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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: The Viking Scroll Indiana Jones
"The Viking Scroll"
Indiana Jones Adventures
Script: Philip Gelatt
Art: Ethen Beavers
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover by Ethen Beavers and Ronda Pattison
June 2008

Indy hunts down a couple of Viking artifacts which leads to encounters with a some rogue archeologists.


Read the story summary at the Indiana Jones Wiki


Notes from the Indiana Jones chronology


This story takes place in Winter 1930. It is likely this refers to December 1930 (not January-February 1930) since reference is made to recent Nazi election wins in Germany (which did occur in September of that year).


Didja Know?


Indiana Jones Adventures was a series of 72-page digest-sized graphic novels for junior readers published by Dark Horse Comics. Only two volumes were published.


The story in this volume does not have a title as presented. PopApostle has assigned it the title of "The Viking Scroll" based on the main artifact that becomes the focus of Indy's search in the plotline. 


Notes from The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones


The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones is a 2008 publication that purports to be Indy's journal as seen throughout The Young Indiana Chronicles TV series and the big screen Indiana Jones movies. The publication is also annotated with notes from a functionary of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, the successor agency of the Soviet Union's KGB security agency. The KGB relieved Indy of his journal in 1957 during the events of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The notations imply the journal was released to other governments by the FSB in the early 21st Century. However, some bookend segments of The Young Indiana Chronicles depict Old Indy still in possession of the journal in 1992. The discrepancy has never been resolved. 


The journal as published skips over this adventure, going from a reference of 1926 events in The Seven Veils to 1933 and the repercussions of events in The Philosopher's Stone. Quite a large gap and a number of un-journaled adventures.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Dr. Marcus Brody

Indiana Jones

Forrestal (mentioned only)

Dr. Theresa Lawrence

gun-toting man

museum guide

Rene Belloq

Belloq's thugs


Marrakesh merchant


Veidt (dies in this story)

Swedish museum men


Didja Notice?


In this story, Forrestal's name is misspelled as "Forrestall". Forrestal is mentioned as an archaeologist competitor of Indy's in several other stories.


As the story opens in Uppsala, Sweden, Indy and Marcus discuss that they've come halfway around the world on the museum's dime and can't come back empty-handed. Presumably, this musuem is the fictitious National Museum, where Marcus works in New York.


On page 7 of the story, some of the markings on the cave wall in panel 2 appear to be runic script.


On page 9, Dr. Lawrence refers to Indy as "Cowboy, egotist, grave robber. The type of man who gives my work a bad name." Indy counters, "...I've never robbed a grave in my life. Tombs, temples, sacred cities? Sure. But never a grave."


Indy remarks that Forrestal is good, but he can be sloppy in a rush.


On page 10, Dr. Lawrence scolds Indy, "You can't seriously be proposing we go into the temple tonight. A find of this magnitude requires delicate excavation; we need to get an entire team in here for years of searching and meticulous documentation." Indy retorts, "That a great idea. You do that with everything I don't take tonight."


On page 12, Dr. Lawrence remarks that the old Uppsala Temple is divided into nine chambers, each representing one of the Nine Worlds of Norse cosmology. The Old Uppsala Temple was an actual site written of in the works of German medieval chronicler Adam of Bremen (~1050-1085) and Icelandic historian and poet Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241), though the location is not known. The Nine Worlds is an aspect of old Norse cosmology. It's interesting to note the none of the old Norse texts that have been found actually name or list the Nine Worlds, though they do state that all that exists, including the Nine Worlds, surround Yggdrasil, the World Tree.


Discussing Norse mythology, Indy and Lawrence mention giants, Ragnarok, Aesirs, Midgard*, and Baldur the Beautiful. These are all actual aspects of Norse mythology.


On page 14, alfar is Icelandic for "elves". Here, Lawrence uses alfar as if it's singular, but the singular form would be alfur.


On page 15, Indy and Lawrence enter a chamber that Lawrence believes represents Jotunheim, the world of the giants. Jotunheim is one of the Nine Worlds, said to be populated by jötnar, but a popular misconception is that jötnar is a word for "giants", while the word actually represents numerous different types of beings who are neither human nor gods, beings such as elves, dwarves, or even giants.


On page 17, Lawrence decides the chamber may represent Muspelsheim instead of Jotunheim. Muspelsheim is the realm of fire giants.


On page 18, Lawrence admits to Indy she did raid a tomb once in Assiut. Assiut (now more commonly spelled "Asyut") is a city in Egypt.


On page 24, Lawrence plucks an old gold ring from the temple and remarks, "Sorry, Dr. Jones, this ring belongs in the British Museum." Indy is known to use the phrase "It belongs in a museum," in regards to ancient artifacts. The British Museum was established in 1753 and is one of the most prestigious museums in the world.


On page 25, escaping with the ring, Lawrence remarks to herself, "Wait till I tell the fellows back at Pembroke about this!" She is likely referring to one of two Pembroke Colleges in the UK, Pembroke College, Cambridge, associated with the University of Cambridge or Pembroke College, Oxford, associated with the University of Oxford.


On page 28, Marcus reminds Indy that the world of archeology belongs to the British Empire and goes on to remark that he would not be surprised if one day they found a way to drag the Buddhas of Bamyan all the way to their precious museum. The Buddhas of Bamyan were two huge 6th Century statues in the province of Bamyan in Afghanistan. Sadly and disgustingly, the statues were blown to pieces by the Taliban government of Afghanistan in March 2001, as they were considered idols promoting the worship of false gods.


On page 29, Marcus remarks to Indy, "The crash has not been easy on academics, not at all. In a dying economy, nobody cares about history, I'm afraid." He is referring to the Wall Street Crash of 1929 that is often considered the beginning of the Great Depression which lasted from 1929-1939.


Indy promises Marcus that if they can get the Viking ring back and deliver it to the National Museum, they would fund an expedition to Great Zimbabwe. Great Zimbabwe is the remains of a medieval city in the modern nation of Zimbabwe, thought to be the capital of a great kingdom in the late Iron Age (which lasted roughly from 1300-550 CE).


Indy and Marcus fly from Stockholm to Copenhagen to London to "recover" the ring from the British Museum.


    On page 32, a tour guide at the British Museum points out a series of statues called shedus from the Orient. A shedu is a male protective deity from the Assyrian and Sumerian kingdoms of the Middle East.

    The guide also points out the Bronze Gates of Imgur-Enlil, brought to the museum in the late 19th Century. Imgur-Enlil was an ancient Assyrian city. The Bronze Gates are three sets of bronze bands that decorated the doors of buildings in the ruins of the city.


As far as I can find, the song Marcus sings on page 38 is fictitious.


After Belloq steals the Viking scroll, Lawrence remarks that the Louvre has won this round, but Indy corrects her that Belloq hasn't worked for the Louvre in years, he is just a mercenary who will sell it to whoever will pay. Marcus adds that he's heard that Belloq is nursing connections with the NDSAP, and Indy exclaims, "The Nazis?!" I think Marcus meant the NSDAP, (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterparte), the Nazi Party of Germany from 1920-1945.


Indy believes Belloq will sell the scroll in Marrakesh.


On page 50, Belloq claims to Krause that the scroll contains a recipe for a narcotic that creates Odin's Men, or berserkers. In Old Norse mythology, berserkers were men who fought in a furious, violent, trance-like state.


On page 51, Veidt swallows the narcotic powder and says, "Es schmeckt gut, ja?" This is German for "It tastes good, yes?"


On pages 56-57, a Nazi soldier asks, "Wohin ging er?" This is German for "Where did he go?"


On page 60, a Nazi soldier spies the fleeing Indy and shouts to his comrades, "Er ist hier!" This is German for "He is here!"


On page 66, Indy sarcastically suggests the Nazis should look for religion in the Torah. The Torah is the primary holy book of Judaism.


On page 69, Dr. Lawrence tells Indy that she gave the scroll back to Sweden, to some men from the Swedish National Museum in Sigtuna. As Indy points out to Marcus later, the Swedish National Museum is not in the small town of Sigtuna (where there is just a small local museum). The Swedish National Museum is located in Stockholm, as he says on page 71.


On page 70, Lawrence refers to Indy as a bit of a scoundrel. This may be a wink to Harrison Ford's well-known role as Han Solo in the Star Wars movies, where the character is famously referred to as a scoundrel by some, notably Princess Leia.





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