Sunday, April 19, 2020

Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods #1 (2008) Review

Hi guys and welcome to my side of the Just for the Hell of it Mondays.  I know that Eric is trying his hardest to turn Monday into his version of a Horror Blog (and by the way, Don't Blog With Dead Things was my idea!), but if you listen to our Podcast (Shameless Plug...Go HERE), You already know that I don't like horror movies one bit.  I do like Indiana Jones, though.  Actually, I love Indiana Jones.  The Indiana Jones Trilogy (I will never recognize the Crystal Skull!) is my favorite trilogy of all-time and almost changed my career path as a young boy.  After seeing Raiders of the Lost Arc, I decided I was going to be an archaeologist.  I practiced digging stuff up in the woods near my house and started whipping things with a piece of rope I found in my shed.  Little did I know that the whip wasn't common archaeological equipment and my Father would snuff my dreams of glory. I rarely talked to my Dad about anything, but I was so excited that I had decided what to do with my life that I told him I was going to be an archaeologist.  He had such a way with words and encouraged me by calling me a "Loser", an "Idiot" and a "Moron".  While I still loved the Indiana Jones movies, I dropped my dreams and now I work at the Cardboard Box Factory.  Thanks Dad.  Stories like these will give you a little peek at why I'm not sad he is dead.  That may seem harsh, but that's just the tip of the iceberg, believe me.  Enough of this lovely walk down memory lane, on with the review...

Why Does It Always Have to Be...

Written by: Rob Williams
Art by: Steve Scott, Nathan Massengill, and Michael Atiyeh
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 10, 2008
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

The issue opens in 1931 Siberia so it's no surprise that it's a cold opening...pun intended.  Rob Williams throws us in the middle of three guys and while we have no idea what is going on, this will prove to be a pretty pivotal scene coming up shortly.  Just because it is pivotal, doesn't mean that I liked it.  It has nothing to do with what's on the page, but what wasn't...Indiana Jones.  The opening scenes of the Indiana Jones movies are among my favorites of all-time.  The Boulder, Lao and the Train Chase...simply brilliant  No matter how important to the story, three guys I don't know finding something in Siberia is not what I'd call a great Indiana Jones opening.  Thankfully, Williams gets us on track quickly.

Five years later, Indiana is in the New York apartment of Henrick Mellberg, one of those three guys. He's not alone...he's actually being roughed up by some Nazis.  Nazis, I hate these guys.  While Indiana is there because Mellberg sent him a letter to meet him there, it's clear the Nazis are there for something very important...a key.

After a scuffle, which involves a cobra, of course, Indiana discovers Mellberg and the two are running for their lives.  During the escape, Mellberg tells Indiana about the Key (and the last piece held by  Beresford-Hope from the intro) and then gives him his piece after being fatally shot by the damn Nazis.  Then in my favorite moment of the comic, Indiana has it taken away from him.  I won't say by who, but I didn't see it coming and I can't wait to see Indy get it back eventually.

What does Indy do when he has an artifact snatched from him?  He goes to Marcus Brody, of course.  After a little bitch session, the two of them are off to Tibet to find the one piece of the Key the Nazis don't have yet.  Seeing the red line on the map made me smile and so did seeing Marcus in Tibet. As usual, he doesn't blend or disappear and after complaining a bit, they end up in the cave where Beresford-Hope has been living in.  As per usual, things don't go as planned.  The issue ends with a little mistaken identity, a sad revelation, and a big explosion.

As a first issue, Williams does a good job of setting up the story and starting a mystery that I want to explore further.  Besides the beginning scene, I liked most of what we got here.  Sure, I wish I knew more about the Key, but William's is obviously setting us up for the big reveal.  I also wish this book didn't have to rely on the same old Nazis as the enemy, but again, that is pure Indiana Jones so I'll go with it.  I did like the dialogue throughout, especially between Indy and Brody.  Overall, this was a good start to an Indiana Jones story.

The art in the issue was good, but not great.  It was a little too cartoony at times and Steve Scott seemed to struggle to get the look of Indy right.  It gets the job done, however, but nothing in this issue really wowed me.

Bits and Pieces:

As a huge Indiana Jones fan, I love getting my hands on anything that continues his adventures.  I can add this to the list.  While this issue is mostly setup and may not have an awe-inspiring story yet, it feels like a part of the movies and that's a good start to me.  We get snakes, Nazis, the whip and an explosive cliffhanger...literally!  I recommend this to any Indiana Jones fans out there.


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