The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 27 (March 1985)

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While the Ditko art does leave a lot to be desired–the huge action finale, which takes up about half the issue, is a mess–it’s not a bad comic at all. You just have to get used to people not being in the right place in panels and some terrible action choreography.

Oh, and the female protagonist looking pensively off into space a lot.

But the story is fine. Indy and the woman are in Russia to recover Buffalo Bill’s golden guns (there are other phallic symbols too, presumably unintentional) and they team up with Cossacks to attack a fortress. Michelinie doesn’t waste time with flirting between Indy and his partner. He finds more interesting things to do–the Cossacks are on a suicide mission, for example.

It’s all action, no character, so it moves briskly. The series has been sorely missing Michelinie’s writing. He’s got the formula down.

C 

CREDITS

Trail of the Golden Guns, Chapter Two; writers, Ron Fortier and David Michelinie; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 26 (February 1985)

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David Michelinie is back. Maybe Marvel figured since they just had to adjust for Temple of Doom they would want someone competent on the book.

It’s still Ditko and Bulandi on the art and they’re fine.

I’m bummed out they waited so long to bring him back. Marion went stale as a character after Michelinie left and now, post-Temple she’s gone forever. At the end of the previous issue she even writes Indy a Dear John, but it’s unclear why. Now, however, it is… and is there going to be an actual Short Round meets Martin Brody scene?

Anyway, the rest of the issue is fairly standard silly stuff. Indy and Buffalo Bill’s granddaughter go to Russia to try to get back stolen pistols. Michelinie has a fine level of detail for their adventure, even if the girl’s really annoying.

The series might be interesting again for a while.

C 

CREDITS

Trail of the Golden Guns; writers, Ron Fortier and David Michelinie; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 22 (October 1984)

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The art, from Joe Brozowski and Mel Candido, isn’t great or even good (occasional weird background details break the perspective), but it’s generally competent. And generally competent for this issue isn’t bad.

Priest continues to play fast and loose with the characters. Indy’s sentiments towards Marion are this odd annoyance thing. I think Priest is trying to show he likes her so he has to pester her, which suggests Priest hadn’t been reading the comic until this point. Or maybe the LucasFilms contact told them to tone down the romantic stuff.

This issue’s adventure wraps up Priest’s tedious first arc on the series, involving Marcus Brody, action hero, trying to save his career. Priest can’t write Indy as having a villain.

Wait, I can’t believe I ignored the weirdest part. Priest writes this stoic, virtuous Nazi secret agent out to assassinate Jones. It’s really weird stuff. Not good, definitely interesting.

Priest is also really bad with the setting. He writes too modern.

CREDITS

End Run; writers, David Michelinie and Christopher Priest; penciller, Joe Brozowski; inker, Mel Candido; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 21 (September 1984)

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There are a bunch of inkers on this issue. They stay consistent until the finish, when it’s very obvious the inker has changed. The final inker changes Steve Ditko’s pencils so much, it barely looks like the same comic.

Ditko doesn’t do a great job on Jones, but it’s really cool to see his old standard panel arrangements used again. And the eyes. Love the eyes. It’s a shame Priest didn’t write the issue as a retro thing to match Ditko, but given the number of inkers, I’m sure no one at Marvel had any idea who was drawing it when Priest was writing it.

The story itself is lame. It’s a lot of action and some silly villains. Priest continues to flush the romance between Indy and Marion… Not to mention playing up Marcus Brody being tough.

Priest is also really bad with the setting. He writes too modern.

CREDITS

Beyond the Lucifer Chamber; writers, David Michelinie and Christopher Priest; penciller, Steve Ditko; inkers, Bob Wiacek, Steve Leialoha, Jack Abel, Al Milgrom, Carl Potts, Edward Norton and Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Rob Carosella; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Eliot Brown; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 20 (August 1984)

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The issue opens with a full page spread–Indy looking at an artifact with a magnifying glass–but it’s the only uneconomical use of page space in the issue. Luke McDonnell has to pack panels on the page to get through all the action in Priest’s script.

David Michelinie gets a story credit, but it feels like a different comic without him. Even the art. McDonnell draws Marcus Brody younger than anyone else has before–and younger than Denholm Elliot; probably because Priest’s script implies Brody was once much like Indy in the adventuring department.

And Priest does have a lot of time for the romance between Indy and Marion. He dials it down quite a few notches but does at least acknowledge it.

In many ways, the issue doesn’t feel like a licensed property. But feeling more original doesn’t help–the creators are generally competent but the comic’s charmless.

CREDITS

The Cuban Connection; writers, David Michelinie and Christopher Priest; penciller, Luke McDonnell; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Rob Carosella; letterer, Rick Parker; editor, Eliot Brown; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 18 (June 1984)

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It’s an interesting issue for a number of reasons. It’s a mix of Lost Horizon and Edgar Rice Burroughs with Indy and Marion finding their way to a lost city in the Himalayas. Yeti-like creatures protect the city, which has many secrets.

One of those secrets is the presence of Abner Ravenwood; Michelinie doesn’t resolve that mystery–probably not allowed to do it under the license–but his solution for it is fantastic.

There’s a lot of action and almost no story. The revelations about the lost city are mostly just to move the action along. After one moment of introspection from Indy, Michelinie solely concentrating on the action.

The writing makes it work.

The awful art is sometimes incredible. Trimpe’s little heads are something to see. He doesn’t even do well on the landscapes–but he gets better inks on those panels.

It’s an ugly comic, but decent.

CREDITS

The Search for Abner, Chapter Two: The City of Yesterday’s Forever!; writer, David Michelinie; penciller, Herb Trimpe; inkers, Vince Colletta, Danny Bulanadi and Ernie Chan; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Eliot Brown; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 17 (May 1984)

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One could just sit and admire Michelinie’s storytelling economy. Not even the great character work he does on Indy, but just the economy of how he structures the catch-up.

He opens in a dangerous present, resolving a cliffhanger he never did, then (somewhat obviously but still competently) goes back to fill in the blanks. The awesome part is how he gives equal weight to flashbacks from the comic and the stuff he’s just filling in. It makes readers feel familiar with the new material, even though they’ve never seen it before.

Neat trick.

The finish involves an evil Frenchman and an evil Scot–I’m guessing, I wasn’t paying attention–teaming up with the Nazis to raid a lost city. They’re weak villains, but the rest of the comic makes up for them.

If only it the art were better. Trimpe and Colleta mess up action and quiet panels alike.

CREDITS

The Search for Abner, Chapter One: The Grecian Earn; writer, David Michelinie; penciller, Herb Trimpe; inker, Vince Colletta; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Eliot Brown; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 16 (April 1984)

22348

It’s a very fast paced issue from Michelinie. Maybe he knew he had Trimpe and Colleta back on art and didn’t want to make the reader suffer. That explanation is as good as any, especially when one considers the resolution to the previous issue’s cliffhanger–crabs attacking Indy–is the longest sequence in the comic.

For example, the bottom of the ocean submarine sequence reads faster. Somehow Michelinie never feels rushed–Indy and Katanga (who continue to make a great pair) are always in constant danger, the speedy storytelling actually provides relief for the reader. There’s no delaying the constant twists.

The art does have its expected terrible points. Besides Indy looking totally different for the issue’s finish, there’s one amazing panel of him swinging through the air where the artists make it look like he’s sliding down something.

It’s a rushed read to be sure, but a decent one.

CREDITS

The Sea Butchers, Chapter Two: Death on Dark Waters; writer, David Michelinie; penciller, Herb Trimpe; inker, Vince Colletta; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Eliot Brown; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 15 (March 1984)

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Herb Trimpe and Vince Colletta on art. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen more rectangular, two-dimensional headed people.

They actually don’t too bad. They don’t do well, but not too bad. Michelinie over writes Indy’s thought balloons for the action scenes, trying to make everything seem logical, so at least one can read instead look at the art.

The story involves Indy running afoul the Japanese navy–it’s pre-war so the animosity is there but not the hostility–which is cool. Sadly, he also runs into some very unlikely pirates. Michelinie would have done far better with just one villain.

But Michelinie does do really well giving Indy a sidekick in Captain Katanga, the smuggler from Raiders. The two men prove a fine pair. Michelinie really does do a good job developing the characters from the source material.

It’s nothing to get excited about, but okay.

CREDITS

The Sea Butchers, Chapter One: Island of Peril; writer, David Michelinie; penciller, Herb Trimpe; inker, Vince Colletta; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Eliot Brown; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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