The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 22 (October 1984)

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The 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.

CREDITS

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.

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The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 21 (September 1984)

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There 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.

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)

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The 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.

Marvel Graphic Novel 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (1985)

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I’m not even sure where to start.

About half the comic deals with the Living Pharaoh’s origin and his escape from prison. It’s a strange origin; he seems a lot like an Egyptian Peter Parker for a bunch of it (you know, if Peter weren’t a college dropout or whatever). Michelinie does everything he can, for a while, to making the character sympathetic and tragic. Then the Living Pharaoh kills his daughter and the sympathy is out the window.

He’s got a cult of followers and she’s, unbeknownst to him, now one of them. The whole Egyptian cult thing–there are terrorist comments a plenty–makes it seem like Marvel could publish the thing today (if only Frank Miller worked at Marvel these days). But what Michelinie fails to realize is how bad a plot choice making the character utterly unsympathetic halfway through does to the comic. It makes the second half barely tolerable.

The second half, according to Michelinie’s introduction, is where the actual story idea comes to fruition. A giant monster attacking New York, only it’s the Living Pharaoh jumbo-sized off the Fantastic Four’s powers.

Michelinie writes a good Captain America and Fantastic Four. Everyone else–particularly Spider-Man and She-Hulk (though she’s technically an FF member at this time)–is spotty.

The art is sometimes good, sometimes bad, it depends one of the seven inkers. It opens well though. The colors are very nice at times.

It’s pointless, but I guess it could be worse.

CREDITS

Writers, Christopher Priest and David Michelinie; penciller, Marc Silvestri; inkers, Geof Isherwood, Mike Witherby, Brad Joyce, Phil Lord, Keith Williams, Tom Morgan and Jerry Acerno; colorists, Bob Sharen, Christie Scheele, Steve Oliff, Mark Bright, Michael Davis, Charles Vess, Paul Becton, Janet Jackson, Petra Scotese and Paty Cockrum; letterers, Joe Rosen, Rick Parker, Janice Chiang, John Morelli and Phil Felix; editors, Keith Williams and Christopher Priest; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Marvel Team-Up 141 (May 1984)

25860.jpgWow, Priest can write. I’ve liked his stuff, been impressed what he could do with Marvel superheroes, but this issue is just fantastic. Maybe because he… he writes thought balloons like they’re internal monologue and not declarative statements, not opportunities for expository shortcuts.

He also should write Batman, because he borrows Batman and Jim Gordon’s relationship for Matt Murdock and Ben Urich.

The issue’s a nice story about Matt trying to help a client–not sure how ethical it is for Daredevil to act as Matt’s private investigator, since he’s not informing the client–and Spider-Man trying to help a technically innocent teenage thug.

The teenager and client are the same person, but Priest explores the difference in Spidey and Daredevil’s approach to how and why to resolve the situation.

Goofy art–Matt’s hair is absolutely hilarious–but not bad Marvel house style.

I’m stunned by the book’s quality.

CREDITS

Blind Justice!; writers, Tom DeFalco and Christopher Priest; pencillers, Greg LaRocque and Mike Esposito; inker, Esposito; colorist, Glynis Wein; letterer, Diana Albers; editors, Bob DeNatale and Danny Fingeroth; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man 111 (February 1986)

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As far as lame battles go, I think Puma vs. Beyonder–actually continuing it–is about as lame as you can get.

Maybe it’s just Priest’s writing (The issue credits Priest, online says Peter David wrote it. Hmm. Who’s really at fault?). I usually like it, but here it’s tired. Between the blabbering thought balloons (for every character) to Peter Parker man-slutting*, it’s just a mess.

The art might add significantly to the pain–I know it made me hurry through the comic so I could stop looking at it. Buckler’s inks are by the bullpen and it hurts. Though his pencils aren’t wowing to begin with.

So a c-list character duking it out with the lead of an enormous crossover event?

Spider-Man’s barely in here.

* Apparently, when Joe Quesada says marriage ruined Peter Parker, he meant Peter’s ability to successfully objectify every female character he encounters.

CREDITS

And Then the Gods Cried; writer, Peter David; penciller, Rich Buckler; inker, M. Hands; colorist, Nelson Yomtov; letterer, Janice Chiang; editors, Adam Blaustein and Christopher Priest; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Power Man and Iron Fist 121 (January 1986)

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So apparently Christopher Priest could always write. This issue of Power Man and Iron Fist makes me wish I had the rest of the series, or at least Priest’s work on it. The really strong part about the comic is how well Priest paints the ranges of characters’ motivations. When S.H.I.E.L.D. is about to blow-up the Beyonder’s fortress, they aren’t necessarily bad–just like when the Falcon essentially puts them up to it.

But when Iron Fist realizes it’s wrong, he’s definitely the good guy. I never knew the series was so packed with guest stars–besides the two main characters, there’s Fury, Falcon, the Beyonder and Captain Hero (a DC hero trapped in a Marvel universe)–but Priest makes it clear it’s Luke and Danny’s book.

Obviously, being a Secret Wars II crossover hampers it a little, but there’s a lot of good stuff going on here. Lots.

CREDITS

Heroes… And Other Strange Cats…!; writers, Mark Bright and Christopher Priest; penciller, Bright; inker, Jerry Acerno; colorist, Janet Jackson; letterer, Janice Chiang; editors, Don Daley and Denny O’Neil; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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