COMIC REVIEW: Tomb Raider #1

Gail Simone has a history of success on titles with female leads (she’s no slouch with the fellas either), a quick look at her back catalogue shows immensely successful runs on Batgirl, Birds of Prey and more recently Red Sonja. The latter shows that Simone isn’t one to shy away from characters who have traditionally enjoyed a certain notoriety when it comes to their treatment of sexuality. Lara Croft would normally fit neatly into this category, but not this Lara Croft. In rebooting the franchise last year and reintroducing a Lara who is only just out of her teens, Square Enix took the opportunity to ratchet up the believability of the character and lose some of the elements which had made her such a stereotype.

Tomb Raider itself dealt with Lara’s part in an expedition to the island of Yamatai and the dreadful consequences of this for her and her fellow crew members. I won’t go into too much detail of the plot here, but if you’ve not played the game then I would strongly recommend it, it’s a fantastic game and can be snapped up as a bit of a bargain.

Having returned from Yamatai, Lara is plagued by nightmares and doubts about her part in what went on there. She’s about to begin filming a new documentary when she receives a worrying call from one of her ship-mates and heads to Arizona at his request. When she arrives she finds he’s equally disturbed by what’s happened and almost as soon as she arrives she’s thrown into action, her trusty climbing axe in hand.

As introductions go this issue does a good job at balancing the level of exposition for those who have, and haven’t, played the game. I think both camps get a pretty satisfying read here although it has to be said that not much actually happens in the issue. There’s a few tantalising hints at what’s to come but not much filling in the sandwich and will take only a few minutes to read thoroughly. One thing that slightly jarred for me was Lara’s internal monologue thinking about distances as kilometres; whilst she’s meant to be well-travelled I don’t know any Brits who default to km rather than miles. Other than that her dialogue worked well, with a well placed “bugger” which rang with authenticity.

The art was serviceable rather than splendid, but the character likenesses are strong. For my taste the colouring was a little flat, maybe I’ve become too used to the overly textured colouring used by Marvel & DC but here I found the characters a little two-dimensional, particularly when compared to some of the backgrounds. A good start however I’d like a bit more progress next issue.

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Rating: 3.5/5

Reviewer: Dave W

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: