Sunday, March 23, 2008

Issue 4

Issue #4

"Gateway to Infinity"

Writer: David Micheline
Penciler: Ron Frenz
Inker: Danny Bulandi
Cover: Frenz/Gustovich

I haven't really addressed this yet, but over the course of 34 months, our hero finds himself being attacked by, or hanging from, airplanes a surprising number of times. While that precedent has not yet been set as of issue #4, he is being menaced by a subway train.

Refreshingly, on this cover he's using his whip to fend off attackers, not attack the reader. He's even standing between his assailants and the damsel in distress this time (although one could argue that he's just using her to shield him from that train).

Also worthy of note: this is the first issue to include the "Featuring the hero of Raiders of the Lost Ark" blurb (Told ya they had the font!). Perhaps the combination of an unrecognizable title font and starting a tie-in comic two years after a movie has come and gone left the good folks at Marvel wondering if anyone knew what their comic was about??

Oh, and just how menacing is a Nazi in a purple coat??

This issue gets things cracking right off the bat with a lame justification for Indy to-you guessed it!- jump out of a plane! Bear in mind, this is ground breaking stuff. He won't jump out of that plane in Temple of Doom for a whole other year.

The central plot of the issue involves Indy being sent to London by the US government to help a team of British scientists analyze a weird, crystal cylinder found inside one of the stones of Stonehenge. The cylinder has writing on it ans shows signs of fabrication, but it clearly predates human existence.

An intriguing story idea but it seems more like something out of a Quatermass movie than Indiana Jones. What does an Archaeologist have to do with an artifact he can't possible know anything about?

Actually, this storyline is not to bad. In fact, it's one of the better stories from the first year, even though it has a plot straight out of Weird Tales. The villains, a squad of Nazi Commandos, feel reasonably competent and ruthless. Indy not only retains his gun, he actually shoots a German with it.

Although still a bit too wordy in the grand Marvel tradition, this issue actually manages to deliver some fast-paced (if ocasionally corny) action.

Treasure: Pre-human crystal cyllinder
Supernatural element: none
Love interest: Karen Mayes
Villain(s): A team of German Commandos
Locales: London
Gun Lost?: No
Creaky Rope Bridge?: No
Guest Stars: none
Cliffhanger ending?: Yes
Jumps out of a plane?: Yes
Animal attack?: No
Menaced by a plane?: No

1 comment:

Midford Man said...

You know, I'm glad I stumbled upon this site. I have been wanting to read this series, but now I'm not so sure. They sound terrible. Are they terrible? They sound terrible. Sad state of affairs when the blog about a comic series is more entertaining than said comics. I'll be returning though, that's for sure. Great work!

Midford Man