Sunday, 7 April 2013

Indy Book Club - The Comics of Indiana Jones (Dark Horse part 2)

Welcome back to this super special look at the world of Indiana Jones comics. It's been a roller coaster ride through the Mighty World of Marvel's take on the intrepid adventurer. We've seen their adaptations of the movies and of course, their own take on adventures between the movies. We then took a look at the world of Dark Horse and their take on Indy's world. The first half of the story is complete, but now, back to the story, where we learn what happened in the world of Indy from 1996-2009.


After their successes right up until 1995, Dark Horse changed things up storyline wise and made their first story about Indy set in a post-war world. Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix was set in 1947. A world where the Nazis were long gone, Russia was on the march and Communism was on the rise throughout the world. This story saw Indy on the hunt for the Philosopher's Stone. A mystical artifact that a secret cabal of Nazis planned on using to resurrect Hitler.

A video game was planned of the adaptation by LucasArts, however since European laws meant that any games that have Nazi images in them, especially in Germany are banned, the game was shelved. However, LucasArts were infact credited in the pages of the comic. It was reprinted in Indiana Jones Omnibus Vol.2.


The next story to be released was Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny. It was a four part series set in the closing days of WW2. It featured Indy and his father in Ireland, searching for the Spear of Destiny, which is what Nazi agents want. With the spear in their hands, they could dominate the world and be invincible. It's up to both Jones boys to save the day. It was reprinted in the UK Indiana Jones Adventures comic as well as in the Indiana Jones Omnibus vol. 2.


The final story of the 1990s is perhaps a cult favourite of the fans. Indiana Jones and the Sargasso Pirates was a 3 part story set in 1939. In it, Indy is in the Arctic, searching for a Viking ship, when he's betrayed by the people he thought he could trust. Now, his only companions are a conman who's pretending to be Indy's brother and a woman who's on the run from the law. There's plenty of action, adventure, intrigue and betryal. Who do you trust? The story was reprinted in the Indiana Jones Omnibus Vol 2.

Sadly, after Sargasso Pirates hit in 1995, Indy was largely silent from 1996-2008. However, in 2008, Dark Horse released their adaptation of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Presented in 2 issues, each with it's own variant cover. It's set in 1957 and largely follows the plot of the movie with some minor differences. In the comic book adaptation, there is no race between the Soviets and the American teenagers. Some of the scenes in the comic are based around deleted scenes from the movie. It was reprinted as a trade paperback and in the UK Indiana Jones Comic.

The most recent Indy comic was Tomb of the Gods. It was released in 2009 and is set in 1936. Indy is tasked with finding 3 pieces of a stone key that will open the Tomb of the Gods. He's joined in his quest by Marcus Brody and a mysterious treasure hunter. Is she friend or foe? The story was partially reprinted in the UK Indiana Jones comic and it had it's own trade paperback release in 2009.

That pretty much covers all the major story lines and series released by Dark Horse. Will we ever see another Indy story? I'd like to see it. With Disney owning Marvel now and with the licenses for Indy and Star Wars comics supposedly expiring soon, will Disney take them back under the Marvel umbrella and we see them back under the Marvel brand? It's certainly possible. Feel free to comment on this and other articles.

Once again, if anyone out there is interested, the issues can be bought online or if you'd rather have them on a bookshelf, then you can find the trade paperbacks easily as well.

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