Indiana Jones Omnibus Vol. 1 (Indiana Jones Omnibus #1) by Dan Barry, Dan Spiegle (Illustrator), Hal Barwood, Lee Marrs, Leo Durañona (Illustrator), Mike Richardson, Noah Falstein, William Messner-Loebs
Published: Dark Horse Comics (2008), Paperback, 350pg
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Sci-fi
Indiana Jones is back in this massive volume recounting three of the most important discoveries in the career of the twentieth century's most adventurous archaeologist! Containing the long out-of-print stories, "Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis," "Thunder in the Orient," and "Indiana Jones and the Arms of Gold," this substantial tome follows the intrepid Dr. Jones as he travels from Africa to Asia and nearly everywhere in between in a race against the Nazis for the world's greatest treasures. From lost cities, to ancient temples, to artifacts of legendary power, Indy will stop at nothing to preserve these prizes from the grasp of Adolf Hitler's evil minions.
What’s better than one Indiana Jones story? Three Indiana Jones stories!
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis: omg, this was so silly. It’s basically the same sort of nutcase thing as the fourth movie, only with worse characters. There was a lot of potential! I especially liked Sophia, a scientist-turned-“psychic” (only she really is psychic? maybe?) who got pushed out of academia because she’s a she instead of a he. She made a great partner for Indy to go on adventures with: she’s smart, sarcastic, and has a hotline into the whole Atlantis thing! Also there was no attraction between the two of them, and I’m not sure if that’s good or not. On the one hand, yay for being more than just the love interest! On the other, who is Indy going to smooch at the end of the story? 😛
I’m thinking the wackadoo story problem came from having three different writers on a four-issue story– and I don’t think they talked to each other very often because I spent a lot of time trying to figure out wtf was going on. Also, terrible dialogue. Apparently people freakin’ loved this story when it first came out, though, because it got turned into a (very popular) video game.
Indiana Jones and the Thunder in the Orient: holy crap racism! But in a 1940s sort of way (bucktoothed Japanese characters, for example), which just makes it weirder because this story was written in the 1990s. Also, questionable costume choices. What sort of army general wears a shirt opened to her belly button? The kind that lives in Indiana Jones stories, I guess.
The story was so boring I can’t even really remember what it was about, except that it mostly took place in China. There were some funny bits– like when Indy rejected the Serpent Lady’s sexytimes proposal– but mostly it just stunk. Yay for Sophia showing back up, though!
Indiana Jones and the Arms of Gold: The best the collection, though it’s still not fantastic. The art was the best of the collection AND it’s the least racist, though Indy himself is pretty darned sexist throughout most of the story. I don’t remember him being this sexist in the movies, though he is definitely one of those dudes who don’t like ladies going into danger. What do you think– is the kind of guy who’d call someone a “Latin lollipop”?
There is another female professor, Francisca Uribe Del Arco from Peru (the aforementioned “Latin lollipop”). She is also smart and sarcastic and not afraid to tell Indy when he’s being a jerk, huzzah! Also, she speaks Spanish occasionally and does NOT do that thing where immediately after the foreign language sentence is the the English translation. I hate this thing. Yay for not doing it!
So basically these were not the WORST Indiana Jones adaptations I’ve ever read, though parts of them were bad. All the stories stuck pretty well to the IJ formula (adventure + foreign countries + mysterious artifact + foreign bad guys) so they did all feel like authentic IJ, just…not in a fantastic sort of way. More like the fourth movie kind of way, where it’s technically Indiana Jones and there’s some fun and likable stuff in it, but overall it still kinda stinks and you really just want to watch Last Crusade again.
Read: January 09-10, 2014