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Indiana Jones: Tomb of the Gods #2

Posted: Monday, September 22, 2008
By: Ray Tate

Rob Williams
Steve Scott, Nathan Massengill (i), Michael Atiyeh (c)
Dark Horse Comics
This issue of Tomb of the Gods gives Indy fans numerous shout outs that resonated through the four pictures. Indy retrieves his fedora after surviving a harrowing cliffhanger. Indy runs away from hordes to an awaiting plane. Indy reminds the reader that "X never marks the spot," the exception being the Roman numeral ten in The Last Crusade. Of course you can't have an Indiana Jones story without a trip being represented by the famous inching red line on the map, and when the Nazis appear and Indy's thrown to sharks, it's almost nostalgic overload.

The strategic placement of the Indiana traditions remove Rob Williams' story from the danger of becoming old hat. Williams creates a story in which these allusions evolve. The presence of the hordes for instance makes perfect sense given the environment and the period. Williams also uses them as something more than simply a human tidal wave to crash down upon Dr. Jones and party. He throws one aboard Indy's plane to deliver some unexpected humor through the fight for survival.

When the Nazis capture Indy, Williams entwines the duplicitous mercenary from last issue. She learns that it doesn't pay to work for fascists. The efficient historical killers exploit her as a means to bedraggle Indiana and attract the pair's doom.

Before that the travel line takes Indy and Marcus to Shanghai, and it's there that Indy becomes momentarily ensorcelled by the promise of a new history. Indy wishes to preserve it. Marcus wants to destroy it to prevent the Nazis from having a peek. The split in philosophy separates the two friends without artifice.

Steve Scott, Nathan Massengill and Michael Atiyeh combine their skills to craft outstanding illustration. Indy looks like Harrison Ford. He moves and behaves like Harrison Ford. The mimicry of Ford's body language for Indy is perfect. The original cast is given a unique look. The art team bestows Asian ethnicity to the bandits. They cast winning mercenary Janice Le Roi as a lady in the mold of the Valkyrie and Sala. Scott even eschews the cliché Nazi. Von Hassel looks like an American adventurer. His fascist demeanor can only be seen when he takes vicious action.

Williams hammers out a rip-roaring pulp adventure with Indiana Jones at the center, fighting off Nazis, bandits and gravity. Steve Scott, Massengill and Atiyeh do justice to the modern myth and keep the two-dimensional pages three-dimensionally animated.



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