hey, Dick, wake up wake up wake up! Guess what?").
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2006, 08:31:31 PM »

Not to mention Lois Lane and Clark Kent being on the first manned space mission in 1958...two or three years before Kennedy began the space program.
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2006, 04:41:37 PM »

That story was presumably inspired by the Golden Age story (BATMAN #35, 1946) about "Dinosaur Island", which was way before even Westworld.

That story was the source of the robot dinosaur usually seen in the corner of the Batcave with the giant penny, Joker playing card, etc. (Actually, for a long time I thought it was just supposed to be a statue, but it CAN move).

Here is the synopsis of the story from Mike's Amazing World of DC website:

"Batman agrees to be the prey in a mock big game hunt on the newly constructed dinosaur island. When the dinosaur robots appear to be playing a little rough, Batman learns that the controller has been replaced by a crook. Batman and Robin struggle to stay alive while being hunted, but eventually they turn the tables on their pursuer and capture the intended assassin. "
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Aldous
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2006, 08:33:32 PM »

Far from having "psychic powers," Elliot S! Maggin, like many good comic writers, takes someone else's ideas and tweaks them.

The "Dinosaur Island" story is by Bill Finger, and the art is amazing. It didn't say in that synopsis, but this island was also created as a "theme park" for tourists, and the robot dinosaurs and cavemen are incredibly lifelike. One unusual scene has Robin taking out a man with a bow and arrow, but luckily he's just an android. This one is a cut above the usual Batman SF material.

But then, if I dig around in my comic cupboard, I find a story from before Batman was created, written by Lee Falk and drawn by the wonderful Phil Davis. This comic was published 1990 but the material first appeared in the newspapers in the 30s. Mandrake becomes trapped in a special area of the world where time seems to have stood still, and, you guessed it, he's on the run from dinosaurs. The story is even called "The Lost World."
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Great Rao
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2006, 09:23:35 PM »

Quote from: "Aldous"
But then, if I dig around in my comic cupboard, I find a story from before Batman was created, written by Lee Falk and drawn by the wonderful Phil Davis. This comic was published 1990 but the material first appeared in the newspapers in the 30s. Mandrake becomes trapped in a special area of the world where time seems to have stood still, and, you guessed it, he's on the run from dinosaurs. The story is even called "The Lost World."

Sounds like it was inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle's novel called, "The Lost World"  in which Professor Challenger leads an expedition to an inaccessible plateau in South America populated by dinosaurs and other extinct creatures.    

To tie this in with another thread elsewhere on this forum, one of the Piltdown Man conspiracy theories holds that Doyle was a perpetrator and that his book The Lost World reveals how he did it.

S!
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