By Mariko Tamaki, Phillip Sevy, Micheal Atiyeh, Micheal Heisler
Dark Horse attempts to bridge the gap between the last critically acclaimed Tomb Raider game and its anticipated sequel. Written by Mariko Tamaki, expectations are set high for this mini.
The plot of the issue is pretty standard, a glimpse of the present, flashback to a short time previous (one or two weeks), end on a cliffhanger. If you go in expecting something akin to This One Summer, or even TMNT: Casey and April, you’ll come away disappointed. The issue isn’t bad, but standard fare. It lacks any of the mundane joy of This One Summer or even the intimate character moments of TMNT: Casey and April. Lara Croft is depicted as a strong, independent and competent woman who seeks adventure in her life. I’m assuming that last aspect based on past knowledge instead of anything in this mini, which is a pitfall in assuming every reader has an intimate knowledge of the character and her (rebooted) world at the expense of characterization. Granted, Tamaki cannot make Lara her own and the market lacks for strong female hero’s unencumbered by romantic relationships or male shadows, but that is all that Lara amounts to in this issue.
The art by Phillip Sevy and Micheal Atiyeh is adequate, but feels dated to me in its line-work. They make good use of grids, broken and overlapping, but nothing stands out aside from the early pages of Lara falling in a cavern and her fighting training. The colors seem to flatten the art and contribute to this feeling like the art is from a decade ago. Video Game tie-ins often lack in either story or art, but Tomb Raider 2016 seems to suffer in both.
A mystical macguffin is teased, which reminds me vaguely of Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life and its clear that Lara will learn more about it next issue before beginning her journey proper. It’s hard to find many positives to sell this issue on, other than fans of Lara Croft or simply wanting a basic female heroine to follow until something more exciting comes along.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent
Disclosure: Publisher Dark Horse Comics provided an advance review copy of this comic to Nothing But Comics without any payment between the site and publisher or agreement on the review’s content.