Danny Bulanadi

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 34 (March 1986)

22366As far as a last issue goes, this one flops on all accounts. Except one. There are a lot of meta references to the series ending. Or maybe not. If so, kudos to Grant for the winks. If not, well, maybe it was subconscious.

The issue wraps up the latest story arc. Indy, the beautiful British cat burglar, the crazy English sorcerer dude. They go after each other all issue–lots of chasing. It’s an all-action issue a longer pace. Not sure if it’s a better approach.

Ditko does okay. His composition for medium and large panels–apparently Steve Ditko’s the only guy whose art I can talk about–is problematic, but he does these great close up small panels throughout. He makes sure these panels have enough personality to cover the pitfalls of the bad ones.

Further Adventures ended as a curiosity, which is better than nothing.

C 

CREDITS

Something’s Gone Wrong Again!; writer, Linda Grant; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Ken Feduniewicz; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 33 (January 1986)

33This comic book is not a good one. I do not recommend it to Indiana Jones fans or even thirties adventure comic fans and certainly not to comic collectors. However, I do recommend it to anyone who ever liked a Steve Ditko comic. I realize that category probably overlaps with the ones previously mentioned but, in that case, such people need to relax and enjoy.

It’s a familiar story–hero in a strange town–with the Indiana Jones and period dressings. That situation gives Ditko a lot to do, starting with talking head confrontations. Marvel must have been targeting younger teens with Further Adventures, but this story plays like an old chaste horror comic. Only it’s not and it’s got this lazy Ditko art, inked very roundly, and somehow it’s all magnificent.

There’s even an excellent moment from Grant in it; she’s learning how to present her characters.

It’s… worthwhile.

C 

CREDITS

Magic, Murder and the Weather; writer, Linda Grant; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Ken Feduniewicz; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 32 (November 1985)

22364I hate to admit it, but I like this latter day Steve Ditko pencilling. It’s not good, but it’s still got enough Ditko to make the composition interesting. Shame Grant’s story isn’t up to the same level.

She has her supporting cast, but they’re all boring. There’s the annoying kid from Scotland, the jackass trustee making Indy’s life difficult, but nothing else. This issue Indy falls head over heels for a visiting British lady. Why? Because having him fall for a guest star means Grant doesn’t actually have to give him a romantic interest in the series’s new ground situation.

There’s a lot of action–a chase through a museum with booby traps, then a car chase (I think), then a lengthy sequence with Indy jumping between airplanes. Grant is pulling all the stops–though Ditko’s a lot less amusing on these action sequences than the talking heads stuff.

Eh.

C- 

CREDITS

Double Play!; writer, Linda Grant; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Ken Feduniewicz; letterer, Diana Albers; editors, Craig Anderson and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 31 (September 1985)

22363For a few pages, I thought maybe Villamonte had improved. Not really. Especially not at the end when a character is supposed to fall off a cliff and instead just isn’t around anymore. Villamonte’s terrible at establishing shots.

The story’s a doozy and not particularly digestible. Grant tries real hard though; she doesn’t seem to understand Villamonte is butchering her scripts. His incapable of pacing out the story visually. Or maybe Further Adventures was done Marvel-style, which would be even stranger given all the content.

Indy finds himself crashed in Washington state where he runs across a great white hunter–a female great white hunter–her Native American sidekick and a bunch of unpleasant townsfolk.

Grant writes a lot of dialogue for the issue. It’s a mystery and someone needs to explain it all. But Grant has maybe four people do that explaining.

It’s a mind-numbing comic book.

C- 

CREDITS

Big Game; writer, Linda Grant; penciller, Ricardo Villamonte; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, George Roussos; letterer, Diana Albers; editors, Craig Anderson and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 30 (July 1985)

22362Villamonte’s apparently sticking around with his terrible pencils.

The writing’s decent, but it’s hard to say how the issue should read with so much terrible composition. There’s a lot of talking about Villamonte can’t break out the conversations well. He does small panels–sometimes stylized, which is worse–and can’t fit all the dialogue. Letterer Diana Albers must have been thrilled.

The plot isn’t great either. Grant doesn’t bother with much of the archeology or even history (there are nods to it) and concentrates on the action. Given Villamonte is terrible with action–he’s entirely incapable of composing a comprehensible action panel–the issue is a chore.

The most lively moment has to be when Indy’s annoying young Scottish lad sidekick meets Marcus Brody and appears to flirt with him (given Grant’s use of an ellipses).

Otherwise, it’s a cruddy comic. Grant’s script deserves better. Not lots better, but better.

D 

CREDITS

Fireworks!; writer, Linda Grant; penciller, Ricardo Villamonte; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, George Roussos; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 29 (May 1985)

22361Whew, I thought something happened to Dikto and since the previous issue he forgot everything he knew about composition completely and replaced it with the inept angles of someone without dimension vision.

But it’s a new penciller–Ricardo Villamonte–and he’s awful. He ruins a bunch of good action set pieces in Grant’s script. She’s got a lot of material in the issue. Not enough for two but enough for one and a half easy. Indy meets up with an old flame, an old friend, dueling gangsters–it’s practically Yojimbo. It’s not, but it’s closer to it than I’d have expected from Grant.

Villamonte can’t do the talking, he really can’t do action, he can’t do much of anything. He can’t even draw Indy’s face the same size from panel to panel. It’s a shame Marvel is giving up on the book once they’ve got an okay writer in place.

C 

CREDITS

Shot by Both Sides; writer, Linda Grant; penciller, Ricardo Villamonte; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, George Roussos; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 28 (April 1985)

22360For her first issue as regular writer, Linda Grant turns in a rather tepid issue. Even though Indiana Jones has endless sidekicks from the movies, Grant introduces a new one for him here. Alec Sutherland, white guy. Sutherland’s maybe a Brit… or maybe he’s secretly the Sutherland who’ll someday show up in Swamp Thing, but right now he’s just a dumb, rich white kid.

The adventure involves Indy going to Iran–during semester break–to investigate some journal the kid brought him. It’s pretty lame stuff, but Ditko and Bulanadi do okay with it on the art. Maybe the writing’s just boring enough to make mediocre Marvel art seem better.

Grant’s decent on the actually scenes, except maybe her new sidekick guy. He’s too annoying. It’s her plotting–and she writes Indy kind of stupid. His philosophical musings on archeology are inane.

It’s trying to read; there’s no other word.

D+ 

CREDITS

Tower of Tears; writer, Linda Grant; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 27 (March 1985)

22359While the Ditko art does leave a lot to be desired–the huge action finale, which takes up about half the issue, is a mess–it’s not a bad comic at all. You just have to get used to people not being in the right place in panels and some terrible action choreography.

Oh, and the female protagonist looking pensively off into space a lot.

But the story is fine. Indy and the woman are in Russia to recover Buffalo Bill’s golden guns (there are other phallic symbols too, presumably unintentional) and they team up with Cossacks to attack a fortress. Michelinie doesn’t waste time with flirting between Indy and his partner. He finds more interesting things to do–the Cossacks are on a suicide mission, for example.

It’s all action, no character, so it moves briskly. The series has been sorely missing Michelinie’s writing. He’s got the formula down.

C 

CREDITS

Trail of the Golden Guns, Chapter Two; writers, Ron Fortier and David Michelinie; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 26 (February 1985)

22358David Michelinie is back. Maybe Marvel figured since they just had to adjust for Temple of Doom they would want someone competent on the book.

It’s still Ditko and Bulandi on the art and they’re fine.

I’m bummed out they waited so long to bring him back. Marion went stale as a character after Michelinie left and now, post-Temple she’s gone forever. At the end of the previous issue she even writes Indy a Dear John, but it’s unclear why. Now, however, it is… and is there going to be an actual Short Round meets Martin Brody scene?

Anyway, the rest of the issue is fairly standard silly stuff. Indy and Buffalo Bill’s granddaughter go to Russia to try to get back stolen pistols. Michelinie has a fine level of detail for their adventure, even if the girl’s really annoying.

The series might be interesting again for a while.

C 

CREDITS

Trail of the Golden Guns; writers, Ron Fortier and David Michelinie; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 25 (January 1985)

22357I like this issue and it’s not for particularly good reasons. Linda Grant rips off a bit of Raiders and sends Indy to help some woman with a translation. They bicker, there are bad guys–in a lot of ways, Grant has tapped into what became the Indiana Jones standard. But there is one sincere moment and it throws everything off. Grant’s doing the comic pulpy and it makes the Ditko art a perfect match.

There are some great bad panels in this comic. Ditko manages to try and not try simultaneously and frequently. If so much of the detail weren’t shaky, one might even wonder if the pulp feel is intentional. Bad but still high adventure, highly entertaining.

And Grant does write good banter. It’s bad dialogue, but it’s very amusing banter. There’s a lot of story and the pace is fantastic.

Like I said… I like this issue.

B- 

CREDITS

Good as Gold; writer, Linda Grant; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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