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‘Tomb Raider #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review (Survivor’s Guilt)

Some things you can’t come back from. The new Tomb Raider comic written by Gail Simone with art by Nicholas Daniel Selma picks up immediately after the events of the 2013 Tomb Raider video game, which rebooted the franchise (and is a must play. You can read my thoughts on the game here). Tomb Raider still follows Lara Croft, a wealthy British girl who looks for lost treasures and kicks a– in the same vein as Indiana Jones. The reboot has set her around 21 years old, and the game is the recounting of her first real brush with danger. Given all of the running and gunning that Lara and her companions had to do, the comic takes a surprisingly realistic turn by focusing on issues of PTSD. It examines the different ways people try to cope with their experiences and, more importantly, how they are forever changed by the things they’ve seen and done. It’s the start of a fascinating and gritty look that few action-adventure stories bother to go into.

Despite its close ties to the game, Simone has written Tomb Raider in such a way that anyone could pick it up and quickly get a feel for the characters and their relationships and get involved in the story. That said, it’s a bit like watching Serenity before Firefly. You will get so much more out of this issue with the game under your belt since the events Lara and her friends are forced to relive and sort through are moments players of the game have experienced firsthand. With the events of the game in mind, this issue reads like that start of chapter 2 of a larger story and delivers some hits I wasn’t expecting that made me sit up and take notice. Whenever Tomb Raider gets its sequel, it will not be the same game because of the events of this comic.

The art is also tied tightly into the game; the issue mimics plenty of gameplay scenes and the aesthetics of the world in its visuals. I’m as grateful that this book has minimized Lara’s sexuality as I was with the game; however, I found Selma’s character work to be lackluster, especially in the areas of action. Maybe I’m spoiled having seen these characters fully rendered, but I didn’t feel the danger or impact of the scenarios Lara and company found themselves in. While I wasn’t fully happy with his character work, Selma nails the setting and items that populate Lara’s world, rendering beautiful visuals of diverse environments and adding little details to the background that fit the world established in the game.

As a video game and comic book fan, I’m thrilled by how this new series interconnects with the game. I’m excited to be on another adventure with the Lara Croft I can admire, and, after reading one issue, I’m pumped for the opportunity to raid some more tombs and brush up on my archery. Maybe it’s time for a replay . . .

Four and a Half Versatile Climbing Axes out of Five

Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor


Favorite Comic Book SeriesAtomic Robo Favorite D&D Class:  Wizard Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  Cookies N' Cream


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