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The three-part Raiders of the Lost Ark comic adaptation was published by Marvel Comics from June through August 1981.

Plot summary[]

In 1936, Indiana Jones recovers a lost golden idol in the jungles of Peru, but is betrayed by his guides and eventually loses the idol to his longtime rival, Belloq. No sooner has he returned Stateside than he is approached by members of Army Intelligence, who reveal evidence suggesting the Nazis have discovered the lost city of Tanis and are near to discovering the Ark of the Covenant. After hearing of how powerful the Ark is, Intelligence requests Jones go after it, but first he needs a vital piece to find the Ark's resting place, which he believes is in the possession of Abner Ravenwood in Nepal. Ravenwood is dead however, but his daughter, Marion, possess the piece. But the Nazis are after it as well. And worse, Belloq is helping them! Jones must keep the Ark out of the hands of evil....but first he has to find it.

Differences from the film[]

As with the novelization, the comic book differs from the movie in many ways:

  • The conversation of Indiana Jones and Satipo about if Forrestal was Indy's friend and how good he was as a competitor happens outside of the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors instead of inside.
  • Barranca does not die, running away instead after being disarmed to never being seen again.
  • Forrestal's corpse isn't too decomposed like in the film, doesn't have his neck speared and has black hair. Furthermore, Indy takes Forrestal's body down from the spike trap and lays him gently on the ground.
  • Satipo calls Indy "amigo" instead of "señor" when he betrays him. Likewise, Indy calls him "partner" instead of "stupid" when he finds Satipo's corpse.
  • René Emile Belloq threatens Indy to order the Hovitos to leave him for the snakes instead of giving him a "clean death", mentioning that he knows his rival's phobia.
  • Indy hears the spike trap that kills Satipo whereas in the film he doesn't realize Satipo died until he comes face to face with his corpse.
  • Jock Lindsey, his OB-CPO plane and his pet Reggie are absent, so Indy is depicted instead as having fled from the Hovitos by just running away until they lost their trace.
  • Marcus Brody wears a blue shirt and a blue tie instead of black ones.
  • As he prepares to meet Colonel Musgrove and Major Eaton, Indy references his World War I service.
  • Regan is called "Red" by Marion Ravenwood and doesn't have curly hair.
  • Indy is already on the bar instead of entering, with Marion finding him as she closes.
  • Marion and Indy kiss after Indy negotiates to buy the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra with $5,000.
  • Major Arnold Ernst Toht introduces himself with his first name, whereas in the film, Toht is never named with the exception of the film's credits.
  • In The Raven fight, the Giant Sherpa does not appear. Instead, the Mean Mongolian is the one who fights Indy to a standstill and then cooperates with him briefly to kill the Second Nazi with Toht. The Mongolian also has some dialogue with Indy and Marion instead of being silent like the Sherpa is in the film.
  • The Ratty Nepalese is shot dead without burning alive and Otto's death happens onscreen.
  • Toht orders the Second Nazi to shoot at their goon and Indy after burning his hand with the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra instead of burning his hand after the Nazi's death.
  • The Second Nazi doesn't seem to have a mustache.
  • Fayah and Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir's nine children are absent, though the latter are mentioned by Sallah after Marion's "death".
  • Marion wears a pink shirt during the Cairo marketplace scenes.
  • Indy never encounters the Arab Swordsman during the Cairo fight sequence and thus never shoots him.
  • The Monkey Man and his Capuchin monkey don't appear. Instead, Marion is found hiding in a basket because the German Agent spotted her.
  • The Marhala Bar scene is omitted, so Indy and Belloq don't meet each other again until the Well of the Souls scene and thus Belloq doesn't taunt him with possibly being of archeological interest in a thousand years.
  • Marion is tied and gagged on a chair instead of a pole inside Belloq's tent.
  • The seduction/drinking scene is omitted and replaced by a short interaction between Marion and Belloq, without Belloq giving Marion food or drink. In addition, Marion doesn't wear a bra when she tries on the dress Belloq bought for her but Belloq doesn't spy on her through a mirror.
  • Belloq reveals that he actually didn't get away with the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol because the Hovitos were quite "narrow-minded" on who the Idol's owner was, remarking that he was lucky with escaping alive. This line dashes Indy's suspicions about the Idol being sold at Marrakesh line and contradicts the follow-up story of Marvel's The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones.
  • Toht brings Marion gagged and removes her gag seconds before throwing her into the Well of the Souls, while in the film, Marion wasn't gagged by that point.
  • Belloq doesn't seem concerned at Toht throwing Marion into the Well.
  • The dubris that Indy makes fall by breaking one of the Well's chambers with the Anubis Statue crushes the mummies that scare Marion in the film, so Marion doesn't get scared here, though she still complains for the tomb's stench.
  • Gobler is seen talking with the first mechanic before the Flying Wing fight.
  • The first mechanic doesn't have a moustache.
  • Indy takes out the second mechanic with one punch while patrolling the area filled with gasoline containers; the first mechanic is knocked out with the Flying Wing's chocks by Marion, and he fires his gun hitting the plane's fuel tank, setting off the explosion.
  • The Flying Wing's pilot is never seen, so it's left unspecified why was the Wing moving. If the pilot was there, he was never knocked out by Marion like in the film.
  • Sallah explains to Indy and Marion that he was able to escape punishment by convincing Dietrich that he and the other diggers were "tricked" by Indy into believing he (Indy) was a German.
  • No Arab workers are shot by the Nazis because no one tries to take the Ark back from them.
  • Indy steals a horse from his owner much to his anger, while in the film, Indy obtains the horse through unexplained reasons. He is also described as blowing Marion a kiss, though he never does this in the film, at least onscreen.
  • The Desert Chase is executed differently: There are no soldiers riding in back of the truck, only the driver and soldier riding shotgun in the cab. Toht dies because he rides in Gobler's car, and they drive off the cliff. Gobler's gunner is also absent because Gobler's troop car with mounted gun was replaced with a staff car similar to the one occupied by Dietrich and Belloq. In addition, Indy has several comical one-liners when knocking the Nazis out from the truck.
  • Omar's Garage seems to be Sallah's property, with Omar nowhere to be seen.
  • Dietrich doesn't destroy a melon out of anger.
  • Marion doesn't hurt Indy with a mirror in their quarters at the Bantu Wind.
  • Indy and Marion don't get to have sexual intercourse due to the Wurrfler tracking them down sooner than in the film.
  • When the Nazis board the Bantu Wind, the sergeant seems to be absent and one of his backups in the film is the one who tells Dietrich they haven't found Jones yet instead of the soldier who says it in the actual film.
  • Simon Katanga's lie about having killed Indy is initially not believed by Dietrich, whereas in the film, Dietrich didn't doubt on Katanga's words.
  • Indy hides inside a ventilation system.
  • Katanga and his crew don't appear after the Wurrfler departs and don't cheer for Jones as he finds his way into the U-boat.
  • Indy loses his fedora offscreen while swimming to the Wurrfler. This loss would contradict all of Indy's post-Raiders of the Lost Ark appearances in the franchise, as Indy is never mentioned to have replaced his hat.
  • Indy uses his whip to lash himself to the submarine's periscope for the journey to the Nazi island.
  • At the Nazi island, Indy confronts Belloq and threatens to destroy the Ark after Belloq has changed into his ceremonial robes. Rather than surrender, he is attacked and subdued by the Nazi officer Captain Mohler. Dietrich prepares to execute Jones, but Belloq persuades the colonel to tie Indy up instead, and to kill him after the Ark has been opened. Belloq also cites his reason to have Marion tied beforehand because she failed to please him.
  • Marion feels tempted to look at the Ark when Belloq opens it, but Indy desperately demands her to fight against the temptation.
  • Belloq's eyeballs catch fire and the last things he ever gets to know are revelations from the artifact, with Dietrich and all the Nazis getting their skins melted for sharing the Ark's knowledge as well.
  • The Nazi island is mentioned to have shaken during the Ark's opening and is described as having been left all scorched and blasted.
  • Marcus Brody and the Bureaucrat are absent in the scene in which Eaton and Musgrove thank Indy and inform him about the Ark's fate. Marion is also present at the meeting, though in the film, she was waiting for Indy outside.
  • The Warehouseman looks younger and well-built.







Behind the scenes[]

In the first issue, Indiana Jones misspells "pharaoh" as "pharoah" while speaking about Shishak. Another error happens in the second issue, when Indy says "don't" twice while explaining to Marion Ravenwood his reasons for leaving her behind in René Emile Belloq's tent.



Cover gallery[]

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Novel (Adventures of Indiana Jones) · Junior novel (Collector's Edition) · Storybook · Read-Along Adventure · Mighty Chronicles
Partial adaptations
Indy's Adventures · Traps and Snares · Great Escapes · The Search For Buried Treasure
Soundtrack (The Soundtracks Collection) · The Movie on Record
Comic · 1 · 2 · 3 · Marvel Comics Super Special · Marvel Movie Spotlight · Omnibus 1 · The Gold Goddess
Video game · Greatest Adventures · Trading cards · Indiana Jones Heritage · Raiders of the Lost Ark Game
Adventure Pack · Sourcebook
LEGO Indiana Jones
LEGO Indiana Jones Adventures · The Original Adventures · The Adventure Continues
Activity books
Coloring/Activity Book · Things to Do and Color · Indiana Jones and his Life of Adventure · Annual 2009 · Annual 2010 · Activity Annual · Winter Activity Annual · Golden Treasure Sticker Book · Heroes and Villains Sticker Book · The Greatest Adventures of Indiana Jones
Behind the scenes
The Making of: (Book · Documentary) · Great Movie Stunts · The Illustrated Screenplay · Original Movie Script · From Star Wars to Indiana Jones · A Look Inside · Making the Trilogy · Indiana Jones: An Appreciation · Creepy Crawlies · Travel with Indy: Locations · Stunts of Indiana Jones · Sound of Indiana Jones · Light and Magic of Indiana Jones · Music of Indiana Jones · Indy's Women · Indy's Friends and Enemies · The Complete Making of Indiana Jones
On Set With Raiders of the Lost Ark: (From Jungle to Desert · From Adventure to Legend)
Script development
Story conference transcript · Screenplay drafts
Home video
VHS (The Complete Adventures of Indiana Jones) · DVD (Adventure Collection · Complete Adventure Collection)
Blu-ray (The Complete Adventures) · 4K (4-Movie Collection) · LaserDisc
Great Movie Stunts & The Making Of Raiders of the Lost Ark
Other material and merchandise
Toy line · Collector's Album · Official Film Poster Magazine · LEGO Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick
Marvel Comics
Raiders of the Lost Ark: 1 · 2 · 3
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: 1 · 2 · 3
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4
The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones
"The Ikons of Ikammanen": 1 · 2
"The Devil's Cradle": 3
"Gateway to Infinity!": 4
"The Harbingers": 5
"Club Nightmare!": 6
"Africa Screams!": 7 · 8
"The Gold Goddess": 9 · 10
"The Fourth Nail": 11 · 12
"Deadly Rock!": 13
"Demons": 14
"The Sea Butchers": 15 · 16
"The Search for Abner": 17 · 18
"Dragon by the Tail!!": 19
"The Cuban Connection!": 20 · 21 · 22
"The Secret of the Deep": 23
"Revenge of the Ancients": 24
"Good as Gold": 25
"Trail of the Golden Guns": 26 · 27
"Tower of Tears!": 28
"Shot by Both Sides!": 29 · 30
"Big Game": 31
"Double Play!": 32 · 33 · 34
Cancelled: "The Sentinel" · 35
Omnibus: The Further Adventures: Volume 1 · Volume 2 · Volume 3
Marvel UK
Star Wars Monthly · Return of the Jedi Weekly
Indiana Jones · The Spider-Man Comic · The Incredible Hulk Presents
Cancelled newspaper strip · Dark Horse comics · Timeline of comics
Marvel references to Indiana Jones