Tomb Raider Library Edition Volume 1; A Great Read that Runs with the Ball the Reboot Set Up
Writers: Rhianna Pratchett, Gail Simone
Covers: Brian Horton, Daniel Dos Santos, Dan Scott, Ariel Olivetti, Stephanie Hans, Andy Park, Brenoch Adams
Pencils: Nicolas Daniel Selma, Andrea Mutti
Inking: Juan Gedeon, Pierluigi Baldassini
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
I think the last time I reviewed the Top Cow Tomb Raider comics, I mentioned that since my family couldn’t afford a PlayStation (We had an N64 but the only games I was able to get were the ones I saved months for and the two that came with the system), so I was never really invested in the Tomb Raider games. However, I did love the Tomb Raider comics when the came out, where she was having over the top adventures and globetrotting something fierce. So when they announced a more grounded take on the franchise in 2013, I was all for it as long as it turned out good. I never got to play the game, because I’m still in a place where I really need to choose what I want to play the most when I budget for entertainment, but if this collection of the entire run of tie in comics is any indication, the series is in a really good place.
This project started from a good place when they hired Gail Simone to write the series, as I’ve not read anything by her yet that I haven’t liked. She is collaborating here with Rhianna Pratchett, who I have never heard of but is now going on my Writers To Watch list. It is her strong work on her solo prequel issue that drew me in to the characters and world and got me invested. I must admit I found it a tad jarring when the prequel issue has the group leaving on an adventure and the next issue the adventure is over and quite a few of those characters are gone, but it turns out that all happened in the game so it’s my fault for not being aware of that.
It’s not like you’ll be lost if you’ve never played the reboot game, as they do a great job of filling you in on what you need to know without it being a rehash. Most of this series deals with the fallout of the Yamatai adventure in one way or another, weather it’s worshipers of the villain of the game trying to resurrect him, Lara Croft paying a debt to the memory of computer nerd Alex by protecting his sister from a shadowy organization, or rescuing someone they thought had died on the adventure. While I love Top Cow’s James Bondish over the top take on Lara in their comics, I really like new direction they take where Lara has more of the Indian Jones style Grounded But With One Foot In The Supernatural feel.
The art here is really good, and consistent between the two different Pencilers and Inkers, and really fits with the style and feel that they are going for. In fact if I had any complaints about the series overall it’s that one or two times there will be something that you can see coming a mile away, but if it’s a function of the story your telling and it still makes for some pretty tense scenes it doesn’t bother me too much. If you like Tomb Raider, picking up this sumptuous Library Edition is a good idea.
And a special shout out to some amazing covers.