The upcoming Jurassic World Hybrids children’s book has finally seen the light of day, and thanks to XenoCobra on JPLegacy, we’ve gotten a look at what Henry Wu’s genetic experiments look like! Well, I should say we’ve gotten another look.
I’ve never played the Ludia Jurassic World game, so I couldn’t tell you for absolute certain that every single one of these dinosaurs has already been seen before, but the majority of the designs are either lifted straight from the game or slightly modified from it. On some level, I can appreciate the level of canon continuity between the game, the toys and the strange offshoot from movie canon that is this whole Hybrids idea. But it’s also extremely lazy just to use exactly the same designs and images from the game to create a supposedly original plot line. There’s some sort of colorful hybrid-related merchandise line (which doesn’t integrate with movie canon but still becomes a canon of its own) after every JP movie, and this had the potential for toy designers (let’s be real, this is based 100% on selling toys) to go all out with it and give us fun, colorful hybrids that had never been seen before. Instead, they just recycled mobile game graphics (the animals look very, very digital) and called it a day. I’m disappointed, but not necessarily surprised.
The basic plot here is that Wu made a whole bunch of dinosaur hybrids in his secret laboratory, and now his creations have come to light. (This strongly suggests that investigators are being dispatched to Nublar to take the place apart and find out all of the park’s dirty little secrets, but that’s a matter for another post.) Here are some bits of what I assume to be the covers and early pages:
It’s unclear exactly what’s being done with the animals that we see in the book– in this new movie-ish canon, I doubt they’d be made to enter a dinosaur Hunger Games like they do in the game– so for now, we don’t know if or how the new creatures will be used in the new movie’s plot line or in the one that’s being created. All we know is that this is a catalogue of Wu’s experiments that was made sometime after the park closed, and that there may be more animals living out in the jungle somewhere. So for now, the most we can do is discuss how they look. So let’s see ’em!
First is Spinosaurus and a modified raptor. I have to say that that spino/dromaeosaurid (I don’t know who they think they’re kidding with that “unknown”, it’s very clearly mixed with a Sornaensis raptor) greatly unsettles me. Maybe it’s the scheming fish eyes, or the snout that looks like a penguin grew teeth, or just the innate human instinct that allows me to tell when Mother Nature is being gravely insulted. Besides Carnoraptor, this is the only fictional animal that I’ve ever looked at and instantly wanted to mercy-kill.
As for the raptor, I’ve seen it in screenshots of the Ludia game, so I’m not exactly surprised. I guess if they had to hybridize the raptors, far worse things could’ve been done to them. Besides that spike mohawk that makes it look like an edgy anime protagonist, the spikes along the back are pretty cool, and its skin pattern looks– hey, wait! Green with brown stripes? Charlie, no! Charlie, what have they done to you?!
I’ll get to Carnoraptor in a moment; first I’ll discuss the dilophosaur. Its beautiful color scheme from the first movie has been kept intact, and apparently a bit of its scientific street cred has been restored– this is the first time that it’s been noted in official canon that its poison spitting ability was an addition by Dr. Wu all along. There seem to only have been three noticeable changes made when it was mixed with Dromaeosaurus: its frill is twice as tall (don’t ask me how the hell they got that from a raptor-like animal), it’s a bit chubbier and its arms look a lot skinnier and less useful. If you ask me, those signs point way more towards T. rex, and since every single unknown genetic addition is assumed to be Dromaeosaurus in this book, I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility. (Which begs the question of why they’d even involve dromaeosaurs, since they’d be almost exactly the same things as raptors in this universe.) If we needed any more confirmation that Dilophosaurus is alive, well and roaming around destroying things on Nublar, here we go. I genuinely wonder if this is a scheme to have another dilophosaur-related scene in the new movie; if it were, then technically the animal we saw wouldn’t be a dilo, and therefore it wouldn’t tarnish the iconic dilo scene from the first film.
Here’s Carnoraptor, which looks to me like the only dinosaur in here that doesn’t look like it’s purely made of CGI. This design looks much better than the toy does, and it’s 100% identical to the mobile game. I like the idea of it being an early, abandoned hybrid, like Stegoceratops was supposed to have been in JW; with the agonized look on its face and uncomfortable-looking posture, it makes even more sense that it’s a genetic freak. Just look at the poor thing’s face– it looks like a clay model of a raptor head from 1960. I don’t want to watch dinosaurs suffer, but if there was to be some kind of ethics plot about what happens when genetic experiments go too far– and/or a scene for exposition of the horrible things Wu has done and how he might not be such a good guy anymore– this would be the ideal candidate to showcase the dark reality behind dinosaur genetic experiments. As much as I hate its toys, I want to see more of Carnoraptor.
And now our star predators make an appearance! We’ve already seen what I. rex 2.0 looks like, so let’s just see what’s up with T. rex. There appears to have been a disagreement between the toy designers and whoever wrote this book– either that or Hasbro chickened out at the last minute– resulting in a huge discrepancy between the hybrid T. rex toy and the canon hybrid T. rex. This one is much, much tamer, and it doesn’t look bad at all, but I think I prefer the toy version. If you’re going to make T. rex even more awesome, you may as well take the ball and run with it, instead of just tacking on a few tiger stripes and calling it a day. In fact, this is so half-done and devoid of effort that I feel a moral obligation to campaign for Rexy to fight it in the next movie. The animal itself didn’t do anything wrong, but I still want the original rex to bite it where it counts.
Here we have our new Stegoceratops, which we’ve seen before and which I still love, and a new, modified Triceratops. Stego appears to have beetle DNA added; if I don’t see it rolling its droppings into a ball, or hordes of it infesting someone’s house, I will be sorely disappointed. (Jokes aside, I would be interested to see if the beetle DNA added is from a scarab.) Trike’s new DNA is unknown– although with the added horns, I’m thinking Styracosaurus– and it will f*** you up. That thing has horns that look like they’re itching to gore someone, and with that look on its face, it’s headed on a rampage that won’t end until it’s skewered at least twenty people like the unicorn in Cabin in the Woods. It’s an angry, pissed murder machine with pretty stained-glass skin patterns, and it’s possibly the coolest fictional animal ever invented. I wish they’d made a toy of this instead of 2 different puke-stained I. rexes. If it put its horn through my stomach, I’d use my last breaths to thank it for the privilege.
Here’s our new Pteranodon, and regardless of its Lisa Frank wing patterns, I’m pretty fond of it. Judging by the colors and the title, I don’t think this is the Pteraminus that we were promised in the Hybrids toy list leak. Its added genes are also unknown, but from the enlarged crest, my wager is on Tapejara. The main reason I like this is because it bears a striking resemblance to the rainbow pteros from the new Jurassic Park arcade game. I’m not a huge fan of the tiger stripes, but I love the color palette, especially on the crest. I also like the look on its face.
Finally, here’s a size chart comparing them all. Everybody seems to have retained somewhere near their original shape. Is this comparison made in anticipation of an all-out dinosaur melee? Only time will tell.
I didn’t make this joke in the last post, so I’d like to take the opportunity now.
Unrelatedly, everyone’s favorite wacky fanfiction author Lord Kristine has recently lost one of her largest publishing platforms. So, for a while, I’ll be linking her new work at the bottom of my posts so as many people can enjoy them as possible.