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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


Adapted by: John Jackson Miller
Artists: Luke Ross and Cliff Richards
Titan Books
RRP: £8.99, US $12.95
ISBN: 978 1 84576 799 0
Available 23 May 2008

The intrepid Doctor Henry Jones Jr. is back in his biggest adventure yet. This time, the world-renowned archeologist finds himself caught in a series of events that all point to a discovery unlike any other. But will his rivals in pursuit of this priceless treasure seize his quarry from right under his nose? Not if he, and a few unexpected companions, have anything to say about it...

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, like most movie adaptations, never really lives up to the expectations placed upon it. With a limited amount of pages the writer and illustrators have to cram the story into so tight a space that a lot of the dialogue heavy scenes as well as complex fight sequences, are cut down to a few panels.

I'm not overly sure how this compares to the movie, as schedules meant I managed to read this graphic novel, as well as the official movie tie-in, before I got a chance to see the film. But, from what I've read, I don't think I'm actually that bothered about seeing the movie now. Neither the book nor graphic novel really managed to capture the excitement that the original movies did.

The plot, for the most part, feels like one we've experienced before, only very watered down. Unlike the previous movies, there's no real stand out scene that you'll be talking about after you leave the cinema. Yet again the film ends - and I doubt I'm spoiling anything here - in exactly the way I was expecting. In Raiders it was cool; in Last Crusade it was "Oh! Please! A bit of originality please"; and in Crystal Skull I'm starting to yawn. Yes, it's the same old... villain gets what they want... but... oh, wait! What they want sucks the life out of them.

Harrison Ford is really knocking on now (64 at the time of making the movie) yet, if the graphic novel is to be believed, he's jumping from truck to truck and running around like someone half his age - and I'm sure that's not a pleasant sight on the big screen. Even Roger Moore had the good sense to retire from playing James bond before he was 60 - and even then he was starting to creak a bit).

I've read and reread this graphic novel searching for something to applaud... and the only thing I can comment on is that I was pleased that a nice little scene was dedicated to Marcus Brody - otherwise this is a pretty dull affair. The likenesses in this graphic novel aren't overly impressive either, which is a common complaint of movie adaptations - so no surprise there. And I couldn't help wondering if the character of Oxley was originally intended to by Jones's dad, but after Sean Connery refused to come out of retirement, the writers just tweaked the character a little.

On the basis of reading this and the book I think, and I don't say this lightly, that it's time to bury Indiana Jones once and for all.


Darren Rea

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