Friday, January 07, 2011

The Indiana Jones Comic Book Revue #6

All books are rated on a 0 to 5 Fedoras system.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #7
(Marvel Comics Group)

Plot/Script by: David Michelinie
Pencilled by: Kerry Gammill
Inked by: Sam de la Rosa
Cover by: Kerry Gammill

"Guess I'd better switch to 'Plan B'. Playin' it by ear!"

Dateline 1936

"Africa Screams!" begins with an adventure in medias res. Indy has infiltrated a monastery in France to retrieve a summoning stone that was stolen from the National Museum by a man named McIver who deals in the trafficking of ancient artifacts. He uses the monastery to house them and transports them in wine barrels so they go unseen by the authorities. Indy is wise to their scheme and, in the process, runs afoul of McIver who gets the drop on Indy and sounds the alarm. A chase ensues where Indy evades McIver's men, steals a truck and gets away, traveling back to Connecticut and home.

There he meets with Marcus Brody who points out that the rock Indy recovered was wrapped in a piece of paper that Indy grabbed, and that paper happens to be a rare map which may show the location of the lost tribe of the Shintay, an offshoot group of Atlanteans who fled the continent. It appears that they may be located in the Congo and Brody tells Indy he will have to leave at once since time will be of the essence.

Marion Ravenwood re-enters the picture as she was 'hiding' in the room during Indy's discussion with Brody and insists on being taken along. Several days later the pair hit Western Africa and try to put together an expedition with some bearers but another group already came through and hired everyone in the small village for a similar expedition. Indy and Marion decide to go on alone and have some misadventures with the local wildlife until they meet up with the aforementioned group led by Dr. Curt Vogel.

Indy suspects this other group of also trying to find the Shintay and does some poking around the camp that night. He is discovered and the enemy is revealed as Vogel admits to being Colonel Vogel and that he is a Nazi. He has been working with McIver, who recognized Indy, and is about to eliminate Jones but is thwarted as Indy escapes, rounds up Marion and hides in a cave with her, waiting for the soldiers to leave before they double back to the camp and gather some supplies before continuing on their own.

Just then, from behind the two of them, a pair of eyes come out of the darkness and an animal growl can be heard...

This was another really good issue with all the right pacing, action and touches to make a proper Indiana Jones adventure. Surprisingly, all the characters from the film are very much in character and, if one really wanted to go there, this story could even be considered canon. I hope Michelinie manages to keep this style and quality of storytelling up for the duration of his run. If he does manage it, this will be a very enjoyable reviewing process for the foreseeable future. The artists, Kerry Gammill and Sam DeLaRosa, do an admirable job of creating a world that I can believe belongs to an Indiana Jones story. Their likenesses of the characters are quite good and their environments are nicely detailed and have a lot of texture. The storytelling is strong and Gammill moves things along at a nice pace, never letting the reader get lost either geographically or in the narrative. After several artist changes, good and bad, I hope this is the new creative team for a little while.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and look forward to the follow up in #8.

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