Indiana Jones - The Further Adventures Vol 1
Jones Omnibus: The Further Adventures Vol 1 is a bumper collection of
early eighties Marvel comics featuring the famous archaeologist
adventurer from the iconic Lucas/Spielberg film series. You get
Marvel's three part adaptation of Raiders of the Lost Ark and then ten
all new original stories (of which many are split into two parts).
There are various artists and writers involved here including Denny
O'Neil and David Michelinie. One slight shame though is that John Byrne
- so famous for his classic work on X-Men - left after a couple of
issues because he wanted to do multi-arc Indiana Jones stories for the
comics and they wouldn't let him for some reason.
a fan of both Indiana Jones and Marvel I have always been curious about
these comics and although the art is sometimes no great shakes (these
were weekly comics and produced fairly quickly) it is effective and the
spirit of Indiana Jones is nicely captured at times. With death defying
cliffhanger situations on almost every page you can almost hear the
famous music by John Williams.
adaptation of Raiders of the Lost Ark is actually really good all
things considering and the illustrations are more in key with the
characters/actors than the stories that follow. Later on, Indy is
sketched in a slightly vague generic impressionistic way but here he
really looks like Harrison Ford at times with his leather flight
jacket, fedora, whip and revolver.
don't really need to explain the plot of Raiders of the Lost Ark to
anyone surely but just in case you've been living in a cave your whole
life with no access to television it takes place in 1936 and has
archeology professor Dr Indiana Jones tasked by the American government
to locate the Lost Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. The Ark has
dark mystical powers and if Hitler gets his stinky paws on it first it
could mean big trouble for everyone.
German military is conducting an archaeological dig in the desert near
Cairo and Indy has to team up with old flame Marion Ravenwood and his
North African friend Sallah to foil their scheme. Opposing him will be
rival French archaeologist Dr René Belloq (now working for the Nazis)
and sinister Gestapo interrogator Major Arnold Toht. Let the comic
strip adventure begin.
This is fun
even if you have seen the film gazillions of times. One of the things
that I most enjoyed here was the inclusion of linking material that you
never saw in the film (maybe they shot it and didn't include it, or
maybe it was in the original screenplay, but I don't know really).
for example, you get to find out how exactly Indiana Jones managed to
cling onto that German U-Boat all the way back to its base. It's funny,
but the last time I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark I was actually
thinking about that. One minute he's on the side of the boat as it
begins to dive and the next scene has him in the German U-Boat base.
The solution is obvious in hindsight.
comic goes back further than the film when it begins and gives us some
background to the expedition that leads Indiana Jones to the temple
where he must outrace that huge boulder and evade numerous lethal booby
traps. Nice likeness of Alfred Molina here by the way and just like the
film he comes to a nasty end. There is an element of the macabre here
that is enjoyable and perfectly in spirit with the films although it
seems to me that Spielberg was far more gruesome and dark in the first
two Indy films and seemed to try and lighten up later on.
colours used in the panels are quite striking at times, with yellows,
greens, reds, as sole backdrops. I love some of the imagery too.
Indiana Jones swinging on his whip in near silhouette with his ever
present hat. The Ronald Lacey lookalike appearing sinister behind his
spectacles and SS trenchcoat. My one criticism would be that many of
the backdrops are rather spare and some more detail would have been
welcome. It's a lot of fun though and a nice nostalgic blast if you've
grown up with the film and love Marvel comics.
other stories in the collection are a bit more hit or miss (not having
Raiders of the Lost Ark to crib from so to speak) but still
entertaining. These stories are similar I suppose to the James Bond
Express strips they produced after they'd used up all of the Ian
Fleming stories. It's a new take on Indiana Jones but respectful to his
universe. The Ikons of Ikammanen and 22-Karat Doom! are the two comics
Bryne worked on before he left in a mild huff. His writing and pencils
are very good and the stories are not bad at all.
the former a student claims to have found the Ikons of Ikammanen and
when he is murdered Indy travels to the African town of Krikambo to
find the student's sister. When she is kidnapped by villain Solomon
Black the plot thickens. 22-Karat Doom! continues the story with
nautical capers and our heroes trying not to induce the wrath of the
Ikon. There are a few twists and turns that I quite enjoyed here.
Byrne's plots are pretty good and it's a shame that he couldn't have
written more of these.
Cradle was written by Denny O'Neill and has Indy meeting a
four-hundred-year-old man named Prospero. Immortality shenanigans but
very Indiana Jones all the same as the film series was far more
fantastical than some give it credit for. The art can be rather
lackadaisical at times in some of these issues but it's always
enjoyable and if you have boxes of old Marvel comics you will find it
rather cosy and comforting. There are a few continuity errors with the
art/backdrops as we slide into a new issue (or even change artists
altogether) but you are used to this from Marvel comics anyway and how
very Saturday matinee cliffhanger serial.
to Infinity! marks the arrival of David Michelinie to the comic. Indy
has to investigate a crystal cylinder found in Stonehenge but the pesky
Nazis are on his trail as usual while The Harbingers continues the
adventure. It transpires that the Nazis are trying to open up a portal
to another dimension and it's up to our hero to stop them.
Nightmare! is fun because it marks the return of Marion Ravenwood and
takes us to her Manhattan nightclub - Raven's Nest. It's opening night
and the special guest is none other than Frank Sinatra but sabotage is
on the cards and Indy and Marion must get to the bottom of it. I liked
this one for the atypical plot and it's great to see Marion again.
Screams! has our adventurer hero recovering a Piute summoning stone
stolen from the National Museum and tangling with international
artifact thieves. The villain here is an old foe and there are Atlantis
references too. Crystal Death continues the story with Indy and Marion
heading to Cameroon where they meet a group of Nazis and encounter the
mysterious Shintay. More Atlantean lore is included in the story here.
Gold Goddess: Xomec's Riders sees the welcome return of Sallah and he
must team up with Indy to recover the gold Chachapoyan idol that was
stolen from him in Peru by Rene Belloq. Nice touch! The Gold Goddess:
Xomec's Riders continues the story and brings crossbow wielding Ilsa
Toht, sister of Ernst Toht, into the orbit of Indy.
Fourth Nail: Blood and Sand! finds Indy mixed up in a search for the
fourth nail of the crucifixion and takes him to Australia while the
next installment finds our hero in Barcelona where he meets Marion
again and must evade an Arabian ninja.
I liked most about these comics I think is the way they riff on our
knowledge of the film series and so it's always enjoyable when you get
a reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark or Marcus Brody turns up. They
aren't perfect but if you are a fan of Indiana Jones and Marvel you
should have a good time and at over 300 pages you do get a lot of