In 1981, Marvel released Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark, a comic about an archaeologist who goes on adventures hunting for treasure and defeating villains. The first in the series, Indiana Jones sets out to find the Lost Ark of the Covenant and experiences spiders, explosions, snakes and a face off with Nazi’s. Four days before the comic release, Harrison Ford starred in the film adaptation which turned out to be a huge success, grossing over 389 million and becoming one of Ford’s most popular movies. While Indiana Jones action packed adventures (displayed across stunning illustrations) made for an exciting comic book series, the film adaptations didn’t do the comics enough justice.

Indiana Jones Comics

In the comic books, Jones is portrayed as a suave, strong and charming young archaeologist who can travel in a moments notice and fly halfway across the world. In the films, Indiana Jones does travel and has a witty sense of humor however, the comic books make for better stories due to anticipation and character development. Indiana Jones comics have exciting cliff hangers and plot lines that help to build up suspense and anticipation with each new installment. The movies however, stick with one or two plot lines and continue with those lines for the duration of the film. In The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones, we are slowly introduced to Jones character traits and sharp instincts. In the first edition, Dr. Jones journey’s to Africa to find out who murdered Charlie Dunne, one of his former students who had just told Indiana about the legendary Ikons of Ikammanen. He meets up with Edith Dunne, Charlie’s sister, and they both embark on an adventure to find the Ikons and Charlie’s killer.

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Across several illustrations that display Jones chained up over boiling liquid gold struggling to free himself, suspense builds up as the images veer in closer to what Jones will do next. In the next edition 22-Karat Doom! Jones swings back and forth to pull the lever, releasing himself and Edith who was also chained up. His quick thinking using science (momentum) and bravery proves his resilience as an adventurer and thrills the reader for the next scene.

Indiana Jones and the Luck of the Comics

Another novelty of the comic books is the sheer luck that Indiana Jones possesses. He manages to escape death almost effortlessly in every climactic scene in the books. In The Gold Goddess Chapter II:Amazon Death-Ride, Jones and Marion have been driven to the ledge of a high rise building over a bustling manhattan street by a Hovito warrior. When Jones tries to jump on the ladder towards the warrior, the ladder is shoved and Jones falls down before grabbing a flagpole close to the street. Marion yells out and mentions the divine luck Jones has and they both end up back inside the building.

Most recently, Walt Disney Pictures released Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny , this time with an older Harrison Ford playing Dr.Jones. Although it’s pretty exciting to see Ford as Indiana Jones once again, the narrative wasn’t as exhilarating. I think people expected to see something new and exciting but left critics underwhelmed, however Harrison Ford did come out with a bang one last time which was exciting to see.To get the most out of the Indiana Jones adventures, it’s best to read the comics as they provide the thrill and suspense that ties in the plots together. After all, archaeological excursions can only get more interesting one page at a time.

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What are some of your favorite Indiana Jones comics?

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