Overview

Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods #1

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Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods #1

Credits

  • Words: Rob Williams
  • Art: Steve Scott
  • Inks: Nathan Massengill
  • Colors: Michael Atiyeh
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jul 9, 2008

Archaeologist adventurer Dr. Indiana Jones searches for an ancient artifact in a remote location while battling Nazis and being betrayed by a beautiful woman.

Sound familiar? The latest Indiana Jones limited-series from Dark Horse is a safe, formulaic addition to the franchise. The story is set in the 1930s, before the Second World War, but after the Nazis have taken power. Dr. Jones receives a desperate letter from Henrik Mellberg, owner of one piece of an ancient artifact, older than paleolithic times, rumored to unlock secrets of enormous power and therefore highly sought after by the SS. Indy and Marcus Brody follow a lead to Tibet to recover the other pieces of the relic.

Rob Williams does a capable job introducing the characters, the mystery, and the action we've come to expect from an Indiana Jones adventure. It also suffers, unfortunately, from the same problem that made Temple of Doom the least entertaining of the Indiana Jones movies – the archaeological back-story is fictional. As fascinating as a "Tomb of the Gods" might be, it doesn't tickle the human imagination like the Ark of the Covenant, or the Holy Grail does. History is filled with so many lost artifacts with terrific legends surrounding them, there's no reason to create one from whole cloth.

I felt Williams' characterization of Indy was slightly off. Though often sarcastic, Indiana Jones is rarely dismissive or condescending in his tone toward others, and in the comic, his wit was a little too biting both toward Brody and Mellberg. It's difficult to judge too harshly, however, given the complexity of duplicating in print the voice of such an iconic character.

The most difficult task for an artist working on a comic based on real actors is capturing the caricatures without them looking static. Steve Scott succeeds, both with the good Dr. Jones, as well as with his depiction of Marcus Brody. The art is solid all the way through, with good backgrounds, especially on a double page spread depicting the 1930's New York skyline complete with Empire State and Chrysler Buildings.

Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods definitely captures the tone and feel of the movie franchise. The reader is transported into the familiar Indy world, and hears the addictive score while reading the comic adventure. The authors have laid the foundation for what could be a worthy tale in the Indiana Jones chronology. It is by no means groundbreaking, but it is also not offensive to the source material, as many licensed comics end up being.

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