David Michelinie

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 22 (October 1984)

22354The art, from Joe Brozowski and Mel Candido, isn’t great or even good (occasional weird background details break the perspective), but it’s generally competent. And generally competent for this issue isn’t bad.

Priest continues to play fast and loose with the characters. Indy’s sentiments towards Marion are this odd annoyance thing. I think Priest is trying to show he likes her so he has to pester her, which suggests Priest hadn’t been reading the comic until this point. Or maybe the LucasFilms contact told them to tone down the romantic stuff.

This issue’s adventure wraps up Priest’s tedious first arc on the series, involving Marcus Brody, action hero, trying to save his career. Priest can’t write Indy as having a villain.

Wait, I can’t believe I ignored the weirdest part. Priest writes this stoic, virtuous Nazi secret agent out to assassinate Jones. It’s really weird stuff. Not good, definitely interesting.

Priest is also really bad with the setting. He writes too modern.

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End Run; writers, David Michelinie and Christopher Priest; penciller, Joe Brozowski; inker, Mel Candido; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 21 (September 1984)

Indy 21There are a bunch of inkers on this issue. They stay consistent until the finish, when it’s very obvious the inker has changed. The final inker changes Steve Ditko’s pencils so much, it barely looks like the same comic.

Ditko doesn’t do a great job on Jones, but it’s really cool to see his old standard panel arrangements used again. And the eyes. Love the eyes. It’s a shame Priest didn’t write the issue as a retro thing to match Ditko, but given the number of inkers, I’m sure no one at Marvel had any idea who was drawing it when Priest was writing it.

The story itself is lame. It’s a lot of action and some silly villains. Priest continues to flush the romance between Indy and Marion… Not to mention playing up Marcus Brody being tough.

Priest is also really bad with the setting. He writes too modern.

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p style=”font-size:11px;”>CREDITS

Beyond the Lucifer Chamber; writers, David Michelinie and Christopher Priest; penciller, Steve Ditko; inkers, Bob Wiacek, Steve Leialoha, Jack Abel, Al Milgrom, Carl Potts, Edward Norton and Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Rob Carosella; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Eliot Brown; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 20 (August 1984)

Indy 20The issue opens with a full page spread–Indy looking at an artifact with a magnifying glass–but it’s the only uneconomical use of page space in the issue. Luke McDonnell has to pack panels on the page to get through all the action in Priest’s script.

David Michelinie gets a story credit, but it feels like a different comic without him. Even the art. McDonnell draws Marcus Brody younger than anyone else has before–and younger than Denholm Elliot; probably because Priest’s script implies Brody was once much like Indy in the adventuring department.

And Priest does have a lot of time for the romance between Indy and Marion. He dials it down quite a few notches but does at least acknowledge it.

In many ways, the issue doesn’t feel like a licensed property. But feeling more original doesn’t help–the creators are generally competent but the comic’s charmless.

CREDITS

The Cuban Connection; writers, David Michelinie and Christopher Priest; penciller, Luke McDonnell; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Rob Carosella; letterer, Rick Parker; editor, Eliot Brown; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 13 (January 1984)

22345What a difference a penciller makes… Ricardo Villamonte really doesn’t cut it. Indy’s always got a befuddled look.

Still, Villamonte isn’t responsible for the lame story. Michelinie send Indy out west on a field trip from the university. He and his students are on a dig, he runs awful bad guys. The plot contrivances are lame for even a done-in-one licensed comic; Michelinie wastes all his opportunities.

Michelinie opens with Indy’s female students talking about him being cute. One might think the issue would explore his professional life… But, no, it turns into this boring desert investigation thing with a truly silly explanation.

The comic actually shows the most life when Indy’s on the phone talking with the regular cast. Michelinie tried something new and it clearly didn’t work so much he had to remind the reader it’s not the norm.

It’s too bad, he usually does fine.

CREDITS

Deadly Rock!; writers, Archie Goodwin and David Michelinie; penciller, Ricardo Villamonte; inker, Sam de la Rosa; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 12 (December 1983)

22344I can’t believe I forgot to mention Indy’s Spanish gypsy sidekick from last issue–he returns here–I think he’s based on Speedy Gonzales. There’s the yellow sombrero and the annoying dialect.

That lame character aside (made worse this issue with Marion falling for his “charm”), Michelinie continues to do pretty good work on Further Adventures. There’s this neat little subplot about these guys after Indy and Speedy continued from last issue; Michelinie just paces it all really well. I suppose Marion arriving so quick is silly, but she plays so well it’s forgivable.

Sadly, the art’s the problem here. Mel Candido is a terrible inker for both Kerry Gammill and Luke McDonnell, who split the pencilling chores. He’s a little better on McDonnell, which means the issue ends better than it starts, but not by much. It starts real ugly.

Great reveal of the relic at the end too.

CREDITS

The Fourth Nail, Chapter Two: Swords and Spikes!; writer, David Michelinie; pencillers, Kerry Gammill and Luke McDonnell; inker, Mel Candido; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 11 (November 1983)

22343It’s another great plot from Michelinie. He writes some decent exposition too. His dialogue is inconsistent though. For whatever reason he can’t write Indy’s dialogue. Everyone else’s is fine though. Very strange. I think it has to do with him writing Indy as a tough guy first, smart guy second.

The issue has Indy sort of taking a second job as a treasure hunter for a mysterious rich guy. This guy’s band of Arab ninjas (Michelinie’s description) gets Indy out of a jam in the opening. The rich guy then appears to pitch Indy the job–finding the fourth nail from Christ’s cross.

It’s all compelling–it feels very grand–and there are some excellent moments. Michelinie implies subplots without expanding on them, which is interesting–or forgetful.

The Gammill pencils are rather nice too.

Problems aside, the comic has lots of charm and technical qualities. Not bad at all.

CREDITS

The Fourth Nail, Chapter One: Blood and Sand!; writer, David Michelinie; penciller, Kerry Gammill; inker, Sam de la Rosa; colorist, Julianna Ferriter; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Truth in Journalism (2013, Joe Lynch)

Truth in Journalism is narratively broken. The gimmick is it’s a short French documentary about a New York city photojournalist (Ryan Kwanten), set sometime during the eighties. The setting isn’t immediately clear, which is a problem because otherwise it looks like director Joe Lynch just ran it all through a crappy video filter. Once the setting’s established though, the problems with the fake film stock go away.

Kwanten’s magnetic lead performance also helps the technical problems cease to matter. His morally bankrupt narrator is hilarious, getting past all the dialogue bumps.

But Journalism is actually a comic book movie (just not an official one). When they get to that moment–it’s horror oriented–things fall apart. The narrative structure breaks, the special effects just aren’t good enough. It’s a shame.

But then–breaking the narrative more–there’s another scene and it’s hilarious and it redeems the entire short. Well, almost.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Joe Lynch; screenplay by Lynch, based on a character created by David Michelinie, Mike Zeck and Todd McFarlane; director of photography, Will Barratt; produced by Adi Shankar.

Starring Ryan Kwanten (Eddie), Billy Khoury (Director) and Derek Mears (Lester).


The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 10 (October 1983)

22342It’s an adequate, underwhelming resolution. Michelinie handles the cliffhanger from last issue well then sends Indy off into the jungle. It’s the jungle from the beginning of Raiders, but there’s no fanfare to its return. There is another Raiders connection–the villain has a secret–but it’s lame.

Michelinie also gets history very wrong concerning when the Nazis starting plotting against the United States. Maybe it’s different in the Indiana Jones universe.

Like I said, the opening is fine. Reed does much better with two people in his action panels. So when it’s Indy alone, while the panels are sometimes good, there’s no excitement. It’s just Indiana Jones in another jungle, fighting another couple bad guys.

Michelinie’s steam runs out just after Indy gets back to the jungle too. He figured out how to resolve the issue and wrote the rest of the pages to fit.

Still, it’s not terrible.

CREDITS

The Gold Goddess, Chapter Two: Amazon Death-Ride; writers, Archie Goodwin and David Michelinie; penciller, Dan Reed; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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