SFX’s own Rob Williams is the writer on Dark Horse’s new Indiana Jones comic book. He tells us how Indy’s returning to four-colour fortune and glory…
Where does this title fit in Indy continuity?
“Indiana Jones And The Tomb Of The Gods takes place in 1936, so after Temple Of Doom but before Raiders. It's an interesting period in Indy's character evolution. One of the main things we talked about from the off is the dichotomy in Indy's character between Temple - where his mantra is ‘Fortune And Glory’- and Raiders, where it's 'That Belongs In A Museum'. He's obviously extremely driven to find these acheological objects, ruthless, even, but along the way he becomes more respectful to his 'art' and more altruistic. In Tomb Of The Gods, he's not yet at the point in his life where he drops the bazooka and lets Belloq have the Ark. The younger Indy wouldn't do that. So our story is another part of his development on the way to Raiders.”
What's your take on Indy?
“First and foremost, he's an archeologist. That's his core. One of the first lines in the script to issue one is someone asking him who he is, and he replies 'I'm a college professor.' That's why he's such a great action hero. Your Arnies and Stallones of this world are invulnerable. Indy gets the crap beaten out of him by all and sundry and he STILL keeps coming, still keeps chasing, he won't give up. That type of heroism is far more impressive. He hates snakes above everything but he still goes into the tomb to get the Ark. That's why he's a hero, and his vulnerabilities make us relate to him so much.”
What's the quest in Tomb of the Gods?
“I don't want to give away too much here, as building the mystery is a large part of the story, but we wanted to make the stakes huge right from the off, so it's something that could possibly mean disaster for the human race and, of course for Indy. The point being to not just put his life in danger, but his soul too. There's a MacGuffin - something that could mean that everything Indy has studied all these years is a lie - a chase across the globe, and, eventually, a revelation. You'll have to read the series to see just what Indy's looking for, but it's a mix of real world basis and the work of a certain famous author.”
Is there still a place for Indy in today's pop-culture landscape?
“There's always a place for heroism and charm. They'll never go out of fashion. When you're trying to learn to write you realise that it's a character's choices and actions that get an audience involved, and Indy's a true hero - taking on overwhelming odds with right on his side. Of course, if you give him some great dialogue, stunning locations and a cool mystery to solve then you have the recipe for some classic entertainment. And Indy is, first and foremost, a champion of knowledge and education. How wonderful is that in this dumbed down world?”