So we broke the news about the Star Wars comic the other day, but we didn't address the elephant in the room...
That is, if Darth Vader is packing his bags, then the Man in the Hat will likely go with him. While the confirmation I was given was only about Star Wars, it's simple math that determines Indiana Jones will also follow Han Solo over to Marvel. So, then the question is what do they do with him?
Dark Horse has had a good run with Lucasfilm, being as they have had a better understanding of the properties than those that handled them in the past, and yes Marvel was one of those handlers. The Indiana Jones adventures under their licence has consisted of some pretty good adventures for Doctor Jones. From "Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis," "Thunder in the Orient," "Indiana Jones and the Arms of Gold" to "Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Invincible Ruby," there have been some grand adventures. Dark Horse is a comic company that "gets" the pop-culture properties that it licenses. So we have to wonder if Marvel will "get" them since their last tales were a bit uninspiring.
Perhaps it'll be different the second time around. Perspective is everything. With all those out there in the business knowing how well received the Dark Horse stories of Indy have been, it'll give the editors over at Marvel's bull pin a little more reason to stay frosty. Hopefully, if the rights revert back to this in a couple of years they'll have a game plan ready. This is just my advice, no secret info that has been given to me by a Bothan or Nazi double agent. Take it for what it is: my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.
First thing they should do is something that they actually should NOT do. Don't make it a monthly.
That was one of the smart things that Dark Horse did. I mean, the books came out monthly, but it wasn't a monthly comic. These adventures had a beginning, middle, and end. There was no dragging out the story over a long period of months just to sell books. Each story they create should be self contained. With a certain number of issues, be it 6, 8, or maybe even a 12 issue maxi-series. Next, there has to be talent brought together, like one puts together a director, producer and writer on a film. Have different teams that can tackle adventures from every angle, every location, and have them have fun with the characters.
I personally would love to see John Byrne take another crack at Indiana Jones. He may not of course, since his dealing with a Lucasfilm Suit resulted in it being one of the worst comic book experiences of his professional career. But to imagine Denny O'Neil, Byrne and even Terry Austin together would be something I would gladly look forward to. And if Austin couldn't do it, how about Karl Kessel, they're two of the best inkers to ever handle Byrne's pencils.
Then someone like Chris Claremont would seem to make a great writers to stick his hand at Doctor Jones' adventures. How about you team him up with J. Scott Campbell, who's toyed around with the character for fun and is a fantastic artist. His Danger Girl series is already heavily inspired by Raiders-type adventures; how about letting him draw the actual thing?
Speaking of Raiders-type things, there have been a few "Tomb Raider" comics over the years and some of the artist/writers that have worked on these books would fit the mold perfectly for an Indy comic. I would love to see Andy Park illustrate a book by Marvel dealing with Jones globe traveling. He's such a talented artist, not only in comics, but as a conceptual artist (he worked on "The Avengers" and created some fantastic pieces) too. Maybe team him with Dan Jurgens, whom he worked with on Top Cow's Tomb Raider comic (the #1 comic of 1999, btw) and have them focus on some serial adventures?
Or take a iconic artist like Alex Ross and let him have his way with the fedora and whip? Imagine a fully painted issue of fortune and glory done by this talented artist. Team him up with a hot new talent like Sam Humphries or Rick Remender and you could have a very facinating adventure.
Or perhaps reach into the cinematic world? Why should Joss Whedon be the only one that can write for both film and comics? Someone who I think would be terrific for a Indiana Jones comic is Michael France (Cliffhanger, Fantastic Four - not the horrible Tim Story film, but the script which should have been made.), with the right artist, say someone like Ed Benes or Ivan Reis, they would make a fantastic comic book. That would be a mini-series I'd want to see.
Then there's Mark Protosevich (Thor and I Am Legend, both of which have amazing screenplays better than the actual films that were released.), who would be great to see do an adaptation of Indy's mcguffin hunts, perhaps pairing him with Travis Charest, and having his amazing art translate Protosevich's prose? I'm. So. There.
And these are just the ideas off the top of my head. Imagine what the Marvel editors could come up with if they sat in a room with a bunch of writers and artists pitching tales of the famed explorer? The mind truly boggles at that thought. To keep Indiana Jones relevant and in the public's eye, these would be rather quick and easy steps to continue to mine this property until that day when Kathleen Kennedy approves Paul Dini's animated series.
Yes, I dream, but if you're going to dream, do it big I say...