Tomb Raider #1

I turn my attention to Gail Simone’s first issue of Tomb Raider, with artwork from Nicolas Daniel Selma, published by Dark Horse Comics.

I am a recent fan of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise in general, having been converted with the awesome 2013 reboot – which I have completed and am seriously contemplating having another play-through on my Xbox 360. I brought the game when I heard that Simone would be doing an ongoing series – because she’s one of my favourite writers and any title that she writes I’ve liked so far – she has a 100% positive output from what I’ve read. I’ve loved her work on Secret Six, and her Batgirl and Movement works have been amazing – as has her Red Sonja. So it’ll be great to see what Simone puts Lara Croft through over the course of the series and it should really be a must read for any Tomb Raider fan.

The book itself is a decent jumping on point for readers who have not played the game but having played it I strongly recommend you go and pick it up because it’s just brilliant (a definitive edition has recently been released for the Xbox One & PS4) and will mean that you won’t miss anything with things to come  – but if you’re working on a budget then you can’t go wrong with this title. Following her time on Yamatai where she was transformed from a young character who hadn’t taken a life into an experienced survivalist, Lara and her companions, Sam and Jonah – still bear psychological scars – due to the loss of several friends. Of course, as hard enough as it is to recover from the past on its own, it’s even harder to do this when the past refuses to stop haunting you, and that looks to be the case with at least the first arc of this series that is hopefully long-running. It’ll be interesting to see how this book adapts to the video game sequel when that hits later this year.

The artwork from Nicolas Daniel Selma is pretty good and really gives a good feel to the Tomb Raider series. It’s not quite as gritty as perhaps one would like, with the action sequences coming off not as solid as they could be. The colours provided by Michael Atiyeh also suffer from being a bit too bright in places, which is a different contrast from the dark, atmospheric feel of the video game. However, it’s not a total turn-off, and can be easily dismissed when the script it just so damn good.

Lara Croft’s central character was one of the best things about the game and how she developed over the course of the game (aside from the problem where she, after one kill, transforms into a badass pretty much almost instantly) – and it’ll be very interesting to see how she develops as a character here. Some notable similarities are present between Lara and Simone’s Batgirl in the current ongoing series as both characters are dealing from past incidents, but there’s enough to set both these characters apart and it doesn’t feel like Simone’s writing a Barbara Gordon disguised in the body of Lara.

Despite the problems with the artwork, Tomb Raider #1 was a fantastic first issue. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. Count me in on the long run for sure.

VERDICT: 4.5/5


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