Review by the Oracle of Film.
Right from the first panel, we are thrown back into Yamatai. Lara Croft, before she was dubbed the Tomb Raider, running from the Solarii, jumping over cliffs and running along the ruins of burnt-out aircrafts. For a brief moment, we are back in that rebooted game, the tension dialled right back up to those pulse-pounding levels we played way back in 2013. However, this time something changes. The burning corpse of Alex, the broken body of Grimm and the bloody remains of Roth are there, beside her, whispering for her to join them. As it turns out, we are not back on the island but trapped inside the nightmares haunting, not only Lara, but every survivor of the Endurance.
As far as first issues go, I am very happy with the way Gail Simone is leading the story. After that quick dream sequence and a catch-up with a worn-out Sam (thankfully not as upbeat and naïve, as we remember her from the game), we are thrown into the Deep South of America, hopefully the first of many colourful locations the series will throw at us. We are united with Jonah, who speaks about spirits that have followed them from Yamatai, intent on claiming them once and for all. It appears that the group are on borrowed time, an idea evidenced by a natural disaster materialising out of nowhere.
I was wary of how Lara would cope in comic book format. Sometimes, the tension of a story doesn’t quite get conveyed from the comic panels, but, thanks to some quick-fire story-telling, we are right there in the action. In the first issue, we are already treated to a particularly nasty shock that many readers won’t see coming. It sets the tone and promises a good couple of following issues. One of my favourite things about the comic is the amazing visuals from Nicolás Daniel Selma. I wasn’t expecting comic book Lara to look so ‘identical’ to the video game Lara. Despite a clearly graphic novel art-style, we can instantly tell where Lara’s design comes from, echoing the new rebooted female icon we have grown to love. It really does feel like an extension of the game rather than a money-grabbing spin-off. As I turn the final page, I am left feeling that the character is in good hands.
Quote of the Issue:
Lara: (after Sam has night terrors) I’m making you a cup of tea.
Sam: And a biscuit?
Lara: Definitely a biscuit.
A nice bit of humour and Britishness to break up the danger and tension.
Feel free to check out the Oracle of Film blog for more TV, film and music reviews and articles on popular culture. You can also follow the author on Twitter (@LukeBbtt).
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